February 26

Royalty TV rates

…Year with the Royal Family still a winner..

A Year with the Royal Family continues a winner, with nearly a million viewers (968,000) on 25 February, 2008.  This indicates continuing strong interest by Australians in the Royal Family, something which has been denied repeatedly by republicans.

The fact is that republicanism does not rate; monarchy does.

When Mr Keating appointed the Republic Advisory Committee, one its functions was to go around Australia listening to people’s views.  But as Tony Abbott observed, such is the interest in republicanism, some of its meetings could have been held in a telephone booth.

…the next episode…

Last night’s programme was on the State Opening of Parliament, the weekly meetings with the Prime Minister and the Visit to the Baltic States.

The newspaper guides seem to be listing the order of programmes as originally broadcast in the UK, and not as Channel 9 has redesignated them. We think next week’s on 3 March 2008 is to be on The Royal Family and the People.

If we are right, this will be based on the fact that each year the Royal Family performs around 4,000 official engagements, many taking months – even years – of planning. It shows The Queen as a hands-on hostess, personally checking all the arrangements in advance. There is a scene where a farming family invite Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall to tea in their kitchen.


…radio ratings…

In the meantime, the country’s most republican radio programme, presented at breakfast time in Sydney from Fairfax Radio station 2UE by republican–ultra, Mr. Mike Carlton, continues to lose listeners.

He began this year without his co-presenter, Peter FitzSimons, an indefatigable republican who conceived the failed republican campaign, ‘ A Mate for a Head of State.”

The number of listeners Mr Carlton now attracts  is  almost down to one third of those of the competing and top rating Alan Jones  programme broadcast from 2GB and over the web.  

During the referendum campaign, Alan Jones gave a fair hearing to both sides, which led to complaints about the programme him from the republican movement.

It seems that they were so used to the media campaigning with them, they thought that balance,  and Mr. Jones expressing his own opinion were a breach of the code.


In answers to callers, Alan Jones would often say, “ If you don’t know, vote No.”

…mate for head of state campaigner targets Queen’s Birthday…


Both Mr. Carlton and Mr. FitzSimons write for the Fairfax press. In the Sun Herald on 24 February, 2008, Peter FitzSimons said that the Queen’s Birthday weekend in June was”lacking in meaning” and how “few people actually give a st***”.

So, he argued, why not “ditch” The Queen’s Birthday  and replace it with  a National Sorry or Reconciliation Day? 

This, he says, can be done  “on our way to becoming a great republic.”

We are so sorry, Mr. FitzSimons.

Malcolm Turnbull himself concluded in his referendum diary that most Australians couldn’t give a tinker’s cuss about your republic.


And that is whether or not it is headed by one of your mates.


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