One of the really silliest claims –and there were plenty –in the referendum was that if Sir Robert Menzies were alive, he would be a republican. That came from Senator Vanstone, who, as we reported in this column on 2 September, 2005, managed recently to alienate many in Mr. Costello’s constituency party by a completely gratuitous insult to the Sovereign. Ironically this was in the course of her lecturing her fellow republicans with a statement of the obvious-that it is counter productive to attack members of the Royal Family. Some walked out, many complained and Mr Costello was embarassed.
Senator Vanstone seems determined to tar Sir Robert Menzies with the republican brush, which will only alienate her from all-repeat all admirers of Menzies. This is what was said on the ABC programme, The World Today, 24 April, 200 the following exchange:
“ALEXANDRA KIRK: Do you think there is a message, though, for the Government on the issue of asylum seekers (in relation to the Kooyong preselection)?
AMANDA VANSTONE: Well, I think the clear message is that they like Petro as a member, and you know, they are, what would you call it, a liberal Liberal seat. I call them the Menzies seats actually, all the seats that, you know, voted for a republic. Perhaps the moderates should call themselves the Menzies group instead of the moderates.”
Senator you will not gain one vote or any support from that. It is more likely that you will lose respect.