When I subscribe to a newspaper or magazine, I find I first go to my favourite columns or pages. When I was young, it was the editorial. With the avalanche of opinion from across the media, I am afraid that I sometimes do not even glance at the editorial headline.
With The Spectator – well before it became Spectator Australia – I used to look at ‘Taki’ and ‘Dear Mary’. Now I look at The Spectator's Australian pages first.
When I used to read The Australian Financial Review, it was Alex and their earlier version of Cut & Paste which I think Tom Switzer – now the editor of Spectator Australia – started.
With The Australian – now by far the best among the broadsheets – I usually first check the front page, the opinion page, Strewth and Cut & Paste.
And I see that Strewth has taken a particular interest in ACM over three days this week.
…what 'strewth' means…
I must at this point put in a note for the benefit of overseas readers – I understand one in four readers are from countries other than Australia. Welcome to each one of you.
According to the Macquarie Dictionary, the word ‘strewth’ (also spelt ‘struth’) is an Australian colloquial exclamation expressing surprise or verification: "Did he say that? Strewth! Strewth he did!" It comes from ‘God's truth’.
Here endeth the lesson in Australian English.
The last time Strewth referred to ACM was earlier this year when I was taken in by The Guardian’s April Fool’s Day editorial declaring its reconversion to monarchy. I recall they wrote about it more than once, and with glee.
A friend warned me that day – “Don’t you know what day it is? “
I replied with authority “No serious newspaper – not one in the tradition of The Manchester Guardian and the great CP Scott ( "Comment is free: facts are sacred") – would stoop to misusing and abusing its editorial column for such a cheap stunt”.
I was wrong.
…Pining for the fjords, A vowel too far and Crowning glories …
These three reports are posted below. Click on Read More
…Pining for the fjords (26/6)
ONE thing we weren't prepared for yesterday was Australians for a Constitutional Monarchy appropriating Monty Python's Dead Parrot sketch, the republic playing the feathered "not dead, just resting" role.
Owner: Sorry squire, I've had a look 'round the back of the shop, and uh, we're right out of republics.
Customer: I see. I see, I get the picture.
Owner: I got a Grand Duchy.
C: Pray, does it reign?
O: Nnnnot really.
C: Well it's hardly a bloody replacement, is it?
O: Well, I never wanted to do this in the first place. I wanted to be the columnist on The Australian's Strewth column anyway.
This alone wouldn't normally warrant inclusion in Strewth, but the urbane David Flint typing a word that rhymes with "truckin"' (suitably asterisked, of course) certainly got it over the line.
…A vowel too far (28/6)
CORRESPONDENCE from Strewth reader Captain Peter Miller, who has alerted us to the fact we had something of an excessive Wheel of Fortune moment on the weekend and bought one vowel too many:
"The appellation 'Australians for a Constitutional Monarchy', is incorrect.
The correct moniker is 'Australians for Constitutional Monarchy'.
Now you think about it, an extra 'a' does make a difference." We sit corrected.
..Crowning glories (29/6
Our reminder to refer to David Flint's Monty Python-fanciers as Australians for Constitutional Monarchy rather than Australians for a Constitutional Monarchy has aroused in reader Rob Moline a world of possibilities:
"Australians for Constitutional Monarchy? It implies any monarchy will do rather than a specific monarchy. Can we start a push for a different monarchy? Say appoint the Danish royal family as Australia's foreign sovereign rulers, so that eventually we get an Australian (in the person of Mary) into one of the top spots? I'm sure Flint and the rest of the AfCM would have no problem with that; the AfaCM might have."