The costs to the taxpayer of this republican folly keep on mounting. Well over two million dollars was allocated just for the 2020 Summit, which was blatantly gerrymandered to secure a 98:1 vote in favour of some vague politicians’ republic. This money was managed almost as poorly as the drafting of the summit republican resolutions (“2020 Summit subjected to Senate scrutiny,” 1 June 2008)
You would have thought that was it. But now we are told that at a time when the government says it is is making hard financial decisions, an additional $45,110 was spent by the Prime Minister’s department to employ a British political consultant for three weeks.
Among his tasks was to provide “support for developing a strategic approach to future directions arising from the Australia 2020 Summit.” (“Rudd pays Blair’s ‘third way’ guru $45,000 for policy advice,” Mark Davis, Sydney Morning Herald, 16 May)
What ever the guru advised, the government’s belated response to the Summit’s republican proposal was to put it on the back burner. This was probably because polling is showing that not only support for a politicians’ republic is falling and divided, there is little interest among the general public.
When ACM objected in the recent Senate Plebiscite Bill inquiry about the amount of money which is constantly being diverted from such matters as schools, hospitals and water into the republican folly, Senator Cameron changed the subject.
He asked about the cost of such matters as Royal Palaces to the British taxpayers. He had earlier told the hearing that Canada was a republic.
I pointed out that at the beginning of the reign The Queen had transferred her income from the Crown Estate to the government and that they were making a very good profit out of that. The money paid from that is to maintain the head of state functions; there is no salary and no superannuation for The Queen.
I reminded the Senator that we of course pay The Queen neither salary nor superannuation.
When will the republicans pay for their campaign, instead of having the taxpayer instead of having their taxpayer fund them? We are reminded constantly that this is the greatest financial crisis since the depression.
Is it not time for the republican politicians to exercise some restraint?