The republic has been lurking at the edges of political debate since Kevin Rudd came to office, says leading republican Professor George Williams in comment today in a Sydney newspaper. The republic? As Paul Keating’s Republic Advisory Committee chaired by Malcolm Turnbull conceded, we are already a republic – a crowned republic.

So what sort of republic does Professor  Williams want? 

Professor George Williams'opinion piece in The Sydney Morning Herald (16/5)t was awkwardly  headed "It's our republic, not a dance with her maj's heirs.”  Our republic? The one that all states rejected in 1999?  Or some other politicians' republic that dare not speak its name?

So that readers would not miss this piece, there was a frontpage pointer headed "Republic is the issue, not Queen."  But wasn't the Herald and the rest of the republican camp chiding ACM in 1999 for allegedly not mentioning The Queen in the referendum campaign? 

To repeat, what sort of republic does Professor  Williams want?

Professor William’s republican movement has been chanting for ten years  “ We want a republic…but we haven’t the foggiest idea what republic we want.”

Instead of telling the people precisely what they want to do to the constitution and the flag, the republican movement is still looking for some silver bullet which will hand them some politicians’ republic.

They actually want to keep the succession law as it is, so they can use it to attack the system. The last thing they want is the moderate reform which is likely to emerge from CHOGM.

Williams is right in one regard.

The end of this reign is not going to provide the elusive  silver bullet.

Just go away and work out what you want, Professor.

And this time,  without millions and millions more of taxpayers’ funds being diverted into this folly from schools, transport, water etc.

[ This is an expanded version  of a brief letter  sent to The Sydney Morning Herald. The third, fourth and fifth paragraphs were not used. Although the comment by Professor Williams was well placed and publicised on the front page, nothing challenging the piece has been published in the Herald. ]