Frederick Forsyth , the British author is best known for his novels The Day of the Jackal, The Dogs of War, The Odessa File, Icon and The Fist of God.

He also writes the occasional opinion piece for the press. In a recent piece, available here in the International express, 5 July, 2005, he noted that The Queen, aged 79, had had to cancel all engagements for three days, because of a cold, which Forsyth surmised probably came from a rain-drenched Ascot week in York.

Apart from normal holidays, this was the first time off she had had in 52 years as Queen!

Forsyth asked his readers to imagine a job where you did not say” No I’m not up to that to-day.”

She never does that. Always there greeting, nodding, smiling, doing her duty, never letting us down.

The whole Royal family costs 61 pence per UK citizen, not daily nor monthly, but 61 pence each year.

(As I explained in a recent column, the UK actually makes a profit on the Royal Family, and that is before you take into account the tourist revenues they clearly attract.)

Of course they cost Australians nothing, even if our desperate republicans have to work out the “cost” of security for them – something not done for anybody else and as if the security services are not already paid to be on call for such duties.

We just had a US warship in Sydney Harbour-it had to be protected, but who is so crass as to jump up and down about the costs of providing security?

NSW Premier Carr has just been to the Middle East , where he announced a desalination plant for Sydney, as well as the UK.

No doubt the local authorities provided security.

Are the local media, or the local politicians behaving as crassly as ours do about the security “cost” of the Premier’s visit?

Of course they are not.

These “ costs’ are only totted up by local republicans when we have a Royal Visit!

In any even Frederick Forsyth is onto similar republican antics in the UK.

He says the republicans- he was referring to the tiny band of oxymoronic UK republicans – the republicans screamed as usual about the cost of monarchy.

He says the republicans didn’t point out that the Italian president costs each Italian TWICE as much as the Royal Family!

Twice as much! And what would be the running cost of an Australian presidency?

We know that to get to the model the republicans now think will be a winner – the Mark Latham model – there won’t be much change out of half a billion dollars.

Then each election every three or so years will cost a good 100 million.

Fortunately, Australians are endowed with too much common sense to fall for that one.

Until next time,
David Flint