During the 1999 referendum, the Sydney Morning Herald demonstrated bias in the way it campaigned for a republic, sullying your tradition as the great journal of record of this state, and a newspaper with a respected international reputation, I wrote in a letter to The Sydney Moring Herald on 19 June,2009.
I had hoped that this was an aberration.
But this week you have published no balancing view to the piece by Professor Williams which you promoted on your front page.
Are constitutional monarchists to assume you will behave the same way if there is another referendum or a plebiscite? I know that a large number of constitutional monarchists have decided to give up their subscriptions to the Herald because they have no confidence that you will be reasonably balanced. Do you want most of them to assume you are not prepared to be fair in allowing the views of those who prevailed in 1999?
The point is that if you are not fair on this, your readers will wonder on what other issues are you manipulating the agenda? I can tell you people are already saying this.
I, for one, Sent the following to you on Monday. Others have no doubt written to you.
"The republic has been lurking at the edges of political debate since Kevin Rudd came to office", writes Professor George Williams.( SMH 16/5)
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 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.