The Age Diary of Monday, 6 March, 2006 contained a fascinating item.

"God help us

YES, it was an overwhelming "no" on the Hun voteline [A poll in the Herald Sun] to playing God Save the Queen at the Commonwealth Games (12,448 to 10,834 – a record response), but spies tell us it could have something to do with staff from the Department of Premier and Cabinet storming Labor HQ and the offices of several unions on Friday to hit the phones and stack the "no" vote. Steve should give them a gold medal. "

So who ordered the Premier’s staff to see that the poll was fixed?

A similar poll in Sydney was overwhelmingly in favour of the singing of the Royal Anthem.

Did somone really have to resort to dirty tricks to hide public feeling on this question, and to cover the refusal to observe the lawful national protocol established by the Hawke government, and followed consistently by the Keating and Howard governments?

 

The Premier should not let his republicanism cloud his judgement. Some years ago the Premier unwisely joined a republican stunt. This was a call to give back Tom Robertson’s wonderful painting of the opening of the first Federal Parliament . The painting hangs on permanent loan in the Federal Parliament.It is legally owned by The Sovereign, as Queen of Australia.  So how could she give it back?

As we said then, it was tantamount to asking Her Majesty to give back her Crown Land!

We had hoped that that experience would have demonstrated to the Premier that whatever his personal views, the Australian constitution was not changed in 1999 in the way that he wished. He should accept that.

Rather than rigging polls, all that is needed now to avoid controversy, and that the international media will ensure that only this one story dominates what will be a wonderful opening ceremony, is for the lawful established protocol of this country to be followed.

Rather than a few bars, sing a verse of both the Royal Australian Anthem and Advance Australia Fair and then, let’s get on with the Games.