Our colleague, Harold Schmautz, who coordinates the work of the Melbourne based Monarchist Alliance, and sends out the most informative pieces of information, has drawn our attention to the blog Sentire cum ecclesia, written by David Schütz. The blog posted on 26 August, 2007 is headed “Well may we say, God save Clive James!” In it, Mr. Schütz observes, with considerable perception:
“Overseas readers may not be aware that there is such a personage as "The Queen of Australia". There is, and she is, of course, one and the same as the Queen of Great Britain, our much loved and revered Elizabeth II Regina. Over the last forty years, there has been a growing republican movement in Australia which reached its zenith with the referendum in 1999 which failed to get the required support to ditch the Australian constitutional monarchy which has served us so well since our foundation as a nation in 1901 (under the other great Queen, Victoria).
"The question of when and whether Australia will be "free of the British monarchy" continues to be discussed in leftist circles. Clive James, the British-based Australian commentator and wit, who has recently released a book (given a rather cool review by Fr Richard John Neuhaus in the First Things Blog) "Cultural Amnesia", was asked this very question at the Melbourne Writers Festival, according to yesterday's edition of The Age. [ That is , 25 August, 2007, which we noted in this column on 28 August, 2007 under the title “Freedom Wears a Crown.” It takes time for information to pass between our capitals.]
“You ask when are you going to be free of the British monarchy? You are free under the British monarchy. What you have to guarantee is that you are free under the next system… I think it's a very advantageous political system to Australia, to have a connection with the old British monarchy… I know I must be seen as impossibly conservative, but you can be quite on the left, which I am, and still be culturally conservative.”
He also said that it was a "generous act of respect" to Britain to keep the Union Jack in the Australian flag. "Generous acts of respect" like that are, we know, very rare these days–especially among the so called "elites" these days–and so we thank Clive for his reply from the bottom of our hearts. Such generosity and unwillingness to give in to the rampant disease of "cultural amnesia" is very much appreciated.”
The comments to this blog contain well written argument, and there are some surprise, especially the Schütz model for constitutional change, which is recalls the Polish monarchy. That reminds me of the proposal to restore the Polish monarchy under a Royal Prince, subsequently nominated Governor –General of the Commonwealth of Australia. ( See this column, 3 July, 2007)