The press comment that the “latest gaffe is just more evidence that the Windsors are well past their use by date” merely demonstrates the growing desperation of Australia’s republicans. They are unable to say what sort of republic they want. They are even at one another’s throats over the number of glorified taxpayer funded opinion polls -"plebiscites" – they want to hold.
They are however successful in one thing. That is in gouging millions and millions from the taxpayer to subsidise their campaign.
According to The Age of 27 January, the National Australia Bank predicts the federal budget deficit next year will be forty billion dollars. That will surely be a record.
There is more reason then for the politicians to stop diverting money from schools, hospitals, water, and protecting jobs into this folly. On at least five occasions our federal politicans have shovelled our money -not theirs – into this, and there is absolutely nothing to show for it. Nothing.
In any event, that hardly novel comment above appeared last week in the high circulating Sunday newspaper the Sun Herald. It was from the pen of the ABC comedian and Fairfax journalist Dom Knight, who is filling in for ultra republican Peter FitzSimons who is on leave.
(We wonder whether Mr. FitzSimons will come back with another campaign as the soon forgotten Mate for a Head of State campaign?)
Mr. Knight says that when he was at school in London he was called a “Paki” for the somewhat improbable reason that he is Australian.
He was unhappy with that and also disapproves of the nick name “Sooty” which he says is “fairly insulting if based on his Indian background and extremely insulting if based on the children’s TV teddy bear. Of course, that sooty never speaks, an idea Prince Harry might explore.”
The fact that the person addressed approves of the nickname and that he may be introduced to the user that way does not seem to have entered into Mr. Knight’s consideration.
In any event the editor was gracious enough to publish my letter on 25 January:
"Dom Knight (18/1) should try to understand that men, especially those in the armed forces, tend to address one another with nick names which may often seem pejorative to those who move in inner city elite circles.
"If he were prepared to risk his life in the armed services, raise millions for the disadvantaged in impoverished countries, and spend considerable amounts of spare time working for them, he would be in a position to criticise that fine young man, Prince Harry."