Once again, Australians have proved the republican commentariat – the Mike Carltons, the Peter FitzSimons (with their curious dreams of lying in puddles of corgi urine), the Philip Adams, the Doctors Henderson, the Greg (“Australia is a pigsty”) Barns, Leo Schofield and all the others – totally wrong. Australians are very interested in their Queen.
The following programmes on the ABC attracted ratings that broadcaster dreams about. There was the programme on Rolf Harris and his painting of The Queen broadcast on 23 April, 2006 which attracted a record nationwide TV audience of 1.28 million. The there was Part 1 of The Queen at 80, on 11 June, 2006. The ratings were 1.095 million. Then last Sunday, 18 June, 2006, 1.233 million watched Part 2.ABC ratings are lower than on commercial TV. Imagine what ratings these programmes would attract on commercial TV?
In any event, which programmes about changing our constitution or our flag have ever rated this well? The sausage sizzle on Bondi Beach, the centrepiece of their ‘mate for a head of state’ campaign, attracted about 50 people. That campaign received much more media publicity than these Royal TV programmes. Perhaps they should have televised it. What does all this tell us?
It confirms that the only people interested in republicanis, outside of the republican movement described by David Marr as “near comatose”, are the republican commentariat and some very out of touch power hungry politicians. (Incidentally, did you notice that in the report by Kerri-Anne Walsh in the Sun Herald of 4 June 2006 about the republican movement opening another national office in Canberra, it was claimed that among their republican supporters in the cabinet were Mark Vail and Brendan Nelson. Presumably the republican movement gave these names to the paper. So don’t believe everything republicans tell you, Ms. Walsh. Both are well known constitutional monarchists. Letters to this effect have since been published, to the credit of the Sun Herald. Are the republicans so indifferent to the truth that they will so carelessly ascribe republicanism to people when the slightest of checking would have demonstrated to them they were wrong?)
These ratings tell us that yet another republican myth has been well and truly exposed. Thanks to the rank and file Australians who are not prepared to do what they are told – as they demonstrated on 6 November, 1999.