Wednesday, 28 July 2010

Quick republican response after four years

One can’t help admiring the Australian republicans’ quick reaction force. On 28th July 2010 two of their leading men commented on a news item that was published on 14th June 2006. David Donovan, media director of the Australian Republican Movement and its Queensland branch convener and Major General Mike Keating AO retired from Her Majesty’s Australian service to commence another battle as the chair of the Australian Republican Movement (ARM), discussed on the ABC’s “The drum unleashed" the Republic Audit - Costs of Republicanism Paid or Payable by the Taxpayer by David Flint (National Convener of Australians for Constitutional Monarchy). By examining David Flint’s calculated costs of transforming Australia into “a” republic the ARM's bigwigs followed the rule: Minimise the republic’s cost and exaggerate the costs of the Monarchy.

By doing so they end up with a strange calculation. The two top republicans claimed “a five day tour by Prince Charles and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall in 2005” cost “almost $400,000“. They did not check their records because Prince Charles was in Australia in March 2005 – and got married in April 2005. He was not accompanied by Camilla Parker-Bowles as the Duchess of Cornwall was known before her marriage to the Prince of Wales.

It is equally wrong to attribute “$1.8 million for a visit by the Queen to Melbourne in 2006”. In March 2006 she opened the Commonwealth Games in Melbourne as Head of the Commonwealth. If the sum mentioned was correct, then it would had have to be paid even by a republican Australia – as long as the country stayed in the Commonwealth and wanted to host events related to this world organisation. By the way, according to Wikipedia and the ABC the Commonwealth Games in Melbourne cost “over 1 billion Australian dollars and a high likelihood the Victorian taxpayer would have to cover the expense”.

The republicans did not criticise the $1,000,000,000 cost of the Games, but a 0,18% faction for the Head of the Commonwealth, presuming the figure was correct.

Wrong is also this claim: “Not paying for royal tours in future will be an ongoing benefit for Australian taxpayers for the rest of the life of the Australian nation.” Unless an Australian republic pulls down the shutters, refuses to receive royal visitors and opens its gates only for republican heads of state, then there will always be costs which have to covered by the host. Or will republicans put up the sign ”BYO” and demand from official guests to this nation that they pay for their visit? What an extraordinary thought, which no nation has ever adopted.

When it comes to stays of members of our Royal Family, the republicans should be reminded, that unlike unwelcome relatives who turn up at the door mat and demand entrance, neither the Queen of Australia nor the heir to the throne or anyone else who belongs to the House of Windsor arrive on the Australian shores without being invited. They do not hand themselves an invitation.

However, they are welcome and we would like to see them more often down under. That would give the two republicans more material to complain about – and maybe they would even get the facts right next time.

1 comment:

LAW Wells said...

One man is lavish and yet grows still richer; another is too sparing, yet is all the poorer
Prov. 11:24

What more need be said?