Tuesday, 7 February 2012

"Staunchly republican", but not democratic

Should anyone have expected The Age would get the facts right, when one of the paper's journalists wrote – another – condemning editorial on the Queen on her 60th Accession Day anniversary, you were wrong.

After a few nice words about the Queen’s life achievement, the guillotine blade fell: “All this a staunchly republican newspaper like The Age readily concedes. We acknowledge, too, that the enthusiasm for an Australian republic that was strong enough a decade ago to produce a clear majority in favour of change has diminished in recent years.” The Age admitted that “opinion polls now tend to show that support for a republic has dropped below 50per cent”. That's euphemism since the latest opinion poll gave the republicans 34 per cent, hardly a figure as The Age marked it as “not so far below that mark that it could not be reversed”.

The Age repeats the republican myth, that 1999 referendum would have gone in their favour, had the republicans agreed on another model of a politicians’ republic: “The present crop of politicians also remember the scarring experience of the 1999 referendum, when the monarchy survived not because Australians wanted it but because republicans could not agree on a model of republican government. That experience, however, is but a cautionary tale. Next time, there should be a choice of models as well as a choice between the monarchy and the republic. And we should get on with it.” And what, if the majority of Australians still vote to retain the Monarchy? Will The Age (and the republicans) make peace with the Monarchy? Who else will they blame for another defeat next time, if another republican model will be rejected?

As “a staunchly republican newspaperThe Age will certainly advocate more referenda until the nation’s editorial headmasters will get what they have been hammering into the heads of the naughty Monarchist children.

However, this prophecy might be permitted: The Australian Monarchy will survive The Age’s print editions.


A letter to the editor of The Age was brought to the RadicalRoyalist's attention. The letter was not published, but the writer gave permission to put it up here:
It was to be expected that The Age, being 'a staunchly republican newspaper' according to its own account, would present a muted and non-triumphalist coverage of the Queen's extraordinary achievement in reigning for sixty years. Alas, it was also to be expected that its latest propaganda for change to a republic would be intellectually meagre indeed; and it was!

In vain does one look in your editorial for any convincing argument that a republican constitution for Australia would actually be an improvement on one that is monarchical. Contrary to your assertions, the Queen does represent Australians as a credible symbol, for, among other things, she is Sovereign of our mother-country - of what is still, culturally,
'Home'. Think too, please, of this: that the glory of kings and queens is recognised worldwide as a source of unity and inspiration to peoples. There is not, and there never will be, any such charisma for presidents.

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