"Charles will be our next head of state"
It seems that Shaun Carney, an associate editor of The Age, went too far yesterday. He had admitted:
“Charles will be our next head of state. And, whether I live to see it or not, I'm convinced that Charles' first-born, William, will be Australia's head of state after that.”Today The Age’s editorial returned to the familiar republican modus vivendi:
“People who have a strong and principled attachment to the institution of monarchy may be relatively few in this country, but there are undoubtedly many who sincerely profess admiration and affection for the monarch. That fact alone may keep the republic at bay for the remainder of her reign.”And the author of the editorial expressed equally this hope:
“The mystique of monarchy may yet prove to be merely the mystique of a monarch, and popular support for an Australian republic, which has waned in recent years, may revive. For the present, however, an observation of Liberal frontbencher and former republican leader Malcolm Turnbull probably captures the popular mood most accurately: Australia has more Elizabethans than monarchists.”How much better did Shaun Carney capture the situation for the Australian Monarchy - at present and in the foreseeable future:
To publish a contradicting opinion piece with the all too familiar republican statements one day after Shaun Carney’s admission that the republican crusade has failed to capture the Australians is an effort to re-establish the newspaper’s credentials among the Australian republican circles. Alarming figures haunt the Melbourne branch of Fairfax media. The Age’s sales dropped 13.4 per cent on a weekday in the March 2012 quarter and the Saturday Age lost 12.4 per cent. Instead of transferring 66 editorial production jobs to New Zealand – which lead to a journalist strike of 36 hours in Melbourne – Fairfax should re-examine their editorial policy.
“ Charles seems a decent person who has played his part in raising two fine young men in William and Harry. None of them asked to be born into the British royal family, which, because Britain colonised this continent in the 18th century, is our royal family.
“And we had our chance to go in a different direction, but, by a national vote of 55-45 per cent, chose not to. As recently as the late 1990s, a solid majority of Australians were telling pollsters that they wanted Australia to become a republic, to cut the formal constitutional ties with Britain and to have a full-time Australian head of state. Then the republicans started squabbling about what sort of republic we should have, which cruelled the chance of success at the 1999 referendum, and the opportunity to end Australia's days as a constitutional monarchy was lost.
“Originally, the republicans - especially the direct-election advocates who had supported a ''no'' vote at the referendum - argued that the country would be able to return to the question a few years down the track. It soon became apparent that this would not happen. Then they looked to the period after the Queen's passing as the appropriate time for the move to a republic, convincing themselves that Prince Charles as king would be a turn-off to monarchists - a forlorn piece of wishful thinking.
“In the meantime, public attitudes in Australia have changed. Republican sentiment has been in steady retreat. Last year, the Queen attracted enormous numbers during her Australian visit. The gushing from Australians behind the barricades in Melbourne about the Queen's magnificence equalled the encomiums from their London counterparts this week.
“The republican cause in Australia will always have adherents, but republicanism's moment has passed. Perhaps it will return, but not for a long time.”