Thursday 30 April 2009

Hear, hear!

The Age succeeded in surprising me today:

"But a republic is not inevitable. It won't happen unless it is kept on the national political agenda, and the major parties — both of which are now led by avowed republicans — should support Senator Brown's bill."

The Age will do everything to keep republicanism alive and soon return to its usual mantra of some inevitability to replace our Australian Monarchy with "a" republic.

Interestingly The Age commented in its editorial yesterday's Finance and Public Administration Committee's hearing of the inquiry into a plebiscite for "an" Australian republic Bill, but it reported nothing of the hearing.

It could have done so like the ABC that picked up odd bits and pieces of various statements, but a good newspaper would have given a full report of the pros and cons that were brought forward.

We Age readers really missed out highlights like this: Sarah Brasch, who represented Women for an Australian republic triumphantly announced that finally 43 percent of Australian women supported "a" republic. 43 percent!! Hardly the overwhelming majority, that is usually claimed by The Age and likeminded republican politicians.

Why did The Age fail - again - to do its job?

Monday 27 April 2009

The Age continues the Governor's saga

While nobody knows, where the Governor of Victoria is - the Premier's office did not reply to a question about David de Kretser's official visit "in the Middle East" - Paul Austin continued his useless campaign about the Governor's right "to speak out on contentious issues such as global warming".

Today's Age could report of a bi-partisan support: "Mr Brumby and Mr Baillieu were responding to reports in The Age on recent speeches by Professor de Kretser in which he has issued a call to arms on global warming." According to The Age "Mr Baillieu said Australian society had moved on from the view that vice-regal representatives should stay silent.

Of course, this article followed the rule, that The Age does not publish any article without a sting against the Australian Monarchy. The paper referred to the "representatives of the Queen in Australia". Naturally the correct term is the Queen of Australia.

A lot of propaganda in two letters.

Saturday 25 April 2009

Carnation Revolution in Portugal 35 years ago

The Carnation Revolution (Portuguese: Revolução dos Cravos), was a military coup against a 40 year old dictatorship, which started on April 25, 1974, in Lisbon, Portugal. It gave all political groups the opportunity to form parties and to participate in the political life of the country. Before the coup the Portuguese Monarchists had been part of the opposition against António de Oliveira Salazar and Marcelo Caetano. My Portuguese friend, Nuno Castelo-Branco , writes on the Carnation Revolution from a Monarchist point of view. Nuno has two blogs, that are worth checking: estadosentido and centenario-republica.

The 25th April 1974 has a special signifiance for the Portuguese history, because it meant a clear rupture with the colonial past. At that time Portugal held overseas territories in the Atlantic - Cape Verde, São Tomé, in Africa - Guinea-Bissau, Angola and Mozambique -,and in Asia - Macau and Timor -, but Portugal was facing a guerrilla war on several African fronts, this was during the same period as the Vietnam war. Without any support of from formal NATO allies, the Portuguese army managed to contain the thread imposed by movements armed by the USSR and China and financed by countries that had interests in the economic prospects in Angola and Mozambique.

The internal situation of the regime had started to crumble in the post-WWII period, when the influence of communism was evident around the world. Half of Europe was occupied by the Red Army and the decolonization period arrived with the "winds of history".

Portugal had a banishment law for the Braganza family. This law was imposed after the illegal and brutal coup d'État in 1910, but the collapse of the 1st republic in 1926 - due to fraud, incompetence, economic disaster and political repression -, gave the “restaurationists” some hopes to achieve the return of the Monarchy. Unfortunately, the premature death of King Manuel II in 1932 created a new situation and rendered the path for a smooth acceptation of the restoration more difficult. [In 1933 António de Oliveira Salazar came to power. RR]

The visit of Queen Amelia in 1945 surprised the Salazar regime, who could not expect such a popular reception, with thousands of people cheering her everywhere. Amelia embodied in fact the last rememberance of a regime of political tolerance, being the face of the multi-party constitutiobal legalism. Wishing to calm down the internal pressure of the Monarchist members of the Causa Monárquica - the people’s wish was already tested by Amelia's visit -, Salazar finally agreed to abolish the banishment law, precisely in the period that General Franco declared Spain a kingdom "in waiting". All the opposition was waiting what the new situation held for them: The Braganzas returned to Portugal. It was well known that the regime’s own party, the União Nacional, had an extremely strong monarchist section. Salazar knew that the Duke of Braganza was an admirer of the British Monarchy. On this prospect, that the Portuguese Estado Nuevo could be replaced by a Parliamentarian Monarchy Salazar decided to stay on the republican way, seeing in the restoration a threat to his personal power.

The accomplishment of the military service of the (then Crown Prince) Dom Duarte at the front in Angola, left negative impressions on Marcelo Caetano (who had succeded Salazar in 1968), because His Royal Highness tried to organize an opposition list in Angola, to run for the national elections. At this moment the ecologist-liberal group of Monarchists under the direction of Ribeiro Telles, announced the complete rupture with the Caetano regime, who was unable to solve politically the military conflict in the overseas territories. The war was far from lost, but without any logistic assistance by the formal allies, it could be prolonged in the future, creating internal friction and international oposition against Portugal.

The 25th April had as direct consequence the rapid abandonning of the overseas provinces, with a unprecedent chaos everywhere. Due to the clear influence of the communist party, the army retired, and circa one million "colons" (settlers) where forced to flee to Portugal, South Africa, Brazil and even Australia.

The normalization of the internal situation in Portugal, included the country’s entry into the EU, re-establishing of strong ties with the traditional allies, the United Kingdom and the USA. Actually, the economical degradation, the perils due to the massification of the EU, give a very clear rise of the Monarchist movement which is stronger than ever.

Deputies in parliament - in most of the democratic parties, Socialist, Social Democrat, Conservative, Party of the Earth/ecologists -, in the press - some polls give circa 40% to the monarchy in an hypothetic referendum -, and now, in the internet. As a simple curiosity, let me mention a poll of SIC (channel 3 of TV) on the day of the marriage of Dom Duarte with Isabel Herédia (1995), resulted in a 67% yes vote for the monarchy would a referendum have been held on that day! It's now quite normal that public figures like actors, journalists, university professors, etc. indicate their pro-monarchy opinion, and many see it as a guarantee for the survival of our country in the expanding European Union. The economic crisis and the internal political discredit are other factors that can enforce Monarchist hopes. The discrete and dignified social and cultural services of the actual Duke of Braganza, have a certain echo in the population which regards him as one of the few personalities in the country who is above any suspiction.

We must not forget his vital role in the liberation of East Timor, insisting for more than two decades on the right of an consultation of the people of this territory, with his intense diplomac efforts in Europe and in the USA. An important task of the Duke is without any doubt, strenghtning the ties with the increasingly important Community of the Portuguese Speaking Countries, where his diplomatic work is widely recognized.
N. C.-B.
Since 1975 the Monarchist People's Party (Partido Popular Monárquico = PPM) has taken part in all elections and has presently two seats in the Portuguese parliament.
Republican propaganda on ANZAC Day

Editorials in The Age are usually dull pieces of writing. The editorial on ANZAC Day 2009 was no exception from this rule. You had to struggle through 4,460 characters to reach the last sentence: “When Australia finally severs its vestigial links with the imperial past, declaring itself to be a republic with its own head of state, we really shall have an independence day, and Anzac Day will not be diminished by it.

Will everybody be forced to celebrate “republic’s day”. More dreary editorials on the fabulous republic we have to enjoy? What about those people – like me – who are unrepentant Monarchists? Will they be excluded from the Australian community? Or does The Age editorialist believe, they would disappear with the proclamation of “a” republic? He or she has no clue about Monarchists and their stamina.

Even after 139 years of republican power in France, the regime has still to contest with up to 20 percent of French men and women who remain Royalists and who flourish in many organisations and even a political party, L’Alliance Royale. The Brazilian Monarchy was toppled by a military coup in 1889, yet, when a referendum of the form of state was held in 1993, 6,840,551 Brazilians cast their vote in favour of the Monarchy. The Imperial Family is highly respected in Brazil. In Germany only three years ago a Kaisertreue Jugend ("Youth loyal to the Emperor") was founded. 91 years after the Kaiser was forced to go into exile and 68 years after his death a small, but growing number of young Germans turn towards the Monarchy as an alternative to the republican regime.

Republicans mustn’t think they could get rid of us.

But these are all premature thoughts, because the Aussie republicans haven’t won the referendum and they are unlikely to win it, hence Kevin Rudd’s refusal to proceed with the necessary steps to call for a referendum.

Friday 24 April 2009

The inevitable republican mantra

After Kevin Rudd had realised that his desire to bless Australia with his republic would not be the triumphant leisure walk he had imagined, the republicans - especially in the media - have fired their salvos with full force against the Australian Monarchy.

In today’s editorial in The Age, continues the line of “the nation's inevitable journey towards a republic”. And concludes: “The summit may be last year's story, but the republic is Australia's future story.” In yesterday’s Age Marilyn Lake, professor of history at La Trobe University, had already stated: “In the next few years, […] we prepare to inaugurate a republic,” inferring that “a” republic was a given.

As a professor of history Marilyn Lake should know better. History demonstrates in all its clarity that nothing is inevitable. Human beings cannot be pressed into certain categories and even the best computers cannot calculate their behaviour, still less their feelings or their attitude on political questions.

Until 1989 we were told that socialism was inevitable. The future belonged to the socialist ideas and Karl Marx had all the answers to solve poverty, exploitation, discrimination. Erich Honnecker, head of state of the German Democratic Republic, famously claimed:

”Den Sozialismus in seinem Lauf
halten weder Ochs noch Esel auf.”
(“The course of socialism will neither be hindered by oxen nor by donkeys.”)

After the collapse of the East European Communist systems even the Chinese Communist Party discovered the “charm of capitalism”. The future belonged to unlimited free markets systems, so we were told. Capitalism had won and the few remaining doubters were ridiculed. Can’t you remember?

These days we see what happened to the inevitable conquest of free market ideology.

Certainly as a historian Marilyn Lake could easily refer to the rise and fall of many other ideologies which for a shorter or longer time had captured the attention, and even love, of the political class. Republicanism is only one of many ideologies. And it is doomed like any other ideology, because it has failed in many parts of the world. To see the proof of this thesis read the newspapers and watch the nightly news programmes.

Thursday 23 April 2009

No republic in Australia

So, the republic is off the agenda in Australia. Much to the chagrin of The Age, as could be expected. Michelle Grattan did not write a comment, which would have been the most likely column to express her regret about the government’s decision not to proceed with a legally meaningless and unconstitutional plebiscite on "a" republic. No, she used the style of a journalistic report, which in a journalist's credo should give an unbiased account of facts.

In today’s article Republic off Rudd radar one year on Grattan has managed to contact seven pro-republican politicians and outspoken republicans to get their reaction. How many Monarchists did she ask for their opinion? None. Zero. Not one. As if they did not exist, wiped off the Australian continent. May be they do not exist in the Ms. Grattan’s circles, which would not be a surprise. But a quick internet search would demonstrate how easy it is to find Australian Monarchists.

Don't journalistic ethics demand that she listen to the other side as well? She and her employer obviously do not like Monarchists and the Australian Monarchy, but every first year journalist would receive a dressing down if (s)he fails to present the two sides of the coin.

Not so The Age. 7 : 0, that’s even better than the “most enthusiastic endorsement at last year's 2020 Summit” for “a” republic, when handpicked summitteers acclaimed their own grandeur and wisdom. Hardly a democratic process if you exclude Monarchists from the discussion panels.

But don’t let democracy or facts get in your way when you promote the republic.

Tuesday 21 April 2009

Would you believe ...
... that The Age published 19 lines on Her Majesty's birthday today? 19 lines without open nastiness, but in the usual substandard quality when it comes to referring to our Monarchy. It must have cost the editor some effort to give facts - or information (s)he considered to be facts - and not open bias. Well, and of course not quite without its usual sting against the Australian Monarchy, just by not mentioning it in the headline.

[and Australia, as The Age deliberately failed to mention]
BORN on April 21, 1926, in Mayfair, London, Elizabeth Alexandra Mary was the first child of the Duke and Duchess of York, later King George VI and Queen Elizabeth. The young princess became first in line for the throne in 1936 when her father ascended to become king, following the abdication of King Edward VIII. Elizabeth and Lieutenant Philip Mountbatten announced their engagement early in 1947, and were married in December that year. [It was actually 20th November 1947, but we don't want to be fussy]. Their first child, Charles, was born in 1948, and Elizabeth and Philip had three more children - Anne, Andrew and Edward.

After the death of George VI, Elizabeth was crowned on February 6, 1952.
[The Age did not check the archives, Princess Elizabeth became Queen on her father's death on February 6, but she was crowned 16 months later, on 2nd June 1953.] Elizabeth was crowned Queen of 32 countries, but 16 have subsequently become republics. [The reality was, when she was crowned the Archbishop of Canterbury asked the Queen: "Will you solemnly promise and swear to govern the Peoples of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Canada, Australia , New Zealand, the Union of South Africa, Pakistan and Ceylon, and of your Possessions and other Territories to any of them belonging or pertaining, according to their respective laws and customs?" That makes SEVEN countries of which three became republics. The Age is as ill informed as usual.]

She was named Time Person of the Year in 1952. Elizabeth described 1992 as an "annus horribilis", following the divorce of Prince Charles and Lady Diana [Princess Diana at the time of her divorce], and a fire at Windsor Castle. She is now the longest living English monarch.

Isn't it amazing, how many mistakes a 19 lines news item can contain when it is published in The Age?

Queen Elizabeth II on her Coronation day, 2nd June 1953 and not, as The Age stated, on 6th February 1952. To her left Prince Charles, Princess Anne and Prince Philip.

Monday 20 April 2009

From the Governor's website: He is up, up and away

Today appeared a very sclerotic sentence on the Victorian Governor's website:

Monday April 20, 2009
The Governor, Professor David de Kretser, AC, and Mrs de Kretser, left Melbourne to pay an official visit to Turkey and the Middle East.

Wouldn't you like to know more?

Considering that ANZAC Day is approaching his visit to Turkey might be in some ways connected to Gallipoli.

But why doesn't the website give any details?

After all, he is entitled to represent Victoria overseas. On his website the section position of the Governor explains:

"The Queen is head of the State of Victoria but the Governor ordinarily exercises the powers and functions of head of state.

"When an apolitical head of the Victorian community should speak for the community, the Governor does so. The Governor gives the Anzac Day address from the forecourt of the Shrine of Remembrance and the Australia Day address from the steps of Parliament House.

"At the request of the Premier, Governors visit overseas countries to represent Victoria in an apolitical way and build friendship and good relations."

As long as he remembers that he is only The Queen's representative, nobody can object his trip. However, as a Victorian citizen I would be happy to know more about the Governor's trip. After all, ANZAC Day is 25th April - he left on 20th April. Where will be be, whom is he going to meet? What is hidden behind the term "Middle East"? Israel, the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, Syria, Lebanon?

That is a great mystery and not helped by the fact that the Melbourne media have so far failed to report on the Governor's trip.

Sunday 19 April 2009

The ugly side of the ANZAC DAY public holiday

The Tasmanian government announced, it will introduce a Monday public holiday when ANZAC Day falls on a Sunday, or a Tuesday when the day coincides with Easter Monday.

This move to restore the ANZAC Day long weekend holiday brings Tasmania in line with every other state and territory except Victoria.

Last week Victorians celebrated Easter. A pity though that Easter is a holiday soured by the reality that the Kennett government stole part of the celebration from thousands of ordinary Victorian workers, when it thieved the Easter Tuesday holiday.

The Brumby government has consistently refused to return the public holidays: Show Day, Easter Tuesday and the ANZAC long weekend, to working families.

These holidays were grabbed by a greedy and arrogant government in the 1990s without any consultation and represent the theft of three day's pay from every working Victorian!

I am sure the government has long since thought Victorian workers have forgotten the act of unmitigated theft by the Kennett government. This posting hopefully will remind you that Victorian workers remember the public holidays that they are owed.

But now Victoria and the Brumby government stand alone in refusing to gazette a public holiday on Monday following a weekend ANZAC Day.

As usual I expect the spin about the significance of the ANZAC Day itself etc... but we all know it is just a way of looking after the government's business mates by avoiding giving working Victorians a public holiday.

I am still not sure who is worse a thief or someone who refuses to return stolen goods!

And to add insult to injury one of the few public holidays left, Queen's Birthday, is also under attack. Don't these republicans have any decency and leave us the very few holidays that are a fixed element of our calendar?

Saturday 18 April 2009

Lots of media action, but no republic

The Age’s excitement sparkles from every word: “A year ago tomorrow, more than 1000 of the nation's best and brightest gathered, enthusiastic and idealistic, for Prime Minister Kevin Rudd's 2020 talkfest.” (in: The Age, 18th April 2009)

Participants were less enthusiastic and recalled the obvious "guidance" by the government. Ted Evans, former Treasury secretary and now chairman of Westpac, who was in the economics group, called the agenda “managed”, "including in the group reporting, which was vetted by the Government" added The Age.

I was about to comment “the summit's overwhelming support for a republic” as The Age put it uncritically, but the whole thing is such a joke that it's not worth adding anything else to The Age's reporting, which speaks volumes about the summit's credibility. Who can be surprised they got a nearly 100 percent result for “a” republic, when no Monarchists were invited to take part in the discussion?

But fortunately it is the Australian people who decide on the Monarchy and NOT politicians or their handpicked summitteers.

Greg Craven, vice-chancellor of the Australian Catholic University, would like to see "a commitment to the start of a process" to prepare another referendum on “a” republic in Australia, but accepts "the process will take time".

That will give The Age many more opportunities to complain about Her Majesty’s mild reign over Her Commonwealth of Australia and the royal symbols in Australia.

The Duke of Edinburgh
And at the same time The Age can publish more articles on the Australian Royal Family, like the one published also in today’s edition on Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, who opened the Melbourne Olympics in 1956, a fact which Aussie republicans may like to wipe out of the history books.

At least today’s article mentioned that the Prince, who will celebrate his 88th brthday in June, averages 370 functions a year beside The Queen — more than 18,500 since he became the Prince Consort. The Prince does not consider retirement nor a superannuation bonus which is granted to ex-politicians. He does not even get a salary, neither from the Australian taxpayer nor from the British.

Wednesday 15 April 2009

Queen's Birthday stamp 2009

The 2009 stamp is on sale in Post Offices from today, 15th April until 13th May. Please contact your local Post Office to ask them to ensure they order in the stamps.

The Queen’s Birthday stamp issue for 2009 features the Trooping of the Colour Parade, which marks the Monarch’s official birthday and takes place on the second Saturday in June. Australians are not allowed to watch the parade on television, unlike the German TV audience who have the privilege to watch the Trooping of the Colour since 1977.

The ceremony has marked the Sovereign’s official birthday since 1748 and the stamps in this year’s issue show how The Queen has participated in the parade during Her reign; from riding at the head of the parade in regimental uniform to riding in a carriage. HRH Prince Philip accompanies The Queen at this event and is shown with Her on the stamp.

The miniature sheet features the annual trooping of The Queen’s Colour in Australia held at the Royal Military College of Australia, Duntroon in Canberra. The parade is usually reviewed by H.E. the Governor-General. The Queen’s Colour was trooped in Australia for the first time at Duntroon on the Queen’s Birthday Parade in 1956, a practice which has continued since then.

The present colours were presented by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, Queen of Australia, on 10th May 1988.

Australia Post has a Stamp Shop for online purchases.

Tuesday 7 April 2009

Not for Australian eyes and ears

Later this April Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall will visit Rome and Venice before flying on to Berlin. Both visits will focus on the Prince of Wales passion: The sharpening the awareness for the dangers of climate change. While he will discuss the matter with the Potsdam-Institut für Klimafolgenforschung (Potsdam Institute for Research of Climatic Effects) his audience in Rome will be a complete different one: He will give a speech to the lower house of the Italian Parliament, the Chamber of Deputies, on the urgent need to address climate change, one of the issues he has warned must not be forgotten in the current pre-occupation with economic recession.

When will he address the Australian Parliament?
Or to put the question differently: When will those whose say they are concerned about the effects of climate change ask the Prince of Wales to assist them in their effort to convince the Australian public that more should be done?. Why not let Prince Charles talk to those sceptics who try to block measures being taken? Especially those sitting in Parliament?

Sunday 5 April 2009

How to create a Scoop

When Evelyn Waugh published his novel “Scoop” in 1938 he described brilliantly how the media at that time made up a story out of nothing.

His sketching is still in practice and The Age follows his description to the letter.

First: On 2nd April Paul Austin, The Age’s state political editor, reports on a speech the Governor of Victoria, David de Kretser, gave to Rotary leaders in Melbourne in February [!]. In it the Governor more or less urged Victorians to get greener. He urged Victorians to build smaller homes, stop drinking bottled water and wear more clothes in winter to reduce energy consumption and help save the planet. Hardly a call to start a revolution.

In the same issue of The Age, the same Paul Austin asked on the opinion page: “Has Victoria's Governor overstepped office's bounds?” And he gives the answer in the first line of his article: “David de Kretser's forthright views risk politicising his role.

And pretending he was really worried about the office of the Victorian Governor, Paul Austin concludes: “Many Victorians will applaud these views. Others will not. But where should a governor draw the line? Many people who embrace de Kretser's views on climate change would be horrified if the next governor were to argue, say, in favour of capital punishment or against abortion. Victoria has an activist Governor. The question is, is that what we want?

Second: On 3rd April it was again Paul Austin who talked to a Liberal opponent of David de Kretser’s February statement, in Governor should 'butt out of politics': “Western suburbs MP Bernie Finn said Professor de Kretser was damaging the office of governor and the standing of the constitutional monarchy by putting his views on contentious issues such as citizenship and global warming.

And surprise, surprise, in the same issue of The Age an unnamed editorialist (again the indefatigable Paul Austin?) came to the rescue of the Governor’s freedom of speech: “The Governor has the right to speak his mind”: “Other state governors and governors-general — for example, the late Davis McCaughey and Sir William Deane — spoke out on matters of conscience to the greater benefit of society. There was little reason their vice-regal roles should have prevented them from doing so.

Today part three of the play: "Better for Queen's representatives to walk the talk". Another editorial, this time in The Sunday Age on the vice regal role of the Governor. It summarises the previous articles and editorials, but does not add anything new to the discussion, except for the final chapters.

Here The Sunday Age can draw the conclusion that it was obviously heading for, being a Fairfax publication: “There is little evidence the Governor or Governor-General are divisive figures. What they might be instead are transitional figureheads, providing an example of how the president of a republic might act, were such a person to be appointed.

After all this week’s efforts The (Sunday) Age finally comes to the climax: “Last week both [Governor-General Quentin] Bryce and Prime Minister Rudd said they believed an Australian republic was inevitable but not imminent.

But despite all the Fairfax media’s and many politicians’ efforts the editorialist must concede: “… it is not surprising that the republic is on the backburner. Yet for the first time in Australian history, leaders of the Government and the Opposition are republicans, an interesting development that has made little impression on the public mind.

All the efforts vanish in vain: They made little impression on the public mind. The mini scoop fabricated by The Age collapsed – once again.

But that will not prevent The Age to try a re-start.

Wednesday 1 April 2009

The Age changes the Royal crest

The Age has never made a secret of its republican bias: “… this newspaper has long advocated that Australia should become a republic." (The Age, 15th April 2008).

This 1st April 2009 Paul Ramadge, the editor of The Age, will present the paper’s new masthead. Leaked documents show the changes. “Since our republican attitude was not reflected by the royal coat of arms in the centre of our masthead, we had to remove the crown and replace it with a republican symbol.”

The Age art director Bill Farr is well aware of the ramifications. “The masthead has to convey the feeling of the paper, reflects it content, underline its worthiness,” he says in “extra, the quarterly newsletter for readers of The Age", March 2009 (not available on-line). The current version, developed by Farr and design specialists de Luxe & Associates, had been “working so well after seven years”, but needed a revamp to reflect the newspaper's republican policies.

The crest, the potent symbol splitting the royal motto “Dieu et mon Droit” first appeared on The Age's front page in 1861, featuring a coat of arms, the lion of England and the unicorn of Scotland. They will remain for the time being. “We toyed with the idea of developing a uniquely Australian crest, but it was fraught with indecision,” says Farr. “There’s also been a push to get rid of the crest entirely. A republican push, which is not a surprise. However, while the crest dates you in one way, in another it stamps your authority.

Therefore The Age opted for a compromise: The Jacobin hat - also known as Phrygian cap - was deemed suitable to make the editorial strategy of The Age clear. In future it will look like this:During the French revolution, the first Phrygian caps appeared on the heads of the French a few months after the storming of the Bastille. They were made of red cloth. To wear the Phrygian cap was indeed a way of advertising one's patriotism.

The Age’s masthead underwent changes before”, Paul Ramadage wrote in an internal memo. He did not face any resistance neither from the editorial staff nor from Fairfax media, The Age’s owner. However, John B. Fairfax, whose 10.6 percent stake in the company ranks second, remarked: “Almost invariably there are at least two sides to a story, so the task for the journalists is to seek and determine the truth. The publisher must be able to publish knowing the content to be correct and to be the truth.”

New PR-slogan as well
Ignoring Mr. Fairfax's remarks another change is due to be announced: From on 1st April onwards The Age will change its PR-slogan. Posters around Melbourne will no longer proclaim: “If it matters to you, it’s in The Age”, but more accurately: “If it matters to us, it’s in The Age.” The new slogan better reflects The Age’s daily content and will no longer confuse readers who used to miss important news items that were not covered by The Age.