||Issue No. 180||30 May 2003|
Interview: Staying Alive
Bad Boss: The Ultimate Piss Off
Industrial: Last Drinks
National Focus: Around the States
Politics: Radical Surgery
Education: The Price of Missing Out
Legal: If At First You Don't Succeed
History: Massive Attack
Culture: What's Right
Review: If He Should Fall
Poetry: If I Were a Rich Man
Satire: IMF Ensures Iraq Institutes Market Based Looting
The Locker Room
Unions Deserve Reputation
The clamour over the G-G has been driven by the media fascination with sex scandals, the justifiable desire by child protection advocates to expose past cover-ups and Dr Hollingworth own ham-fisted attempts to deal with the controversy.
But what strikes me is how little impact this very public debate has had on the lives of the Australian public he serves.
The Yarralumla crisis has dominated news at a time when significant changes to our way of life are being proposed by a Prime Minister intent on imposing his conservative blueprint on the nation before he leaves the job.
They have pushed the assault on universal health care and accessible higher education off the front pages and nightly news bulletin in a manner so effective, it could not have been calculated.
Yes, the Prime Minister has been exposed yet again as a leader who can not take responsibility for his decisions; but this is mere collateral damage for a leader who is unlikely to face the polls again.
The irony is that the man who saved the constitutional monarchy from the Republicans has now profoundly weakened it through his ill-advised decision to appoint a conservative member of the clergy.
And having ballsed up once, he now refuses to take counsel on the replacement; again exposing the absolute rort that his effusive support for the monarchists cynical campaign against the 'politicians Republic' always was.
While some are spinning the Hollingworth resignation as the fillip to the Republican cause it has needed since the 1999 referendum, I'm not so sure.
The affair has clearly identified again the need to develop a workable mechanism of appointment and removal of our Head of State from office.
But it will take more than a sex scandal to convince Australians that the constitutional status of their Head of State has any impact on their quality of life.
Republicans need to use this event as a catalyst to write a broader story about our national identity, our integrity both diplomatic and economic. All the things that Howard would have us defer elsewhere, along with our sovereignty.
We need to tell a story about how a nation which stands on its own feet would not bow to a Bush or a Blair, make peace with our indigenous population and comes to terms with our unique environment.
Until we are prepared to do so, let's be honest about our constitutional status, stick with the British Royal family and continue to defer to America on everything else.
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