|Issue No 47||24 March 2000|
All the Queen’s Man
The Queen's tour of Australia was meant to be John Howard's way of giving the bird to the Australian (re)public. He's a shoe-in for this week's Tool of the Week.
It was a Monarchist's wet dream - the defender of the realm gets to deliver Australia back to his monarch after slaying the Republican infidel.
It was all planned out to perfection - the trip through the regions, where support is deemed the highest, steering clear of the republican strongholds of Sydney and Melbourne.
But wait, something's wrong - the Queen starts talking about the sort of issues that make Johnnie uncomfortable and decidedly unrelaxed- like reconciliation and multiculturalism.
She starts sounding more like that mad, modern G-G of her's, Wild Billy Dean, than the Menzian fairy princess frozen in the 1950s who Howard fought so passionately for.
It's true. In her visit, the Queen has shown the sort of heart that Howard has never been able to muster from the cavern where there should be a soul.
Freed of protocol you could imagine her making the formal apology that Howard says isn't necessary -- just like the Pope has done recently on behalf of the Catholic Church for everything from the Crusades to its silence during the Holocaust.
While Howard has spent much of the week one step behind HRH, in attitudes, outlook and downright class, he's light-years behind.
It's been that sort of weird, surreal visit - a conservative figure preaching progressive values - raising challenging issues for Monarchist and Republican alike by failing to fit stereotype..
In embarrassing Howard this week, the Queen has clearly illustrated why we need a meaningful symbol.
While , Howard might not like her message, this has raised just as many headaches for the Republican cause.
The Queen's consummate states-womanship has placed the onus clearly on Republicans to give shape to the sort of national symbol which they propose should replace the monarchy.
It's a factor that should feed into the ongoing debate between the Minimalist republicans and the Direct Electionists . Do we want our head of state exercising power, like the US President, or exercising influence through moral authority, like the Queen.
Rather than trashing the Queen personally, Republicans need to focus on what value she fills as our head of State - and her performance this week provides ample material to work with.
One thing's for sure, it's going to take more than a bunch of long-winded over-achievers talking about apron strings to carry that argument.
Check out the Toolshed.
Interview: Telstra Troubleshooter
Andrew Hillard first blew the whistle on Mal Colston’s expenses rorts; now he’s taking on Telstra over its tactics to drive down wages and conditions.
Unions: A Christmas (Recruitment) Story
Staff at the Illawarra Mutual Building Society organised their own Christmas present - and, with the help of a little e-mail, delivered 80 new members to the ASU's Clerical and Administrative Branch.
International: A Move to the Left?
John Passant look’s at ‘Red Ken’ Livingstone’s tilt at Mayor of London and what it means for the Radical Left.
Legal: Going Broke: What Workers Should Do
A no nonsense guide to protecting your entitlements when the boss goes bust.
Politics: "I Can't Believe It's Not Peter Reith":
The NSW Labor Government is waging a dirty campaign against the NSW Teachers Federation in order to gain the upper hand in the long running award dispute.
History: One Big Nation
In the 1920’s rural Australia was arguing for its share of the national wealth through The Bush Workers Propaganda Group.
Satire: Toddler Death Fallout: BMW Releases New Oven
The Victorian Government has turned up the heat on the gambling and car industries following a spate of children being locked inside cars.
Review: The Stranger from Hobart
In his controversial new book, Peter Botsman lifts the lid on the unsung hero of federation, Andrew Inglis Clark
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Last Modified: 15 Nov 2005