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THE ROYAL HITCH AND STITCH May 1, 2011

Posted by wmmbb in Australian Politics.
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You have got to say that Oliver Cromwell blew the English Republic, although it the case study of what not to do for the North American Republic of 1776. Who know whether an republic would have been better or worse for the Empire than the monarchy?

We both inherited parliamentary democracy and the example, sometimes inspiration of the United States. In practice we might have benefited from both. Still it is passing strange, or so it seems, that the PM, not the Governor-General, get invited to the wedding that apparently was covered extensively on television, and as our dear, censored, ABC, which has been overflowing on these matters of moment to judge from it Outline News, our prime minister has an “audience” with the British Monarch. There was a rationale for this meeting in the Monarch will flying to Perth this year or next to perform some symbolic function. Still, as there is precedence now, if the PM muscling in on the celebrity and glitz occasions, the question arises as to what the role of Vice Regal is in the scheme of things. It occurs to me that they ought to be in the scheme of things having audiences with the Monarch, and in turn having audiences with the prime minister. Of course this does not reflect the relationship in Australia, or in the UK.

What is Julia Gillard’s political agenda in this visit to sun-baked Britain? There are more votes to be lost by her attendance and there is no substantive purpose for her visit. I suppose that as prime minister, a person is subject to unpleasant comments, so you might as well enjoy the perks of the job.

Next week in Britain the austerity program will be continued by the government after the supposed feel-moment generously funded by the Windsor family – formerly the more interesting triple-barrel Saxe-Coburg and Gotha. There is a connection with the First World War. Wikepedia explains:

High anti-German sentiment amongst the people of the British Empire during World War I reached a peak in March 1917, when the Gotha G.IV, a heavy aircraft capable of crossing the English Channel began bombing London directly. The aircraft became a household name, and the name Gotha was part of the name of the royal family, Gotha-Saxe-Coburg. These bombings were coupled with the abdication of King George’s first cousin, Nicholas II, the Tsar of Russia on 15 March 1917, which raised the spectre of the eventual abolition of all the monarchies in Europe. The King and his family were finally convinced to abandon all titles held under the German Crown, and to change German titles and house names to anglicised versions.

It is an odd thing to have the symbolic head of government related to a distant country, a island off the coast of the Eurasian landmass. Celebrity is probably best left to actors, or others who are prepared to a limited media shelf life. Extravagance in the frame of austerity could have permanent political dangers, although not of the making of the yeoman royals. And the present Monarch seems to have been a great success combining reserve and longevity. The 1975 constitutional crisis in Australia was none of her business. Her male offspring seems not to be the popular choice to succeed her – and that introduces the troubling democratic principle.

I don’t know about having the Colonials at these royals dos. They tend to lower the tone. Far better to invite – and uninvite – Gulf State dictators. Here is what the New Zealand prime minister is reported to have said:

“You’ll be relieved to know I didn’t flog anything from Buckingham Palace … I’ve got a Kate and William mug and some nice photos.”

That about sums up the monarchy. Royal weddings are costume dramas with real people – and they are successful in attracting attention.

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