Sixty Joyless De-Britished Uncrowned Commonpoor Years (1949-2009)

Elizabeth II Vice-Regal Saint: Remembering Paul Comtois (1895–1966), Lt.-Governor of Québec
Britannic Inheritance: Britain's proud legacy. What legacy will America leave?
English Debate: Daniel Hannan revels in making mince meat of Gordon Brown
Crazy Canucks: British MP banned from Canada on national security grounds
Happy St. Patrick's: Will Ireland ever return to the Commonwealth?
Voyage Through the Commonwealth: World cruise around the faded bits of pink.
No Queen for the Green: The Green Party of Canada votes to dispense with monarchy.
"Sir Edward Kennedy": The Queen has awarded the senator an honorary Knighthood.
President Obama: Hates Britain, but is keen to meet the Queen?
The Princess Royal: Princess Anne "outstanding" in Australia.
H.M.S. Victory: In 1744, 1000 sailors went down with a cargo of gold.
Queen's Commonwealth: Britain is letting the Commonwealth die.
Justice Kirby: His support for monarchy almost lost him appointment to High Court
Royal Military Academy: Sandhurst abolishes the Apostles' Creed.
Air Marshal Alec Maisner, R.I.P. Half Polish, half German and 100% British.
Cherie Blair: Not a vain, self regarding, shallow thinking viper after all.
Harry Potter: Celebrated rich kid thinks the Royals should not be celebrated
The Royal Jelly: A new king has been coronated, and his subjects are in a merry mood
Victoria Cross: Australian TROOPER MARK DONALDSON awarded the VC
Godless Buses: Royal Navy veteran, Ron Heather, refuses to drive his bus
Labour's Class War: To expunge those with the slightest pretensions to gentility
100 Top English Novels of All Time: The Essential Fictional Library
BIG BEN: Celebrating 150 Years of the Clock Tower

Monday, 26 November 2007

Crown in Danger

Heavens. Poor John Howard hasn't even had time to pack and Rudd The Dud, as our friend Mr. Welton calls him, is already planning on leading Fair Australia to rack and ruin. After making noises during the campaign that he wouldn't hold another referendum on the monarchy, the last one being in 1999, he has gone back on his word and is now suggesting one will be held and soon. While there are many members of the Labor Party who are monarchists they are, it must be admitted, few and far between. The pre-1960s Left, in Australia and much of the English speaking world, was more concerned with helping the poor and marginalized - though not always by the best means - rather than re-engineering society along the lines of some a priori theory of life and man. Now we have word that John Howard's replacement as leader of the Liberal Party part, and thus the Liberal-National coalition, will not be Peter Costello but Malcolm Turnbull, a leading Republican. Clowns to the Left of me, jokers to the Right, as the old song went.

My fellow Canadian monarchists may view these events with relatively little apprehension. The position of the monarch is almost constitutionally impregnable in this country, one of the advantages of living in a country where constitutional deadlock is not so much a fact but a way of life for some of us. If the monarch faces direct assault in Australia the danger in the elder Dominion is in some ways more insidious, indifference. A purely legal monarchy, without popular support, even if there is no danger of abolition, would be a bloodless thing. A living monarchy is a symbol of unity and tradition. Our modern day Canadian Jacobins wish to to fade the Crown into irrelevance, a campaign that has been waged since at least the days of Lester Pearson. Their Australian counterparts are less subtle. They wish to storm the Bastille of their imagining - for the monarchy they speak of has never really existed - and liberate the benighted people of Oz from what exactly? Their glorious past as one of the most successful free nations on earth? Their wealth? Their sense of justice and fair play? The rule of law and tolerance of debate and opinion?

We've come a long way since the days of the Great Robert Menzies who, on addressing Her Majesty, famously quoted the poet Thomas Ford: "I did but see her passing by, and yet I love her till I die." I wonder if Kevin Rudd feels that strongly about anything.

Cross posted at The Gods of the Copybook Headings

12 comments:

Lord Best said...

The Times article seems to be quoting outdated information, actually, the last talk form Rudd on plebiscite was from several weeks ago, and some of the statements itquotes are from July. The most recent talk in the Australian media of a Republic was the "if it all" statement.
Maybe I've missed something, but I've done a fairly intensive search. I was very dissapointed at the Time article, it seemed like nothing more than an attempt to get English and Australians whining at each other. It succeede, some of the comments are hilariously stupid.

Kipling said...

I can only hope you're right. Still the fact that the new PM and the most likely leader of the opposition are both Republicans is not a good thing.

Beaverbrook said...

Great post, Kipling. Clowns to the Left, jokers to the Right, a demonstrably republican press, if there was ever an issue to rally against the elites, Her Majesty would be it. It's a sentiment that might easily be tapped into, for the lowly voter citizen to feel like such an underdog, he might come out like a lion cornered and bite their bloody heads off.

Beaverbrook said...

Kipling, I very much enjoyed your obituary on Ian Smith, having just read it. I was planning my own obit column, but the time never afforded it. Would be grateful for a cross-post.

Tweedsmuir said...

Right you are, Kipling. I thought that line was from the English poet, Barnabe Googe (1540-1594), but Wikipedia had this to say on that:

"A persistent anecdote concerning Googe from the latter part of the twentieth century tells how a line of poetry, I did but see her passing by, and yet I love her till I die, was used in a speech by the Australian Prime Minister Robert Menzies on a tour of Queen Elizabeth II in 1963. Whilst Menzies remained an ardent admirer of royalty, the country had become less so, and the reaction to its use is often cited by Australian republicans as marking the decline of Australian affections for the monarchy. In fact, the line is not by Googe but, according to the New Oxford Book of Seventeenth-century Verse, by Thomas Forde (fl. 1607-1648)."

Here’s an Aussie article worth reading – “We did but see her”: http://www.smh.com.au/articles/2004/02/06/1075854066586.html?from=storyrhs

Neil Welton said...

I am with Lord Best.

Here is the current state of play.

The very latest on Kevin Rudd's policy is here:

http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,25197,22806913-11949,00.html

Meanwhile, republicans are rather concerned:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2007/11/26/wref126.xml

Plus, The Daily Telegraph has been offering its advice.

http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,25197,22824446-12377,00.html

Don't forget that The Times is owned by one Murdoch.

The next election in 2009 will be a different ball game. Will both parties advocate a referendum on Monarchy? Who'll speak out against the plans in the democratic process? So much for democracy - I think you'll find.

Neil Welton said...

Sorry, next election November 2010.

Let's not shorten our happiness.

:-)

David Byers said...

Neil, Let’s not lose heart. I think there are too many strong monarchist in the Liberal party to allow any future leader to push such a divisive issue.

Neil Welton said...

That is what I'm counting on too.

Shaftesbury said...

We MUST remain vigilant.

Beaverbrook's point about indifference is well-taken, but I am sure we are beyond that point in the Oldest Dominion, unfortunately.

However, I remain what I am, and I teach my Children of this treasured legacy - of this I am bound until the day I pass into oblivion.

Neil Welton said...

We must all remain vigilant.

Don't think anyone suggested otherwise.

However, let's also stick with "the facts" rather than just the mere fantasies of our republic crazed media.

Beaverbrook said...

That was Kipling who wrote the post, not me. Of course I agree with all of it.