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

Thursday, 4 September 2008

Farewell to Gentleman Jeffery

A job well done. Governor-General Jeffery returned respect to Yarralumla.

PICEDITOR-SMHAN opinion poll midway through his five-year tenure found that only one in seven Australians could correctly name Governor-General Michael Jeffery. As he prepares to leave office this week, that recognition rating may have bumped up slightly after the overhyped coverage on his comments that the majority of Aborigine in Australia were leading normal lives. Popularity contests, however, are not what the occupant of the highest office in the land should aspire to. History will judge Major General Jeffery as a dedicated and principled Governor-General who restored dignity to the vice-regal position after the controversial tenures of his predecessors Peter Hollingworth and William Deane. Dr Hollingworth's tenure in Yarralumla was mired by his mishandling of allegations of sexual abuse in the Anglican church. Sir William politicised the office and turned it into a lightning rod for various causes. Major-General Jeffery was chosen to bring stability and respect to the office. He succeeded. And if he did not attract the same scrutiny as his predecessors, it is because he avoided self-aggrandisement and understood the apolitical nature of his job.

Although The Australian has long supported this country becoming a republic, Major-General Jeffrey's tenure has blunted the urgency of that change. As he correctly said on the eve of his departure, the role of a governor-general is similar to that of an umpire. Whatever the system of government, it is essential that Australia has an apolitical referee, a person with strong affinity to all Australians and an ability to articulate the issues that concern them. As Australia's first female governor-general, Quentin Bryce appears a worthy successor. Her record as a former state governor, federal sex discrimination commissioner, lawyer and academic points to her adopting the same apolitical, non-controversial and non-interventionist approach that became the most enduring legacy Major-General Jeffery's distinguished tenure.