Time for an Australian republic

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The hospitalisation of the Queen last weekend is a wake-up call for Australian republicans, says senior correspondent Barry Everingham.


THE BRIEF hospitalisation of the Australian head of state in a London hospital over last weekend must surely now indicate it is high time the debate on when this country becomes a republic is reignited.

Ever since the hijacked Howard referendum delivered a negative result, the local republicans have left the running on the matter to the monarchists and a day doesn’t pass that the head of Australians for Constitutional Monarchy (ACM) David Flint isn’t in full feline – and in the main irrelevant flight – saving this moribund and internationally embarrassing system of government which is shackled to an out of date Constitution.

Only this week, Mr Flint was lampooning the treasurer of Australia for having the temerity to call for a rethink and of the system under which we live.

Flint referred to Treasurer Swan as “His Munificence”, which would have Sydney’s blue rinse set screaming with laughter and all those poor old dears reaching for their dictionaries to find the meaning of munificence and then saying: "Oh, that Mr Flint is SO very funny, isn’t he?"

Flint then evokes the memory of Ernest Hemingway by using an inappropriate quote which would have done a Liberal politician proud.

Flint and his new side kick, the young Jai Martinkovits have aligned themselves with the lunatic US Tea Party movement and are part of a push for Australia to adopt some of the more insane policies of that rag bag of idiots.

This is from a person who denies he has any links with any political party.

Back to the Hemingway quote, which went as follows:
The first panacea for a mismanaged nation is inflation of the currency – the second is war. Both bring a temporary prosperity both bring a permanent ruin. But both are the refuge of political and economic opportunists.

Then, believe it or not, Flint takes a peek into the past and comes up with his idea of what Hemingway would have added to his first comment.

According to Flint’s vivid imagination Hemingway’s take on Australia today would be as follows and it would be a third panacea: this invokes imposing a politician’s republic and shredding our Australian flag.

David Flint has lost the plot. He aligns himself with the US Tea Party and says he holds politicians in contempt – unless of course they are right wing ragbags of the Bernardi or Mirabella ilk – and then stands up for a flog that should never have been ours in the first place. Wrapping himself in the Australian flag, as disgraceful as it is, he forgets those awesome words of James Boswell in Life of Samuel Johnson – Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel.

On the subject of the flag and the hyperbole surrounding it, I am sure that when my teenaged brother was rotting away and dying of meningitis in Changi POW camp in 1942, the last thing on his mind would have been the flag. Indeed, I later learned from one of his colleagues, who survived that horror, that my brother’s were last words were calling for our mother to come for him!

Back to Hemingway, it seems that Flint is of a mind with the appalling Tony Abbott that our country is in a mess — which, if it is, we may well ask why inflation is at an all time low, interest rates continue to fall and the unemployment rate is low.

As for war, John Howard – who should be tried by an international court for war crimes – was, along with Bush and Blair, responsible for hundreds of thousands of deaths in Iraq, but we shouldn’t let the ALP off the hook for going along with that carnage.

Back to Flint and his insane claims Australia will eventually be a politician’s republic.

If he was honest he would admit that the Queen of England must – yes, must – do what the government says.

I have covered a few royal tours here and overseas; all have been sales missions for Britain — not Australia, not NZ or Canada or the “other dominions” dominions of which she is, without doubt, head of state. Flint will say our brilliant Governor-General is the head of state. If only; what dignity and grace she would bring to the role, which is currently denied to all Australians.

In 2013, it is unacceptable that a foreigner not living here, who was not born here and who was not elected by the people to hold the august role of our country’s head of state, should deny it to every Australian.

What’s even worse, when the head of state dies she will, unless we have come to our senses, be replaced by another foreigner and so on and on will go the charade.

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