To weddings and a resurrection...and Libelula

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It's the St George Day special from contributing editor-at-large Tess Lawrence, who says with Julia Gillard off to London for the royal wedding, a royal pardon for Julian Assange and an Australian Republic should be the order of the day.

Not sure what Julia and Timmy are wearing to The Wedding, but Julia will probably be wearing the trousers regardless and why shouldn't she? She's got the legs for it. But will our Prime Minister be wearing Orstralian?

I certainly hope so and I also hope she's clutching a bouquette of trembling gladdies and that Timmy has a sprig of wattle in his toggle.

[Buffy Sainte-Marie – Australia now, playing in Sydney today and at the Byron Bay Blues Festival on Anzac Day]

I'm not surprised those gladdies are quivering. Julia's approval rating is soooooo low that the tall poppy may well be subject to a palace coup in her absence. The knaves are gathering as I write.

Off with her red head. That Paul Howes your father has a lot to answer for. He and his sneaky mates have cost Australia dearly; and not just in monetary terms.

And was that Bill Shorten in his red spotty jarmies and matching sleeping bag sneaking into the side entrance of The Lodge having a practice sleepover? Goodness knows who he'll be getting into bed with now, politically speaking of course.

There's a fraction too much friction and a fraction too much faction.

Funny how Julia's boys are no longer yodelling her praises in quite the same way as they did after Rudd's unedifying deposing. They were full of puffery and self-importance then, weren’t they, rolling around corridors of power like drunken mercenaries after a regime change.

Australia's high commissioner to the UK, John Dauth, would be very familiar with the Queen, having once worked for Buckingham Palace

Poor Julia is already a spent force. And yet, as our Deputy Prime Minister, her performance and public persona once held such promise; presumably in those pre dud Rudd days, she was the real, real Julia and not a stooged avatar.

Still, it will be luvverly for her going back to the old country. It could well be her last overseas trip as Prime Minister. I hope she takes Timmy to see Barry. The place not the bloke. It will be nice for The Boyfriend to see where she was born.

Our man in London, John Dauth, Australia's High Commissioner (no Ambassadors for Members of the Commonwealth) who, after all, once worked at Buckingham Palace and, indeed, was Press Secretary to Prince Charles, could surely show Julia and Timmy around London; pop them on a double decker or the tube and maybe show them where some of our aboriginal heads are being stored in formaldehyde in one of those royal colleges of surgeons or museum basements.

While you're there in Dear Old Blighty Jules, could you pop in to see our Julian? You know, the one with the funny surname; Assange, rhymes with blanc mange; the colour of the little tacker's hair.

The one that you said was, like, illegal like, even though he wasn't charged with nuffink, innit.

Geez, no wonder the Poms think we're like, Bogansvillia. They is well out of order, innit Jules.

Unlike you, Julian was actually born in Oz. As Aussie as an honi soit qui mallee pense root.

Which reminds me, today this very motto of The Most Noble Order of the Garter comes into its own. It's St George's Day, England's Patron Saint. No dragons allowed.


It's just as well you're not Prez of the United States Jules, otherwise we'd have The Billy Tea Party Birthers over here wanting to see ya tickets.

Whilst you're at Westminster Jules, could you sidle up to Madge and ask her to give a Royal Pardon to Julian? You know, do a sort of noblesse oblige intervention thing, like the Pope does when rich Royals Married With 14 Children get marriage annulments and bastardise the kids, or like the King of Saudi Arabia on execution day?

After all Jules, you've got the advantage of having lived in and been a resident of not one but two of Madge's fiefdoms; that would be Cymru and Australis.

Edward Joseph Leonski, the so-called "Brownout strangler"

Can't you arrange for him, electric shackles, cattle prod, mulesing and all, to be transported back to Orstralia ? And what about wearing a 'FREE  BRADLEY MANNING' T-shirt to the nuptials?

Or, why not add a wee bit extra to the $25,000 to charity (the Royal Flying Doctor Service) that Australia gifted to itself on behalf of Kate and Wills as a wedding gift from us to them to us (it's lost me, but it's fair dinkum) to fly the lad home to his kith and kin; a kind of boomerang pressie.

Or perhaps you could reintroduce the Ten Quid Passage to Orstralia specifically for all overseas Australians held in prisons/on remand/awaiting trial, et cetera.

And this is just a suggestion, because it's Easter and Passover, and I'm in a helpful mood, why not strike treaties with the whole world and let England and Sweden and other countries do what we let the Yanks do here in 1942 and declare part of Australian soil as American and hold their own Court (martial) cases here; albeit the smallest US State and for the shortest time, surely.

This Anzac Day, many Victorians, including the families of three murdered women, will recall the events 69 years ago that led to General Douglas MacArthur himself signing the execution order for 24 year old yankee Private Edward Joseph Leonski, known as ' The Brownout Strangler '  to be hanged at Pentridge Prison on November 9, 1942.

Just a thought Jules. I'm banging on about Julian Julia because I think you owe him. Because you goofed and knowingly prejudiced Australian and international public opinion against him and defamed him; given your background as a lawyer and because you are our Prime Minister who should accord our citizens the presumption of innocence and in the first instance protect us.


Julian Assange as Doctor Who? He could even wear his own clothes.

I was rather hoping that if Timmy couldn't accompany you to the Royal Wedding, that you would ask Julian to be your partner. And talking of royal flying doctors, I'm also the sole member (and looking to increase membership) of a campaign for Julian Assange to be the 12th Dr Who whenever fab Matt Smith vacates the Tardis and I know the Beeb is televising The Wedding and hope talent spotters will spot you and Julian in matching ankle bracelets. Look, I reckon Julian would be up for even a guest spot on Dr Who. He could wear his own clothes too.

It depends where you are plonked amongst the 49 other Heads of State attending the The Wedding.

If you're not wearing an Orstralian design, you've still got time to dash around to Chelsea and check out Sophie Cranston's Libelula label. I'm pretty sure Sophie's doing Kate's wedding clobber and she might have something prey-a-porter for you. Something in a ruddish hue would suit.

I know you don't make a move without Pauly and Billy and Marky and Donny and Davo, so here at Independent Australia we're going to help by posting some of Sophie's designs online and your groomsmen can tweet you with their favourites. Bob's your uncle. No probs.


Julia Gillard: "girl crush" on Leigh Sales

Speaking as a former fashion editor without peer amongst the worst-dressed elite, I reckon you'd look grouse in Libelula, and so would Leigh Sales who you love to emulate and clearly have a girlie crush on. That's okay, I've got one on Caroline Jones.

Libelula is espagnol for dragonfly, that delightful hovering/scatty flying insect. So it's not surprising that years ago in 1924, Spaniard Frederico Cantero Villamil named his patented helicopter after it.

So much of contemporary design features the image of the dragonfly; fabric, cards, brooches.


Sophie cut her designer teeth and cloth with the likes of the late 'performance designer' (my term) Alexander McQueen, who at one stage dressed Prince Charles and who sadly in February was found hanging dead in his wardrobe after hanging himself with his favourite belt but not before apparently doping himself up on cocaine and other drugs and slashing his wrists with a cleaver and ceremonial dagger.

There is little theatricality in Cranston's designs but she is an exquisite technician of cut and line.

She first fell in love with Spain some time ago when she went there to study Flamenco and life.

Contrary to popular opinion, Flamenco is not all colour and movement; as my own teacher instilled in me centuries years ago. There are split seconds of complete stillness. It is that stillness that Cranston exploits in her work.


Cranston design: Long Poppy Dress - Kimono Flowers - £399.00

There is also a great affection for the thirties in her designs whilst many of her contemporaries remain preoccupied with the Sixties, Seventies and Eighties. She works on signature themes and fabrics and is secure enough in her talent and reputation that she in unafraid to do so.

There is a bit of the late Jean Muir in both Sophie's appearance and design, I feel; such is her heritage of British design. Little wonder that Cranston won the Designer of the Year Award more than a decade ago. But she has to win it three more times to equal McQueen's record.

Beautiful Kate Middleton, British spinster for a few more sleeps, is already a Libelula fan and has been photographed wearing the label.

The dress – made in duplicate – is under lock and key at Clarence House and is not white but pearlised, satiny eggshell, slightly peachy/pinkish. That's what I've been told. I've also been told it's not 'tizzy.' We'll soon see. Whatever she wears, she'll look stunning.


Ms Middleton should consider herself lucky that unlike Diana Spencer, she was not subjected to having a medical examination to see if her hymen was intact. That's what happened.

Yep, it's not only the likes of the Taliban who impose such hypocritical sexual strictures. I'm pretty damned sure Prince Charles, who has just broken the record for an heir apparent waiting to ascend the British throne, wasn't subjected to any such test. Besides, how can you tell with men, the little blighters? They fake it all the time.

Ms Middleton should also consider herself lucky that she's not a Catholic, otherwise she wouldn't even be allowed to marry Wills, as an heir to the throne — or if he were already the king. And she certainly couldn't be Queen.

Yep, we're not talking Yemen here—we're talking England.

And we Orstralians endorse this tripe and contribute to it by constitutionally upholding this racial and religious bigotry even though it violates the laws of our own land.

This legal enforcement of maniacal religious monarchical sharia law was enshrined in the Act of Settlement after the (wait for it) 'Glorious Revolution of 1688'.  Yep, and it's not China or North Korea I'm quoting here.

It's the land of Rupert Bear and Rupert Brooke and Robin Redbreasts, Thomas Tallis, David Attenborough and so much that I love and hold close in great affection. Isn't it?

And if you think this sort of bigotry is confined to the British Monarchy, think upon it again.

If there is indeed a real separation of powers in Britain, it's not evident in the doings between Monarch and State.




Tony Blair had to wait until he left No 10 Downing Street before he formally converted to Catholicism, even though whilst PM he'd been going to mass and taking Holy Communion, swallowing Jesus and colluding with George Dubya Bush and John Winston Howard, lying about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq and sending people off to fight and die in unholy wars; expecting the rest of the world to swallow these lies too.

You get my point. There has never been a Catholic Prime Minister of Britain.

Benjamin Disraeli

The nearest to causing such apparent offence was a Queen Victoria favourite, (she had a few bless her) Benjamin Disraeli, who twice served as British Prime Minister and although baptised as an Anglican when a lad, his family was actually descended from Sephardic Jews. There's that Spanish connection again.

It's interesting to note that Lord Beaconsfield (a title Benji chose) turned down Victoria's offer to make him a Duke but instead accepted an offer to become a Member of the Order of the Garter.

After all, it is the uber Royal Order.

What would that brilliant intellect and political strategist Disraeli have made of today's England, I wonder, and of the fact that right now in preparation for The Wedding sniffer dogs and special squads are forensically scouring all points to and from and including Westminster Abbey for planted bombs and acts of terrorism.

Not that these are new things for the British Monarchy. Not at all, Guy Fawkes notwithstanding.

Of the more than 143,000 police officers in England and Wales, about five thousand of those will be on active duty for the wedding of Kate and Wills, testimony to the racial and religious tension in Britain. That figure does not include the number of special operations, military and paramilitary personnel on standby and deployed.

Nor does it include increased protection and awareness of British interests and embassies and consular staff overseas, including Australia, as well as British Defence personnel and camps overseas.

At the moment, it is the enemy within, as always, that is proving the more problematic for the UK.

The police are expecting trouble and are doing everything possible to prevent it.

That involves declining permission to protest in the direct Westminster Abbey district to at least two organisations, Muslims Against Crusades and the English Defence League; the latter wanted to protest against the former.

Shakespeare's ageing and troubled John of Gaunt said it so lovingly when he uttered, ‘This happy breed of men, this little world, This precious stone set in the silver sea...This royal throne of kings, this scepter'd isle, This earth of majesty, this seat of Mars...This blessed plot, this earth, this realm, this England, This nurse, this teeming womb of royal kings, Feared by their breed and famous by their birth...This land of such dear souls, this dear, dear land, Dear for her reputation through the world, Is now leas'd out...'



About two billion people will watch Kate and Wills tie the Windsor Knot on April 29, 2011.

And hundreds of thousands of Australians will be among them.

Most of us wish them no harm.  I hope that all avowed Republicans feel likewise. Both England and Australia need to grow up — not grow apart. It is time we resurrected the campaign to become a Republic.



It is an insult to both Her Majesty the Queen and our intense and affectionate relationship with what was indisputably, rightly or wrongly, once regarded as 'The Old Country' to indecently wait for Elizabeth II to die.

She should be privy to overseeing reforms within the Commonwealth and we should be gracious enough to accord her that historical right. It is not Elizabeth, but Australia that needs to get its Act together. This is about Australia doing what's right for Australia. And we can do it with largesse and good grace.




This is not about Kate and Wills. This is about Australia's failure to acknowledge the Lion and the Unicorn in the room, where our Kangaroo and Emu ought to be.

Our Outback is our realm. The Great Barrier Reef is our precious stone set in the silver sea. Our Uluru is our scepter'd isle, this earth, our blessed land. Our Kakadu is this nurse, our Daintree this teeming womb of royal kings of the parliament of nature and not of man. Our Nullarbor is our land of such dear souls, this dear, dear land and Our People are dear for her reputation through the world and as long as we remain technically shackled by leg irons to England, it is to a foreign power that this, Our Country is leas'd out.

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