Wrong Trent Zimmerman! Australian republic now guaranteed

republic abetz zimmerman

Trent Zimmerman, one of the Liberals of late unceremoniously evicted from parliamentary office, writes on The Guardian today that he’s pessimistic about Australia’s chances of achieving a republic. As members of the former government so often were, he is wrong. Two words: Eric Abetz.

Ah yes. I’m put in mind of that colourful Aussie expression: couldn’t organise a pissup in a brewery.

Earlier this year, the Australian Monarchist League appointed Eric Abetz to head the campaign against the Australian Republic. 😁

He’s got time. Like Zimmerman, he no longer holds office. And why not? Because even the Liberals didn’t want him anymore. They relegated the long-term Tasmanian senator to an unwinnable spot on their senate ticket.

Stone the crows!

Will he prove as effective in opposition to the republic as he was to marriage equality?

Readers of long memory might remember when he somberly stated that legalising same-sex marriages would lead to people wanting to marry the Sydney Harbour Bridge.

Well, we’ve had same-sex marriage for a few years now. So, how many potential spouses plighting their troth to the Sydney Harbour Bridge?

Zero, zip, nada.


The 1999 referendum

Of course, Australia trod this path before. A 1999 referendum on becoming a republic was soundly defeated. But it was organised by an extremely cunning Prime Minister firmly opposed to the proposition. And the YES campaign was headed by a man we can at least say always meant well — Malcolm Turnbull.

In the years since it became accepted wisdom that Australia would transition to a republic following the death of Queen Elizabeth II. But the royal family pulled out all stops to turn mourning for the queen into a PR campaign for the retention of the monarchy.

Any mild criticism of the institution was spun as a grubby insult to the memory of a much-loved elderly lady. The lèsemajesté schtick became more than a tad tiresome.

But all that will pass and Australians will again consider what a frankly ridiculous system of governance a constitutional monarchy is. Particularly when it’s someone else’s bloody king. (And there are no queens on the horizon.)

Constitutional monarchy is at best a transitional convenience — a means of prying the greedy, grasping bejewelled fingers of entitled royal families from the levers of government. It assures them they can retain most of their plundered wealth and unearned privilege if they simply return to their subjects some of the rights they previously usurped.

“But the monarchy is superior,” I hear the sycophants cry, “It provides stability and invaluable wise counsel.”

To which I can only respond — okay then, how did that work out with various economic crises, the invasion of Iraq, the Falklands war, Mad Cow disease, South African and Rhodesian apartheid, the Fiji coups, Boris Johnson etc etc etc.

The British monarchy protected its various realms from nothing. But at least from England’s point of view, it provides a decent tourist income. No such luck here.

King Charles III

And don’t allow the new king’s supposedly more progressive take fool you. Yes, he talks up the environment and other progressive causes because the royal family know they require support from all sides of politics to survive.

But when push comes to shove?

If Charles III intended genuine reform, surely he would return the Kohinoor Diamond to India? The $591 million bauble taken under duress from a child ruler after a bloody British invasion of his realm.

But no. Instead the diamond will reportedly end up in the crown of Charles’ Queen Consort, the Defender of the Faith’s former mistress. In truth, I don’t care which consenting adults, queens or otherwise, the king has sex with. But the ascension of an admitted adulterer to that particular position demonstrates how ridiculously archaic the whole setup is.

The republic is guaranteed

However, much as I abhor Eric Abetz and his contribution to public discourse in this nation, his role alone will not ensure a republic. Inevitability will do that. Australia is inevitably moving to a more sensible and equitable form of governance — continuing the steady progress made since federation.

Like marriage equality, a republic is inevitable. The attempts of Abetz and his ilk to halt the reform will fail in the same manner that Cnut, a former sovereign of England, Denmark and Norway, proved even a king cannot stop an incoming tide.

After setting up his throne on the sea shore, the mighty lord commanded the waves not to dampen his rugged Viking tootsies. The ocean of course ignored him.

Cnut then uttered some of the wisest words ever to emanate from the mouth of a monarch.

“Let all men know how empty and worthless is the power of kings.”

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Destiny Rogers

Destiny Rogers embarked on her career in the media industry immediately after high school, initially joining Mirror News, which later evolved into News Ltd. She fondly recalls editing Ian Byford's 'Passing Glances: A History of Gay Cairns' as one of her most fulfilling projects. Additionally, Destiny co-researched and co-wrote 'The Queen's Ball', chronicling the history of the world's longest-running continuous queer event. Her investigative work on the history of Australia's COON Cheese and Edward Coon culminated in the publication 'COON: More Holes than Swiss Cheese', a collaborative effort with Dr. Stephen Hagan. Destiny's journey at QNews began as a feature writer, and she was subsequently elevated to the role of Managing Editor of QNews Magazine in 2018. However, in July 2022, she decided to resign from this role to refocus on research and feature writing. For contact, please reach out at destinyr@qnews.com.au.

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