Flat White

Another wrong note from the Australian Republican Movement

26 January 2017

9:16 PM

26 January 2017

9:16 PM

My compliments to the Australian Republican Movement for their smashing new advert. It was heartening to see so many Australians of all ages and ethnicity singing the Royal Anthem together. It’s a sight not seen since… well, the last Monarchist League meeting, probably.

Sure, it has its flaws. At the end there flashes the admission, ‘It just doesn’t sound right anymore.’ Well, no – the feral sitting on his station wagon forgot the lyrics, and the Aboriginal (?) girl at the end didn’t even attempt to sing in tune. But their piss-poor effort’s hardly a reason to revise the constitution, now, is it?

I really do like the piece, though. Because to anyone except the most monomaniacally Anglophobic wannabe-regicide, seeing the full panoply of Australian society singing the anthem together was a truly beautiful sight. There could be no finer symbol of continuity through change. The faces might vary, as they inevitably do over time; but the national character – the history, liberty, stability, grace, virtue, and fidelity the Crown embodies – is immortal.

If I were the head of a pro-monarchy organisation, I’d restage the entire commercial, only have the singers make a proper go of it. At the end, there’d flash the text: ‘Not bad hey?’ Then I’d sit back and wait for the inevitable membership boon.

In fact, that might not even be necessary. I got an email from Philip Benwell, chairman of the Monarchist League (of which I’m a very proud member), saying that:

The advertisement, even though badly acted – or maybe because of that, has encouraged people to join the Australian Monarchist League. There has been an upsurge in our membership since the advertisement was first promoted this morning.

The ARM must be in a bad way if their adverts are sending people scampering to join the constitutionalist ranks.

Australians of all ages, creeds, and backgrounds love their Queen. The monarchists’ only disadvantage is that, unlike the Republican Movement – now virtually synonymous with the Qantas Chairman’s Lounge – they tend to be working- and middle-class folks. They’re not the elites of media and business, like Alan Joyce and Malcolm Turnbull. They don’t have thousands of dollars in disposable income to throw at TV advertisements.

In fact, republicanism is the very best litmus test for membership of the establishment. Even Mr Turnbull recognizes this, reminding his fellows of what an epic disaster the ’99 referendum was because they assumed ordinary Aussies would bow uncritically to elite opinion.

So thanks for the boost, Fitzy, and have yourself a very happy Australia Day.

And a happy ‘Straya Day to you all, too. Remember: it’s your bounden duty to toast Her Majesty twice as often. We must compensate for those republicans who neglect to do so. Now pop the champers and have at it. Ladies and gentlemen, the Queen!

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