Australia lost a head of state last week, and gained a new one, even though nobody voted for King Charles, and nobody was asked about it. And this will keep happening until Australia becomes a republic.
The Queen has died, and people can pay their respects if they wish to, but it’s time for Australia to move on with its own future and its own destiny – it can’t be hamstrung by some dysfunctional family in a faraway country that couldn’t really care about what happens in Australia.
And it needs to happen soon. Several years ago, the former Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull proclaimed “we are all Elizabethans”, and suggested that the right time for Australia to move towards a republic was after the passing of the Queen. That time has now arrived: what are we waiting for? And to use the words of the current Prime Minister Anthony Albanese when he described the need for the Voice To Parliament, “if not now, when?”.
Australia is republican in nature, but there are tight strings holding us to the monarchy, and the mainstream media is a part of that system that keeps nailing these strings down. The media reportage after the Queen died was incessant, one dimensional and left no room to move for alternative perspectives or other voices to outline their reasons for why they might not be so enthused about the role of the British monarchy within Australian society, or the death of the Queen: Indigenous people; Irish Catholics living in Australia; Fijian Indians; Indians from the sub-continent; republicans.
And this is how soft power is exercised: dissenting voices are removed, and not even considered; unknown protocols are implemented; everyone is told what they need to think and feel about the Queen. But who are we trying to avoid offending? The Queen? The royal family? British sympathisers in Australia? Monarchists?
History needs to be an unvarnished truth: no one is perfect, not even the Queen of England, the Queen of Britain, the Queen of Australia. We should receive a clearer understanding and fuller picture of political figures: the colour and shades of grey, not the overloaded black and white clichés that we’ve been presented with through the non-stop and uncritical media transmission over the past week.
Where does this leave an Australian republic? Today is the day the path towards the republic commences: it can’t wait until after the Queen’s funeral, or wait until the new King settles in, just to “see what he’s like”.
And not just any kind of republic: the current Constitution is broken; it needs to be repaired. Today is the day to talk about the republic.
Support independent journalism!
We don’t plead, beseech, beg, guilt-trip, or gaslight you and claim the end of the world of journalism is coming soon. We keep it simple: If you like our work and would like to support it, send a donation, from as little as $5. Or purchase one of our books! It helps to keep our commitment to independent journalism ticking over! Go to our supporter page to see the many ways you can support New Politics.