Now this simply takes the cake… the wedding cake that would be…and a particularly ‘naice’ Royal one as well!
Many of the readers here are from countries that have no affiliation to the British Royal Family what so ever, so may not really understand, that while the Americans (I always knew they were smart people) and the Indians (Gandhi was ‘the Man’) and many other countries around the globe that were initially colonised by the Brits and have flung off the chains of the British Monarchy, the British Royal Family are still in fact the official Heads of State of Australia.
In Australia we were British subjects until 1949. We are not the Republic of Australia, we are still governed by the British Queen’s representative, the Governor General. While our Head of State arrangements are apparently a meaningless titular agreement between the two countries of Australia and Britain it still would appear as an anachronism that has failed to be addressed by successive Australian governments. We are not a Sovereign Country in our own right, fundamentally we still must answer to the British monarch.
The reality is of course, that it is not exactly a meaningless arrangement and in fact the Queens representative, ergo the Queen, sacked our democratically elected Prime Minister Gough Whitlam in 1975. This is a huge amount of power to invest in one individual who doesn’t even live in the country.
So how much power does the British Monarchy still have in Australia? Heaps apparently. As our dear old Aunty, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (the ABC) has just found out.
Many of you may remember the debacle that was APEC (Asian Pacific Economic Conference) here in Sydney. I clearly remember it, as I was punched by a policeman in the face while shooting for WpN, who broke my very expensive 580Ex II flash in half. That aside the only real story that came out of the whole thing was a comedic team called the Chaser (famously known for their satirical TV series “The Chasers War On Everything’, so named as a take on George Bush’s ‘War On Terrorism’) managed to evade the enormously expensive and ridiculously over the top security measures to protect George Bush and actually reach the hotel where Mr Bush was camped.
This would perhaps have just been a silly stunt except for the fact that one of the ‘Chaser Boys’ (as they are affectionately known) was sitting in the back of the limousine that infiltrated the security lines dressed as George Bush’s nemesis and public enemy number one Osama Bin Laden. The resulting television footage was as hilarious as it was illuminating and since then has obviously marked the ‘Chaser Boys’ out as a dangerously subversive outfit!
Now that happened several years ago and while the whole APEC event and its organisers were made to look remarkably foolish and the ‘Chaser’ managed to make us chuckle at an otherwise dry and public money wasting affair apparently Buckingham Palace wants no such repeat of the satirical tactics used by the ‘Chaser’ to be applied to the wedding of Prince William and Catherine Middleton who could conceivably be, at sometime in the future, the Australian Heads of State.
Now Wills seems like a nice fellow, I photographed him down at ‘The Block’ in Redfern when he dropped over here to Sydney on an official flying visit. He seemed approachable and gracious but not a person who is particularly knowledgable about the underlying issues that would be part of a burgeoning democracy such as Australia. That Clarence House has apparently stymied our National Television Broadcaster the ABC (our Aunty) and their proposed progam by the ‘Chaser’ by threatening them with cutting off the television feed to broadcast the Royal Wedding if it is shown with a bit of satirical commentary, seems a little like telling us what we can and can’t watch on television in Australia.
We can watch the official version of it but since these guys are effectively our Heads of State, does that not appear to be a bit like censorship?
Now one MUST wonder at the wisdom of the Clarence House decision…I mean injecting some humour into this would be a good thing, as while Wills and Kate seem to be nice people I for one could not be bothered watching their wedding because I am just not that interested, I am not invited and well I have something to do tomorrow . In fact I am not impressed enough by this couple as future Heads of State to Australia to think that their wedding is at all pertinent to me or the country that I live in.
And that is the point surely? If the British Monarchy want to continue as Australia’s Heads of State one would imagine they would want to remain relevant to the people of that country? Alas it appears not and well while I wish them well, I really don’t desire to be intrinsically governed by Wills and Kate. If they don’t get my sense of humour why would I be interested in them?
As Aunty ABC is my relative and I pay her way I would actually like her to pull the Royal Wedding broadcast completely now and put something on that I would like to watch instead. How about a repeat of Scott and Charlene from ‘Neighbours’ or Vicky and Simon from ‘A Country Practice’ tying the knot? At least I understand their accents…