Those who say the monarchy is the glue that holds Australia together don’t understand the spirit of Australia, says Len Liddelow.
Those who say Australia would not be a successful and democratic Republic – either outright or by implication – because of their resistance to change, are not only anti-Australian and unpatriotic, but could also be classified as ignorant and possibly even stupid.
Further it seems to me they may not have been born and educated in this country, and so not had the good fortune to fully experience the true nature of Australian mateship; that sense of a fair go and undying spirit and generosity that emerges in times when fellow Australians – or for that matter fellow human beings – are faced with hardship and loss.
Those not born in this country do not have the unique, inherited and accumulated experiences of family predecessors that in some cases extend right back to convict times —but more often extend back through the 1950s, World War II, the depression, World War I and even further.
It is the stories and experiences of these times, handed down from generation to generation, that helps to shape the true Australian nature and spirit, a spirit that is so strong, and so distinct that many newcomers cannot fully comprehend.
The purpose of the story here is that during these times, nothing was ever done with the Queen or the Crown in mind. The Queen did not make a skerrick of difference to the way we lived our lives. When most Australian soldiers joined up for the first and second World Wars they did not beat their chest in a moment royal loyalty and say I am going to fight for King and country. In many cases, they joined up to escape milking cows or digging spuds or whatever boring and mundane occupations they had. Many had never been further than the milking shed, or the shearing shed, or the end of the Street where they lived, they wanted to see the world.
King, or Queen, and country were so remote and unimportant to Australians they were never given a passing thought. The same applies now. Of course, the Royal family with all its pomp and glory was and still is an everyday part of British lives. Good luck to the Brits for this; it is part and parcel of their traditions and make up. It is part and parcel of their inherited spirit.
But for David Flint or anyone else to say the Queen is the glue that holds this nation together is not only completely wrong, but also highly insulting. The glue that holds this nation together comes in two tubes. One: our Constitution, and two: the spirit of the Australian people.
And these two will make an extremely successful, democratic and indissoluble Australian Republic.