Was there ever a better example of the necessity of an Australian republic than yesterday’s farce with the Governor-General?
No I’m not talking about how he railroaded the Australian democratic process at the behest of the Prime Minister to recall parliament to vote on Turnbull’s doomed Schutzstaffel ABCC bill - farcically declaring it essential to the health of the Australian economy in the same way that the horn is essential to the health of the car. They both do nothing more than provide a distracting noise.
No, I’m talking about the other thing. He didn’t shake Tanya Plibersek’s hand.
The Cosgrove apologists have leapt to his defense like good little myrmidons, parroting that there is no protocol dictating that the Governor General should shake the hand of the Deputy Leader of the Opposition, case closed, the defense rests.
However they fail to point out that the inverse is also true. There is no protocol that the Principle Knight of the Order should NOT shake the hand of…well anyone with their hand extended. There was nothing compelling him to shake Mrs Plibersek’s hand, certainly, but there was nothing forcing him not to. And he took the low road.
There is no formal protocol dictating that one should hold the elevator for someone running for it, or that one should vacate a seat on the bus for someone more in need. You do it because you’re not a dick.
But in being such a dick Sir Peter Cosgrove has, however unintentionally, perfectly discharged the duties of his office. He was representative of the monarchy in their absence - haughty, disdainful, out of touch and out of place.
An anachronism best left in a past we’d rather forget.
Our head of state is not an Australian. It is not the Governor General. It is the Queen of Australia (who, incidentally, also happens to be the Queen of England). Ergo the person ultimately in charge of our nation, with the ability to bypass the democratic process and dissolve both houses of parliament, is the Queen.
The Queen, a person whose only function in life is to suckle at the public teat, a constant drain of significant resources for no tangible benefit. A PT Barnum side show of wasteful decadence for the public to gawk at, like a thousand year long episode of MTV Cribs, except the only difference is if Lil Wayne has the power to veto a constitutional democracy.
The royals are nothing more than a legislative rubber stamp that provides column inches for tabloid magazines and smashes bottles of champagne on cruise ships while predating on pretty young women to churn out their next generation. The uterus formerly known as Kate Middleton was once a woman of hopes and aspirations, now rendered nothing more than a gestation pod for royal parasites, like John Hurt in Alien.
You wouldn’t want Bec Hewitt nee Cartwright to be the Australian head of state, yet there’s functionally no difference between her and the present royal family.
Which is exactly why Australia needs to be a republic. This shambling relic of a bygone era should be entombed alongside every other cringe-worthy aspect of our past that we should be embarrassed about, like the White Australia policy or Peter André. None of them have a place in a modern, progressive society.
And to Peter Cosgrove, my thanks. Your petty, schoolyard psyche of Tanya Plibersek may yet prove to be the greatest boon to the republican movement since Magna Carta