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Keep socialist blog En Passant going - donate now
If you want to keep a blog that makes the arguments every day against the ravages of capitalism going and keeps alive the flame of democracy and community, make a donation to help cover my costs. And of course keep reading the blog. To donate click here. Keep socialist blog En Passant going. More... (4)

Sprouting sh*t for almost nothing
You can prove my 2 ex-comrades wrong by donating to my blog En Passant at BSB: 062914 Account: 1067 5257, the Commonwealth Bank in Tuggeranong, ACT. More... (12)

My interview Razor Sharp 18 February
Me interviewed by Sharon Firebrace on Razor Sharp on Tuesday 18 February. http://sharonfirebrace.files.wordpress.com/2014/02/18-2-14-john-passant-aust-national-university-g20-meeting-age-of-enttilement-engineers-attack-of-austerity-hardship-on-civilians.mp3 (0)

My interview Razor Sharp 11 February 2014
Me interviewed by Sharon Firebrace on Razor Sharp this morning. The Royal Commission, car industry and age of entitlement get a lot of the coverage. http://sharonfirebrace.com/2014/02/11/john-passant-aust-national-university-canberra-2/ (0)

Razor Sharp 4 February 2014
Me on 4 February 2014 on Razor Sharp with Sharon Firebrace. http://sharonfirebrace.files.wordpress.com/2014/02/4-2-14-john-passant-aust-national-university-canberra-end-of-the-age-of-entitlement-for-the-needy-but-pandering-to-the-lusts-of-the-greedy.mp3 (0)

Time for a House Un-Australian Activities Committee?
Tony Abbott thinks the Australian Broadcasting Corporation is Un-Australian. I am looking forward to his government setting up the House Un-Australian Activities Committee. (1)

Make Gina Rinehart work for her dole
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Sick kids and paying upfront

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Save Medicare

Demonstrate in defence of Medicare at Sydney Town Hall 1 pm Saturday 4 January (0)

Me on Razor Sharp this morning
Me interviewed by Sharon Firebrace this morning for Razor Sharp. It happens every Tuesday. http://sharonfirebrace.com/2013/12/03/john-passant-australian-national-university-8/ (0)

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Why are the royal bludgers so popular in Australia again?

 

Republicans have been all in a flap the last few weeks, ever since a poll came out showing a resurgence in support for the monarchy among Australians of all ages writes Corey Oakley in Red Flag.

Only 42 percent favour a republic, according to the Nielsen poll, down from 58 percent in 1998. Fifty-one percent oppose any change.

Among young people the situation is even worse. Only 28 percent support a republic whereas 60 percent oppose it.

I’m as appalled as anyone by the sweeping insult to rationality and the enlightenment that is pro-monarchy sentiment in 21st century Australia. If I had my way we wouldn’t just be voting the monarchy out of existence, we’d be ripping the lot of ’em limb from limb in the city square, Game of Thrones– style.

But that said, I’ve no sympathy at all with the reaction of many republicans to the poll, which has generally been to whine about how young people are so easily sucked in by celebrity culture, and the excitement of the new hip young royals and their cute baby.

First of all, Prince William hip? Baby George cute? Has anyone actually looked at either of them without recoiling in horror at what several centuries of inbreeding can do ?

That aside, it’s not that hard to understand why republicanism is at a low ebb.

Once long ago the banner of republicanism was raised by rebellious democrats, heroes of popular power and enemies of the establishment. Today the “republican movement” is a plaything of a section of a political elite that is despised and discredited in the eyes of most of the population.

The 1999 referendum on the republic made it perfectly clear that for the likes of Malcolm Turnbull, breaking Australia’s link with the monarchy had nothing to do with reconfiguring the way the Australian political system worked, let alone allowing more genuine democratic control or implementing social reforms that shifted the balance of economic power in favour of ordinary people.

Instead, the republican movement envisaged a purely symbolic shift at the top, replacing a British head of state with an Australian one who, we were assured, would play exactly the same role.

Imagine if someone had approached the sans-culottes of Paris with such a proposal in 1787:  “Storm the Bastille, cut off the King’s head, and then we’ll replace him with someone who will carry on as before.”

In such a circumstance, it would hardly be surprising if the republican enthusiasm of the Parisian crowd was somewhat muted. In Australia, republican fervour was so subdued in 1999 that many in the movement that wanted meaningful change actually campaigned against a “yes” vote.

Today, the campaign for a republic is the last thing on the minds of most people. In that context, it’s inevitable that some will go along with the fawning idiocy of the media’s royalty obsession.

I’d be happier if the figures supporting a monarchy weren’t so high, but I’d be more concerned if polls started coming out indicating people supported Joe Hockey’s planned cutbacks to health and education, or agreed with the Liberals that the retirement age should pretty much coincide with death. 

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Comments

Pingback from Why are the royal bludgers so popular in Australia again? | OzHouse
Time April 30, 2014 at 6:11 pm

[…] Apr 30 2014 by admin […]

Comment from Jim Brash
Time May 1, 2014 at 1:24 am

As an American, I’ve never understood the popularity of the Monarchy. And yet these feudal parasites exist all over over Europe and Arabia . Some are figureheads others have absolute power, but they all have concentrated wealth that serves only themselves. Your monarchs are actually supported with tax dollars! What a racket.

Comment from Kay
Time May 1, 2014 at 10:08 am

John

I too am a republican, and am concerned that the visit of this quite attractive, albeit privileged, couple to our shores has put the republican cause back a further 20 years at least (in my view). But to claim George is not a cute baby (he definitely is!!) shows that your ideology is affecting your eyesight! I do think this couple’s popularity with the young has much to do with the prevailing celebrity culture – I mean the young seem to worship many undesirables – and this couple comes across well, even to oldies.

Comment from philip
Time May 1, 2014 at 10:30 am

A king or Queen is simply the descendant of a dictator.
In no way was the original head of the family tree elected, they got to be King because of force of arms.

Comment from Lorikeet
Time May 2, 2014 at 8:02 am

I am a monarchist because I prefer to retain our links to our Anglo-Saxon heritage rather than being socially and economically lumped in with third world nations.

The Royal Family is symbolic of democratic processes. I think if all Commonwealth countries became republics, the Commonwealth of Nations could be disbanded, taking with it a lot of our constitutional rights and heritage.

I think Prince George is a strapping young lad and very cute as well. At a time when the Coalition government is hell bent on slashing and burning, I think the presence of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and their baby brought most people welcome relief from worry.

Over time, I’m sure there have been a number of cutbacks in the amount of money the British government supplies to the royal family.

Comment from Lorikeet
Time May 2, 2014 at 8:11 am

John, I thought you made an excellent point about the government wanting to make the retirement age coincide with death.

In the past, the government has encouraged people to take an early retirement at age 55, thanks to the “generous” superannuation scheme.

This has allowed the government and other employers to refuse to employ older workers. I believe it will also lead to younger retirees running out of money by age 70.

It is now 30+ years since I realised that the government intended to terminate the baby boomers when they could no longer work.

The whole superannuation and social system has been deliberately engineered to empower bankers, abuse workers, reduce wages, diminish respect for elders and then inflict a lethal injection.

This is why we must give a resounding “NO!” to the idea of “voluntary” euthanasia, no matter how much compassion we may feel for those who are suffering.

Comment from Lorikeet
Time May 2, 2014 at 8:13 am

John, you really shouldn’t be saying such terrible things about Princes William and George.

Little George is the epitome of robust health, energy and good looks.