Who is doing who the favour?
Republicanism becomes an intense if as yet unspecified issue with the return after a nine year interval of a Labour federal government. Palace courtiers seeking to avert it and tempted to send out members of the Royal family on flag waving tours should hesitate.
The reason is that Australia needs the Royal family much more than the Royal family needs Australia.
Australia is often considered the most over-governed of any nation anywhere
Without the monarchy Australia would have added to its already richly layered in-place constituted governance a fifth layer and which like the other existing four layers would become elective.
There is the central federal government in Canberra. It has two houses, an upper and lower.
Then there are the state governments which similarly have an upper house and a lower house.
It is the monarchy which by occupying the top of this heap means that to these four layers there cannot be added a fifth political layer in the form of a presidential layer.
Would for example an Australia minus the monarchy adopt the French system with an elected president?
Australia has yet another layer of governance, an additional layer often overlooked internationally.
It is that each state in addition to having a prime minister (known as “premier” to distinguish them from the federal prime minister) also has a state governor.
In a republic how would state governors become state governors? Would they be elected as they are for example in the United States?
If you add a presidential layer to all this Australia would have a total of six layers of constituted elective government and still not counting local government.
Australia’s new Labour-led government is an activist one dedicated to symbolic change and progress.
This is exactly the kind of coalition of the privileged that has one single towering target which is another coalition of the privileged this time one based on bloodline…..the monarchy
Buckingham Palace courtiers will be tempted to palliate this renewed and reforming fervour by sending members of the royal family to Australia to draw the sting.
If they do they will merely present the reformers with their dream target which is the royal family in the flesh.
It is uncertain that the courtiers have got the message that what worked so successfully in the 1950s-70s era now has quite the opposite effect of the desired result.
The ill-advised open Land Rover parading of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge in Jamaica (pictured) is a warning.
Prince Charles meanwhile around the same time found himself in Canada cornered by activists loudly seeking public apologies and acknowledgments for long ago internal measures that most Canadians themselves were unaware of.
Another example of clumsy Palace bureaucracy was the decision to position Prince William as a soccer aficionado. In the UK the soccer version of football is a working class pastime.
William doggedly in the stands spectating was loudly and embarrassingly booed at one of England’s big games.
The lesson is that even in England the ideal way of keeping the Royals in touch with the collective mood is to kick them out of touch.
It was the former federal prime minister Scott Morrison of the Liberal (ie conservative) Coalition and his decision to step back from cultural wars that dismayed his traditional loyalists and paved the way for vote splitting fringe parties to usher in the Labour government.
Australia’s extraordinary civil and economic progress since its federation in 1901 has often been credited to a population largely indifferent to politics and reserving their partisan zeal instead for sport.
No longer. Australia now manifests itself as the United States once did. Which is as a new nation put into the world to do good.
Australia’s ever more frequently recurring progressive paroxysms mean shaking off much of the impedimenta accumulated before and after 1901.
This clutter of yesteryear is personified by the monarchy which paradoxically until just a few decades ago in the Antipodes was similarly viewed as a universal force for good.
A royal visit in the current mood will be interpreted simply as a promotional stunt for the monarchy.
This will be the progressive point of view regardless of the countervailing and now seemingly mandatory crack of doom planetary proclamations uttered by the heirs apparent during the course of such tours.
Benign royal absenteeism will allow to be placed in perspective in the Australia-Monarchy transaction the question of who exactly is doing who the favour?