Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Celebrating the impending birth of the future King or Queen of Australia

Today I woke to the joyous news that the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are expecting a baby.

The offspring will (possibly depending on gender) be the future Head of State of Australia.

Elizabeth R currently fulfils that role.

For my non-Australian readers - who are likely unfamiliar with Australian constitutional arrangements I should note that Australia is - like Great Britain - a monarchy - and we have the Queen's handsome profile on our coins.

Her Majesty the Queen's full title in Australia is "Elizabeth the Second, by the Grace of God Queen of Australia and Her other Realms and Territories, Head of the Commonwealth".

Similar constitutional arrangements apply in other former colonies of the British Empire including our near neighbour Papua New Guinea. There Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth is known in the pidgin language of Tok Pisin as 'Missis Kwin', and as 'Mama belong big family'.

My joy at the birth of our future monarch will (naturally enough) be repeated throughout the world. In Papua for instance the baby will further improve Elizabeth's claim to the title "Mama belong big family".

And that is indeed good news.

God Save the Queen, Queen of Australia


Almost Canadian said...

Let's hope it's a female child!

My colleagues in Canada deserve a good future leader, too.

As said...

Still playing cricket (however badly)? Keep the Queen.

And who would be yourr alternative?

Anonymous said...

Still playing cricket? Got to keep the queen.

Unknown said...

Huzzah! Huzzah!
My joy as a loyal subject of the Queen knows no bounds.

Luke said...

John, you don't strike me as a fan of nepotism. While the queen is a grand lady, and a sensible monarch, who's to say that Chales, Will or the bun in the oven will perform as well, if at all? Odds are they won't be as good, given the successor has survived selection from a talent pool of one.

If the monarchy was a company, you'd be looking to short them.

Australia is a grown up nation. We deserve our own head of state, with a better selection process.

John Hempton said...

I thoroughly disagree that nepotism is a bad thing here.

Indeed it is the redeeming feature of a monarchist democracy.

You put ALL legal power in the hands of someone who is inbred for generations and has no moral authority to use it.

It is a simply brilliant separation of powers.


Anonymous said...

I'm no fan of inbred Germans, but I cant get excited about that family either way. If we didnt have them then someone like Tony Blair would be the royalty equivalent. You would of course have some equivalent horrible Aussie as your top fella.

How is that an improvement?

And worse still, we could all be like the Yanks. Where the locals think they live in a Republic but they keep on electing their presidents from a very small pool of families. Big country, small elite.

Anonymous said...


While I would normally agree with your sentiments, when I look around western nations today, I don't see any evidence that the alternatives have done any better.

Anonymous said...

"You put ALL legal power in the hands of someone who is inbred for generations and has no moral authority to use it."

Hear! Hear!

Nevertheless, the game of Whack-A-Mole with Charles will reach the next level if he becomes king.

Now, his boy William looks like he could keep his trap shut, god bless him.

It's poor George Osborne I feel sorry for. It has been weddings. jubliees. Next year a royal birth to give the populace another two days of work.

Yours, a Loyal (Ex-Patriate) Subject

dearieme said...

The inbreeding stopped with the old Queen Mum, who was a commoner i.e. not royal. As was William's mother and now his wife.

Anonymous said...

Glad to see our colonial cousins in such good cheer at the welcome news that the succession in the House of Windsor remains secure. Not only that but given the looks of Duke of Cambridge's mother and indeed the Duchesses of cambridge's own agreeable countenance there is a strong chance that the Hanoverian "ugly gene" may well be bred out of the Royal line.

All Australia should rejoice as should all Canada, New Zealand etc etc.

Richard said...


If Australia must have a monarch, I propose that we switch to King Juan Carlos I of Spain. He is popular (75% approval rating) and has a history of standing up for the constitution, even to the extent of facing down a military coup (in 1981).

By comparison, the Windsor’s are pack of sponging light-weights. The fact that Australia has one of them as head of state is a national embarrassment.

We can all get “gooey” over a baby. But what is so special about this one beyond its ability to boost tabloid sales.

Anonymous said...

John, your post emphsises the need for this country to become a Republic ASAP!

RichL said...

"We mean it, man!"

- J. Rotten & S. Vicious

cargocultinvestor said...

Not sure if there is anything particularly brilliant about a constitutional monarchy. It seems more of an evolutionary relic, like our tailbone. But if it ain't broke, why fix it? I see support for a republic is waning (god bless google)
And didn't the GG dismiss a government a few decades ago? That was using the power wasn't it?

There is a statue in some park, I'm pretty sure it was in Sydney, that had a a convict in chains lifting a rock, complete with painful grimace. A British soldier stands by with an Oil Can Harry mustache and a grin on his face as he watches. (Those pommie bastards). I laughed out loud. That melodramatic scene, comically cartoonish to an outsider, reflects, I think Australian psychological ambivalence towards the Brits pretty well. Yet the monarchy is quite strongly supported and that support is getting stronger. Go figure.

Unknown said...

Prefer someone trained from birth for responsibility, than some lawyer or trade unionist who had to play grubby politics to get there. The monarch, with his/her reserve powers, is the last protector of our freedom. God save from having a politician as head of state.

Anonymous said...

So, it's unelected vs. elected. Is that because the elected ones did sooooo much better everywhere you look, right?

Given that most of our societies are human-law ruled systems, i.e. subject to insider dealing, rules fudging etc., there's a strong case to be made to have someone with tail-event powers (like dissolving the parliament, selecting the executive in emergency etc.) that is reasonably independent of the political powers involved (since by definition, the tail-event is the result of the political forces in the country being unable to do so). And the elected head is going to be like that, righ? Except of course having come through that political forces in the country, or, alternately, being so populistic/rich/celebrity endowed - which of course all are extremely good qualifications - that they could do it even w/o them.

Whether the external monarchy is the best way, or HAL2000 would be better is something we can go and argue over the beer. Arguing that an elected head of state wielding tail-event powers is going to be better for long term of the country than an in effect random outsider (in the case of Liz with strong sense of duty, in the vase of Charles a strong sense of emptiness in the upper body regions) shows lack of real-politik cynicism.

Of course, if you consider a head of state as purely an ornament, then giving the post to Miss Australia on condition that she never says, writes or otherwise communicates anything and just keeps smiling is the way to go. Ok, every other year, the other one it's going to be Mr. Australia or whatever the male equivalent is. Or if you want to bring an election into it, let the Australian populace decide between Miss and Mr. Australia.

Anonymous said...

The queen is the cheapest head of state Australia will ever have. Harmless and meaningless

Shawn said...

So what's up with the rumours of FMCN?

Is that real, or bear trap again? Thanks

Anonymous said...

This is an example of your Swiftian irony, I assume. Trust me, we have it worse in the UK.

Anonymous said...

Bah! Captcha beat me, and I am a sentient being, as far as I'm aware.

Try again: I'm assuming this is an example of Swiftian irony. Trust me, it's worse in the UK.


Anonymous said...

John, curious if you have any thoughts on one of the members of the PE consortium dropping out of the Focus Media deal?

David said...

Why all this talk of elected or unelected heads of state? Obviously the fairest system in what is in any case a random selection, would be a lottery amongst the working age population to become head of state for an arbitrary period. A day, a month, a year.

Personally I find a period of a month to be adequate to keep interest in a permanent reality show on TV and ensure a necessary minimum of continuity.

Anonymous said...

What the alternative?

Oh, I know!

How about this - we get some labour party hack, who spent 20 years conning people into voting for her/him because the 'rich are getting richer', only so that she/he could qualify for a fat pension and harvest gobs of 'consultancy' fees in retirement.

Yes, that should do nicely.

God Save the Sinecures!!!

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