Wednesday 21st of February 2024


I have too many books on my bedside table. Things like “Organic Control of Garden Pest

Stewed mutton

That's one for the squatters & troopers, and one in the eye for the peasants and artisans.

I believe in justice, even if it takes a while. The goal that Barry Hall got off the free against Scott for belting him on the head was, as Brisbane's coach admitted, "poetic". Wait for the cheers when Nick Riewoldt runs on again, and takes the flying mark that those mongrel robot Lions can only dream about.

You are right about the campaign for the republic, and the role played by M.Turnbull. A populist cause led by a silver-tongued, silver-spooned, silvertail? Not likely.

Talk about a change of tune. I was hot for fixed four-year terms. But, some sentiments expressed somewhere in the weekend papers have converted me. Fixed three-year terms, please. If we can't trust them with two and three quarters, why would you give them four? Do you think fixed three years would be easier to sell?

The Republic and Charley

Gus, In the 80's and 90's I ran A Youth Theatre Company in Launceston, Tasmania. It was at that time one of the largest companies of its kind in Australia.

In the mid 90's the company won an award (the HRH Prince of Wales Award for Outstanding Service to the Community). At that time Prince Charles visited Tasmania to give us the trophy and a cheque for $25,000 for the award and also to see the site we were on (we had just been given new premises by the Council.) It was the old Launceston railways site and was being re-developed under the Better Cities Program as a cultural and arts environment with The Universities Art Dept, The Launceston Museum and us (Gambit Theatre) on site.

For days before his visit I had to put up with incessant meetings with his representatives, who had flown out before him, on Royal Protocal and security measures. We were a youth theatre company in Launceston for God's sake! But I gritted my teeth and thought of the $25,000 and the good it would do.

Early in the morning of his arrival all my staff (20) and over 100 youth members of the company (as he was to see a rehearsal of a theatre performance in progress) were locked in our building by Police, Security, Alsation dogs looking for bombs, ASIO and God knows who else. We weren't allowed to leave the building for security purposes. The Security nutters even smashed down the door to a room that I couldn't find the key to quick enough, because they wanted to search inside. The room contained sound and video gear for our performances and they asked "why have you got all this electronic equipment?" DER!!! we run a theatre company cretin.

After all this and being locked in my own building as a prisoner for over 6 hours I was at the end of my tether.

I was to recieve and escort the Prince with a gaggle of Tasmanian and Federal political twats following in his wake. Five minutes before the Prince arrived his protocol officer sat me down like a schoolboy and proceeded to go through all the protocol that I had had to listen to and sign papers (that I would dutifully adhere to) in the days before.

Included was that I couldn't touch the Prince unless he made the first move (I immediately thought of lepresy chess - touvh the man, lose your hand, checkmate!).

This officer was so smarmy and the whole procedure that we all had had to endure seemed so ridiculous to me that I just blew my top. It was rare for me to do such a thing because I cared too much for the young people involved in the company. But I stormed out to my office, stripped off my suit, put on a pair jeans I had there and arrived back just in time (with a sideways "fuck off" to his protocol officer) to shake the Prince by the hand, leper or no leper.

I escorted him into the rehearsal area and he saw one in progress. Unfortunately at the time he was in the process of being seperated from Diana. I say unfortunate because our performance dealt with the anguish young people go through when parents divorce or seperate. It was a self devised piece written by the young people and instigated months before we all knew the problems Chuck and Di were having.

Also unfortunate was where the Prince was placed to view the rehearsal (smirk, smirk). Because it was just there that, in the performance, a young girl comes up and yells "I hate my mother and father! I hate them for seperating.! I hate them for leaving me!" This was done with the girl shouting it not 6 inches from the Prince's face.

That little scene made the pages of The SMH, The Age, all the major US and UK papers, radio TV and even the Norwegian press.

When it happenned Charles turned around to me and with a smile said "Did you do this for my benefit?" I said a blunt "No" and we kept on chatting. Me with a republican smirk on my face.

After a while he said to me "Your surname comes from somewhere other than Australia doesn't it?" I said "It comes from a country that colonised your country, Italy". He smiled and asked "Do you think Australia should be a Republic then?" (the republic debate had just gotten going) I responded that I thought it should. He said "I don't know why you keep putting up with us. I sincerely wish you the best in getting rid of us".

I was GOB SMACKED! Alll the crap that I had to put up with to get his money was worth it just to here him utter those words. I don't know if they were truly sincere but if they think such thoughts I don't know why we can't. After all I like to think that Australians are just a little bit more intelligent than an inbred, horse breeding, elitist family.

three years

Three years max!!! Enough time to do damage...

Prince's comment

I remember vaguely something being said by him that Australia should be a republic (it could have been related by media articles about your little adventure.) If my sources are right, it could be quite strange for Charles to be king because he is presently the Grand Master of the Freemasons in England and as king would also become the Grand doodah of the Anglican Church. Conflict of interests?