Friday On My Mind – Still Part Of The Empire?

An occasional column by Michael Barker, Editor, Fremantle Shipping News

A national public holiday to mourn the Queen’s passing. Parliaments around the country suspended for 15 days. Saturation media coverage of everything and anything vaguely Royal. I truly don’t get it – not here in Australia in the third decade of the 21st century.

As a politician might say, let me be clear, I’m not anti the Queen. I didn’t know her but from what I read she seems to have been an admirable person, matriarch, and much admired monarch in her native country, England.

But she was never an Australian. And as much as she and the other members of her Firm, the new King included, liked to convey an inclusive love for Australia – of which she was the technical and hereditary head of state – the whole thing was always patronising and largely contrived. All in the interests of the Firm. Not ours. She and they are English. I and my family and the rest of us Australians are Australian.

Why our Australian leaders and the mainstream media seem to think it appropriate, in respectfully acknowledging the Queen’s passing, to convey the impression we are still a part of the British Empire, vassals of the British Crown, and something other than Australian, eludes me.

Respect for the long serving Queen is one thing, overdoing the Queen’s passing with so much Imperial fervour quite another, quite beneath our own dignity as a nation, as a people in the 21st century.

* By Michael Barker, Editor, Fremantle Shipping News

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