November 30th 2002

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Articles from this issue:

COVER STORY: Free Trade: what's in it for us?

EDITORIAL: Let East Timorese refugees stay

CANBERRA OBSERVED: Medicare a 'sleeper' issue for Liberals, Labor

HUMAN CLONING: Research Involving Embryos Bill stalls in the Senate

STRAWS IN THE WIND: Pub with no beer / Sheep in sheep's clothing

AGRICULTURE: US free trade deal: will it help sugar farmers?

MEDIA: Bali "interrogation" photo sends wrong message

REFLECTION: Clyde Cameron on Archbishop Mannix and Bob Santamaria

LETTERS: Ted Serong (letter)

EDUCATION: Schooling SA-style: an exercise in planned mediocrity

EDUCATION: Dumbing down: the saga continues

ASIA: How many missiles are needed to make one China?

COMMENT: British media's royal flush

BOOKS: Rule Britannia: The Victorian and Edwardian Navy

BOOKS: Rethinking Peter Singer

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British media's royal flush

by Max Teichmann

News Weekly, November 30, 2002
We are being dragged through the latest Royal dirty washing soap opera, by the usual suspects: the generally loathed denizens of the media - Frank Sinatra's dart boards and republicans of various shapes and sizes. In a time of genuine stress - military, economic and social - I suppose this keyhole watching and peering through other people's windows is a relief, for some. But not for very long.

For a start, there is a certain deja vu about it all, for I can remember these unceasing intrusions into the private lives of people around the Queen, by the media, ever since she ascended the throne as a young girl 50 years ago. The sense of deja vu is heightened by the almost compulsory inclusion of sexual material - preferably illicit, e.g., adulterous or deviant and, therefore, squalid and undignified. No sex? Then the sales of Fleet Street's smut sheets drop as Tom Lehrer sang, "Smut! Smut! Give me more of it! Smut!"

Short odds

The statistical odds of finding someone who is playing up, or not up to scratch must favour the professional Royalty snooper, chequebook in hand. The same technique and statistical likelihood exists for sportsmen, politicians, clergymen, businessmen, teachers, etc. - indeed any sizeable statistical population. So a scandal-mongering smut-driven media must win, in all of these areas of human endeavour or achievement. Given time and big enough bribes.

But in the case of the Queen, the strategy has always been the same: find, ideally, some close relation who is at fault in some way, or friend, or palace confident, or servant. The delinquency does not have to be established, only repeatedly asserted. Then it can be said that the Queen is, or was responsible, therefore is unfit to govern.

If it is implied she did not know, could not know, or should have been told but wasn't; or was disinformed, then the running of the Monarchy is defective. It should be replaced by a republic. This is how this McCarthyite argument proceeds. It was used recently against two Australian Archbishops.

The Monarchy has remained probably the last important institution in England where the incumbent is unelected. Our unelected British media barons - many colonials, and, sad to say, with colonial mentalities - can influence, if not determine the leaderships of most political bodies, including governments; as well as veto policies which may inconvenience them, the ex colonial barons. For 50 years, at least, they have been asking one another, why can't we get a president, whom we and our wealthy mates here and abroad would in reality choose?

And they still won't take "No" for an answer - especially after the overwhelming success of the Queen's Golden Jubilee, and polls showing she was the most popular person in England. Forget their serfs - but has anyone taken a poll on the standing and public reputations of the ex-colonial barons lately?

The most interesting aspects of this latest sordid, repetitive media pogrom for me, are the collateral damage to innocent bystanders, and the workings of the Law of Unintended Consequences. To take the last first.

The Cult of Diana - the Fairy Princess with the common touch - lies in ruins.

This Cult was almost entirely fabricated by the media, with the aid of the entertainment industry which bestraddles the world's drugs, booze, and rock; and the Gay scene.

Together with the New Age fantasy fiefdom and its bogus Eastern religiosity. The Princess was their Goddess, and ambassador at large - and she and it were used as weapons aimed at the Queen and her family; and as a way of advocating the latest version of free living counter culture, as against the stuffy, ordinary bourgeoisie existence of ordinary England.

And Queen Elizabeth's culture crime was that she came over as ordinary, not exotic; and as embodying the ethics of responsibility, work, service, rules, and parameters. None of this made news in the sensational world of slap and tickle. but far worse, the Beautiful People hated this stable world of prudence and the golden mean.

There was and is a fierce Kulturkampf being waged. Well, as we know, poor Diana self-destructed - and her Cult was already sinking like Puff the Magic Dragon, when these latest revelations surfaced. Revelation which could only injure her ultimate reputation - quite badly. No Cinderella story here, and the Ugly Sisters, if they exist, have names like Windsor. Finally, the late appearance of Pakistani millionaires, was not, in retrospect, a good omen.

As in the case of the two maligned Australian Archbishops. The Gay Mafia, as a spectator describes things, seems almost to have overrun parts of the Royals establishment; rather like some bodies here. Revelations of their power, and access to secrets, which they have betrayed for cash, simply bring up the same questions our churches are facing here.

Have the new permissive super tolerant attitudes towards appointments to posts requiring loyalty, discretion, and personal stability, not been the cause of a great deal of the trouble?

Have the British Establishment so easily forgotten the cases of Philby, Burgess, and McLean, and how they were protected?

It seems that some Court officials, and possibly some Royals, have forgotten all this, and, swept along by the new tolerance and anything goes, exposed themselves to dangers of a different kind.

Media demands

We know what one of the reforms must be. There is little evidence that the Queen and her Consort like the new values being pushed by the media and Diana's friends.

But in the end she had to accept show business freaks, Pakistani Richie Riches of varying degrees of virtue, and spokespeople for innumerable trendy causes, professional heart string tuggers ... as regular visitors and camp followers into an essentially serious, political, monarchal enterprise.

As Andrew Bolt wrote in a very angry piece, when referring to the use of terms like scumbags and "barking mad" of the Royals, by the Mirror, when he looked over this disgraceful case, ‘the scumbags' I see are not the Royals but the commoners who betrayed them. "The ‘outrage' is not the Queen's decadence, but that of the society which now treats the rats who sell her out as Royalty themselves."

Not the main society Andrew - here or in England - but the people who monopolise the media and have virtually wrecked all the institutions which underpin, and go to make up a humane, democratic society viz the Universities, the schools, the family structure, a large part of the churches and of our judiciary.

Our nihilists are at present labouring to simultaneously devalue, and undermine, institutions needed to protect a society, viz, defence forces and the police. But there is one prize that has eluded our bogus egalitarians - bogus, because the Republican New Class is avowedly elitist, and frenetically the social product from us to them. The elusive prize is the Monarchy.

But our elitists have already said they do not intend to replace a Monarch by a popularly elected President. Greater democracy is not the aim of the Queen's opponents. And would anyone care to describe the Bunyip aristocracy of the media running from Lord Harmsworth Northcliffe, through Lord Beaverbrook, Robert Maxwell to the present day, as friends of democracy, of accountability?

So, we would do well to defend Elizabeth against "the rats", as Bolt describes her betrayers.

  • Max Teichmann

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