The release of the palace letters has put paid to any comforting assumption that the monarchy is above politics, or that the Queen as Australian head of state guarantees national stability. John Kerr’s correspondence with her private secretary Martin Charteris proved that royal impartiality, when put to the test, revealed itself as merely notional and without substance. Yet the disheartening truth is that this was not greeted with public outrage, which suggests the lesson hasn’t sunk in.
The government has changed many times since, but the anomaly of an absentee sovereign remains unresolved. Even given the profound reshaping of society in the digital age, no steps have been taken to prevent a repetition of the coup. Meanwhile, history itself is under attack, systematically marginalised in schools and universities, dismissed as fake news in the media, replaced by blatant lies and corruption, and fragmented and regurgitated as a plague of personal stories. Parliament scarcely bothers to sit, and standard Westminster procedures are ignored. Secrecy and subterfuge are deeply entrenched. The stability of our country is on the line in the context of a world increasingly governed by aggressive oligarchs and megalomaniacs.
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