I’ve become so inured to the sight of our current Prime Minister arrogating the ceremonial duties of our Governor General that I tend to no longer be outraged. Thankfully, Ken Lovell at Surfdom is not so reticent, and his description of the PM delivering the Remembrance Day Speech and laying the first wreath at the National War Memorial forms the title of this post.
convey a single message to the incoming PM:
Sir, you are the head of a political party. You are not Australia’s head of state.
It’s a message that needs to be made frequently and powerfully until the politicians understand it and act upon it. Because along with all the other damage that John Winston Howard has done to this country with his creeping opportunism, his cynical expediency, his tawdry instinctive lunge for the cheap immediate party-political point-scoring over any thought of the national interest “¦ along with all that must be reckoned Howard’s destruction of the office of Governor-General.
I have no objection to the PM attending Remembrance Day service at the National War Memorial. It is appropriate for him to be there. But it is also appropriate for him to respect our nation’s constitutional head of state by giving the GG the primacy that is his due at a national occasion. He should not speak, especially not during an election campaign, and he should lay his wreath after the Governor General has laid the first.