19 November 2006

GG blues

Glenn Milne at news.com.au reports that the Governor General and his wife are " victims of a whispering campaign in Canberra, driven by claims Government House has become pompous and self-important".

If anyone has become pompous and self-important it is the
Prime Minister, who has marginalised the GG by taking a leading role at many major events, leaving Major General Jeffery to officiate at the less important ones. Earlier this year I calculated (by looking at their respective websites) that the score for appearances at the Commonwealth Games was PM 5 - GG 2.

Mr Howard has effectively become President Howard of a de facto Australian republic. This is not necessarily a bad thing, though it leaves the GG in limbo, a comfortable limbo to be sure, but one which has no doubt increased the Vice-Regal couple's frustrations. I expect that the PM/ President will continue to live his double life, because the obstacles in the way of a formal change, eg referendum, are formidable and I believe many Australians will continue to feel relaxed and comfortable about accepting his spin on matters, including much more important ones.

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