Richard the Vice-Regal Republican

Kooky eccentric, former UN Weapons Inspector and all-round funster, Richard Butler has just been appointed as Her Majesty’s Representative in Tasmania.

Last heard of banging on pretty much endlessly about Howard’s perfidy in claiming Iraq had WMD – despite the fact that he himself had been saying much the same thing for years – Butler, an avowed republican, is now enroute to Hobart to preside over that proud state’s vice-regal estate.

Still supportive of the Republic, Butler told ABC Radio’s Richard Glover tonight that it’s just a case of ‘not yet.’ “It’s more the next stage of our national development and, anyway, the Queen herself is a republican – at least as far as Australia’s concerned.” Does that clear it up, or what?

The good news is that he’s promised to say nothing controversial for the duration of his term. The much better news is that he’s probably absolutely incapable of maintaining that commitment. Should be acres of satirical copy coming up!

Update

Butler has no birth/life connection with Tasmania at all, but Premier Jim Bacon says it doesn’t matter: he’ll put Tassie on the map! Jeez….I hope he was being ironic….

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Ron Mead
Ron Mead
2022 years ago

Looks like a clear-cut case of bass reduction!

James Russell
2022 years ago

I seem to remember Peter Hollingworth saying something similar when he became G-G. Wonder if we can expect Butler’s gubernatorial career to crash and burn in similar fashion…

mike rogers
mike rogers
2022 years ago

Ken I don’t seem to be able to find a way to just email you. So I have gone in here. I would like to read your’s and various correspondent’s comments on John Lott made in your old blog, how do I find’em?

Mike

Anthony
Anthony
2022 years ago

He’s got a bit of a map of Tassie thing happening on his head.

Ron Mead
Ron Mead
2022 years ago

No doubt Brian Deegan is going to be the next Governor of South Australia.

Gianna
2022 years ago

how on earth did Richard beat Reggie?

Geoff Honnor
Geoff Honnor
2022 years ago

Exactly Gianna – and Reggie is short for “Regina” even. And hey! She’s even made fish and chipping respectable again! Maybe if she’d come up with the deep fried apple or something….Jim Bacon is married to Honey…so…the deep fried chip butty and apple on honey bacon sandwich! That would have put Tassie on the map!

I’m concerned that Jim Bacon didn’t consult widely on this…..can Butler reflect Tasmanians back to themselves?

Os
Os
2022 years ago

In a sense Butler’s comments about the Queen being a Republican are accurate. Not in a personal sense, but in terms of the constitutional role of the Crown in Australia.

It’s been said that the systems of the USA and Australia are reflective of the British system of the time when the two new governments were established.

The USA was established when the Monarchy in Britain was much more absolute than it was when the Australian Federation was established.

Therefore, the American Republic is more monarchical than our so-called Monarchy and the American President is far more powerful than our Prime Minister.

Australia isn’t a Monarchy, but a “crowned republic” and I think this is an evolved improvement on the American system.

Which is why I oppose the Republican model for Australia … because it’s actually less democratic than our current set-up and I don’t want an absolute Monarch or President ruling Australia.

AndyM
AndyM
2022 years ago

Cretinous

Ken Parish
Ken Parish
2022 years ago

Oh I don’t know. It would be OK if it was a home-grown monarchy. But where would we find a suitable large family of inbred ocker toffee-nosed twits? Maybe the Downer family could be likely candidates…. (other suggestions?)

Homer Paxton
Homer Paxton
2022 years ago

The 2 Bs are brilliant.
How do you undermine and change the present system at the same time.
By rebadging it.
The Governor (and General) are no longer the Queen’s representative but the Australian’s people’s representative.

Every present and future alp (and some Liberal) leaders now have the perfect benchmark!

What can the monarchists say? Not very much.

Brilliant I say.

Geoff Honnor
Geoff Honnor
2022 years ago

Come on Homer! It’s like saying you’re a vegetarian when you eat meat. The constitution indicates pretty clearly that our system of government is a constitutional monarchy and Brother Butler was damning that notion to hell but 5 minutes past. Someone offers him big mooloah, the continuing status that a former ambassador might expect, chucks in a 73 room neo-gothic pile with laid-on domestic help and soybean principle becomes steak sandwich fact.

You should have heard him this am blathering on about not expecting to be called Your Excellency – “though there will be times when Governor will be appropriate”. He’s an A grade, up himself, obfuscating, unprincipled poser and all the evasive wordgames he might play don’t alter that blindingly self-evident fact.

I’d have had a heap more respect for him if he’d said. “I’m important, I like being important, I like people thinking I’m important and I’ll do anything to ensure that it remains so.

A republic is what you have when you don’t have a monarchy and constitutional amendment can’t be achieved by subterfuge, pretence or stealth.

Ron Mead
Ron Mead
2022 years ago

I guess what you’re saying, Geoff, is he’s a Clayton’s republican. A devastating demolition.

Dave Ricardo
Dave Ricardo
2022 years ago

I don’t give a rat’s that Butler is a republican who has accepted a vice regal job. Bill Hayden set the precedent there – you don’t disapprove of him (now) do you Ron? – and he, shall we say, grew comfortably into the role.

What scandalises me is that Butler will be living in sin, with his de facto, in Government House!!! What a lax moral standard to set for Tasmania’s yoof.

Apart from this, I think that he will make a fine Head of State, or should that be, in this case, Two Heads of State?

Homer Paxton
Homer Paxton
2022 years ago

Geoff,
you don’t get it.
They have just changed the Governor’s role toward the republicam model and the monarchists can’t do a thing about it.

Geoff Honnor
Geoff Honnor
2022 years ago

No Homer, they haven’t changed a thing. Far from being a clever, sophisticated, merry jape at the monarchist’s expense, it’s the same old swilling at the public trough by a bloke whose principles are clearly as flexible as his ego is not.

You should check out Alan Ramsey in the SMH this morning (did I just encourage someone to read AR?)

I don’t want a Republic imposed by stealth Homer, I want a Republic freely chosen.

Homer Paxton
Homer Paxton
2022 years ago

Geoff,
The role has been changing for sometime. The fuss caused by Hollingworth was because the people see the G/G as their representative not the Queens.
The 2 Bs are merely excaerbating this trend.
you are actually still viewing the role from its origins rather than today as is big Al.

Crispy has now got a G who will gain headlines for Tassy.
He has killed two birds with one stone.

Os
Os
2022 years ago

AndyM,

Do you mean I am “cretinous”, or my argument? Either way I take mild exception.

I don’t host this place and I’m not an original or heavy contributor, but my understanding of the “deal” here is that if you would like to make a contribution or respond to another, you do so in a civil and reasoned way.

If you haven’t got the time or the smarts to rise above single-word ad hominem abuse, perhaps you’d be better nipping off to the local student demo, where the standards of discourse are different.

Ken Parish
Ken Parish
2022 years ago

Os,

I couldn’t agree more. I probably should have taken Andy to task myself, but I had my hands full with the Norman/Chris argument at the time. My apologies.

Geoff Honnor
Geoff Honnor
2022 years ago

Dave – you’ll have to find something else to be scandalised about. Honey Bacon’s husband has just announced – in the Tasmanian Parliament no less – that the Governor-designate and his intended will wed prior to taking up residence in the Vice-Regal
Palace. I imagine he’s negotiating worldwide TV rights to the ceremony as we speak. Some things are beyond parody.

Ron Mead
Ron Mead
2022 years ago

Geoff, I did read Ramsay this morning. In spite of myself I enjoyed the column immensely. Just as you’re about to give up on Ramsay as a pompous git he pours shit on another pompous git. Great stuff. I think the last time I enjoyed reading him was during the Tampa and SIEV-X fracas when he actually made some points in approval of the government’s case.

Gianna
2022 years ago

“It would be OK if it was a home-grown monarchy. But where would we find a suitable large family of inbred ocker toffee-nosed twits?”

Ken, where does it say they have to be inbred and toffee-nosed? Cos we could easily find a family of loveable ockers. The family from The Castle, say, would be ideal.

mark
2022 years ago

We wouldn’t even need to build them a palace!