Allison Henry, the national director of the Australian Republic Movement had one of those characteristically, ill-humoured pieces in the Oz this morning that always manages to reduce the Republican cause to a joyless, lemon-lipped bitchslap.
Harry “Blue” Windsor is plainly entitled to come here, she generously conceded but not if it’s going to cost the Australian taxpayer 600 grand yada, yada, yada.
Whether or not the suspiciously well-rounded figure of $600,000 represents anything like the costs involved in providing Australian security coverage, remains a mystery. I’ve yet to see anything approaching a detailed costing analysis and given the nature of the VIP protection beast, I’m not holding my breath for disclosure anytime soon.
What should be obvious is that Australian security services will inevitably have to be engaged with the presence of a Person of Note like Harry. Whether or not Harry should be a Person of Note is scarcely the point. He is. That’s that. Were Harry to become the target of those with less than benevolent intention towards him, the costs to Australia’s reputation, on many different levels, would make $600,000 look like depressingly small change.
Thus, the rationale for “protecting” Harry has bugger-all to do with covering him ultimately. It’s much more about covering us – the arse in particular.