The formerly honourable Prince Andrew is on the lookout for a new job after being stripped of his military roles and royal titles this week and no longer able to use the moniker “his Royal Highness”. It comes on the back of a US court ruling that found he could be sued for sexual abuse over his connections to elite child sex traffickers, Jeffrey Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell. Surely he’d make a fine candidate for Australia’s next Governor-General, suggests Gary Johnston.
It was the 17th Century French diplomat Joseph de Maistre who said ‘toute nation a le gouvernement qu’elle mérite’ – every nation gets the government it deserves.
As the Australian government under the stewardship of cock-up merchant-in-chief Scott Morrison continues its – his – matchless record of characterising the country as Hicksville Central, it’s becoming clearer than lemonade that we – Australians – deserve to be conned, hoodwinked, lied to, taken for suckers.
Everything that we like to think typifies us is, let’s face it, a myth – the fair go, inclusivity, multiculturalism, egalitarianism, freedom with responsibility, larrikinism; truth is we’re prejudiced, diffident, in denial and subservient.
Not convinced? Ask yourself this question – who is our head of state?
Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the Second, a monarch from another country, 10,000 miles away, ceremonially represented by a Governor-General who acts on her behalf.
We’re so deferential, so crawlingly obsequious that we don’t even have the self-belief to replace a King or Queen with an Australian as the head of our country, someone chosen by Australians for Australia, someone who isn’t anointed due to the farcical nature of hereditary monarchy, a succession of power in which the throne passes from one member of a ruling family to another member of the same family. A family in another continent.
And don’t think for a second that the sovereign or their de facto is merely a ceremonial position, it isn’t, it’s constitutionally powerful, every law made by our Parliament, every election and the appointment of every government has to be approved by the GG, we’re a 121-year-old child who needs permission from their mummy to take their own car out for a spin.
Furthermore, there’s precedent. In 1975, in an event known as ‘The Dismissal’ the unelected Governor-General Sir John Kerr with or without the nod from the Queen – accounts vary – summarily sacked then PM Gough Whitlam, replacing him with the Leader of the Opposition Malcolm Fraser. Since that time, there has only been minor constitutional change and the Governor-General still retains the power to dismiss government ministers.
That’s executive power. Real, undemocratic, potentially despotic power.
Sir John Kerr keeping it under his hat
Fast forward to 1999, Australia holds a referendum to consider the possibility of becoming a republic: power completely in the hands of the people and an end to hereditary rule.
Spoiler alert, the referendum is defeated, due to a dispute on the method of selection of a would-be president, a sleight of hand we can safely attribute to Prime Minister John Howard, an avowed monarchist and slavering admirer of previous PM Robert Menzies, whose own cap in hand obeisance to the Queen is summed up by his evocation of Thomas Ford’s cloying poem, There is a Lady Sweet and Kind:
‘I did but see her passing by,
And yet I love her till I die’.
Presumably, back then, stalking was not a criminal offence.
In all, there have been 27 Governor Generals of Australia, the present incumbent being General David Hurley, a career soldier; a background shared by three out of the last four G-G’s.
In fact, Governors Generals of the past have come with a fairly narrow level of credentials: diplomats, barristers, faux aristocrats and pen pushers, but back in 1945 the incumbent was Prince Henry, Duke of Gloucester, third son of King George V and generally considered the runt of the litter which, when we’re talking about the British royal family, is really setting a bar lower than Barnaby Joyce’s IQ.
So, given our current lack of national self-confidence, truthfulness and integrity perhaps it’s time that Australia considered reverting to type and looking toward Buckingham Palace for a prospective candidate.
We’ve had the runt. Now we’ll have the… ah, you’re ahead of me.
Step forward Prince Andrew: Duke of York, second son of Queen Elizabeth II, the royal miscreant who puts the ‘spare’ in the phrase ‘an heir and a spare’.
Currently lying low in rural English castles, defiantly avoiding the law whilst anxiously searching for more loopholes than an Eagle Scout with a knot tying merit badge, Andrew is sweating – or not, according to him – after the decision of a New York Court late this week related to a ‘secret silencing deal’ struck by his bestie, convicted sex offender, Jeffrey Epstein.
The deal, a liability release for “any other person or entity” who could be a defendant against future allegations, is in effect, is tacit admission of guilt.
‘I should be absolved of this. Because if not, I’m really in the shit’.
Alas, the court in New York found Randy Andy has no special protection against a civil claim for sexual abuse. Just hours later, in a pre-emptive move, the prince’s mum, wily old Lizzy herself took the clever PR step of removing the hoighty-toighty titles her undeserving fool of a son has had proffered upon him.
You might remember PA’s train crash BBC interview of late 2019 when he offered up the dementia defence: “I wasn’t there, don’t remember, rarely went to nightclubs, didn’t dance, don’t even know where the bar is, never bought a drink.”
Never bought a drink. That I do believe.
Why did he not sever his relationship with Epstein?
Because, as he said, he was just too honourable.
Why did he like hanging with Epstein in the first place – why did he spend so much time with a man known, long before conviction, for his predilection for sexual exploitation, ‘massage’ parties and drug-fuelled orgies?
The bar at Tramp nightclub Andrew couldn’t find
Honour, as in the almost words of the great Mae West, has nothing to do with it.
So, if, as depressingly expected, legal loopholes and technicalities successfully manage to entangle the NY court into submission, Andrew, though far from vindicated, will nevertheless be looking for a gig.
Who’d employ an inveterate liar, a coward with a pea for a brain and a level of misplaced self-regard that makes Emperor Napoléon Bonaparte look humble and bashful? A useless mountebank with a deserved reputation for entitlement, a cad of the highest order who’d almost certainly behind bars, eating cold porridge if only his mummy didn’t happen to be the QEII?
Not sweating but running
Only a nation who still bow and scrape to an institution that barely knows where Australia is on the map, treats it as a backwater, a joke, a Banana Republic with heaps of the former and none of the latter.
A Governor General’s job is to represent the Queen.
Andrew could do that. He could easily represent her. He could represent royal prerogative, represent privilege, unelected, undemocratic generational power caused through accident of birth and accepted only by those who see the Windsors in the same way they see The Kardashians, dysfunctional reality show characters, frivolous entertainment; a diversion and – for Australians – a living, breathing, horrible symbol of bare-faced, toadying colonialism.
And as an (alleged) sex offender, Andrew would fit right in.
What? You don’t think we deserve it?
Remember, you heard it here, first.
I’m betting the application is in the post.