Abbott’s second coming requires consideration

by DAVID FLINT – IT WAS typical of the man. Some of the most prominent defenders of the Crown had assembled at Sydney’s Union Club to celebrate the Platinum Jubilee, including two former prime ministers and a former head of state. 

Michael Kirby had only just begun his address. But then there was consternation in the room; one of the guests had passed out. And who was first to attend to him, give him first aid, and then bound down the stairs to make sure the ambulance was coming? 

Abbott, more than any other politician, has the intellect, experience, capacity and integrity to be in the Lodge…

None other than the 28th prime minister, Tony Abbott. I phoned him about another matter two days later.

The first thing he told me was that the man, whose name he recalled accurately, had recovered.

TRAIT

As I said, this is typical of the man. He has that sense of service Sandhurst cadets are taught is the essential characteristic of leadership, being “free from the slightest trait of self-interest”.

As indeed was the subject of the celebration, “Our Sovereign Lady The Queen”.

And in so describing her, that splendid jewel of the English language, the Book of Common Prayer, nowhere refers to her as “Head of State”.

Although debate about the head of state is scheduled to be the centrepiece of Mr Albanese’s second term – if there is one – few if any Australians are lying awake at night wondering just who their head of state is.

Until republicans abandoned all their ridiculous reasons for spending billions on turning us into a politicians’ republic, few had ever heard of the term.

It wasn’t in the Macquarie Dictionary and only diplomats and international lawyers regularly used it.

(As I have taught international law in several universities and been asked by a foreign university to sit on a relevant doctoral assessment panel, I can claim to have some understanding of the term.)

Back at the Union Club, I told the assembly about the last time I had seen the Queen. To my surprise, a smiling prime minister, Julia Gillard, had recognised me and, without any notes, graciously presented me to the Queen.

I in turn introduced young Jai Martinkovits as Australians for Constitutional Monarchy’s executive director and as such, the current successor to Tony Abbott. The Queen ever so slightly raised an eyebrow and said, “really”.

I took that as a statement of interest, indeed approval.

The royal visit was one where I had sent out the usual tongue-in-cheek warning to monarchists, “Never stand between visiting royalty and republicans – otherwise, you’ll be knocked over in the rush”.

SHAME

I did not think that it would have applied at the reception. But Jai, who has broad shoulders, had to use them to block a republican senator from jumping the line. Have republicans no shame?

Just reflecting on Tony Abbott’s rush to help the man who collapsed made me think of what a terrible thing the success of the Turnbull coup was.

Like Donald Trump, Tony was the object of treacherous undermining from the very beginning, aided by collaborators in the mainstream media.

Instead of reporting, they see it as their role to make the news and force change.

They did the same to John Howard, the best prime minister since Sir Robert Menzies.

Which brings me to The Australian’s recent full-page piece to tell us about Tina Brown’s “radical blueprint to rescue the monarchy”.

Now just who is Tina Brown? The “queen of royal biographers”, said The Australian.

But Philip Hensher’s Spectator conclusion about her book Palace Letters is revealing.

“Royal gossip,” he says, “is largely invented… but Tina Brown repeats it regardless.”

The fact is, he says, you can make anything up about the royal family and it will be printed as a matter of fact. Or broadcast, as the recent TV series The Crown illustrates.

There are three ridiculous proposals in Ms Brown’s “blueprint”. She claims it’s clear that most of the fifteen Commonwealth realms will want to become republics under Charles.

Not true; whenever the people are actually asked, as they have been in three realms, they say “No”.

She proposed Charles announce he will no longer serve as head of state (she obviously doesn’t understand the law and practice in Australia) unless the local population votes for him to remain in a referendum.

But the last thing governments like the Barbadian will do is call a referendum. They have seen what happened when the St Vincent government did this and lost.

SILLY

Her proposals get sillier. Charles should then step down from being Head of the Commonwealth (which is certainly not the federation she claims it is).

There is nobody else who can be Head. If it were to rotate, we would have had Idi Amin and Robert Mugabe.

Her “remedy” for the pushy nobodies who demonstrate during royal tours to get publicity from a lazy media is for the royal family to embrace issues such as, you guessed it, “climate change”.

And what do they do when, as Senator Canavan points out, net-zero is dead?

Then she wants Charles to play his “joker card” and bring back Harry and Meghan to be “successful” ambassadors for the new Commonwealth.

Rather than rescuing the monarchy, these recommendations will destroy it. So why publish this?

The answer may lie in a recent editorial praising the Queen for her seventy years of service.

The Australian completely spoiled the effect by having a laudatory paragraph at the end about the appointment of an assistant minister for the republic.

DOOMED

The Australian still has egg on its face over its referendum campaign. It’s surely time to get over it. A second referendum is doomed to defeat.

The Australian doesn’t want to save the monarchy. No wonder they published this piece. Adopted, it could destroy the institution.

Meanwhile, back to where I started. Of the current crop of politicians, the one who has, more than any other, the intellect, experience, capacity and integrity to be in the Lodge is our 28th prime minister, Anthony John Abbott.PC

David Flint

MAIN PHOTOGRAPH:  Tony Abbott. (courtesy The Conversation)
RE-PUBLISHED: This article was originally published by The Spectator Australia on June 18, 2022. Re-used with permission.

12 thoughts on “Abbott’s second coming requires consideration

  1. The Facts of the matter is that the people in this country are so fed up with politicians in general they have stopped caring about both! A Republic is a dead loss and Labor/Libs also a dead loss! So who will fill the void and take this country back to greatness? Tony and Who?

  2. I totally agree with David Flint. Tony Abbott should still be leading the Liberal Party. The country has been heading down a path of destruction since he has been gone from the Liberal Party & the Prime Ministership. Malcolm Turnbull and his cronies have destroyed it!
    Wait until Coal is gone, Gas is gone and the country goes into the biggest recession ever in Australia! It was bad under Keating but it will be nothing compared to the one we are rushing into with abandon!!
    Silly people with their senseless dreams! China will take us over as we will be left with nothing. They are building coal mines and so is Russia! The rest of the world will be buying it off them. They won’t need us as we will have nothing to sell!

  3. Abbo could run for Parramatta and win it. He could definitely win Benelong (John Howard’s) former seat. Benelong isn’t far from Tony.

  4. Tony Abbott is a decent man (Pauline may disagree!) but like nearly all conservatives he doesn’t know how to fight the left because he thinks the left play by rules. The left have only one purpose: to be in power; and as that icon of the hard left, Richo said, “whatever it takes”. Until conservatives learn how to play dirty, grow a spine and get rid of the phony conservatives like turdball ( a big thanks to John Howard for talking him into staying) and Kean, they will continue to lose.

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  5. I agree wholeheartedly David with your comments regarding Tony Abbott.
    What a treacherous individual Malcolm Turnbull is. I see that he now is trying to undermine Peter Dutton, obviously his next target.

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  6. David, whilst endorsing your general comments and those particular to Tony’s selfless initiative, which I have observed, why chose a British metaphor, Sandhurst, over Australian examples? From personal experience, cadets at Duntroon, Portsea, Jervis Bay and Pt Cook,are no less selected and inculcated with the spirit of self denying care for subordinates. Particularly the case with Diggers, the most demanding of soldiers, but the best and most fiercely loyal when treated with considered regard.

    1. “[…] why chose a British metaphor, Sandhurst, over Australian examples?”

      Why indeed – when I myself joined the Royal Australian Naval College at Jervis Bay in the 1970’s, the bar was quite high: less than 4% of those who applied were successful.

      I have racked my brains, and the things that I have done that may be considered of note in the context of “values” are that I once intervened in a road rage incident to save someone who looked like they were about to be belted, and I also once stepped into the middle of an attempted mugging to save an intended victim from two perpetrators.

      Perhaps David could do worse than pay homage to me with an effusive puff piece extolling my self-evident virtues and consequent fitness for high office (of course, I have a clear advantage over Tony in one important respect: having been neither journalist nor politician, I can correctly handle the English language).

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  7. Fitzsimon, Albanese,Keating – old, ratbag, white male cupboard Communists. ( especially the last). A worthy trio to found the Republic. No doubt they will repeat their glorious result of the last referendum – if we ever get there.

  8. After the dark years following 1999, I have never been more confident of an Australian republic.
    Listening to Flint fighting the same old fight, with the same old tired lines, brings a smile to my face.
    And then watching Abbott and Abetz on 7:30 defending the moanrchy – literally the best spokesman they can come up with – filled my heart with hope. Both rejected by their party; both rejected by voters.

    Abbott, Abetz, and Flint. Old white conservative men. They are hope of the side. Ho ho ho.

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    1. But a republican news site, Independent Australia, has often declared that I am a “perma-tanned Indonesian-born blow-in .”

      Now my sins are apparently that I am “conservative”, “old” and worse, I am a “white man”.

  9. It was rather entertaining- hilarious, in fact- watching the 7:30 the other night.
    The two monarchist advocates were Tony Abbott and Eric Abetz.
    Both dumped by their party; both rejected by electors. They are the best the grovelling colonial suck holes have got. Literally the hope of the side.
    Ho ho ho.

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