Sir: Clive James is probably used to accusa- tions from
his fellow countrymen that he has turned into an Englishman. I will not make such an accusation — it would be too cruel. However, he does seem to live in a 30-year-old time warp. His Australia (and his mother's) is not mine. Like most Aus- tralians, I don't resent Britain — I just don't feel any loyalty to it, or its monarch.
He misses the point about the Australian republican debate. The argument is not over the benefits of monarchy as a system, but over the anomaly of our monarch being a , foreigner who lives 12,000 miles away. This anomaly can only be resolved in two ways: either the Queen moves to Australia permanently, or Australia becomes a republic. It is easy to see which solution is more likely.
The comparison with Japan is a red her- ring. True, Japan has done well with a monarch, but that is because he has the same nationality as his people. It would be more telling to compare Canada — another country with whom we share the Queen — with the United States. Can you pick the superpower?
An Australian republic would simply mean the cutting of the last official links to Britain. The process of separation has been
going on — a cut here, a snip there — since Federation in 1901. Some cuts were major, like the abolition of appeals from the High Court of Australia to the House of Lords. Some were minor, like replacing Britain's coat of arms with Australia's in the insignia of our army's regimental sergeant-majors. This process will not be stopped. While recent immigrants look toward their home- lands, their Australian-born children con- sider themselves not British, or Irish, or Italian or Greek, or Chinese, or Viet- namese, or Maltese, or Lebanese, or Cam- bodian, but Australian. Republicans are (generally) not anti-British but pro-Aus- tralian.
I myself am certainly not anti-British. I lived in Britain for a year in 1989-90 and enjoyed it very much. But Clive — it's a for- eign country. My God, it's foreign.
David Morgan 10 Kimberley Street,
Killara, NSW, 2071, Australia.