PNG population has exploded to 19 million
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Do we need monarchy in this neoliberal age?

QEII Coronation Parade
Officers and the Royal Papua New Guinea Constabulary contingent ready to march in London at the 1953 Coronation Parade: Bill Burns, Peter Broman, ‘Sandy’ Sinclair (Dennis Burns)


 TUMBY BAY, SA - What does King Charles do and is he actually necessary?

Surely he is a simple anachronism from a feudal past whose relevance is long gone.

Unfortunately, that assertion couldn’t be further from the truth.

The coronation of King Charles is crucially important to the ruling classes because he acts to legitimise their existence.

Charles is a symbolic figurehead for every ruler, benign or otherwise, the world over.

If Australia, or Papua New Guinea for that matter, ever deposes the monarchy and becomes a republic it will be a statement against the pernicious class system that Charles represents.

That in itself is why royalists in Australia are so vehemently opposed to the whole idea of becoming a republic.

By some sort of magical thinking, the billionaires, landed gentry and otherwise privileged have adopted the theory of the divine right of kings (and queens) into their estimation of their own personal importance.

This is seen in their sense of exceptionalism, their mannerisms and their speech.

As monarch, Charles, and his extended family, possess sovereign immunity which places them beyond the reach of laws that apply to ordinary British citizens.

In England they are protected by laws that make it technically illegal to call for the abolition of the monarchy.

Those people elevated by social standing and wealth also assume their status places them beyond the rules governing others in society.

In this assumption of greater importance they have been encouraged by the development of neo-liberalism.

“Neoliberalism is a form of political economy that strives to accomplish only one mission: to restore the class power of the global economic elite,” argues Marxist Professor David Harvey in ’A Brief History of Neoliberalism’ (2005).

In reality it is far from the “utopian project to realise a theoretical design for the reorganisation of international capitalism”.

It is merely a mask to hide the construction of a new class system in what was once a society and which is now an economy.

For the neo-liberalists the complete restoration of class dominance, but this time financially-oriented, would be the penultimate prize of their cause.

And if anyone is the flag bearer for this class-based endeavour it is King Charles III.

As the new king, Charles is supposed to be politically neutral but this is hardly credible. He is fundamentally a conservative and carries all the regressive ideals this entails.

If he was progressive, logic would dictate that he resign and abolish the monarchy.

Neither is Charles religiously neutral. He is the head of the Church of England, which is a Protestant Anglican church.

A key part of the coronation ceremony involved him swearing an oath to uphold the Protestant faith.

The Anglican Church renounced the authority of the Catholic pope in 1534 when Henry VIII failed to secure a papal annulment of his marriage to Catherine of Aragon.  

Subsequently, in the Bill of Rights of 1689, the English parliament declared that no future monarch could be a Catholic or be married to a Catholic.

While the first part of this provision remains in force today the Succession to the Crown Act of 2013 now allows a monarch married to a Catholic to become king or queen.

However, a Roman Catholic royal still cannot become the monarch.

While Charles has expressed tolerance for all religions, as was seen in yesterday’s coronation, he nevertheless represents a singular orthodoxy founded on religious discrimination.

Furthermore, that orthodoxy still embraces the innate conservatism that developed during the industrial revolution which celebrates, among other things, a Protestant work ethic and a misogynist attitude to women.

With this kind of background it is hard to believe that Charles doesn’t regard himself as someone who was born to rule.

Which begs the question: what does he actually rule over?

And the answer to that is ‘hardly anything’.

Which then begs the question: of what use is he then?

Is propping up the ruling class a legitimate role in this day and age?

I would think not.



In 1953 I attended the coronation celebrations for Elizabeth II on the village green at Boyton in Suffolk. I won an orange by coming first in a footrace. That was no mean prize. Rationing was still on and an orange was a rare treat in England of the time. Somehow England and its monarchy seemed much more important than it does today - PF


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Corney Korokan Alone

The world's bullies are being cornered.
Their fascist tendencies are being served an heightened dose of reality. Hollow media houses are also rattled and exposed.

They are now resorting to history’s broken bottle, to hold fast to what confers them a sense of relevance and importance.

Only suckers will dance to that outdated symphony.

This decade will be different.

Kindin Ongugo

From a distance I respect the indigenous people of UK to celebrate because they understand the cultural significance and background for having the monarchy.

I can understand why Australia had to take a referendum because a significant part of its population has links to UK.

For PNG, our politicians can ask their Fijian counterparts how they operate without a GG next year when they are in Suva for their annual golf holiday.

Philip Fitzpatrick

Strange response from a Scotsman, Chips. Agreeing with the forelock tugging English.

"Mackellar - Scottish: Anglicised form of Gaelic Mac Ealair 'son of Ealair' the Gaelic form of the Latin personal name Hilarius (see Hillary).

"Anglicised form of Gaelic Mac Céileachair 'son of the companionable one'. Compare Irish Kelleher."

I take your point about politicians though.

We don't legally need a president by the way.

Chips Mackellar

I remember when the republic last raised its ugly head in Australia.

During the 1999 referendum one wag wrote in a newspaper, "As far as I am concerned I want my head of state to be as far removed from Australian politicians as possible.

"Buckingham Palace is far enough. Balmoral Castle is even better."

So given the current push for a republic, a far-away friendly head of state is probably a nice compromise.

Lindsay F Bond

When a system is to society more strewth than truth, ways will be found and the curse will be corrected. So we hope in Australia.

Tackling topics truly triumphs, so lead on, Phil.

Yet the matter of most concern now in the 'science of profiteering' is the lethal exploitation occurring in the manufacture of armaments.

But manufacturing has transferable skills beyond weaponry. Trades and other skills are needed in the wider community.

Munching on avocado and sipping semillon makes for pleasantries that avoid nuclear nightmares.

Monarchy, too, is clothed in a continuity that averts attention from the potential obliteration of Armageddon.

Chris Overland

That the monarchy is an anachronism is hardly a contestable statement, yet it continues to exercise a fascination for many people.

The vast crowd who attended the coronation of King Charles III is clear evidence of support for this very ancient institution.

The current king is clearly very mindful of the significant socio-cultural changes that have occurred in his various kingdoms since his much loved mother ascended the throne.

As it has consistently done over the centuries, the monarchy is adapting to those changes, which the guest list at the coronation clearly demonstrated.

The aim of this king is to make the monarchy fit for purpose for another generation at least and I have no doubt that the Prince of Wales will, when it is his time, make further adaptations as necessary to do keep the monarchy in tough with his people and the times.

Whether the monarchy is truly emblematic of the new neo-liberal elite is, I think, an open question.

The great and the good these days are obsessed with money and property much more than their social standing within a long defunct aristocratic pecking order.

There is no reason to suppose that Australia switching from a constitutional monarchy to some sort of presidential system will make the slightest difference to how the country will be governed or who will have the most influence over the process of governance.

The rationale for transitioning to a republic amounts to little more than symbolism. No-one is seriously suggesting that Australia should move to a fully presidential system such as that of the USA or Russia or just about any South American country you can name.

The reason for this is simple enough: the world's presidential systems are distinguished more by scandal, misgovernment and failure than by triumphant success.

The list of failed states led by corrupt or incompetent presidents is long.

It is important to understand that the system of government is of no consequence to the neo-liberal great and the good.

They simply navigate whatever system is in place, always finding ways to exert influence in their own interests.

In our neo-liberal system money talks and vast amounts of money simply whisper insistently in the right ears.

Philip Fitzpatrick

I think you miss the point Lindsay.

The monarchy is part and parcel of the neo-liberal project.

Neo-liberalism needs to go along with all its supporters, including KC3.

Lindsay F Bond

No matter viewing processions and crowdings in the UK, an embellishment of the technological achievements of the era in which we celebrate, and no matter a sense of stability of governance in so many realms from which salute is garnered, to the East there is a monstrous thrust upon humanity that darkened every day of the past fourteen months, and has yet no prospect of being resolved into an abating calm.

The warfare inflicted by a non-hereditary regime at Europe's East has diplomacy "tip-toeing" on a scale that even House of Hanover might gasp.

So if liberalism (or it's neo) is not effective in promoting economic development and securing political liberty, why moan about monarchy?

Lindsay F Bond

Bully for Phil. An Orange. No small matter in those days.

('Bully for you' is slang enthusiasm for 'Good on you')

Yet, "hardly anything", seems a shot a tad short.
So in which staged event was it questioned in song, "hardly ever"?

Paul Oates

Phil is absolutely right to raise questions about this important issue.

If anyone has the right to do this, surely Phil has. In terms of working tirelessly for other people for many years, Phil has enhanced the lives and perspectives of many including those in PNG who would otherwise never have the opportunities they have now.

It does however beg the question: 'If not, then what?'

The mass appeal of last night's spectacle is there for all to see. Could that be done on the same level and panache as the Brits do it? That surely must be in the eye of the beholder.

What was in the eye of the beholder was the equal treatment of both PNG and Australia where their flags were displayed along with other nations and their leaders accorded the same level of respect.

If one looks at the glass and concentrates on it being only half full, it's amazing how some will always be able to find justification for their views. Yet the same applies in reverse.

If you look at other nations and their systems, it's hard to find too many that are the equal in human rights today as are the Brits. You only have to look at their PM or the Lord Mayor of London for example.

The good works being done today will never erase the sins of the past. Those of today should however be assessed on their own merit and not dragged down by those who did despicable things in the past.

We today, cannot be held accountable for what happened before we were born but only what happens now and in the future.

If our society and civilisation are to last and be for the betterment of others, we need to look at the glass being more than half full, lest we become depressed and give up on the age old struggle of good versus evil.

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