I read Bill Barwoods letter in a previous issue of The Phoenix and, while I did not wholeheartedly agree with the thrust of his arguments, the letter in the current issue makes me risible.
I cannot recall a Republic in history that was not won by the force of arms; in other words a revolt or civil war installed a system different to a Democracy. Most have failed, even the mighty Roman, and following internecine war has often been the precursor to a dictatorship.
I have often wondered at cheek of Australia to assume a republic model could be put in place by a ‘democratic vote’ that would re- move forever all those good things about a Constitutional Monarchy – not the least the removal of all titles Royal (Royal Australian Air Force, Royal Australian Regiment, RSPCA, RAC, Royal this-Royal that); window dressing for sure but an integral part of OUR culture.
Change is OK if it addresses a shortcoming, but the saying, “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” seems appropriate and change just for the sake of it is a distraction and inefficient. We have too many other pressing issues to be corrected first before the hubris of a State change with its potential instability.
His points on the poorly thought out maintainence of our rail and road systems are co- gent and I agree with his observations. The cost is always thrown up as the killer but from my work with heavy rail in the Pilbara, maintaining a system is lower cost than the build at something like $3million/km single track, or $54+ million to Cowra.