‘Howard misses out on knighthood’ – headline from the SMH today, and I’m not linking to it, because it doesn’t deserve your traffic: it’s a silly beat-up about how he didn’t get to join the Order of the Garter even though no-one seems to have expected that he would, not even, I bet, the journo writing the story.
It got my attention at first because it seems to sum up the way the media are being quite creepy and stalkerish about Howard, even noticing things that he isn’t doing, when the healthy thing to do would be to just let it go and get on with your lives, guys.
And then I wondered if the ghastly hollowness of the story is an almost exact match for the hollowness of ‘our constitutional monarchy’, which is defined by absence and impotence. Perhaps the very pointlessness is the point. Certainly the republican debate has become almost as empty as the monarchy itself, and one day we’ll realise that since 1986 we have actually been a republic, and that all subsequent debates are no more than an argument about whether we leave the Union Jack curtains up or take them down.