Sorry, Verity, but you didn’t really have to stay up late to listen to Her Majesty on Christmas Day

Some flibberty jibbet has cut loose in the Herald today (see here) with a load of twaddle about the Monarchy.

Verity Johnson, to put a name to the lass, apparently has been hired as a columnist to give a teenager’s perspective of this, that and the other.

So long as she focused on this, that and the other, Alf would have no quarrel.

But when she focuses on Her Majesty, he bridles…

This Johnson bint is banging on today about staying up for the Queen’s speech on Christmas Day.

My family decreed that we would. But being the hard-core teen I am I’d fallen asleep by 10.30. That was lucky because my anti-monarchy sniping normally causes fruit to be thrown.

Dunno what planet she was on when she wrote that pap.

The Grumbles watched the speech on Christmas Day – standing proudly to attention and proudly brandishing their Union Jacks – around 7pm.

Verity could have checked out the time here.

7.00pm HRH The Queen’s Christmas Message
The Queen presents her annual message to the Commonwealth

Had she checked here, she would have learned –

The Christmas message tradition began in 1932 with a radio broadcast by George V on the British Broadcasting Corporation Empire Service. It is one of the few instances when the sovereign speaks publicly without advice from any ministers of the Crown in any of the monarch’s realms. Planning for each year’s address begins months earlier, when the monarch establishes a theme and appropriate archival footage is collected and assembled; the actual speech is recorded a few days prior to Christmas. In the United Kingdom and on the Internet, broadcast of the Queen’s Christmas message is embargoed until 3:00 PM GMT, but every year New Zealand is the first in the Commonwealth to broadcast it.

So there. We get to hear the speech before the Poms. That’s not the stuff of being subservient to the Home Country.

Verity goes on to declare she is not recklessly republican.

“I think Britain needs a Queen. I just don’t think New Zealand does.”

She then treats us to an adolescent recollection of her citizenship ceremony, an occasion which would never have been permitted had Alf had any say in who becomes a citizen.

Her private school education had trained her to expect every ceremony would be

… a stuffy English-esque affair; an event with all the bubbliness of a state funeral and double the pomp. But my citizenship ceremony was a diamond occasion; it was a night that crystallised the fun, friendly, free spirit of this country.

So you can imagine my annoyance when I had to swear an oath of allegiance to the Queen.

She didn’t have to swear an oath, of course.

She could have stuck to whatever barmy set of principles are guiding her by foregoing the oath and the citizenship that goes with it.

Even better, she would have gone back to where she comes from.

But she is young and, Alf supposes, suffers from the fluffy thinking that comes from hormones running rampant.

I’m 18 and everyone my age wants to know: what does the monarchy actually do for New Zealand?

Our Prime Minister, Governor-General and Finance Minister are all Kiwis. We have our own Parliament, justice system and laws. What do we need from the monarchy except juicy gossip?

When my friends and I discuss it, we can’t figure out what the Queen does. She’s like a consultant: no one knows what they do.

Alf suggests Verity goes here to find out what the Queen does.

She might further consider the information recorded here, which includes –

In November 1999, a referendum in Australia on the future of the Australian monarchy favoured its retention in preference to an indirectly elected head of state.[182] Polls in Britain in 2006 and 2007 revealed strong support for Elizabeth,[183] and referenda in Tuvalu in 2008 and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines in 2009 both rejected proposals to become republics.[184]

Verity goes on to argue –

Frankly, I think it’s a little patronising that England still imposes its Queen on us. It implies that New Zealand is a backward rock, not able or not trustworthy enough to lead itself.

But Britain imposes nothing on us nowadays, including the speech.

TVNZ was not obliged to screen it.

Nor is New Zealand bound by anything to maintain its links with the monarchy.

It does so because while it might not be perfect – a bit like democracy – it is better than the alternatives.


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