Richard Moore: A Kiwi republic? Over my dead body


Oh dear, the republican stirrers are at it again and - once more - are completely deranged when it comes to pushing to rid this country of the monarchy.

You'd think that at the moment there would be more important issues to worry their pretty little heads about.

Unemployment is the biggie, having jumped to 7.3 per cent - the worst figure in 13 years.

That is seriously scary, particularly when you think that huge numbers of retail jobs are likely to go after Christmas as shop owners give up trying to make ends meet and just close their ventures.

In addition the world's economy is still parlous, with the Greeks about as likely to accept hard work and paying off their debts as I am to vote for a republic.

Ewww, the thought makes me shudder.

The main reason I see being put forward from the R-types is that they want a New Zealander as head of state. They want to be able to vote for them.

Dare one ask, why?

Who would you vote for as president of NZ?

John Key? Nope. David Shearer? Nope. Helen Clark? Gulp. Winston Peters? Teehee. Pita Sharples? How about Hone Harawira?

Me, I'd rather have a head of state - of either New Zealand or Australia - who is a figurehead of dignity well above the grubby politics that would occur if presidents were elected either side of the Tasman Sea.

Queen Elizabeth II has been my only monarch and when she passes on I'll gladly pledge my loyalty to Prince Charles, who will become King Charles III.

He is an outstanding man who was thinking green decades before it became a popular notion among the masses.

Another thing about our royal family is that while we have a connection to them through our British heritage, they live a very long way away and do not interfere with our day-to-day democracy.

They give us comfort from afar and are a link to our forebears.

Although I have to 'fess up here to having a couple of ancestors who fought with Cromwell's Roundhead armies against King Charles I during the English Civil War.

And a question I will put to any republican is ... would you want to have a president like George Dubya Bush? The man who said the French have no word for entrepreneur?

Didn't think so.

Back to Prince Charles.

I have almost always been a monarchist with one, momentary, exception and that involved our future king.

It was way back in the dark days of black-and-white TV and international flights arriving on the tarmac with not a covered connection to the terminal in sight.

Prince Charles was a young teen - around the early 1960s - and he was flying through New Zealand on his way elsewhere but hopped off his plane to greet a crowd of well-wishers in Auckland.

My granddad took me along to see his plane and he had me perched atop his shoulders to get a view as the Prince walked along the line of people.

Prince Charles saw me and put his hand out to shake mine but, being under 5, I got very shy and refused to shake his hand.

I know, shame on me ... but I was a very little-un.

Anyway with Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall in New Zealand, I was hoping they would visit Tauranga so I could get the chance to redeem myself and willingly shake the hand of my future king.

Sadly, it isn't to be this time around, but I do have a message for Prince Charles.

"Your Royal Highness, I have regretted not shaking your hand for almost five decades and at some stage would like to make up for my faux pas.

"Ignore the republican twerps, they do not understand the good you and your family do for the Commonwealth.

"You will make a wonderful king.

"Please say 'hi' to your Mum for me."

- Bay of Plenty Times

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