Jonathan Milne is a former reporter for the Herald on Sunday.

Jonathan Milne: Crown is a cruel burden


I had never thought the circumstances around the arrival of a happy, healthy baby could make me so angry.

Nothing against the baby, of course. What infuriates me is the revolting manner in which we have seized ownership of this baby's life before little Prince George had a chance to choose his own destiny. We have no more right to claim this baby as our future head of state than this baby has the right to claim us as his future subjects.

Our Prime Minister hopes the baby will one day be king of New Zealand. Seriously? John Key wants to lock in the boy's career options the day he is born?

And his vision for New Zealand is that, in 50 or 60 years' time, we will be ruled by an unelected English blue-blood who has never lived in New Zealand, whose succession is determined by sexism, racism and religious bigotry? Shame.

As Kiwis, we have spent the past few centuries fighting bigotry. We proudly remember Kate Sheppard and women's suffrage, the Springbok protests and, just this year, the Marriage Equality Bill. We should look to elect our own head of state rather than embedding bigotry at the highest level of our constitution.

Shame on you, too, Sir Lockwood Smith. Speaking after Wills and Kate presented their baby to the hordes outside the hospital, our High Commissioner to London said they would make excellent parents.

"And we saw that," he added, with nauseating sycophancy. "They were just wonderful as they brought their baby out."

What defined them as "excellent parents" in their two-minute choreographed appearance before the TV cameras?

That they didn't drop the baby? They may well turn out to be good parents. But Lockwood, if you want excellent parents, come home - meet some south Auckland solo parents, or the mums and dads who hold down two or three jobs to give their kids a chance in life.

I wish Wills and Kate and their baby the best in life. I wish that this baby may have the freedom to choose his own path, rather than being forced down the anachronistic and offensive path of hereditary succession to the royal throne of the United Kingdom and the far-flung realm of New Zealand.

As I do for my own children, I wish this child may have a fulfilled life, free from hatred and bigotry - not defined by it.

And as for New Zealand - I wish we would all show a little self-respect, rather than kow-towing to a foreign monarchy like medieval peasants.

Right, my email is below ... let the hate mail commence. I can take it.

- Herald on Sunday

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Jonathan Milne is a former reporter for the Herald on Sunday.

Jonathan Milne is a former reporter and deputy editor of the Herald on Sunday. He specialised in politics and education. He won awards for his newspaper and magazine journalism in New Zealand and the UK.

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