Relics of colonialism

The Whitlam dismissal and the Palace letters

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  • Published 20180206
  • ISBN: 9781925603293
  • Extent: 264pp
  • Paperback (234 x 153mm), eBook

We will make better decisions on all the great issues of the day and
for the century to come, if we better understand the past.
Gough Whitlam[i]

THE CELEBRATION OF the ‘Queen’s birthday’ in Australia is a perfect reflection of a fading, remnant, relationship. Commemorated in the Australian states as a public holiday on three different days – none of which is in fact her birthday – and honouring an event of dubious significance, the ‘Queen’s birthday’ reminds us that despite our national independence the symbolic ties of colonial deference remain. The ‘Queen’s birthday’ may seem a fitting if absurd genuflection to a powerless relic of a former time, and in itself confirmation that the Queen no longer has a role in post-dominion matters, but things are not always as they seem.

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