Peter Fitzsimons and the Republic

One of my life’s privileges is that I count Peter Fitzsimons as one of my friends, and I have enjoyed reading all of his books. His latest “Eureka” ranks with “Batavia” as his best. It is sub-titled “The Unfinished Revolution”.

If you read it objectively — and it is written in a factual style that stirs excitement — you will join the ranks of Australian Republicans instantly.

The Eureka Stockade is a tragic story of a dumb and oppressive colonial government, led by two incompetents, La Trobe and Hotham, who deliberately murdered miners at Ballarat. For sure, the miners contained some wild Irishmen who started a rebellion against the cost of mining licenses, and this inflamed a government that had a very low opinion of the Irish anyway.

There was fault on both sides, but the fact is that each individual miner paid more for renting his few yards of creek bed than a grazier paid to lease 10,000 acres nearby.

The tragedy showed that Australia is a totally different nation to privileged realm of the English gentry, and always will be. It’s time to now show that we are utterly independent, but to get anywhere in achieving that goal, we will have to get rid of States and their Governors first of all.

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