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Madonna King imagines a governor-general’s royal correspondence

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Queen Elizabeth,
Buckingham Palace,
London
SW1A 1AA United Kingdom

Your Majesty,

As I pen this month’s dispatch, you might already be aware of the happenings causing some public consternation in your Australia.

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It is important that I explain how this unfolded; this is not something, as you can well understand with matters involving your family, that is fit for public consumption.

It involves the former prime minister and former treasurer, resources, health and home affairs minister. Yes, his title leading up to the election was long – but one voters were not aware of, at least until now.

I was, but I was following the Constitution to the letter and have done exactly what you require me to do. Nothing.

Earlier this year, Mr Morrison contacted me. He wanted to have an extra portfolio. Health, I think. And then I’m not sure of the order, but within weeks he was his own government, taking on a handful of portfolios.

It wasn’t my place to tell his ministers he’d usurped their powers. There’s nothing in the Constitution that would suggest that. And it is not my place, as your representative in Australia, to encourage him to share the news – with either his Cabinet or the public – that he had indeed, become his own government. Nor is it my job to warn him.

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As your representative, I understand my role is to live in the official residence, which I might add is looking spectacular this winter all 54 hectares of parkland. And to look after your interests.

And that’s why I want to explain Mr Morrison’s motivation, which has not yet been the subject of any public commentary.

In 2019, the former prime minister was involved in an unseemly drama, when he professed that his job was not to fight fires. His exact words were “I don’t hold a hose, mate’’.

The public, especially perhaps our firefighters, did not take kindly to that statement and that might have been exacerbated by the fact that we were in the middle of a bushfire crisis.

Mr Morrison told me – and he has not confirmed publicly that we did speak several times – that he wanted to hold the hose; he’d learnt from his mistakes.

Now this, of course, is quite figurative. But he wanted to run the hospitals, if needed, in the same way he believes he could have stopped the bushfires, if he’d just taken that hose.

He wasn’t sure, but thought we might need to print more money. COVID-19, he said, was turning everything upside down.

You will understand that, as I know your trips to Balmoral were curtailed repeatedly during the height of COVID, and no doubt your hunting trips too. My wife and I wanted to travel to the Continent and had to delay that also.

I was following the Constitution to the letter and have done exactly what you require me to do. Nothing.

So Mr Morrison’s rationale seemed genuine. He wanted to ensure our resources were safe, so took on the resources portfolio. And he was worried about terrorism, so he decided to tack on home affairs to the weighty job he reminded me he does for about three-quarters of my own salary.

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Once again, I cite the Constitution, my guide in this job. No mention of hoses, so I believed this was all acceptable.

He explained he did not want to alert his colleagues, and I accept that a good leader doesn’t always share everything. That’s what I’m doing now, with the Australian public.

It seems this hose incident meant he wanted to be hands-on, no matter what. Whether it was to conduct operations on COVID patients, or set up special hospitals in particular electorates, slap down resource proposals or chase down terrorists, I don’t know.

Nothing in the Constitution tells me to question the nation’s second-in-charge.

Of course, times change and now, as a backbencher, Mr Morrison says it is important that he not get caught up in daily politics, and that the media should stay away from his home.

I suspect you know how that feels also; journalists packed outside the four-metre fence that protects you from those you serve.

Perhaps the media can be the topic of next month’s dispatch. I’ve taken too much of your time already.

But Your Majesty, all is well in your Down Under. And I will continue to undertake my job, to the letter of the law, eschewing those demands for further explanation. As always, your behaviour has been a guide here.

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Your faithful servant,

General the Honourable David Hurley, AC DSC (Retd)

The post ‘Dear Your Majesty’: Madonna King imagines a governor-general’s royal correspondence appeared first on The New Daily.

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