INDEPENDENT NEWS

Why Are We Bothering With The Queen Mum?

Published: Fri 4 Aug 2000 03:21 PM
THE Republican Movement is amazed at New Zealand's obsession with the Queen Mum.
100th birthday," Republican Movement president Dave Guerin said today. "Her family and friends should celebrate but why are we bothering on the other side of the world?
"Isn't it sad that we don't celebrate in the same way the lives of those who really have affected New Zealand? Other New Zealanders celebrate significant achievements and milestones every day, but they are not covered by the media or lauded in Parliament.
Stalwart New Zealand supporters of the monarchy have been desperately trying to resuscitate interest in the Queen Mother's birthday and the Queen's 50th Jubilee celebrations as they seek to consolidate a defence of the Royals' role in New Zealand.
Former MPs Sir Peter Tapsell and Ian Revell have agreed to be patrons of the Monarchist League of New Zealand in a bid to raise the organisation's profile; the New Zealand Returned Services Association has successfully applied for a Royal Patent to call itself the Royal New Zealand Returned Services Association; and supporters of knighthoods and damehoods are going straight to Buckingham Palace as they seek to retain their chances at titles.
But Mr Guerin said we should be focusing on celebrating our own achievements in our own way: "Let's shift the focus to what really matters for us, and not a family event on the other side of the world," he said.
"The Queen Mum's birthday is a very important event for her family and friends, and for people whom she has affected in her life. The Republican Movement wishes her well, as we would any other person reaching her age and getting their telegram from the Queen.
"But she has had a minimal influence on New Zealand and the huge coverage she has received is out of all proportion. All New Zealand means to her is good trout fishing - and she means even less to us. There is no justification for the coverage, so why bother?"
ENDS

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