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Friday, 4 July 2008

Kylie's OBE show ran on the ABC after everything else because it is the biggest story.

What came before? Complaints about muelsing by PETA, again in Europe. The story ran into a wool design award won by a man with a Chinese name - Shanghai designer Qiu Hao.

After the program break the main item was climate change and Chinese investment in Australian mining.

After Alan Kohler we watched a story about bullying in the NSW Ambulance Service. Next we heard about August medal chances in womens basketball. This was followed by a rugby union piece which focused on a telegenic young man given the job of running line-outs. Australia and France play tonight.

When the Kylie segment came on we got a tantalising glimpse of her sequinned stars, but that's all. When Kevin Rudd visited Buckingham Palace in May, his green-and-gold (the tie, see pic below) stood out.

After this, pictures with green and yellow predominant gathered momentum. The shot, included before Kylie's below, of a Macquarie Street news spot gives an idea.

But Kylie's meeting with the heir to the Australian throne was designed to take attention off her costume, and place it on the prince - bestowing a fragment of grace on a loyal subject.

This is great PR for the royal family. It's also a sign of how dislocated our political process is; the problem being that Elizabeth holds such a strong claim on collective feelings here.

Perhaps with Charles we have a chance - a historic one - of unlocking the bonds of cosanguineity. The kind of PR event we saw today will not help but there are other ways to skin a cat.

Why Australians insist on believing in sovereignty is a puzzle. It just cannot be, under current arrangements. A recent story on the governor-general, Michael Jeffrey, makes plain the fact that this is not a sovereign state.

During his term, Jeffrey told us, he "sent back" numerous items of legislation. "About eleven" was his estimate. If true, what kind of relationship does the GG have with London?

To be, in any form, independent, Jeffrey - and his successor - needs some official privilege. Some information must be available to the GG that the prime minister lacks.

But what? The trouble is listed among Jeffrey's many beefs against the media and modern culture generally. Despite 700,000 hits on the GG website monthly and hundreds of photo opportunities, the media don't get involved.

As a result, there's no opportunity for a message to get out. If we can have fun picking colours out of Kevin Rudd's tie, surely there are places within ceremony for information to pass through the - apparently - hermetic membrane that currently fits between our head of state and the unwashed.

It's time for a rethink. Kylie did her best - stars are also found on the part of the flag not occupied by the Union Jack. Maybe Quentin Bryce can do better?

From the Sydney Morning Herald article (13 June 2008):

The Governor-General says he meets the prime minister about once a month when the elected leader comes around "to have breakfast and a catch-up". He also regularly holds court with ministers who come to present legislation or seek his approval of various appointments.

What data does he capture during interactions with Her Majesty?

"I talk to the Queen about how Australia's going but I find that she's very well informed anyway. She does her homework."

And what about Kylie Minogue?

"It's glitzy celebrity rather than genuine celebrity in terms of substance, and what people have achieved through hard work and skill and compassion and innovation. It's the celebrity based on other things, different sorts of values which I don't see as values at all."



Kylie Minogue receives OBE from Prince Charles
Kylie Minogue receives OBE from Prince Charles
Kylie Minogue receives OBE from Prince Charles
Kylie Minogue receives OBE from Prince Charles
Kylie Minogue receives OBE from Prince Charles
Kylie Minogue receives OBE from Prince Charles
Kylie Minogue receives OBE from Prince Charles
Kylie Minogue receives OBE from Prince Charles
Kylie Minogue receives OBE from Prince Charles
Kylie Minogue receives OBE from Prince Charles
Kylie Minogue receives OBE from Prince Charles
Kylie Minogue receives OBE from Prince Charles

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