The death of the Queen, the fading of a generation

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The hardest thing to stomach with the Queen’s death is a sense that a whole generation is slipping away. The West has prospered immensely in the post-WWII period. In this sense, the Queen represented Western stability and political self-assurance. With her death, our mourning represents both a desire to not let go of our past and a collective anxiety about what comes next.
Kirk Weeden, Frankston

The privilege of a royal birth
The problem I have with a monarchy is that it perpetuates the idea that some people are more worthy than others based on the circumstances of their birth. Being born rich and powerful does not make you a better person.
There have been many monarchs in history who were insane, evil or just plain stupid. Supporting a monarchy is expensive for governments and is intrinsically anti-democratic. It perpetuates the concept of some people being born more worthy than others.
It is also nonsense to talk about the royal family doing a good job. They have no job. If they all quit tomorrow, it would have no impact on the economy except perhaps for the British tourism industry.
Peter Hendrickson, East Melbourne

Democracy allows open discussion
It didn’t take long for Australia’s monarchists to come out of hiding to tag republicans talking about republican issues surrounding the death of the Queen as insensitive and disrespectful. What nonsense. That we as a nation can talk about the Queen’s death and about an inevitable Australian republic in the same breath simply shows that we are living in a modern democracy, albeit one in which our democracy has a foreigner as head of state. And to be quite frank, it is not the job of republicans to feel devastated at the death of a monarch.
Mark Tomkinson, Bridgetown, WA

The role of governor-general must go
Well may we say ″⁣God save the King″⁣ because nothing will save the anachronism the governor-general has become. Instead of singing for a ″⁣victorious, happy and glorious″⁣ reign, it’s time we proclaimed our free and independent country to be a republic.
Kevin Burke, Sandringham

We shall not see her like again
Queen Elizabeth II worked tirelessly to serve her people in the delivery of a robust democracy. She also worked relentlessly in the pursuit of connecting all people around the world, gently encouraging each village, network and nation to do what they do, in the way they do it, better. No other monarch in history has done that. Or will.
An exemplary life’s work by an exceptional woman.
Nina Wellington Iser, Hawthorn

Two worlds, side by side
When I travelled to London, I went to Buckingham Palace like many other tourists. On the way, I noticed cardboard pieces from boxes cluttering the doorways of some shopfronts. They were used by homeless people for overnight shelter from the cold.
When I exited the train at the Tube station near the palace, it was raining. Water was falling in pools on the ground where homeless people were sleeping on an old mattress.
Buckingham Palace is a colossal building, like the British parliament with armed guards out the front. There were stables around the back to look after and provide shelter and warmth for the Queen’s horses, with a high fence and security cameras to keep out unwanted intruders and to protect Her Majesty’s prime real estate.
I could think of only one question. What kind of society allows this level of extreme inequality to exist? Where horses live better than homeless humans?
John Glazebrook, Terang

FORUM

Past their time
Watching the proclamation of King Charles III and other related ceremonies has simply reinforced my view that these old British traditions are detached and irrelevant to our ancient and modern land.
Geoff Wasley, Berwick

Why the long break?
The Queen was most admired for her commitment to duty regardless of difficulties and circumstance. So it’s rather incongruous that Australian MPs are given two weeks off from parliament because of her death.
It’s possible to both mourn and continue one’s duties. If our MPs wish to honour the Queen’s legacy the last thing they should do is take this break.
Mark Freeman, Macleod

Watershed moment
The life of Elizabeth II truly exemplified the bygone concept of ″⁣noblesse oblige″⁣ and her death is a timely reminder of her, and her antecedents, long connection to Australia. Arthur Phillip claimed the continent in the name of George III at a time when a majority of British citizens had no say in who governed them, aristocratic privilege was entrenched in a hierarchical class order and foreign lands were there for the taking as the spoils of empire.
As a country formed out of conquest, dispossession and ongoing settlement I will rest more easily if our representatives used the period of mourning to reflect on the urgent need to negotiate a just treaty that would compensate and protect the First Nations, a head of state selected in merit not breeding, and the renunciation of all foreign wars not authorised by the United Nations.
David Perkins,
Reid, ACT

Beware US example
Those calling for a republic should note that the monarchy in the UK produced 70 years of the reign of Queen Elizabeth II, whereas in America the republic produced four years of the presidency of Donald Trump, with the threat of another four years.
Tony O’Brien, South Melbourne

A goal to aim for
The coverage of the Queen’s death has been broad and deep, but sadly it has pushed football off the front page. Though she may have been our head of state, the Queen was irrelevant to most. Football, however, is the glue that binds us together. It is both our secular religion and our national identity. Now that it’s finals it is our most religious month of the year. As the days of mourning pass, can we please read more about football and less about a meaningless foreign monarch.
Gabriel Dabscheck, Elsternwick

Cynical ploy
Anthony Albanese calls a national public holiday on a random day (Thursday, September 22), that just happens to be immediately before the AFL grand final holiday on the 23rd in Victoria.
It is difficult to see this as anything other than a cynical ploy to garner Labor favour with Victorians ahead of the state election, as a mid-week public holiday is disruptive to most businesses Australia wide – and largely unnecessary, given the state polls.
Why not call the holiday for a Monday or actually on the day of the funeral?
Teresa Dowding,
Hoppers Crossing

Death be not cowed
It seems that death has died with the Queen. Can I now be relieved that I will not die but only pass?
Jenny McGuirk, Bundoora

The climate king
Question: Who said the new king can’t be ″⁣apolitical″⁣ and a climate change warrior at the same time?
Answer: All those with a vested interest in portraying the climate emergency as a political issue rather than a global existential crisis.
Bernd Rieve, Brighton

Reflect the present
With the death of the Queen now is the time to talk about and once again push for a republic in Australia. We must take the opportunity to once and for all cut ourselves loose from the anachronistic monarchy that bears no resemblance to modern Australia.
A republic and an Indigenous Voice to parliament in the Constitution. Now that would be a fantastic result.
Jack Morris, Kennington

Comparing notes
Stephen Bartholomeusz (Comment, 9/9) puts Qantas’ recent performance into context, by explaining that its operating on par with most airlines around the world. We need to hear many more of those comparisons, particularly regarding Reserve Bank equivalents, hospital systems, ambulance services, vaccination rates and COVID deaths. Hopefully that would make many people that bit happier about life in our great country.
John Groom, Bentleigh

Work perspectives
Qantas CEO Alan Joyce’s salary last year was more than $2 million. Just to put that into some perspective: I have been in the workforce for about 45 years, doing all the hack work that allows people like Joyce to earn the obscene salaries that they do. During that time I would probably not have earned $2 million in total.
Greg Brown, Tarneit

Sogavare’s tactics
Solomon Islands Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare shows himself to be a master of political manoeuvre and skilled manipulator, not only of Solomons’ politics, but also of suitor nations – China and Australia – to gain his own political ends and advantage.
The Solomons’ elections, scheduled for 2023, will be now as Sogavare wanted, delayed until 2024 – allegedly to allow for the logistics of hosting the Pacific Games, but styled as a “power grab” by opposition party members. Australia, after being castigated for ″⁣foreign interference” for offering financial help to hold the elections when they should be held, has now had its offer graciously accepted. And China is building seven venues and stadiums for the Games.
Not only does Sogavare have his cake, but he gets to eat it too.
Susan Caughey, Glen Iris

Social housing needs
Brendan Coates and Joey Moloney (Comment, 9/9) in their article on super funds investing in housing raise an important point on the reform of state land tax. However, they fail to understand the most basic of the objectives of super funds. It is not to maximise returns but to do so against the risks involved and an ethical overlay that is determined by members. That is why super funds have invested in bonds and hold cash. If it was a 101 finance course, their answer would have them fail. From this simple mistake they then confused input and output.
If a super fund invests in social housing, they own the asset and the land. Both are market-based assets. The rents will be subsidised by governments in many areas. This reduces the risk to the investor. In fact, any historical analysis will show that the funds would not be subsidising social housing. There is more likely a need to cap because the investments will return a higher yield.
There is absolutely no reason why governments and super funds cannot work together to deal with a fundamental market failure: a waiting list of 50,000 in search of a house. It is true that a big build may stretch resources over the next few years. But Victoria has fallen behind. Sadly, for a lifelong ALP supporter the truth is that Henry Bolte built a lot more public and social housing per capita than recent generations of governments.
Bill Kelty, Eltham

Miles ahead of the game
Such well-deserved recognition for Miles Allinson’s In Moonland as The Age’s Book of the Year (″⁣Prized tales of community and courage″⁣, The Age, 9/9).
I know Miles as a helpful seller at my local bookstore, and someone who has given me recommendations for new reads that are always spot on, and have stretched my passion for books. When I wasn’t in the mood for a particular genre Miles still showed me his top picks in that field, wanting me to clock them for a future time, when I was ready.
Miles is so passionate about reading and getting the right book in people’s hands. It’s great to see things come full circle, with his In Moonland being promoted as a top new read.
Vardit Leizerovitz, Richmond

Wrong conclusion
To draw a relevance between the change of government in late May and the increase in the number of COVID deaths in aged care is absurd. Evidence is very clear that winter is the reason for the increases in both COVID cases and deaths.
Judy Kevill, Ringwood

Home ground advantage
Greg Baum (11/9) writes that in the past 12 seasons Geelong finished in the top four nine times, winning the premiership only once. Their home ground’s size and shape, upon which they have developed their game plan and won 87 per cent of games could be a factor. It is 10 metres longer and 26 metres narrower than the MCG.
Each player has an average of 65 square metres more space to work in at the ’G. In a high-pressure finals game, small margins of time and space using an oval ball can change the outcome significantly.
Andrew Smith, Leongatha

Always next year
In 2021, the Demons had few injuries and only one long term with Adam Tomlinson ably replaced by Harrison Petty. Unfortunately 2022 was totally different, with lots of injuries and other off-field distractions. Many players also played with minor injuries, thus not playing at their most lethal.
Hopefully 2023 will bring them back to their killer best. One sure thing about football, there is always next year.
Marie Nash, Balwyn

He knows what he wants
Non-stop discussion of matters monarchic is driving me towards a system more anarchic.
Greg Curtin, Blackburn South

AND ANOTHER THING

Royal family
Those pushing the republic agenda among the letters of condolences at the death of Queen Elizabeth II should read Peter Hartcher’s “A republic is way down the list″⁣ (10/9).
Anne Kruger, Rye

Witnessing King Charles III’s automatic accession to king, it’s about time we got over all this nonsense about the divine right of kings (and queens).
Lawrie Bradly, Surrey Hills

The Queen’s body is not even cold and the Australian republicans are already banging on.
Bob Whiteside, Nth Warrandyte

One thing which won’t have to change with the elevation of King Charles III, postage stamps. Nobody uses them any more.
Reg Murray, Glen Iris

Imagine, one is 73 and today is one’s first day at work.
Paul Custance, Highett

Cavalier King Charles spaniels seem likely to replace corgis as the in-house dogs at Buckingham Palace.
Ian Powell, Glen Waverley

Maybe we should rename ABC2 to QE2.
Alan Inchley, Frankston

At 91, I’ve lived through five British monarchs: King George V, King Edward VIII, King George VI, Queen Elizabeth II and King Charles III. Long live the king!
Myra Fisher, Brighton East

Furthermore
We should not be giving another cent to Solomon Islands. Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare treats Australia like rubbish. Why help him?
Bill Thomson, Newport

So the Architectural Digest has named Southern Cross Station as the 10th most beautiful in the world. Could you run that past me again please?
Jim Pilmer, Camberwell

Cheer up Dees fans. I hear there is still plenty of snow up at Hotham and Buller.
Ken Richards, Elwood

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