‘Embarrassing’ truth about royal tour

 

COMMENT

The Prime Minister Scott Morrison has come up with the brilliant idea of inviting The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, William and Kate, to tour fire-ravaged areas in Australia.

This idea is up there with forcing handshakes on traumatised people or using Lara Bingle to swear at tourists.

This is straight out of the Scotty from marketing playbook.

This is against a background of the most intense and longest bushfire season in the nation's history, where thankfully less lives were lost than on Black Saturday in 2009. We're now in the rebuilding phase, our nation is in a period of healing and reflecting on how things may have been done differently and we just don't need them here.

As Australians we know what the devastation of natural disaster is, we know how to pull together for each other and how to start again.

We don't need a couple of Brits to ask us mundane questions and make some quaint observations.

Does a country town really need to down tools and front up for a meet and greet with the royals while there's so much work that needs to be done.

Don't get me wrong I'm not a republican for the sake of it or a royal hater. I think, of the lot, Wills and Kate deport themselves beautifully and are the only viable royals. Harry and Meghan have quit, The Queen and Prince Phillip are too old to travel and Prince Andrew is practically on a watch list.

What possible good could a visit from the royal family do apart from filling Australia's gaping leadership vacuum left by the bushfire crisis, a breach that Gladys Berejiklian and Daniel Andrews leapt in to and filled admirably?

 

The spurious argument that it will result in $1 billion in tourism is pie in the sky stuff, a figure grabbed out of nowhere.

The world saw Australia on fire and now it knows that the fires are out. So tourism will inevitably pick up again if anyone is choosing to travel internationally at all after the coronavirus outbreak.

But let's get back to the Royals as a visiting entity. The family is a damaged brand reeling from their particular type of self-inflicted wounds.

The Prince Andrew Jeffrey Epstein controversy is just out of view, the departure of Harry and Meghan from royal duties is still the focus of royal watchers and with the recent round of divorces they now appear more like an ordinary family than ever before and that's what they are, a dysfunctional, extremely privileged family.

The embarrassing thing for our nation is how excited we get that an English couple are going to condescend to come here and view the terrible destruction.

Sure the couple draw a crowd – but what actual good will they do? Picture: Jeremy Piper
Sure the couple draw a crowd – but what actual good will they do? Picture: Jeremy Piper

It'd be great if they came and rolled up their sleeves and mucked in for a week in Mallacoota or Batemans Bay. That'd be a turn up for the books but then I am an idealist and a dreamer.

I suppose William's hairstyle is a perfect lesson in fuel load reduction and there's nothing like the handshake of a witheringly rich Royal to ease the pain of losing your house.

Wills and Kate if you really want to help send dollars not platitudes. Prime Minister stop trying to hide behind another average marketing idea and lead.

You can catch Lawrence every weekday morning, 6am-9am, on Triple M Sydney's Moonman in the Morning.


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