Leunig on the monarchy
quote from 'The Age', 21/8/99
As the referendum in which Australians will vote to become a republic draws close, inevitably "celebrities" have spoken out, or been drawn out, by both sides as a way of soliciting public favour for their cause. It was recently reported by the press that the Prime Minister had solicited former cricket captain Mark Taylor to campaign for the Monarchist's side, a claim both parties denied immediately. As a result there has been some debate about the use of celebrities to sway public opinion on the issue. In this article, the author follows this Leunig quote (which he sought specifically for the article) with:
"Leunig's declaration, extracted after a discussion with this reporter (Greene), may unintentionally become part of the celebrity appeal tussle being waged between the two sides in the runup to the November 6 referendum."
"Republicans tip the scale with celebrity appeal" (extract)
By Gervase Greene, Canberra
Leunig is quoted:
"I'm finding that I have quite unexpected feelings about this. I never saw the monarchy as a political structure, but as a cultural structure, and I have a poetical affection for what it was.. I have Irish, German, even English blood in me, I never used to stand up when the anthem was played at the pictures...but there's a favorable feeling I had when I was a child - and I saw the Queeen as a child - and it was a happy time.
We might be losing the dreaming of this country, a part of it, anyway. In every country town you'll see a picture of her, and we'd suffer to lose this. There'd be an outpouring of Queen-grief, if you like.
I'm always suspicious of those who think we can re-invent oursleves. It's a fatuous term, and it's cultural rationalism."
15th May 1999 - Leunig accepts Doctor of Letters - Press clipping, the Age (61K jpg)
13th August 1988 - Leunig Postage Stamps released
Exhibition / Book Reviews and Editorials
Leunig Animated - Phaedra Giblin, Artwrite 2002
Feature: Michael Leunig - The Age, June 27, 2004