The whirlwind Royal visits from Denmark and the Old Dart have reaped a
political response in the nation’s capital: on Tuesday night, a group of
pollies and staffers from across the political spectrum met in Parliament House
to raise the ‘R’ word.

“We shouldn’t let the visit of ‘Our Mary’ galvanise the Monarchists,” the
meeting’s co-convenor, Liberal advisor Vince Taskunas, told the assembled crowd
over Jatz crackers and chardonnay. “The message should be: she’s done well, and
we’re proud of her — because she’s one of us, not because she’s a princess,”
said Taskunas, a Tasmanian and an advisor to Senate President Paul Calvert.

Former Democrats leader Andrew Bartlett welcomed Liberal Senator Mitch Fifield
with this line: “He is an example of someone who is a Parliamentary appointment
to the Senate, and I’m an example of someone who was directly elected, and both
of us work just fine.” Fifield, who filled a casual Senate vacancy last year,
pointed out that he will face the voters at the next election — unlike Prince
Charles.

New Labor poster girl Kate Ellis showed off her dimples
and her new “No Crowns”
sweatshirt, purchased on a recent trip to Tokyo. Former republican movement
chief Malcolm Turnbull popped in for five minutes, but the most surprising
moment came when co-convenor, Democrats staffer Jo Pride, announced the
apologies: including one from one rusted-on monarchist Bronwyn Bishop.

While the republican crowd look forward to Bronny’s attendance at their next
meeting, they aren’t holding their breath.

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey
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