Having lit an enormous fire over the looming dominace by “King” John Howard in the pages of The SMH and The Australan today, the Senate’s long serving and incorruptible Clerk, Harry Evans, has gone to ground.

He was declining calls by radio and TV to repeat on air his bold comments in features for The Herald and The Australian – and splashed all over the front page of today’s SMH:
‘Senate boss blasts PM’s monarchy’
http://www.smh.com.au/news/national/senate-boss-blasts-pms-monarchy/20
05/06/20/1119250927991.html

“”We no longer have parliamentary government in any meaningful sense of
the term,'” he wrote, describing Howard as a man who “rules all he
surveys”.

Evans is a long-time defener of the parliament, and it’s unlikely he
was withdrawing at the behest of the PM’s office. He has tangled
with governments of both persuasions when necessary for more than 20
years in his role as the Senate’s impartial advisor. He just knows how
far to go when fanning controversial flames.

Check out Evans’ strongly worded warning about the dangers posed by the
Coalition’s total control of both houses of Parliament here:
‘A day spent in the public gallery would shock the founding fathers’
http://www.smh.com.au/news/opinion/a-day-spent-in-the-public-gallery-w
ould-shock-the-founding-fathers/2005/06/20/1119250926616.html

Evans’ piece in the Australian is more moderated, but no less
significant:
‘Abuse of majority too risky’:
http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/common/story_page/0,5744,15674988
%255E7583,00.html

He raised the issue in an interview on 2UE yesterday: “There is in
Australia an enormous concentration of power in the Prime Minister.
People don’t realise this, that we really have a sort of elective
monarchy where, you know, you elect the monarch and…[he] rules all he
surveys.”

They are words that deserve to ring loud as the Government assumes
total control after this last week of the “old” Senate. They indicate
that come July 1, the most potent and cogent Opposition may not come
from the chamber’s political ranks.