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Sunday, May 25, 2003

The resignation of Australia's Governor General

I do not have much to say about the allegations that led to Peter Hollingworth's resignation. However, I am delighted to see him gone. Here's how ‘The Age’ reported it
Peter Hollingworth has succumbed to months of controversy over his handling of child sex abuse complaints by announcing his resignation as Australia's Governor-General

Dr Hollingworth will hand a formal resignation letter to Prime Minister John Howard at Government House in Canberra today - less than two years into his five-year term.
Here's the article in full. Ever since a previous Governor General had dismissed a democratically elected government, I have thought the position anomalous. Gough Whitlam, Australian Prime Minister in 1975, was sacked by the Governor General of the time: John Kerr. Read more about the issue here.

Now, whatever the complaint against Whitlam, the matter was one for the Australian electorate. While it is notionally possible for the Queen to dismiss a UK parliament, to have her nominated place man with the prerogative to dismiss an Australian government is intolerable.

I am, accordingly, offering myself as a replacement to the retiring Hollingworth. I promise my Aussie friends that I would never interfere with Australian politics and, given the opportunity, I would recommend and vote for the abolition of the office of Governor General - I’d only be there for the wine.

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