Cork Examiner: In an interview with secretary to the British Minister for Foreign Relations surprising revelations have been made with regards to Australia. Constantine Pertwee who has been secretary to a number of Ministers in the department was frank and forthcoming to our reporter Paddy Reilly in a recent in-depth interview. Here is an extract.
R: So, what exactly is the present government's view of Australia, Mr Pertwee?
P: Our last colony. We have a Governor General there and we have our boys in high places to look after our affairs. We were sorry to see Johnny Howard go. He was a loyal servant, always played down our concerns in public as if they didn't matter. He was a great ally but their present leader Julia Gillard was born in Wales and opposition leader Tony Abbott is also a Brit born and bred. Things couldn't be better.
R: Why the big interest in Australia?
P: Got to do with our relations to the US and of course mineral wealth which the Ozzies have in abundance.
R: So, you are hanging onto it.
P: We are stalling any republican debate until we get well dug in. We let things slip but we have seen the error of our ways. We sent Sir Richard Branson over to take over the airlines and he has done a terrific job. He employs a huge work-force and when he hoovers his competitors we will have a monopoly on air travel which of course is the life-blood of that huge continent. Branson is there for keeps. Gordon Ramsay... well, he tried. We were hoping for a massive chain of his restaurants to stretch from Brisbane to Perth. But.... incompetence ruined his and our expectations. The newspapers and media are, of course, in our control. We have made the biggest deal out of the royal wedding. Bigger even than here. All about timing old boy. Timing is the key to this sort of thing.
R: Concerning the last debate when Australia voted on whether to get rid of Britain and go it alone with a republic.....
P: Was never going to happen. We gave orders to rig the election papers so the voter hadn't a clue what he was voting for. Worked a charm as it has always worked in any country we have taken over. Idiots didn't see it coming either. An awful lot of them are foreigners too who can hardly read let alone make sense of the election form we saddled them with. We keep our claws In the continent in all sorts of ways.
R: Such as?
P: Well, I cannot say too much about that. Let's just say we have a broad portfolio from architecture to education, from entertainment to science. We keep the old homeland dialogue going. Basically, if the Ozzies want to know about anything they come to us first. If they want word from an expert they have our boys in London to talk to. That sort of thing. Even medicine would you believe? They have the most advanced medical research in the world but whenever they want to talk to a real medical expert on television or radio they contact one of our boys. We send the royals over regularly to keep the Rule Britannia flame alive of course, and all that twaddle. Will and Kate I believe have picked, pardon me if I laugh, Australia for their honeymoon. Pure coincidence of course. They just couldn't find a suitable place along the Mediterranean sea board. Charles and Camilla have just returned. Keep the flag flying, old boy! That's what we're here for.
R: Why don't you just let it go?
P: Same reason we didn't let Northern Ireland go. It is to our advantage to hold onto it. We don't want another Cuba on our doorstep do we old bean? Australia is a very rich country. We have no intentions of letting it go. From both America's and our own point of view Australia is our hired gun in the East. That's why their sons and daughters are in Iraq and Afghanistan. If they were a republic they wouldn't be there, would they? That would mean they were making their own decisions and we really can't allow that.
R: That is not democracy. It's not right.
P: I'm laughing again. What the hell has right of democracy got to do with anything? Our latest bond of affiliation that we do our utmost to strengthen is the media and entertainment industries. We have in mind more and more films jointly financed by our own British Council and our incumbents in Canberra... more pro-Brit stuff starring our dear thespian anglophiles Geoffrey Rush and Russell Crowe and Nicole Kidman... you know good old gingoistic stuff showing us off in a good light and our very intimate connections... films like "Autralia" - I'm laughing again aren't I? Do pardon me, old bean. And that delightful Brit-Ozzie tribute to our monarchy - "The King's Speech" which we made sure our American cousins would shower with Oscars. We are currently negotiating with the Rowling team to see if they can drum up an Australian version of Harry Potter where he rides a kangaroo instead of a broomstick - that sort of rot.
R: Are there any surprises in store for the beguiled Ozzies?
P: Good heavens no! Well, surprises at the outset perhaps, a little bit of aggro to be expected from the Republican idealists but nothing to worry about. Once we repeat it over and over it becomes the norm. I think a few more rapid royal visits will soon re-establish our controlling presence in the region. Backed up by the loyal media of course. The day is not far off when kids by their million will be greeting the royals at Sydney airport as they descend the steps of their plane... piloted by Sir Richard, of course.
R: It's been most.... interesting... to talk with you Mr. Pertwee.