Which Bishop moves to represent the Queen?

News today that the current governor-general, Sir Peter Cosgrove – not ‘Sir Bill Cosby’, as a TV caption during the political crisis had him, but everyone was busy and the captioning robot wasn’t the only entity on autopilot – intends to finish up when his five-year term ends on 28 March 2019. This opens up some possibilities.

Former foreign minister, Julie Bishop, would do the job well and would have plenty of room at Yarralumla for her jogging regime. But she is said not to want the gig. She may well still have other fish to fry, or other irons in the fire, or whatever the appropriate analogy is.

Another possibility is the Director of the Australian War Memorial, Dr Brendan Nelson, whom an article in Honest History once described as ‘a bishop of the cult of Anzac’. Dr Nelson has been a very effective spruiker of the Memorial’s particular view of Australia’s past and, lodged in Government House, might well help the constitutional monarchy run on for another few years – or see it off.

Dr Nelson’s current term ends on 30 May 2019, not long after Sir Peter’s governor-generalship finishes, and not long after the scheduled date for the 2019 Budget, which might include provision for the Memorial’s massive proposed extension. If that project happens, it will be interesting to see which names appear on the foundation and (later) dedication stones.

David Stephens

5 September 2018

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