Letters From Mum
Thanks to this AM report on the procedures involved in the Governor-General stepping aside, I learnt a new phrase the other day: Letters Patent. Apparently, Peter Hollingworth can't stand aside as Governor-General until John Howard gets her Maj to change the Letters Patent. It reminds me of the letter from mum I forged when I was in 5th Form, to give myself permission to skip Religious Instruction. From memory, that one went something like this:
Dear Petit-Bourgeois Lackey of the Capitalist Expropriators,
I demand that you immediately desist from poisoning my son's mind with reactionary religious dogma. His father and I both agree that he gets no educational benefit from weekly doses of the opium of the masses.
According to AM, the process works something like this. First, the PM has to write to the queen:
Dear Mrs Battenburg-Saxe-Coburg-Gotha,
Please change the Letters Patent to allow Peter to take the day off from being Governor-General as he is in bad odour with the Australian media and the Australian people.
John Winston Howard
Then the Queen writes back:
ELIZABETH THE SECOND, by the Grace of God Queen of Australia and Her other Realms and Territories, Head of the Commonwealth,
WHEREAS, by the Constitution of the Commonwealth of Australia, certain powers, functions and authorities are vested in a Governor-General appointed by the Queen to be Her Majesty's representative in the Commonwealth:
AND WHEREAS, by Letters Patent dated 29 October 1900, as amended, provision was made in relation to the office of Governor-General:
AND WHEREAS, by section 4 of the Constitution of the Commonwealth, the provisions of the Constitution relating to the Governor-General extend and apply to the Governor-General for the time being, or such person as the Queen may appoint to administer the Government of the Commonwealth:
AND WHEREAS We are desirous of making new provisions relating to the office of Governor-General and for persons appointed to administer the Government of the Commonwealth:
NOW THEREFORE, by these Letters Patent under Our Sign Manual and the Great Seal of Australia-
The Governor General can take a few weeks off while this unholy mess is sorted out.
GIVEN at Our Court
on 21 August 1984
By Her Majesty's Command,
PS: Don't forget to publish this in the Commonwealth Gazette.
PPS: Try not to let this happen again.
This is going to take a few days, so in the meantime, Peter Hollingworth will just have to bunk off and hide behind the shelter sheds. Which is what I did, after my brilliant forgery had been exposed.