This afternoon ABC TV was forced to cancel its plans for The Chaser comedy team to provide satirical commentary of the royal wedding on Friday night. The official reason for the cancellation of the broadcast was because the conditions of use of the BBC footage cannot be used “in any drama, comedy, satirical or similar entertainment program or content“.
Personally, I am disappointed. I was looking forward to The Chaser’s very dark sense of humour and satire being dished out upon the royals. Yesterday some media commentators were arguing that nobody’s wedding should be subject to ridicule or cruel jokes. However, on the flip side, how many people’s weddings are broadcast live to people around the world? If you are going to have something extremely public then expect some people to ridicule it.
The news of the forced cancellation of The Chaser’s coverage comes after it was also revealed that the previous two English Labour Prime Minister’s Tony Blair and Gordon Brown have not been invited to the wedding, however, the two previous Conservative Prime Minister’s Margaret Thatcher and Sir John Major have.
So much for the Royal Family supposedly having no ‘perceived political preferences‘. It is very obvious they favour those people who hang onto the past, protect the class structure, and don’t challenge the rule or power of the establishment.
Earlier today I was having a discussion with colleagues about the need for Australia and New Zealand to become a republic. The feeling amongst my colleagues was there wasn’t the mood or need to change. However, the censorship of the media, the political bias in the wedding invitations, and the ability for the Crown to overrule any law of Australia and New Zealand is reason enough for us to move on.
For me, the monarchy is a thing of the past. While the pomp and ceremony of the wedding is fascinating to watch, it is merely a sideshow designed to reinforce and strengthen the rule of the Crown while other parts of the world are in revolution. The sooner we abandon the monarchy, eat our own cake, and have our own revolution the better.
Finally, regarding the censorship of the broadcast, The Chaser’s Julian Morrow makes a very valid point: “For a monarchy to be issuing decrees about how the media should cover them seems quite out of keeping with modern democratic times …. but I suppose that’s exactly what the monarchy is.”