Australia: Those Wild Colonial Boys

Those Wild Colonial Boys

Prime Minister Paul Keating started it, that's for sure. First he violated protocol by putting his arm on Queen Elizabeth's back during her visit to Australia last week. Then he hinted that the country might become a republic, which would end the Queen's role as head of state.

Britain's rowdy tabloids had a field day, with headlines like HANDS ORF, COBBER! and Australian political foes accused him of disrespect. Keating retorted that he had learned "self-regard for Australia, and not some cultural cringe" toward Britain. He repeated the hoary complaint that Britain's swift loss of Singapore to the Japanese in 1942...