“For many years the federal government spelt ”program” the way this newspaper does. But John Howard, spiritual son of Bob Menzies, insisted it revert to the fancy English spelling. Labor changed it back to the no-bulldust way. Now Tony Abbott, spiritual son of Howard, has reverted to ”programme”.
Pedants who know their stuff know the Poms – including Shakespeare in his day – used the simple spelling until the 19th century, when it was prettied-up during a bout of francophilia.”
Ross Gittins, The Age News