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Governor-General's Prize programme Print E-mail
Written by Professor David Flint AM   
Saturday, 29 January 2005

The Governor-General, Major General Michael Jeffery, presented the inaugural awards in the undergraduate programme of the Governor Generals Prize at Government House, Canberra on 28 January, 2005. The Gold Medallist, Ben Davies,

Read more...
 
After Pledging Allegiance, Republican Politicians Hatch New Plan Print E-mail
Written by Professor David Flint AM   
Thursday, 27 January 2005

Further to the comment in our last column, we should point out The Australian quite properly published a pointer to its Australia Day republican poll on page 1, with the details on page 8. Initially we thought the poll had been buried. Unfortunately, it was easy to miss the pointer - it was in the middle of an unrelated story and without a border. But at least it was on the front page. The Age reported the poll under the title, PUBLIC SUPPORT FOR A REPUBLIC SLUMPS.

ABC television news reported the poll with a brief comment from ACM, and also from the ARM leader, with scenes of his handing out republican pamphlets in Canberra to surprised revellers on Australia Day. The ABC programme reported that the ARM claimed that the support indicated in the poll, 46 per cent, meant that the republican vote in the referendum was holding.

This is just not so.

Read more...
 
Swearing allegiance, republican politicians plan move to republic- as support slumps Print E-mail
Written by Professor David Flint AM   
Thursday, 27 January 2005

Before we come to the recalcitrant republican politicians,  we should return to the report in our last column . The Australian  did in fact publish a pointer to its Australia Day republican poll on page 1, with the details on page 8.  Unfortunately, it was easy to miss the pointer - it was in the middle of an unrelated stor and without a border. But at least it was on the front page.

 The Age reported the poll under the title, "PUBLIC SUPPORT FOR A REPUBLIC SLUMPS".

Read more...
 
As Republican Support Falls To 12 Year Low, QLD Premier Reopens Debate! Print E-mail
Written by Professor David Flint AM   
Monday, 24 January 2005

This was the headline in the Courier Mail on Saturday, 22 January 2005 to a report that the Queensland Premier, Peter Beattie had called for the republic to be put back on the national agenda. He says the issue has been badly handled.

While the republic was originally put on the agenda by Mr. Keating, the campaign in the 1999 referendum was led, for the opposition, by Mr. Beazley, with Mr. Turnbull speaking for the ARM. The result for Mr Beazley was a defeat nationally and in every state, including his home state, Western Australia. In spite of massive political and media support, it was a landslide.

And the bill for this folly from its inception was in the vicinity of $150 million-all diverted from the education, health, transport and other budgets.

Mr. Beazley put the republic back on the national agenda in 2000 when he announced that if elected in 2001, Australians would be voting not once, but three times in a convoluted and expensive process, a cascading series of plebiscites and a federal referendum. We have heard of creeping republicanism, but this is republicanism by exhaustion!

Read more...
 
Premier Beattie re-opens republic debate Print E-mail
Written by Professor David Flint AM   
Monday, 24 January 2005

"PREMIER BEATTIE REOPENS DEBATE ON REPUBLIC"

 This was the headline in the Courier Mail on Saturday, 22 January 2005 to a report that the Queensland Premier, Peter Beattie had called for the republic to be put back on the national agenda. He says the issue has been badly handled.

While the republic was originally put on the agenda by Mr. Keating, the campaign in the 1999 referendum was led, for the opposition, by Mr. Beazley, with Mr. Turnbull speaking for the ARM.

The result for Mr Beazley was a defeat nationally and in every state, including his home state, Western Australia. In spite of massive political and media support, it was a landslide.

 

Read more...
 
UK press -the least trusted Print E-mail
Written by Professor David Flint AM   
Monday, 24 January 2005

The British press has had a field day with their latest royal target, who has not long left school, Prince Harry. This disproportionate attack on the young Prince who has already taken up significant charity work in Britain and in Africa, was not an aberration, as the press has long regarded members of the Royal Family as fair game. The intrusions into their and others private lives, the bias and the publication of untested rumour are systemic. There are of course exceptions, but these seem to be a minority.

The result is that because of this tendency which is exhibited in other areas of reporting, the institution has lost its credibility among its own people. Research undertaken recently by a leading US researcher, The Harris poll, has found that the British press is by far the least trusted among the 25 member countries of the European Union. Only 20 per cent of the British tend to trust their press, unlike the other large European powers. Sixty one percent of the Spanish tend to trust their press, 60 per cent of the French tend to trust theirs, in Italy and Germany, 44 per cent and across the EU, 47 per cent.

For an institution which demands accountability and high standards from others, this conclusion must be a serious blow to the British press. They know how to correct this. Incidentally, I liked the observations in a letter from Nicole Stephenson in The Sydney Sunday Telegraph, 23 January, 2005. She says the whole idea of a costume party is to wear something you would not usually wear. Whatever you wear does not necessarily reflect your views. She says more attention should be paid to the real problems of the world, such a war and poverty, rather than such trivia .

 
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