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Is David Flint ( National Convenor since 1998) the republicans best asset, as some claim?
ACM Home arrow Prince Harry

Prince Harry
Prince Harry

Prince Harry (His Royal Highness Prince Henry Charles Albert David of Wales) is the younger son of Charles, Prince of Wales and the late Diana, Princess of Wales, and grandson of Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. He was born 15 September 1984 and is third in the line of succession to the thrones of 16 Realms including Australia Canada, New Zealand and the United Kingdom.

His mother died in 1997. Prince Harry, then 13 walked  with his brother, father and grandfather  behind the funeral cortège from Kensington Palace to Westminster Abbey .
After schools and a gap year in Australia and Lesotho, where he worked with orphaned children and produced the documentary film The Forgotten Kingdom, Prince Harry, enlisted in the Army . He was commissioned as a second lieutenant into the Blues and Royals of the Household Cavalry Regiment.

The British Ministry of Defence and Clarence House made a joint announcement on 22 February 2007 that Prince Harry would be deployed with his regiment to the front line in Iraq  and served for 77 days on the front line in the Afghan War.  

To protect his unit from excessive attention by the enemy, the Department of Defence withdrew him after his presence was revealed by an Australian magazine.
 He is to be best man at his older brother Prince William's  wedding to Kate Middleton to Kate Middleton on 29 April 2011.

In October 2008, to pass the tests to fly military helicopters and was presented with his wings by his father on 7 May 2010.

Having since passed his Apache flying test, it is reported that he may return to Afghanistan.



...sense of duty permeates...


Washington Post correspondent, Marie Cocco wrote in the ContraCostaTimes on 1 March 2007, under this telling headline: “U.S. upper class more stuck up than Britain's royalty, ” that that it takes no nostalgia for the Crown to hear the honour in Prince Harry’s vow -- and to wince at the contrast with the US much larger force in Iraq, from which, she declares, the sons and daughters of the American well-heeled and the well-known are largely absent. 

She says this sense of duty in the Royal Family is no new thing.  Older generations remember it in the Second World War, when The King and The Queen, as well as the Royal Family, stayed with the people.  Prince Harry’s grandfather and his father saw distinguished service.  More recently, in the Falklands war, Prince Harry’s uncle, Prince Andrew, also rode, or perhaps more correctly, flew into battle.

Prince Harry encapsulates a long standard in our Royal Family, a sense of service. This is complemented by a strong sense of charity, of helping those less fortunate than he.
 
 

 



Summit to rule on republic: only one view to be permitted? Print E-mail
Written by Professor David Flint AM   
Wednesday, 19 March 2008
   
   
 

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...media to run governance session...  


It has just been revealed that the “2020 ideas for the future summit” in April will consider whether Australia should become a republic. We now have an idea how this summit will operate. And it’s not pretty. It's looking as if it may end up like the Supreme Soviet - one sided. 

John Hartigan, executive chairman of News Limited, is to chair the crucially important governance session.  

Becoming a republic is put in the context of “cutting our ties with Britain” which is of course an entirely different question. Don’t the organisers know all legal authority of the UK in Australia only lasted as long as we wanted it and was ended when the politicians finally worked out what they wanted in 1986? 

 Don’t they know the High Court ruled in 1999 that the Australian Crown is an entirely separate legal institution from the British Crown?

Apart from becoming a republic the session will have a daunting agenda to complete in just two days. This will include whether we should have a bill of rights; “what levels of transparency good government demands,” especially in government dealings with the media; and the impact of freedom of information laws. 

It seems the governance session is to be run by the media. When the government realised it was being politically incorrect and had forgotten about the dated baby boomer issue of gender balance, the former ABC television presenter Maxine McKew MP was added as co-chair.


...call to journlists to stop playing politics...


Inconveniently, News Limited’s flagship  The Australian ( 15 March 2005 “Detachment Matters”) recently called on journalists to stop playing politics and to get out of the political arena.  

Day has seized on this and says Hartigan should have refused Kevin Rudd’s invitation. ( The Australian  20 March 2008 “My boss shouldn't be involved with Rudd's gabfest” )  .

Some more traditional journalists take the view that they should not belong to political organisations. Day says he has “long” argued that journalists should not be joiners, but admits he did not always hold this view.

He changed his mind when he was on Australian Republican Movement’s executive. It all became clear when he argued in The Daily Telegraph in 1998 that the ARM needed new leadership  “less abrasive” than Malcolm Turnbull’s. He was forced off the executive and “nearly drummed out” of the ARM.

Day misses the point.

It’s not so much about joining. It’s about being objective about the facts and declaring any conflicts of interest unknown to readers.

Recently he failed to declare his republican affiliations when he made his  extraordinary claim that the Royal Family leaked the story that Prince Harry was in Afghanistan.

He later backed away from his line that this was based on observing how the Royal Family manipulates the media, and claimed the story was based on...yes,  “impeccable sources.”



...shades of the Supreme Soviet...


In any event, Day has well and truly let the cat out of the bag.

We now know the details of one of the most important sessions at the Summit.

One thing is likely. There’ll probably be no one there speaking for those who voted no in 1999. They won in all states, 55% of the popular vote and 72% of electorates. Only on side is likely to be there.
 

Paul Keating appointed the 2020 summit co-chairman Professor Glyn Davis a member of the 1993 Republic Advisory Committee chaired by Malcolm Turnbull. Keating had made it a strict condition that all members, without exception, be committed republicans, so everyone knows where Davis stands.

 Of course, he’s entitled to be a republican. Its his modus operandi which is interesting.

In 2002, when he was vice-chancellor of Griffith University, the university  The Australian and the ARM,  convened  the “Australian Constitutional Futures Conference.”  This was to restart and broaden the debate about “the” republic and the constitutional framework “we” need for the 21st century. 

Although this conference was hosted by a taxpayer funded university,  no one who was not a committed republican was invited to speak.

Davis gave a paper on republicanism rising again.
The conference papers are no longer accessible on the Griffith University site.  No wonder.

One speaker ( Greg Barns) referred to the monarchy as “rancid” and “corrupt,” “a menace to democracy” with “ a cavalier disregard for liberal values,”  a  ” corrupt institution ... prepared to subvert the rule of law... and allow criminal activity to go unchecked within its walls.”

The monarchy, he said,  has “little interest in anything other than self-preservation and that it will ride roughshod over the rule of law, if necessary, to achieve that aim.”

 Neither the University nor The Australian invited  a contribution from the other side, those whose views , after all, prevailed in 1999. 

So will this be how each of the sessions at the summit will operate? Entirely one sided?  If so they needn’t bother.

They could publish the conclusions now.

 The 2020 summit is looking as if it will be as predictable as a meeting of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR.

They could go the whole hog. When Stalin concluded a speech, the record would invariably say
“ Prolonged applause, standing ovation, shouts of ‘Long live Comrade Stalin!’ More applause.”
 

[ An edited version of this was included in the  20 March 2008 edition  of the online journal, Crikey 

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Republican royal watcher changes tune Print E-mail
Written by Professor David Flint AM   
Sunday, 16 March 2008

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...serious allegation against Royal Family  just speculation, says republican ...


Republican royal watcher Mark Day did not claim a source for his outrageous allegation that the Royal Family leaked the information about Prince Harry being in Afghanistan. 

His view was based, he claimed, on “(y)ears of observing the royal family’s media manipulations...”  These led him to the conclusion that a leak by the royal family was “a real possibility.” 

Note that nowhere did he claim in his piece that the story came from a confidential source.

But then one “Jim of Bentley” posted this on Day’s blog at The Australian (Thursday, 6 March 2008 10:30am).


 “Jim” was scathing: “Your suggestion that a member of the royal family was responsible for the leak is just the type of journalistic nonsense one expects from No Idea and Women’s Weepy - the problem is, your speculations are in The Australian. 

“You have no proof, just your own twisted logic.  Is this what The Australian has come to?  Who is to say that one of your journalistic mates in London, drunk out of his mind, didn’t tell a friend of theirs in Australia.  Oh NO! A Journalist doing the wrong thing? 

“You must dismiss that from your mind and blame someone else - I know, let’s blame Harry’s family, after all, if the story gets printed, he might be killed, and that way Andrew’s kids move up one in the line to be monarch. 

Jim finished with this plea to Day: “Please, don’t be an idiot. “

Mark Day must have realised he was beginning to look silly. He had made an outrageous allegation based on the flimsiest of reasons. He had concluded it was a “real possibility.”



...was it just speculation or was it a source?....




So what did he do, but look into his bag of tricks. Within half an hour, he replies:

(Thursday, 6 March 2008 11:00am) “The scenarios you suggest might happen, but in this case I have it on good authority (impeccable sources you might say) that the original leak came from the royals. Why, I ask.

“As I said in the column, my speculation may be a conspiracy theory, but stranger things have happened with the royals. Remember Squidgy gate, and Camillagate, and future kings wishing to be tampons. If anyone had bowled them up, you’d say please, don’t be an idiot.... “

Readers will notice that Day now claims he had the support not of one source; he says he has “sources.”  And better still, they are “impeccable.”

 But if he had this information before he wrote the piece, wouldn’t he have said that?

 

The usual formula is something like this: “ highly placed sources close to the throne confirmed that...,” which is of course code for something like: “ A journalist I wouldn’t trust with ten quid told me this in a pub...”


And why does he go on and contradict himself?  “ My speculation may be  a conspiracy theory “ aren’t the words you use when you are relying on “impeccable sources.”  Because you don’t have to speculate, you have an impeccable source.

Then “Veritas” of Applecross.W.A. (Thursday,6 March 2008 (02:13pm) pointed out this very contradiction.  Veritas obviously wasn’t born yesterday, as they say.

“One is always suspicious when a journalist mentions the always NAMELESS “impeccable sources”.  Were these the same impeccable sources who phone- tapped Prince Charles and Camilla having personal conversations? 

“On the one hand you say you have impeccable sources that the original leak came from the royals, on the other you admit to it being your own speculation.

“ Which is it please? 

“These shabby little manufactured conspiracies accusing the royals of everything including murder are tiresome and say a whole lot more about the journalist than the journalist could ever say about Prince Harry.


“Incidentally, just wondering if you’ve ever been in a combat zone yourself, “ concluded Veritas.



 ... Day does a U-TURN...



Day now does a U-Turn.  

Far from being his own speculation, the whole sorry thing is all somebody else’s fault.

He replies (Thursday, 6 March 2008 06:47pm): “ “I am able to say impeccable sources led me to believe the leak was from the royals, but I cannot do other than speculate on the motive. “


I was “led to believe.” 

That tired old formula used, for example, by some minister at the dispatch box who is explaining  why the government spent hundreds of millions on, say, an electronic  transport  card that doesn’t work. Or why the  operating theatres at the new Bathurst hospital are too small to operate in.

“ I was led to believe” means in effect  “I am passing this potato which is too hot to handle.”


Incidentally, readers may recall that republican royal watcher  Barry Everingham accused me of demanding Mark Day reveal his sources. This was  untrue. When I wrote to The Australian, I was not aware  that Day would  claim on his blog that the story came from confidential sources.

So how did Barry Everingham know Mark Day was relying on confidential sources?

 

The plot thickens.

  

 

 
New Idea apologizes Print E-mail
Written by Professor David Flint AM   
Thursday, 13 March 2008

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[New Idea 12 January, 2008]

 

...belated apology...


New Idea has apologized, belatedly, for breaking a media embargo on Prince Harry's frontline deployment in Afghanistan.  The editors obviously realised that their defence that they didn’t know of the embargo was making things worse for them.

It says it is sorry it was not "alert to the possible ramifications" of running the story.

The  full page report, “War Lord,” was published with pictures in New Idea on page 22 on 12 January, 2008 ,( see above)  with an invitation to go to the magazine’s website.

The earlier story that the information about Afghanistan only being on the website is not correct.

The magazine story is quite explicit. It opens:

“Prince Harry bites the bullet and goes to war- against the wished of his family and royal advisers.

“Maverick Prince Harry has joined his regiment on a covert mission to Afghanistan and his unit has already seen front line action.”

Fortunately the Taliban do not subscribe to New Idea. It  was only noticed when the US Drudge Report website sent the story around the world.

The Taliban claimed they knew, but only Mark Day swallowed that.
 "We did not knowingly breach any embargo and were not party to any agreement for a media blackout on the story," New Idea declares. We could not find the apology on  the New Idea site, but saw the summary on the News Limited site, “New Idea says sorry for Harry story,” posted on 10 March 2008.

 "However, and more importantly, we do acknowledge that our actions in publishing the story can be reasonably viewed as insensitive and irresponsible." The magazine said it acknowledged and regretted "the distress and anxiety felt by readers" over the revelations.  "We regret this serious lapse of judgment," it says.
 

"We sincerely apologise to all our readers, to the servicemen whose lives are at constant risk while serving at home and abroad and to their families and loved ones."


...reaction...


The Australian  public did not seem impressed by the belated apology by New Idea for revealing Prince Harry was on the front line in Afghanistan. That is, if the selection of emails from apparently young people published in The Daily Telegraph on 11 May, 2008. is any indication.

What it does show is how out of touch  one curmudgeon correspondent to my piece on Crikey, Steven McKiernan, who insisted, in a spew of vulgar abuse, that ”  No-one cares” (12 March)

Well, Mr. McKiernan, the young bloggers to the Telegraph do – and this was just a selection from the reaction in just one newspaper.


“New idea should be ashamed,” wrote Melissa Small. “ I feel sorry for Harry, who for once in his life could feel almost normal only to have it yanked from underneath him.”

Kath said she was embarrassed to be an Australian. “How could a magazine be so selfish... I am proud of Harry for going to war...”

Chrissy said New Idea deals in scandal and trash.

“This so called apology isn’t worth the paper it is written on, “ wrote Ellen who declared that she was not buying the magazine again “ until you grow up.”.

Chris Sharpe called for New Idea to be” heavily fined....they carelessly placed a member of the royal family in great danger.”

“New idea equals stupid , frivolous, irrelevant, a gossiper masquerading as serious media,” said “Goose.”


“ Anyone with half a brain would know not to disclose sensitive military information, let alone where such a bullet magnet like Harry would be,” said Raymo summing up the case.

His advice to New Idea?

 “ Stick to cooking recipes and move stars.”  



 ...republican royal watchers stick together... 
Read more...
 
Sticking together ......republican royal watchers... ... Print E-mail
Written by Professor David Flint AM   
Monday, 10 March 2008

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[Lenin reading Pravda (Truth)]



...republican royal watching ...


The condemnation of New Idea for leaking the story about Prince Harry has been widespread.

Even the republican royal watcher Barry Everingham initially joined in.  “In another day and age,” he thundered, “ the editor of New Idea would be dealt with in the Tower of London." 

" This is irresponsible journalism at its worst,” he continued.

“ Having a go at celebrities to boost sales is one thing, putting this young bloke's life at risk is another and more than likely means that he's on his way home again as we speak.” ( www.crikey.com.au 29 February, 2008)

When another republican royal watcher, Mark Day, former owner and editor of the Melbourne Truth, made the outrageous and completely unacceptable claim that the leak to New idea came from the Royal Family, most people were outraged. The Australian did publish our letter on 7 March 2008 under the jocular headline "Fiendish Republican Plot"

 

... eavesdropping or imagination ...

But Barry Everingham has now returned to the issue, misquoting me and contradicting himself.

In a letter to The Australian published on 8 March, 2008, “Understanding the royals”  he begins by reminding all and sundry once again that he is terribly well informed about our Royal Family. After all he has been reporting their “doings” for “over three decades.”

In the past he even claims that he knows the content of private conversations between members of the Royal Family. He is not alone in that,  Richard Butler and writer Robert Lacey do the same.

 Richard Butler, after the announcement that he would become The Queen’s representative in Tasmania , actually  quoted on ABCTV from a purported conversation between The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh over the landslide defeat of the 1999 referendum to turn Australia into a republic. The suggestion was they wanted Australia to become a republic.

Such stories should be taken with a spoon of salt. The Queen and the Duke would hardly talk about such a matter in the presence of a witness. The proposition that either would  leak details of their conversation  is laughable.

The words attributed to The Queen suggest a lack of understanding and information about Australia. But on all accounts Her Majesty is extremely well informed on all of Her Realms.

In addition, those close to her suggest she possesses a rare insight into such matters which has been gained through a lifetime of close involvement in public affairs unequalled in the world.

But the conversation published in Lacey’s book and widely quoted by republicans suggests that when it comes to politics, our Sovereign is, politically speaking, a naïf. Her Majesty is anything but that. 

It may well be that these Royal watchers are the ones who are naive. They probably misinterpret The Queen’s clear indication that constitutional change is a matter for Australians.  They forget that  Her Majesty is after all a constitutional monarch.

 ... republican royal watchers stick together... 

But back to Mr. Everingham.  He ignores my point that Day should have declared his  interest as former director of the republican movement. Instead he claims  I called on Mark Day to name his source for his story that the Royal Family leaked the news that Prince Harry was in  Afghanistan.  

I did nothing of the sort.

My complaint was that Day did not even claim a source. The only basis for his outrageous charge was, yes, years of republican royal watching, including the tabloid which tested the boundaries of acceptability, the Melbourne Truth. ( Mr Day was certainly not the royal watcher whom Senator Ryan suggested was the likely author of the outrageous   gossip column, “Betty” in the now defunct Canberra throwaway, the  Sunday Post,  mentioned in this column on 23 April 2006.)   

It seems that republican royal watchers  stick together.

Having praised  the Prince on Crikey ( it is rare to read him praising any member of the Royal Family) Barry Everingham now contradicts himself , presumably to lend further weight to his apparent support for Mark Day’s allegation that the Royal Family leaked the story about Prince Harry.

He suggests that “ many” a royal watcher is now being fed “ a few good yarns to negate any flack the young bloke may have caused.”

Mr. Everingham misses the point and forgets what he wrote on Crikey.

The “flack,” as he calls it, was not caused by the Prince. It was caused by those who  breached acceptable  media standards in revealing that the Prince was in Afghanistan.

Shame on them all. 

 

 

 
That leak: appalling republican allegation by media columnist in The Australian Print E-mail
Written by Professor David Flint AM   
Thursday, 06 March 2008

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....Appalling republican allegation...

 

New Idea and the Drudge Report behaved appallingly in leaking the story that Prince Harry was serving at the front line.

But in actually blaming the Royal Family for the leak, Mark Day deserves the mace of the week, if not the month. (The Australian  “Story to get Harry home leaked to mag with no idea,” 6 March, 2008).


This is made worse by his suggestion that it might have even been  a “deliberate move.”  ( He does at least suggest the motive for a deliberate leak was to force an evacuation because of worries about the dangers Prince Harry  faced.)

So what was Mark Day’s source for his extraordinary allegation?  He had none.

The basis for his accusation was his years of observing what he calls the Royal Family’s “media manipulations.” On the basis of this , he thinks a royal leak is a “real possibility.”  That’s it. Nothing to go on, but years of observing the Royal Family.  


And it is on this flimsy basis that Mark Day makes this appalling accusation against a whole family.

Now when it comes to the Royal Family, the usually affable Mark Day is not just another journalist. He is one of those republicans who are usually described as “passionate”.  Until he fell out with Malcolm Turnbull, he was in the inner leadership circle.  So his years of observing the Royal Family were hardly those of a neutral objective reporter. He should have pointed that out.

Mr Day, the former proprietor and editor of the Melbourne Truth, has for years been arguing that ethically broadcasters should disclose any conflict of interest. What is that about people who live in glass houses?

While Day will believe anything against royalty, it seems he’ll believe anything the Taliban say. He  tells us, as if we hadn’t read this piece of puerile propaganda:  “Recent reports suggest the Taliban did, indeed, know and had been hunting for Harry’s prize scalp since mid-January.”

Surely he hasn’t really swallowed this ordure?  This is  just an attempt, and an obvious attempt, to cover the terrorists’ embarrassment.   To paraphrase Mandy Rice –Davies, they would say that, wouldn’t they?   

 

This appalling piece recalls the lesson Lord Hunt drew from the  BBC’s mishandling of the affair which led to the suicide of Dr David Kelly. This is that  no journalist should be allowed to impugn the integrity of anyone without his work being subjected to an  independent editorial  assessment. 

So who isn’t doing their  job at The Australian?


...The Australian :"Fiendish Republican Plot"...


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