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ACM Home arrow Convenor's Column arrow New media in the Peoples' Republic.

New media in the Peoples' Republic. Print E-mail
Written by Professor David Flint AM   
Wednesday, 30 April 2008

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Just because the Prime Minister drew inspiration for the 2020 Summit from Mao Tse-tung's famous observation "Let a hundred flowers bloom, let the hundred schools of thought contend," does not mean the media should behave as though they operate under a one party state.

In the euphoria of the rigged vote and the monumentally silly recommendation of “ ending ties with the UK” at the Summit governance panel, some media people have launched a campaign to say monarchists have lost the will to defend our constitutional monarchy.

This has no basis in fact.

John Hartigan and  Mike Steketee should read this column on 23 April 2008 , “Republic: they didn't “lose the tarts’ vote.”


...Peter FitzSimons' wishful thinking... 


As for Peter FitzSimons, he writes in The Sun-Herald of 27 April, 2008, that he misses the old days when if he put a “republican rant,” he could count on hundreds of outraged emails and letters.

He says that after his “recent unfortunate outburst” he “just knew that Professor David Flint would fire up...and he didn’t! And just about no one else did either.”

Mr. FitzSimons is as mistaken as he was when he planned his failed “ mate for a head of state” campaign, the subject of our special report of 13 August 2006.

In the column, “Humpty Dumpty enters republican debate” ( 13 April 2008) we discussed Mr. FitzSimons' proposal for what he called this “simple referendum question:
 

“ Do you believe that this is the 21st century after all, and if so, do you think it high time that we backed ourselves as a grown up people capable of governing ourselves without recourse to the current embarrassing anachronistic system, whereby our head of state is selected by every generation putting a baseball mitt to the highest nether regions of the English aristocracy?”  

As we said in the column, we suspect this would require a supplemental grant to the electoral commission’s printing budget.

In his latest piece Mr. 
FitzSimons writes:

“ This time ,it really seems as if the mood has changed, as if monarchists realise they can only hold back the tide of history for so long, and that the time really has come to back ourselves to be capable of governing ourselves .

“ If by 2010, all the better.”

Mr. FitzSimons does not realise that we have long been independent.


....monumentally silly recommendation...


It is not surprising that he does not know.  It seems that most of the people on the governance panel at the 2020 Summit chaired by Mr. Hartigan and Maxine McKew MP also don’t know this.

If they did know, why did they let such a monumentally silly recommendation pass?


As Sir David Smith observed in a letter published in the Canberra Times on 22 April 2008:

“In the initial report of the 2020 summit, the top idea from the governance panel proposed that stage 1 of the plan to introduce an Australian republic should include ‘ending ties with the UK’.
 

“What a pity that not one of the summiteers was able to tell the panel that the the Hawke Government’s Constitutional Commission, with Gough Whitlam as one of its members and Sir Zelman Cowen as one of its advisers, had reported in 1988 that ‘at some time between 1926 and the end of World War II Australia had achieved full independence as a sovereign state of the world.  The British Government ceased to have any responsibility in relation to matters coming within the area of responsibility of the Federal Government and Parliament.’” 

In our column, “Summit Laughing Stock,” (20 April, 2008)“ we did  refer to certain residual ties with the UK which lasted until 1986.

But these did not affect our independence – they continued because we wanted them to, or at least our politicians could not work out what they wanted in their place.

I did not see Mr FitzSimons piece because I was in Melbourne. Having read it, I can only say that Mr FitzSimons is engaging in wishful thinking.

One of the functions I attended in that gracious city was a very well attended meeting to consider our strategy.

This is about the way we will fight the way republicans hope to transfer even more taxpayers’ funds from schools, hospitals, water etc into working out how they they will shred, again at the taxpayers' expense, our constitutional system and our flag.

So don’t set your hopes too high, Mr. FitzSimons.  
   
 
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