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Is David Flint ( National Convenor since 1998) the republicans best asset, as some claim?
ACM Home arrow Media and monarchy arrow Out of touch editors

Out of touch editors Print E-mail
Written by Professor David Flint AM   
Monday, 13 June 2011
I am one of a dwindling band of home subscribers to The Sydney Morning Herald.  I understand the home subscriptions to The Age are also in serious decline.

Both newspapers gleefully predicted the inevitable demise of the Crown in the 90’s.  How ironical it is that the futures of both newspapers are much less guaranteed than that of the Australian Crown.  

I say that with no pleasure; both newspapers have a glorious past and should have a continuing place in the nation.

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But those who control both newspapers seem determined to destroy them.  They are losing their readers and not gaining new ones.

So many people tell me that they are too often enraged by the elitist scorn which they feel is being directed to traditional Australians.  They have stopped reading the Fairfax newspapers because they find them  to be annoyingly out of touch.



...republican editorials...




Both demonstrated how out of touch they are in their editorials on the Queen's Birthday holiday.

To the Herald, the Crown is an “anachronism at the heart of our Constitution”. 

The editor calls for the reform of our  "incoherent federal system".  But the only “reform” that the Herald names is transition to a republic.
As anyone who seriously looks at our federation realises, the problems are essentially about the excessive centralisation of power and taxation in Canberra.

The problem is not the Australian Crown, which is one part of the Australian constitutional system which works and works well. In conceding that they can't work out what sort of republic they want, the Herald at least recognises that  the republicans have gone backwards since 1999.



...postponing another referendum...




 The Herald is clearly annoyed by the  republican politicians saying they are putting the question of a republic off until the end of the reign.

Once bitten by an hysterical media egging them on to the doomed republican bandwagon in 1999, the politicians are not surprisingly twice shy.  Most of them expect to be on their generous taxpayer funded superannuation at the end of the reign, so they won't have to wrestle with the problem which only exists in the minds of an obsessed elite. 

Above all, the republican politicians do not have the luxury of an editor who never has  to face an election.

That the Herald  wants the politicians to commit electoral suicide by putting something on the national agenda which only confirms  in the people's and the politicians’ minds that the editor is completely  out of touch.

 The Herald wants a blank cheque  referendum announced next year for theDiamond Jubilee for a referendum "
on the simple question of whether an Australian should be Australia's head of state.”Surely the Herald knows you can't have a referendum without putting all the details on the table.  And in any event, we already have an Australian as our head of state – the Governod -General.




...the holiday, the Royalist banner & the interet..



(Continued below)



 

In the meantime The Age editor is annoyed that the announcement of the order of Australia awards is made on the Queen's Birthday and why that is a public holiday.  Well, it was a public holiday before The Age – a venerable newspaper – existed.  And notwithstanding The Age’s campaign, in 1999 the people rejected the best republican model the republicans could devise .

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Incidentally if The Age so annoyed with the Crown, why does it still persist in publishing its newspaper under a mirror version of the Royal Coat of Arms?  Surely we can expect a degree of consistency on this from The Age editor.  Or do their reader surveys tell them the removal of their royalist  banner would be seriously damaging?


...the internet....


 Both will say they have vast numbers of new readers on the internet.  They don't.  Subscription digital versions apart, very few people read a newspaper on the internet.  Most read a small number of reports from a variety of newspapers.  

They are of minuscule benefit to the viability of newspapers. They are not part of the financial solution but part of the newspapers financial problem.

Both newspapers are pinning  their hopes on people – especially the young - taking out subscriptions to the digital version of their newspapers. 


From before the referendum research indicated that young people are not interested in the question of a republic and probably think that those who are obsessed about this are out of touch. 
It is unlikely that a large number of them will be flocking to take out subscriptions to either newspaper.      
 
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