In trying to ridicule the awards to the Governors-General and his predecessor, the Australian Republican Movement's executive director, David Morris, is pushing an obviously false claim.
This is that all polls for 30 years have shown the nation's youth are the most republican of all. They certainly do not - they show the opposite. We've listed just 15 below.
Morris is actually reviving a myth about the nation's youth, one his predecessors long ago dropped. And why did they do that? They realised it was embarrassingly wrong, and not something they should draw attention to. Doesn't he know this?
If Morris had read his own pollster - the one the ARM pays a lot of money for - as well as the string of polls we list below, he'd realise he was talking nonsense. He should withdraw his claim.
But Morris continued to claim this after a recent media appearance. It makes you wonder about his dramatic claims that the restoration of knighthoods has had the dramatic effect on the membership of the ARM.He actually claims a 5000% growth rate.
Peter Fitzsimons agrees with me that these would probably be coming off a low base. But 5000%?
...broadcasting his false claim...
ACM's young executive director Jai Martinkovits had said on 3AW on 26 March 2014 podcast 260314 that support for a politicians' republic among the young was low and that this was a time bomb for the republicans. David Morris responded to Jai's correct observation by this furphy:
"Young people are the most republican and Jai knows that every poll in the last 30 years has shown that."
When Jai protested David Morris shouted over him.
So what are the facts? I was looking at a number of polls before the referendum. I noticed that whenever polls broke up the responses according to age, the result was a ''bell shaped curve.'' Support for a vague politicians' republic peaked with the middle-aged. Both the old and the young are less supportive.So I used this fact - republicans are not good in mastering facts - in responses in debates.
The republicans with typical arrogance thought they had the young, indigenous and immigrant in the bag. Typical was Senator Susan Ryan's cruel but famous observation on the ABC that all the republicans had to do was wait until my generation ''dropped off the perch''.This got the laughs she hoped for . But it was so wrong.
Much later former Attorney General's Nicola Roxon issued the barb that "no new monarchists are being born." Like David Morris she hadn't bothered to check whether she did in fact have the nation's youth in the bag.
A passionate republican if ever there was one, almost her first act as A-G was to stop the appointment of Federal QC's who are rarely created anyway.
The plain fact is that anybody who knows anything about this issue knows that the lack of support among the young is a time bomb for the Republican movement. They would be wise not to mention the issue.
After the 3AW debate the presenter, Neil Mitchell read figures from a recent poll showing the youth a not the most republican. In fact there is a string of polls over the last few years which come to the same conclusion.
But here's something surely Morris had read.
...the ARM's own pollster...