Republican royal watcher changes tune
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.