Republican stunts fail
Written by Professor David Flint AM   
Sunday, 30 January 2011
  
 
The Australia Day stunts have exposed the recent pretence that changing to a politicians’ republic has nothing to do with the flag.

They have also shown that the official Australia Day structure has been captured by a clique obsessed with shredding our beautiful Flag, our constitution and our heritage.

In addition, by being too clever in conspiring to achieve maximum effect on Australia Day, they have confirmed that elements in the media, especially the Fairfax press, will even stand aside the Principles of the Press Council to use the news pages  to push this  agenda.


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...dead in the water..



We know from the reaction of the republican politicians that republicanism and especially flag change are dead in the water.

The spin doctors have warned them that polling and focus groups tell them not to touch these.

So securing some vague politicians’ republic is put off during this reign, and once enthusiastic flag changers now declare their eternal love for the flag.

We can also see the complete sidelining of the republican movement.

Once at the centre of the debate it is now on the periphery, and of little account.

Other republican entities are emerging including the re-energised Ausflag entity which puts flag change first on the agenda. Clearly the captured Australia Day structure is being used to whittle away at popular support for the Flag and the constitutional system.





...young not interested...

The stunts confirmed that the obsession with the republican flag changing agenda just does not attract the young.

We have frequently exposed here how wrong Minister Roxon’s mantra is that no new monarchists are being born. As we have with Senator Susanne Ryan’s observation that all the republicans had to do was wait until the present generation of monarchists drop off.

Polling confirms this.



...an honest  journalist’s view...


  Journalists are now beginning to notice the same phenomenon- at least those honest enough to report it.  Others, such as Fairfax columnist and former talk show host Mike Carlton in the Herald (29/1)  substitute abuse for analysis. ( I challenge you to a debate, Mike. Let me know where and when. )

A comment from an honest columnist follows.

  In the 1970s and 80s, having a holiday to commemorate the arrival of the first boats of white settlers was widely regarded - at least among my generation - as passé, an anachronistic nod to a history we weren't sure whether to be proud of or not, writes  Sally Neighbour in “Wrapped in the flag and loving it” The Australian (29/1)

As for the Australian flag, it was seen by many as an irrelevant relic of our colonial past, doomed for the scrapheap come the republic.But such reservations have little traction among generations X and Y. Ambivalence has given way to unabashed pride in all things Australian, not least the flag.

They turn up to the Big Day Out with it tattooed on their skin. The same young Australians flock to Gallipoli each year to mark Anzac Day, and trek in their thousands along the Kokoda Track.