Republicans Tried This Stunt Before - And It Failed
Written by Professor David Flint AM   
Monday, 28 March 2005

They are at it again. Instead of defending the Mark Latham endorsed plan to change our constitution, the republican movement prefers the distraction of making unwarranted personal attacks on members of the Royal Family. It did not get them anywhere in 1999, and it will not get them anywhere today.

In response to three of these attacks which I sent the following letters. ( I have not bothered to respond to two of the columnists' attacks on me)

The Editor,
Sydney Morning Herald

Dear Editor,

Professor Craven is anything if not versatile. You can detect his elegant and then monarchist hand in Jeff Kennett’s 1993 superb defence of the monarchy to the Samuel Griffith Society. Subsequently a strong supporter of the McGarvie model, he next campaigned for the politician’s republic which went down in 1999. More recently he warned that the ARM’s convoluted and expensive plan, the one Mark Latham endorsed , to elect a politician as president would ensure that Australia lives under the reign not only of Charles III, but also William V!

Both Professor Craven and Mr Mike Carlton seem to have forgotten that in the referendum campaign, the republicans stooped to using the mantra “A No vote is a vote for King Charles and Queen Camilla”. In contrast, ACM relied only on the high ground of constitutional argument, and not even on the standing and respect The Queen undoubtedly enjoys. When Camilla takes on the role of Charles’ wife, the public will come to appreciate her dignity, good sense, humour and absence of any desire to hog the limelight. And as your columnist Nikki Gemmell observes, Prince Charles will make a good king-compassionate, affable grounded, and wise.

After a distinguished career in the navy, Charles is reaching the age when many think of retirement. But few know that such is his work and his commitment, he raised a quarter of a billion dollars for charity in just the last year. If he were, say a rock star, and did this, his stocks would go through the roof. As the late Dick McGarvie used to say, Australians are a wise constitutional people. Gutter tactics didn’t work in 1999, and they won’t work the next time.

If there is one.

Yours Sincerely,
David Flint
Australians for Constitutional Monarchy, etc.,

[The Jeff Kennett article is at http://www.samuelgriffith.org.au/papers/html/volume2/v2addr.htm]

The Editor,
Sun Herald
Sir,

Mr Fitzsimons ( 27/3) sneering attacks on the monarchy should at least be based on fact. Just as Prince Philip is not King of Australia, Camilla Parker-Bowles can never be Queen of Australia. Surely he has not forgotten his republican friends tried this gutter tactic repeatedly in the 1999 referendum campaign, using the mantra “A No vote is a vote for King Charles and Queen Camilla”. It didn’t work then and it won’t work now. Australians make decisions about their constitution on sensible arguments, not on snide, personal attacks.

And as for the personal qualities of Prince Charles, surely Mr Fitzsimmons has read his republican colleague Nikki Gemmell’s assessment after she met the Prince? (Sydney Morning Herald, 26-27 March 2005) She concedes now that he would make a good king - compassionate, affable, grounded, and wise. After years of distinguished service in the navy, Charles is reaching the age when he could be planning his retirement. But surely such a well informed journalist would know that as a result of hard work the Prince raised a quarter of a billion dollars for the disadvantaged in just the last year. If some celebrity friend of Mr Fitzsimmons raised a fraction of this, it would be all over his column. But since this would be a story about a member of the Royal Family, Mr Fitzsimons ignores it, preferring ridicule and abuse.

Yours Sincerely,
David Flint
Australians for Constitutional Monarchy etc,

........

Does the republican movement really believe this stunt will cause any interet in a republic among the rank and file?

Until next time,
David Flint