January 15

“Mate” campaign:republicans will soon be asking who was to blame?


I suspect that soon republicans will ask who is to blame for the mate for head of state campaign.

This column revealed some time ago it was Peter FitzSimons. He had been too eager to tantalise his readers with stories of secret meetings of republicans in Philip Street , and about some bombshell they would announce.

Ann Henderson admitted to Crikey.com.au on 12 January, 2005 that Peter FitzSimons "thought it up".

So we were right.

Sorry to blow your cover, Peter.

Apparently it was approved at a meeting-actually a lunch- with Roger Allen, John Bell, Peter FitzSimons, Peter Gray SC, Anne Henderson, Allison Henry, Beth Jackson & Kylie McNamara.

This reminds me of the clebrated lunch at Neville Wran’s, when the chardonnay flowed and the ARM was born.

Acccording to Mr FitzSimons, there was not one but several lunches – , or should that be meetings?

All to come up with this bombshell- a mate for a head of state day,when republicans will wear yellow ribbons!

Dr Henderson, who is also the Deputy Chairman of the republican movement says this has nothing to do with the republican movement, although its all over their site.

Nor is it about constitutional change, she claims. Presumably they are to wear yellow ribbons for the fun of it.

And it won’t disappear like those other secret weapons of the republican movement – remember Blinky Bill, the gaggle of celebrities, candlelit dinners in five star hotels, ambassadors for the republic, wheeling out Gough and Malcolm to say "Its Time",etc, etc.

Dr Henderson threatens that this will be repeated every year, just before Australia Day, until Australians get it right.

There is one small mercy in this.

At least we’ll know now what each year’s republican stunt will be.

Until next time,

David Flint

[email protected]


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