April 19

Republican movement tells the BBC one thing, the ABC and Canberra Times the opposite.

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Tuesday, 19 April 2011

 The republican movement seems to be intent on misleading the media. (Or the leadership is seriously divided about what they should be doing about the Royal Wedding.)


[We ARE going to campaign during the wedding! No, we're not that stupid!]

This emerged when the  BBC’s Sydney correspondent Nick Bryant pointed out in The Australian (18/4) that Australia’s  republican movement can hardly hope to compete with the Royal  Wedding ”… in a country where two out of three of the most watched television events in history have involved the Windsors: Diana's wedding and funeral.”

the truth?…

Mr. Bryant added:

The truth, of course, is they are not trying, and are waiting for the confetti to blow away. ‘We don't want to be party poopers,’ a leading republican, who did not think the wedding had broader implications for the cause, told me recently."

…the ABC gets a different story…

Well, that is not what the republican movement told the ABC on 17 November, 2010.

They said that the wedding was the ideal time to push their campaign.  Here is their former chair, presently deputy chair and spokesperson, Professor John Warhurst with a debate with me on the announcement of the Royal Wedding:


…no were not…

But then the republicans showed no sign of pushing this campaign, and seemed to restrict themselves to a personal campaign against Prince William. 

So it seemed fair to conclude that they had changed their minds. I wrote on this site “The republican movement had proposed a campaign for a plebiscite at the time of the Royal Wedding; it would seem this strategy may have been reconsidered (“Republican movement peeved by Royal Visit” 20/3)

I then received this intemperate email from the movement’s vice chair and media director David Donovan who had previously denigrated  my partial Asian origins by describing me as “perma-tanned”:

“We never proposed anything of the sort – as we have asked you before, would you please stop telling lies about the ARM. Perhaps you can’t stop?”

…yes we are…


But then Professor Warhurst insisted on continuing  to push the campaign  in the media – the one  which their media director says they had never proposed. 

Writing in the Canberra Times on Thursday 24 March (“King William? No thank you”) Professor John Warhurst, deputy leader of the republican movement declared his continuing  support for this campaign:

“As the Royal wedding looms, there is no better time than now to dethrone the monarchy and for Australia to finally become a republic.”

The message could not have been  clearer.

Professor Warhurst says he even delivered the very same message the day before to school students at a national convention in Canberra.  But then the movement tells the BBC they do not want to be "party poopers." 

 So are they misleading  the media, or are they of two minds?




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