Readers may be amused by the fact that a website controlled by the republican movement’s last deputy president and media director is so worried about ACM they spend time fabricating stories about us. They would be better advised to finalise and make public the republican model and new flag they have been working on over the last twelve years.
And you would have thought that they would have been embarrassed by their very rude denial that the Irish Republican Army’s Gerry Adams actually came to Australia and campaigned for the Yes case in the 1999 referendum. Or their denial that Malcolm Turnbull did not try to have two words removed from the referendum question, "President " and "Republic".
But they still go on with their fabrications about us which they publish with a reckless indifference as to whether what they are claiming is true or false. (Of course not all republicans do this. The late Professor George Winterton never resiled from the truth as he saw it. Dr. Hirst, who delivered the 2011 republican lecture, does not resort to the usual epublican rmyths about John Howard fixing the 1998 Convention or the referendum.)
One recent republican fabrication is that we paid one of the nation’s leading opinion pollsters to produce a poll favourable to the constitutional monarchy. This is of course completely untrue.
It is also highly defamatory of all of those very professional pollsters. It has left the republicans open to an action in defamation exposing them to a very substantial claim in damages.
The other current fabrication is that ACM actually pays some American service we have never heard of to supply fictional “likes” or fans for ACM's Facebook. The growing audience for our Facebook, particularly among the young, must be worrying them.
One unfortunate thing for the ARM is that they seem to have lost their memory. They forget that as the 1998 Constitutional Convention drew to a close , the realisation finally dawned on them that ACM was completely truthful in all that we said.
They had refused to believe Lloyd Waddy when he made it very clear that we would never vote for any republican model. They feared we would use our numbers to ensure that one particular model, the McGarvie model, would be the one in the referendum. It was suggested in the press that the monarchists should vote tactically – support MrGarvie but as the”least worst” model but oppose it in the referendum.
Fearing that the monarchists would do what they said they would not, Malcolm Turnbull made amendments to the Keating-Turnbull republican model to answer criticisms made first by ACM and then Richard McGarvie. These particularly related to the dismissal of the President. But in doing this, Malcolm Turnbull went further than he need have.
The fact is that the monarchists refused to support the McGarvie model, much to the publicly expressed chagrin of republican Professor Craven and the privately expressed views of several others. But as John Howard said in an interview with me in 2009, ACM had behaved with honour.
This was corroborated by Cardinal Pell at the 1998 Constitutional Convention. Speaking to a motion endorsing the referendum model, His Eminence said:
“Yesterday the monarchists voted with discipline, integrity and honour. Lloyd Waddy was the very model of a modern major general. They did not vote tactically. Their virtue brought its own reward. Republican disarray yesterday was our own doing. The republicans know well that to divide is to rule even when the division is self-inflicted.”
Mr. Tim Fischer, former Deputy Prime Minister and republican, offered similar praise at the Corowa Conference 2001 where again we refrained from voting on the choice of republican models.
…using an American site…
The proposition that ACM would actually be buying fans through some American site is ridiculous. Our accounts are audited – how could we justify this? In any event 92% of our Facebook fans are Australian based, and 38% are under 24. Thirty two percent of those who are active ( “talking about” ) are under 24. Ninety three per cent of them are Australian based.
…and we didn’t buy these…
We didn’t buy them as we didn’t buy the 55,000 odd supporters who worked for victory in the referendum. (We didn't have to outsource our referendum campaign to the ALP and the ACTU as the ARM did – we are a grassroots organisation.)
We didn't have to pay the more than 20,000 people who came out onto Macquarie Street Sydney to demonstrate against the expulsion of the governors New South Wales in 1996. (It is the ARM who needs to attract people for their demonstrations – during the referendum they brought out about 70 people to their principal well advertised demonstration, and only about 50 in 2006 to their public demonstration at the height of their embarrassing Mate for a Head of State campaign.)
We didn’t buy the voters who gave the No case the landslide victory in 1999 in all states and in 72% of electorates.
We didn't buy the over 12 million hits on our website last year nor its 3.25 million page views.
We didn’t buy the 1 million views on our YouTube channel.
We didn’t buy the crowds who turned out to see Prince William.
We didn’t buy the record Australian and world TV audience for the Royal Wedding.
And we didn’t buy the vast crowds that came out to see The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh last year – over 120.000 in Perth.
…better things to do….
The republican movement can continue to circulate its fabrications, although defaming professional people such as established pollsters may well prove expensive.
The fabrications won't be of any advantage to them, just as their silly “scoop” last year that The Queen had instructed the PM to proceed with a republic was of no advanatage.
Perhaps it would be better for them if they made public after 12 long years just what is their republican model and what their new flag looks like.
On the other hand perhaps it is wise for them that they keep them secret.
[The painting Truth Bringing Republic and Abundance is by Nicolas de Courteille. Allegory on the French revolution; on the right is the Ancient Greek Cynic philosopher Diogenes with his lamp; the three woman are draped in the colors of the tricolour. Oil on canvas. 85 x 110 cm. Unfortunately, the revolution only brought terror, war and ruin.]