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Flint's Fawlty logic

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In an ironic twist, David Flint is now comparing the chair of the NZ Republican Movement with Basil Fawlty. The embarrassment monarchists must feel to have this immature eccentric as their leader must be intense. Lewis Holden reluctantly responds to Flint's latest childish tirade.

David Flint, still debating the 1999 referendum.


ON FRIDAY I posted one of the several e-mail threads I've been receiving since David Flint put up an article claiming I couldn't be trusted, because of three factual mistakes allegedly made. Clearly Professor Flint saw that post and has decided to write a follow-up, comparing myself to Basil Fawlty, as a way to encourage the abuse I've been receiving. It's a pretty sorry state of affairs really, and if it were not for the fact that Flint keeps trying to personally vilify myself, I would not bother to respond. It's very telling that Flint won't link to this website. But that's typical of his arguments. If he really had the courage of his convictions he would link to this article and allow his readers to compare what has been said.

I don't mind being compared to Basil Fawlty actually, although I'd like to think my Spanish is rather better than Basils. I'd much rather be Basil Fawlty than an humourless repeater of irrelevant issues long dead from ten years ago. Obviously I'm meant to take offence at the comparison. However I've been called much worse, and it's obvious the comparison to Basil Fawlty is meant to mock myself. If it's a question of maturity, I'm happy for readers to compare my approach to the allegations to Professor Flints.

If it's a question of my competence, I'm happy to go on the record and allow readers to compare our two positions for what they are. They can easily see that Professor Flint has not responded to the fact that he fabricated a statement made by Republic Campaign's Graham Smith to Chinese radio, or the totally inaccurate claim that I said the ARM never wanted the words "president" and "republic" excluded from the long-title of the Bill for the 1999 republic referendum. Thankfully the ACM has now stopped repeating the claim that the ARM must be in bed with the IRA because of a non-refusal to refute Gerry Adam's urging of Australians to vote yes in 1999, largely because an earlier post again repeating that matter was removed.

Adams was so unimportant, Turnbull didn't even mention it in his book.


That comparison of our two sets of posts shows I'm happy to admit where I've made mistakes, and I have. I'll leave it up to readers to decide for themselves what the professor does when confronted with factual errors. In response to his latest tirade, I simply say that the reality is that the ARM did submit a long-title for the Bill that didn't include those words. The point I made was that was not as important as Flint makes it out to be. If it were, they wouldn't have "backed down" as quickly as they did. They would've fought it. And by the way, Flint is also wrong in his statement that Turnbull didn't record that event in his campaign diary. Actually that was Gerry Adams' visit, another one of the pointless arguments from 10 years ago Flint is trying to make. Turnbull actually goes into some detail on the controversy.

The underlying issue here is not that whether ARM wanted the words "republic" or "president" removed. They didn't, but if I'm wrong on that it doesn't change the substantive point I was making: the ACM didn't want a question where the Queen was referred to as Head of State. That is the reason why Professor Flint is trying to make this a live issue, and the reason why he is now comparing myself to Basil Fawlty. His complaint about the ARM is nothing but a smokescreen for the ACM's campaign for misinformation, to try and twist the meaning of "head of state" to exclude the Queen.

LJ Holden
Chair
Republican Movement of Aotearoa New Zealand
PO Box 5063, Wellesley Street

Auckland 1141  
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