Google can be a real pain sometimes, can't it? David Flint of Australians for Constitutional Monarchy (ACM) is once again publishing claims that the Australian and New Zealand republican movements are somehow linked to Gerry Adams of Sinn Fein, and refused to rebuke him in 1999 for endorsing the "yes" case:
"You can believe what we say, the republicans argue. Just as the Australian and New Zealand republicans recently insisted that their supporter, Gerry Adams, was not in Australia in 1999 calling for a Yes vote, even though he appeared on the ABC, lectured at a university and gave interviews to the press."
FLINT IS partially correct in that I did state that Gerry Adams never visited Australia. This was because I personally couldn't find any reference on Google to it, despite multiple searches. I even went back to good old dead tree media and read through Malcolm Turnbull's diary of the 1999 referendum campaign. When it was discovered we were wrong, the mistake was acknowledged in a published post, but pointed out that any statement by Adams (Flint disingenuously called it an "intervention") was probably ignored. There was no need for the ARM to distance itself from the crimes of the IRA, just as the ACM didn't need to distance itself from the Khmer Rouge, which was linked to the deposed King of Cambodia. The fact that Flint is repeating this mistake as if it wasn't acknowledged as such shows the deliberate intention of the original comments.
He's now at it again over comments made by UK Republic Campaign manager Graham Smith to Chinese Radio International. Flint claims Graham said the referendum was defeated because "...any model was put to the people. The last thing the people need, according to these republicans, United Kingdom or Australian, is to know what they are planning to replace their constitution with." However, thanks to the power of Google I'm able to report that this is factually incorrect. Graham actually said one of the issues was that "Australians were offered one simple choice: to either keep what they had or adopt a particular kind of republican model, and that model was quite flawed." Graham goes on to say that this split the republican camp (as we all know - Flint in particular because he campaigned with them) between supporters of direct and indirect election. This was enough to sway the referendum in the monarchy's favour, and give the No case a hollow victory.
Now, it's clear to me that what Graham was saying was that the Australian people should be able to choose the model of republic Australia follows. That is the most democratic and inclusive way to resolve the direct versus indirect argument. Flint hates this as he knows it will mean the monarchists winning strategy for the last referendum will be defunct.
Google also threw up a fascinating fact: the ACM's website has a private forum area where members can discuss topics before they're posted. I expect this is the reason why the link to the interview hasn't been posted yet: they're working on how to react to it, or how to edit it favourably. This is probably so they can make Flint's above statement comply with an edited to suit. However, I've now got the raw audio of the interview which will refute this. Ain't Google a pain?
By the way, the forum is here:
Can't see what they're discussing, but it's an open topic.
Republican Movement of Aotearoa New Zealand
PO Box 5063, Wellesley Street