The Overland dismissal: a royal load of codswallop

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David Flint jumps in the deep end while commenting on Simon Overland's destruction by the Murdoch press. Senior correspondent Barry Everingham comments.

Former Victorian Police commisioner Simon Overland

It’s hard to fathom the workings of David Flint’s mind.

On most of his posts on his personal blog – either under his own name or his non de plume “by ACM” – he goes all coy and giggly over The Daily Telegraph and The Australian, both Murdoch owned journals and both advocates for an Australian Republic.

But Flint, who is from the extreme right-wing of the Liberal Party, is pragmatic to say the least.

His attitude to Fred Nile, Australia’s version of the Reverend Ian Paisley, is sickening.  And Flint knows what I mean.

But on Tuesday he trotted out a really disgusting piece on the slaughter of Victoria’s former Police Commissioner, Simon Overland, who was forced to resign following unrelenting attacks on him by The Australian and the Melbourne Herald Sun.

Flint’s opinion piece was prefaced by his usual mantra along the following lines:

The resignation of the Victorian police commissioner “is not one on which it would be appropriate for this column to comment”.

How that disclaimer gives him a licence to do just that, I’m not at all sure, but nevertheless he then launches into a load of codswallop that beggars belief.

He starts as follows:

“Rather it is the reaction of the National Newspaper The Australian, which attracts our attention. [Note “our” – just where IS this bloke coming from?] In its editorial “Overland exit shows case for a royal commission” the newspaper says that there is need for Victorians to be given more detailed answers than that which was given by former police commissioner Overland”.

Now royal commissions, as Flint well knows, are called by governments when they know what the findings will be. Bob Menzies’ disgraceful use of two Soviet diplomats who defected from the Soviet Embassy on the eve of a federal election, which Menzies won – and whose information was subsequently found to be useless – was a case in point.

His obsession with anything containing the word “royal” is really pathetic.

Witness his following take:

“Royal Commissions have long enjoyed an important place in Australia – fasten seat belts here – casting light into issues shrouded in darkness. Republicans have attempted to get rid of royal commissions as part of their illicit campaign to remove all symbols of the institution they despise!”


“But the natural reaction on matters of great significance where the truth must be found, even for a newspaper which has an abiding belief in Australia eventually becoming a republic, is to call not for some enquiry but for the highest and most objective enquiry that it can imagine, a royal commission.”

Is that abiding belief “illicit” Professor?

What crap (to use an expression made famous by Flint’s idol, Tony Abbott).

Would Flint really have us believe that Supreme Court justices are incapable of coming up with conclusions that are not legally sound? Does he really believe that appending the word “royal” to anything at all gives whatever it’s appended to some cache otherwise missing?

David Flint continues in most of his rants to lie by producing SOME but never ALL of the facts of the matter under discussion.

In the case he’s following here, he forgets that The Australian’s editor in chief has a continuing battle with Simon Overland concerning the alleged breaking of an embargo. I’m not going any further as I think that matter is yet to be legally settled.

As a resident of Victoria, I have to say that in my opinion Simon Overland did a great job and the continuing and disgraceful attacks on him by Flint’s favourite newspapers were a disgrace.

And for Flint to buy into this one in the only capacity he has – co-owner and absolute controller of Australians for Constitutional Monarchy – is equally disgraceful. Surely it’s time for the more reasonable supporters of ACM to get a good lawyer to look into the group’s constitution and, if it is to have any credibility at all, consign him to the scrap heap of irrelevance where he rightfully belongs.  
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