Poor,
poor Professor Flint. He does so want to be loved. Or even noticed.
Having condemned himself to irrelevance by his foolish antics at the
Australian Broadcasting Authority, he now clings to the hope that
trumpeting the monarchist cause will keep him in the limelight. In a
way, it does. As court jester, capering in cap and bells. His
anti-republican squib in Crikey yesterday was typical of the stuff he
trots out so often – triumphal, venomous, sneering.

As everybody
knows, the 1999 referendum question was loaded to get the negative
answer the prime minister desired. Voters were asked, yes or no, if
they wanted “a republic with the Queen and governor-general being
replaced by a president appointed by a two-thirds majority of the
members of the Commonwealth Parliament.”

No, the voters did
not want politicians to appoint their head of state. It was push
polling to the ultimate. Flint resolutely ignores this. A properly
framed question, put at a plebiscite, would ask voters if they wanted
an Australian citizen at the apex of our constitutional arrangements.

Not,
as the constitution now states, that “the executive power of the
Commonwealth is vested in the Queen and is exercisable by the
governor-general as the Queen’s representative.” The answer would be a
resounding yes, and we could proceed from there.

If that would
have to be over Professor Flint’s dead body – a cadaver in cavalier
lace, feathers and furbelows, left in a ditch – then so be it.