The gloves are off and a battle royal is sizzling away between the Monarchists who bow low to Professor David Flint and those who curtsey deeply to Philip Benwell. Flint who heads Australians for a Constitutional Monarchy (ACM) says the Governor General is our head of state but Benwell of the pure and uncompromising Australian Monarchist League says that in nonsense — the Queen is holder of that high office.

Benwell says his group will not abide “deception of any sort” and accuses the Flintites of denying they are monarchists but merely Republicans who were thrown into a spin when the phrase “an Australian for head of state” was coined. Mr Benwell even went as far as rapping Quentin Bryce over the knuckles for agreeing with Kevin Rudd’s prediction of the inevitability of a Republic.

As though that wasn’t enough, he says some of the states Governors and even the Governor General herself are purposely appointed in an attempt to politically demean the office and thereby help bring down the Monarchy.

But Benwell has two bob each way. He admits that in our “people’s democracy” we have absolute power to remove a government at an election and remove the Monarchy at a referendum. He and Flint agree on one point — the Governor General is a political animal doing the bidding of the Prime Minister. Both men seem to forget the Queen is in the same situation — she does what Downing Street says. Both women have political masters.

Over at camp Flint there’s a ceaseless barrage of blog items which if anything harm his cause — it has to be said Benwell is focused on retaining the Monarchy at all costs Flint dredges up irrelevances about restoring imperial honours and publishing stories about the royals which would have the Women’s Weekly proud the 1940’s. But the battle continues — neither camp speaks to the other and in the middle are well meaning but out of touch members wondering just what is happening.

Establishing a Republic might just remove their misery.