Tuesday, July 22, 2003

The Gerard Henderson vs David Flint spat

Being at least twice* removed from either side of this argument puts me in a prime spot for a bit of mindless, prurient spectating.

Nonetheless, I can’t resist taking sides, but strictly in a temporary, non-binding sense, mind you. Henderson is clearly being disingenuous by quizzing what on earth could link the “elite” names that Flint names. It is obvious to Blind Freddie, I would have thought, that the answer is “republicanism”.

Failing that, my suggestion is that Flint’s ersatz list may relate to fashion and clothes sense. I picture Flint as the sort of chap who would often put on his dark blue blazer with gold buttons as his going-out garb. On the other hand, I can’t see any of Flint’s list ever wearing the said blue blazer#, even to meet the Queen.

On which, I came across this curious prequel to the current Henderson-Flint spat:

When the British Queen Mother died, Australia's ABC TV Lateline featured a discussion between republican, Dr Gerard Henderson, and monarchist, Professor David Flint. The topic was a letter the Queen Mother had written wherein she refers to Hitler as " a sincere man". Henderson suffered from bodily and mental spasms as Flint deflected Henderson's criticism of the Queen Mother's remarks. Flint pointed out that 'evil' Hitler could indeed have been quite a sincere person in the beliefs he held.

My source here is a (Australian) Nazi-sympathetic website, for which reason I decline to name it – but the above quote was found through Google, if you get my drift. (I haven’t been able to corroborate the substance of the Lateline stoush it outlines, on the ABC website or elsewhere.)

* “Twice removed” because:

(i) all who are on, or even alleged to be on, either side are baby boomers, or older (barring Natasha Stott-Despoja);
(ii) I am immune to being called “elite” – indeed, I cannot currently be accused of being working class, much less “upper-middle-class”

# Disclosure: Paul Watson once wore the said style of dark blue blazer to a high school social, c. 1980. He thought that he looked rather spiffing in it at the time. But he never wore it again, and it has long since disappeared from his closet. Remembering this, Paul is starting to now have his own “mental spasms” over whether one adolescent experiment with gold-buttoned blue blazers has cast him as a monarchist for life, however much he may have denied this it up til now (and don’t dare ever bring up his arts-student “Cravat period”!)

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