Tuesday, April 27, 2004

What academic circles does David Flint move in?

I'm going to go out on a limb here, and predict that David Flint is finished.

Short of standing as a One Nation candidate, I can't imagine any public or professional role that would have him. He obviously has to go from the ABA, following last night's "Media Watch" revelation of a cringeing letter from Flint (I hope and expect that he is soon stripped of his title as "Professor" - it will be a travesty if he isn't) to Alan Jones in 1999. In legal terms, this letter is more than enough to raise an apprehension of bias, when it comes to Flint's fitness to undertake the subsequent inquiries.

But it is in non-legal terms that Flint's behavious is just spectacularly wrong. For starters, he actually kept a copy of the incriminating letter on file on the ABA*!

Even more incredulous is Flint's explanation of the letter's context:

"My recollection is that I was invited to chair a seminar on international trade and the expert on international trade who gave the lead speech whom I introduced caused considerable interest when towards the end of his speech he said that ... there's one person you should be listening to who has a particular view who is very well researched in this area, he takes a different view from most of the commentators and that is Mr Alan Jones.

The world's first-ever recorded conjoint use of the phrases "very well researched" and "Alan Jones", I believe.


David Flint has just dug himself into a deeper hole, as a result of his being interviewed on "The 7.30 Report" . The "expert on international trade" now has morphed into an unnamed (!), high profile media figure, who apparently sung Jones's praises at an international trade seminar.

According to Flint, the context of the letter in question was a passing-on to Jones of this media figure's praise for him. As to why there was not the remotest allusion to this scenario in the letter, Flint's explanation is that the leaked letter was but one of a series he wrote to Jones, with the series overall providing the context. Oh, and unfortunately, every other letter in the said series is no longer extant.

Sure, David - I'm sure the dog ate the rest of them.

Further Update 28 April 2004

David Flint's game plan is all but revealed in today's SMH - his non-renewable chairmanship of the ABA expires in October. The rules of what has become a Great Australian Tradition thus apply - a loose cannon exec is allowed to serve out their final months, even as they fire a crescendo of ever-more irresponsible and ludicrous volleys. The reason? Sacking the exec may prove expensive, due to the risk of even the most-justifiably sacked such person launching vexatious legal action.

This Great Australian Tradition is, needless to say, pissweak.

* This must follow, unless MW's Deep Throat is a source from deep inside the Jones camp.

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