Wednesday’s Piece

I am told that our views are (flag) poles apart but by Mrs. Gadd, Sir, I do like her letters. (See Monday’s Rhodesia Herald – “perSmitive” society – the cattle are lewing – and all that!).

John Lentell

October 10th, 1968

PRINCIPLE VIOLATED ON NEW FLAG QUESTION

If Mr. Lardner.Burke is so sure that 99.9 per cent of the population will respect the new flag, why did he not put it to a referendum and remove all doubt? Or is it just possible that there is some substance to the rumour emanating from sources high in Government that orders were placed for this flag in readiness for November 11, even before the legislation had been  drawn up?

It is easy to say no better suggestions were forthcoming – like suggestions on a new constitution – when the powers that be have already made up their minds that their own ideas shall prevail. While it was certainly the responsibility of civil servants to go into the matter of suitable designs for national approval, the right of choice was not theirs or that of a handful of Members, but the choice of those they serve.

Certainly we will respect the new flag – we haven’t much choice. Who would wish to pay fines or sit in solitary? But I would advise Mr John Newington, MP for Hillcrest, that scathing comments on members of the public at least his equal in intelligence, are not likely to enhance his image. Come the next elections and it is just possible that some voters will show him how ‘unctuous and sanctimonious’ they can be.
Quite apart from any personal feelings in the matter, I believe that on the question of the new flag a principle has been violated. Governments are elected to govern, but a distinction must be drawn between a dictatorial authority and government by popular consent and no intelligent electorate, valuing its rights and freedoms, would ever let any government forget it.

Certainly we will respect the new flag – we haven’t much choice. Who would wish to pay fines or sit in solitary? But I would advise Mr John Newington, MP for Hillcrest, that scathing comments on members of the public at least his equal in intelligence, are not likely to enhance his image. Come the next elections and it is just possible that some voters will show him how ‘unctuous and sanctimonious’ they can be.Quite apart from any personal feelings in the matter, I believe that on the question of the new flag a principle has been violated. Governments are elected to govern, but a distinction must be drawn between a dictatorial authority and government by popular consent and no intelligent electorate, valuing its rights and freedoms, would ever let any government forget it.

If the majority are now prepared to abrogate their rights and submit to what is now in essence a perSmithive authority, they must not complain when they find themselves in the position of Mr Ian Smith’s cattle who do not embarrass him by asking questions or expecting any answers. They will have brought it on themselves.

(Mrs.) B.C. GADD

Rhodesia Herald – letters page

Monday, 7th October, 1968

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