Erasing history

By June 17, 2020Other

Some twenty years ago the Taliban destroyed the Buddhas of Bamyan in Afghanistan, on the ground that these statues, carved in the rock in the early 6thcentury, were idols. The Taliban weren’t the first, let alone the only, destroyers of culture. In 338 BC Alexander the Great sent his army to Persepolis (‘the city of the Persians’), formerly the capital of the Achaemenid Empire. For those who only dimly remember their ancient history, it was the city of Cyrus the Great and Darius I, and was close to a thousand years old when Alexander decided to knock its central elements down.

Wikipedia has a giant list of  ‘destroyed heritage’. Nature and fire have done a lot of it, but it certainly seems that the urge to ‘knock it down’ is widespread and human, and highly political. Aboriginal cave paintings have been destroyed in our own country, most recently in Tasmania in 2016. What was the notion in the vandals’ minds (assuming they had them)? Now we are seeing the destruction and defacement of statues, in Europe, the USA and here. The technical word for it is ‘iconoclasm’, from the Ancient Greek, meaning ‘image breaking’. What is all it about?

I argued in my last essay that the COVID-19 restrictions have produced a kind of tension within the body politic that has led to these BLM protests, to further gatherings of the same kind about refugees, in my view to much more aggressive driving, and to bad temper generally. Yes, there have been notable acts of kindness and toleration as well, but the recent defacement of statues seems to me examples of angry political acts, carried out when there are other angry acts going on. Imitation is the name of the game.

Two hundred and fifty years have passed since Captain Cook saw for himself the eastern coast of Australia, and sailed up its length, having crossed the Tasman Sea from New Zealand. There are no ecstatic celebrations of an official kind, but there is a certain amount of politically correct revisionism going on in which Cook is the harbinger of dreadful deeds to come. I have argued against this sort of stuff before, but feel the need to do it again. Here, for example, is someone who wants place names erased if they belong to ‘racists’.

Who are ‘racists’? Well, apparently ‘Names such as Brisbane, Macquarie and Mitchell do not belong in modern Australian society’. Who is to decide who counts as a racist? If you think statues of Captain Cook and others should remain where they are, he says, you ‘should consider whether [you] really want the visual reminders of dispossession and genocide to remain on view.’

This is sweeping stuff, but I’ll have a go. Yes, I want the statues to remain where they are, and without defacement. They are part of our history. I would agree (with another revisionist) that to dwell on Captain Cook’s ‘discovery’ of Australia is a bit silly, since there were already people living there. But in terms of European and world history, his voyage actually changed the existing view of the world. An unknown section of the globe could now be filled in, helped later by Matthew Flinders. 

Of course, if you don’t take a world-history view of things that is of no account. But the Aboriginal people had been living in terra incognita Australia for forty thousand years or so without making any impact whatever on humanity’s investigation of the planet. So I think Cook’s achievements are worth honouring, and I am glad that such honouring has been done. I would like it maintained, not washed out.

I don’t, as it happens, see place names and statues as visual reminders of dispossession and genocide, partly because I think those terms need a lot of examination, partly because the statues commemorate other things, and partly because I am mostly from Scottish heritage. I have paused at the entrance to Governor Macquarie’s house on Mull (it was a private dwelling) with an acknowledgment of his contribution to our society, which in my view was overwhelmingly positive. I am for Macquarie and against Macarthur, in terms of the fight between them. I served for nearly a decade at Macquarie University too, though I can’t remember any particular celebration of his name there.

Ah, the revisionist will say, to write is such terms shows you to be a white supremacist. I shrug at that sort of ad hominem. To repeat what I have said before, the Aboriginal people who were about in the late 18thand early 19thcenturies had no choice about what was to happen. The next century was decided in the northern hemisphere, as European nations went on a colonial binge, seeking places that they could say they ‘owned’. Their object was to be the biggest and the best in Europe, and the indigenous people they took over were a sort of collateral damage. 

It is understandable that their descendants should feel aggrieved at what happened, but they have a life in a different society, and they have to make the best of it. History is not going to be reversed. More, the notion that ‘sovereignty was never ceded’, a currently fashionable claim from the BLM protest, is simply risible. In 1788 there was no Aboriginal ‘nation’, simply a widespread set of Aboriginal clans and tribal groups, speaking several hundred languages, trading, fighting and wife-seeking. There may have been several separate Aboriginal arrivals over the past fifty thousand years. In my view, the Aboriginal people probably did better with the British arrivals than they would have done with the other possible aspirants for takeover.

It is fine for those of mixed ancestry to choose to identify with their Aboriginal forbears, but there is no reason for the rest of us, without such distinction, to be impressed. That is a choice we can all make. I feel no special affinity with Scotland, though I have enjoyed being there, as I have enjoyed being in France and in Thailand. 

In my view of things, I am an indigenous Australian, born here, with parents born here, and with grandparents, some of whom born here. Oral tradition in our family says that the earliest known ancestor here was in Hobart jail in the 1820s. I haven’t found him, though I have found English ancestors in the Manchester area in the 1750s.

I don’t usually write like this, but it’s time to say strongly what I think. Over my working life I have known a dozen or so Aboriginal people, most of them leaders of one kind or another. None of them, I think, have spoken out or been in the BLM demonstrations. They write in English, they use Western musical forms and instruments, Western painting techniques, they drive, operate sophisticated communications equipment, live in houses, and get on with their lives. They are caught between one part of their lineage and the fact of modern life. Increasingly, young Aboriginal people have to make the same choices, to dwell in an imagined past, where they are victims, or use their talents and their determination to make a success of their lives. Most seem to be doing the latter, and good on them.

I finish with two little anecdotes. I came across the statue of Sir Henry Parkes, in Sydney’s Hyde Park, I think. His face was covered with bird droppings, which his political opponents in the 19thcentury would have enjoyed. But no human being had defaced it. Parkes’s controversial career and style had long ceased to be important.

The second involved a graduate of my university, who was passed on and up to me to solve a problem really important to her. After an acrimonious divorce, she wanted her first degree’s testamur altered to remove her former married name and replace it with her new one. All those she had spoken to had said it was not possible. That’s who she’d been, and the testamur said so. We argued about it, and she was tearful. ‘You’re asking me to rewrite history,’ I said. She agreed it was so. ‘That’s what was done in the former Soviet Union,’ I pointed out. She agreed, but it was important to her. She thought she was a special case. I wouldn’t do it. She took us to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal, which threw her appeal out.

History should not be rewritten. Argued about, yes. Alternative versions proposed, yes. But you do not rewrite what was thought to have happened, and consign the earlier version to the fires. Hitler’s regime did that too.

Finally, there seems little likelihood of a referendum in the life of this parliament about including something appealing to the Aboriginal activists in the Preamble to the Constitution. If there were to be such a referendum, I would write, speak and vote against it. I want inclusion, not a distinction that will be irrelevant before very long.

Join the discussion 75 Comments

  • Aynsley Kellow says:

    Well said Don. A small correction, however: Alexander was alive BC not AD.

    • Don Aitkin says:

      Thanks, Aynsley. Plainly I too only dimly remember my ancient history!

      • Aynsley Kellow says:

        Even my modern history is beginning to resemble Swiss cheese a little more than cheddar – Coon, even.

        We are at an important point in history, though. To know there was evil in the past offers learning opportunities, that (if rejected) will improve nothing. Let he who is without sin, etc. Nice to see the Grauniad hoist with its own self-righteous petard!

  • Chris Warren says:

    Any serious historian will always rewrite history if new evidence comes to hand.

    https://www.thv11.com/article/news/local/black-history/elaine-massacre/91-2be40696-2da2-4aac-8806-df3959194781

    It all depends on the quality of the evidence.

    The point should be that past history should not be denied, and selective commemorations can always be challenged as introducing either bias or self-serving misrepresentations.

    The real problem is well known – victors write the history. To this extent – rewriting is essential.

  • Doug Hurst says:

    Well said Don – my sentiments entirely. There is much more to our history than the dispossession of the aborigines. Much of that history is positive and everyone here, including the aborigines, can live in the modern country of today that attracts a queue of migrants wishing for what we have.

    The current minister is wasting his time striving for greater representation in federal parliament. I think most Australians believe there should be one set of rules for us all and will vote accordingly. The current trend to divide us up into racially defined groups is a disaster in the making and reverses decades of acceptance that there is only one race, the human race, with much more that unites us than divides us.

    As a long-retired navigator, who used some techniques similar to those used by James Cook, I see him as a great pioneer in that field who opened up our part of the world to the industrial revolution and trade that kick-started Australia and laid the foundations for today. If he doesn’t rate a statue in a prominent place, I can’t think of who does.

  • Boxer says:

    Statues are a particularly sore point because someone revered or respected in the present is always likely to be disliked in the future. That applies to the current crop of social justice warriors as much as it does to Cook or anyone else who rises to prominence.

    Rather than remove a statue, it would be better to place next to it two plaques, one describing as dispassionately as possible what the person was recognised for at the time the statue was erected.

    The second plaque would present the perspective of those who object to the initial recognition of the (in)famous person, to give an alternative view.

    The tone and style of the writing on the alternative view would be important, because it would say as much about the writer as it would about the person commemorated by the statue. Then anyone could read the plaques and think about the history involved, without being dictated to by either side.

    The plaques may be prone to vandalism and have to be repaired on occasions, but again, that says more about the vandal than it does about history.

    • Chris Warren says:

      Boxer

      This is a matter for judgement.

      How would this work over a commemorative statue of Hitler???

      Vandalism can also be in the form of denying aboriginal children to speak their own language or live with their family.

      • Boxer says:

        A statue of Hitler? It would be in bad taste, so unlikely to happen given that history is dominated by the victors. But drawing a moral equivalence between Hitler and James Cook? How much bad taste must we tolerate?

        If you want to bring Nazis into it, has Germany expunged all traces of their death camps? And the original Nuremberg Stadium is still there, with some contemporary sculptures in the immediate vicinity. At the nearby partially completed 1940s Deutsches Stadion, there is a confronting museum of the Third Reich, with items in it that present the worst aspects. What struck me most were the quiet conversations I could hear amongst the visitors, conversations in German.

        Germany and Austria have confronted their past, they don’t deny it. I find some of their anguish very moving, like a little church yard in Austria that I wandered into. There are little shrines, still maintained, for tens of Nazi soldiers from that little community, soldiers who, according to the inscriptions, are still out there in the Russian steppes. So they don’t deny the past, they recognise it. We won’t recognise our past, good and bad, if we expunge statues, town names, street names, and so on.

        If you want to name everything after a person who was consistently good, there will be no place names and we will just have to give every town and street a number.

        If we had some plaques presenting alternative views at the foot of some of our statues, we would be able to better appreciate our own past. I am confident of this because I have to recognise that for all the good my family has done, one of my ancestors is recorded as participating in a massacre near Perth. But he didn’t have the luxury of a welfare safety net, the Swan River Colony was close to starvation at time in the early years.

        • Chris Warren says:

          Boxer

          Some apply your so-called “bad taste” test to figures who founded western economies on the deaths and slavery of many others. To their descendants they are moral equivalents to other figures from torn-down statues. They also feel that the commemoration of such figures represents denial of true history and its replacement with victors’ tales.

          Like Germany, Australia has tried to expunge all traces of its death sites and has not assigned any responsibility to those who Australia commemorates for other deeds.

          Normally, all this would not matter but for the failure of Australia to do anything meaningful for indigenous people despite the flood of words and good intentions flowing from Paul Keating in his Redfern Speech in 1992 (not written by him).

          In Australia you are more likely to see a statue of a big banana than a big indigenous figure – go figure.

          • Boambee John says:

            Chris

            “Like Germany, Australia has tried to expunge all traces of its death sites and has not assigned any responsibility to those who Australia commemorates for other deeds.”

            Actually Boxer commented that some German sites have been preserved. As have many Australian sites, if you bothered to check.

    • MARGARITA B FRIEDMAN says:

      Statues besides being a work of art represent a time in history, a valuable point of view that helps understand history. But as power and civilization change, and maybe justice prevails, those out of context statues should give place to new meaningful objects and be placed in a museum, where they will give light to understanding past situations. A park, a plaza are places to lift the spirits, to honor the heroes. I would not like to see a statue of Hitler in a park, but it would not bother me in the museum, within context. There I could understand how loved, glorified he was by the people who believed in him; WAS, not any more. In that same park I would prefer to have the statute of a liberating soldier, a local poet, a war reporter, a scientist, nurse, historian, or even of a sculptor sculpting a statue.

  • John Wilden says:

    Very good article Don.Doug has said it all as far as I am concerned.You may have different thoughts on History but it should never be rewritten.John.

  • Dave Barnes says:

    Hi Don,
    I agree wholeheartedly with the thrust of your essay. I lived in Townsville for more than 40 years. Robert Towns was a blackbirder who shipped more than 50,000 south sea islanders to Bundaberg and up the coast to Mackay. He paid them with trinkets. I wonder whether there will be calls to change the name of the city of Townsville.

    • Chris Warren says:

      David Barnes

      Good question – this is the way history has progressed in the past;

      https://sydneylivingmuseums.com.au/ww1/germanton-or-holbrook

      • Boxer says:

        True. Expunging history is not new. Which helps explain why all humans, of all races, have a long history of making the same mistakes over and over again.

        Had my father and his many comrades not been bomber pilots, how would WWII turned out? Those guys knew exactly what they were doing, but I am glad they did it in bitter sweet way.

        I also have family from the German South Australian population. One generation fought as a WWI ANZAC. His son was, like my father, a bomber pilot in the second war, delivering ordinance to Germany. He survived physically, but it did him irreparable damage

        If you want a nice history, you on the wrong planet. Confront it, deal with it. It’s how we learn.

      • Dave Barnes says:

        Wikipedia has a list of town, street and place names in Australia that were changed as a result of WWI. It’s a very long list.

  • Boambee John says:

    If new information becomes available, it should be recognised and taught.

    My principal concern with the current fashion for toppling statues is that many of the loudest voices either have no actual knowledge of the target (a statue of a prominent abolitiinist was recently vandalised in the US, as was a memorial to the black 54th Massachusetts Regiment), or their approach is very politically one sided (Chris mentioned Hitler earlier, but the legacy of Karl Marx is far bloodier).

    Perhaps this points to a gross failure in the education system? And to the intellectual shallowness of many of the protestors?

  • Karabar says:

    While your thoughts are the same as my thoughts on this subject, it occurs to me that there have been, in days gone by, statues of prominent persons destroyed, and for what most people would consider good reason. For instance, the Stalin Monument was a statue of Joseph Stalin in Budapest, Hungary. Completed in December 1951 as a “gift to Joseph Stalin from the Hungarians on his seventieth birthday”, it was torn down on October 23, 1956 by enraged anti-Soviet crowds during Hungary’s October Revolution. Another such statue was that of So Damned Insane in the destruction of the Firdos Square statue during the invasion of Iraq in 2003 that marked the symbolic end of the Battle of Baghdad. The event took place on April 9, 2003.
    However, such destruction seems justified during times of revolution.
    One queries “What revolution is underway currently that could possibly justify this contemporary destruction?”
    Who is it that is revoting against whom? Or is it simply the wanton destruction of infrastructure by the misinformed, the maladjusted, and the mendacious mob?

  • Neville says:

    Don’t forget that a number of prominent OZ donkeys of the left were quite happy over the years to encourage and promote their left wing heroes like Marx, Castro, Mao, Lenin, Stalin, Che Guevara, Hugo Chavez etc.

    Also Jeremy Corbyn was a strong supporter of Arab racists in the Middle east over the last 20 years and even some of his own Labour party had to resign before the UK election last year. They couldn’t stomach his anti Semitic extremism any longer and thankfully the UK electorate felt the same way.

  • Alice Thermopolis says:

    Being on the “right side of history” is a tricky business.

    The 8th earl of Elgin must have thought he was on the “right” side when the British army under his command razed the old Summer Palace in Beijing – Yuanmingyuan, the Garden of Perfect Brightness – in 1860. After all, all Britain – and others – wanted to do was to force China to open up even further to the opium trade.

    Eric Blair’s father, Richard Walmesley Blair, probably thought he was on the right side of history when working in the Opium Department of the Indian Civil Service.

    His mother, Ida Mabel Blair (née Limouzin), grew up in Moulmein, Burma, where her French father was involved in “speculative ventures”.

    His great-grandfather, Charles Blair, a “wealthy country gentleman in Dorset, probably thought he was on the right side of history too. He was an absentee landlord with cash flow from plantations in Jamaica.

    Eric Blair, aka George Orwell, however, felt he was on the “wrong side” of history (and class). He seems to have spent much of his life trying to exorcise colonial guilt, finally getting on the right side of it – but not his addiction to tobacco – at the end, in a farmhouse on the island of Jura off the west coast of Scotland.

    Not many Eton chaps ended up – like him – as a colonial policeman in Burma, then down and out in Paris and London, on the road to Wigan Pier, as a shop-keeper in Wallington, or with a bullet through the neck in the Spanish Civil War. A tall man, he stood up to light a fag early one morning and the rest is history.

    • John Stankevicius says:

      Thanks once again Don. Love ya work. But seriously this article should never have to be written. The idiot left who crawled out of the University sewer with their miserable idiocy are calling what’s cool. Let’s have a look at what the Great Capt Cook did’ with a telescope, sexton, pen , paper completed the parallax equasion and calculated the distance of earth from the sun which was only 2.5 million k/m diff from today’s calculation.
      What have these useless teaching, journo and law students done.

      Your articles also touches on displaced persons and feeling isolated. The same situations parents and children from central and Eastern Europe lived through.
      They did not want to leave their homelands and their children could no go back – the Gough signed a deal the younger generation would have to do military
      service in the red army If they landed back home- certain death.

  • Bryan Roberts says:

    The idea that memorials honour historical figures is incorrect. They do commemorate them, for good or ill. In Gori, there is the Stalin museum, in adjacent Yerevan, there is the museum of the Armenian genocide. Both memorialising the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people. Which one do you not want to remember?

    • Chris Warren says:

      Bryan Roberts

      Why not neither – but the problem is that you cannot find an Australian example to use?

      Where is the Australian memorialisation of the million deaths of Australian natives due to colonisation?

      Then you could ask; “Which one do you not want to remember?”

      • Bryan Roberts says:

        The real question is – why do you not want to answer?
        Where is the Australian Auschwitz? The Australian Dachau? The Australian equivalent of the Siberian labour camps? The Aboriginal genocide museum? Live in your straw man fantasy, reality is obviously too difficult for you.

        • Chris Warren says:

          Yes, why have all these – or the equivalents – been erased from history?

          Why is there no genocide museum in Australia? Why was the exhibit most relevant to this in the Australian Museum in Canberra taken down?

          Why does the Australian War Memorial not include the war between settlers and local tribes?

          Why has all this been erased from history?

          • Boambee John says:

            Chris

            Perhaps they never happened, certainly on a scale that could reasonably be described as “genocide”.

            The one effort that might just reach that scale, in Tasmania, is quite well documented and recorded.

            Perhaps you should broaden your reading?

      • Bryan Roberts says:

        … and not in your wildest dreams could you accuse Australians of evils on the scale of Hitler, Stalin, Mao, or Pol Pot.

        • Chris Warren says:

          You do not know the Hitlerite scheme unleashed in Tasmania.

          You do not know what you arfe sprouting about.

          • Bryan Roberts says:

            Chris, I am no longer prepared to engage with you. Cheers

          • Boambee John says:

            Chdis

            Really? Perhaps you might identify for us the locations of the gas chambers and crematoria?

          • Now *I’m* annoyed! Surely you know your own history, Chris Warren? Surely you’ve seen the turn-of-the (previous)-century photos of the Tassie Aboriginals chained by their necks?

          • Chris Warren says:

            Nicole Parton

            It is not cler what you are saying?

          • Boambee John says:

            Chris

            “It is not cler (sic) what you are saying?”

            None so blind as will not see what is clearly in the public record.

            As long ago as the 1950s, I was taught about the Tasmanian aborigines in primary school.

            Perhaps the problem is with the modern education system?

  • Patrick says:

    ? Rewriting history ? The real question is whether established history can or should be erased. In my opinion the answer is definitely NO, whatever the underlying motivations might be. Additional, even contriversial, views of history should be allowed provided there is supporting objective evidence. Negative aspects should not be censored as we need to learn from history. However, the same applies to positive aspects.

  • Hasbeen says:

    I had a mate who was an RAAF fighter pilot during the Korean war. He was also the son of a Solomon Islander black birded to the Queensland cane fields. His father did not know the English name of his home island, or more than it was in the northern part of the group.

    When I was cruising the Pacific islands in my yacht in the mid 70s he flew to Bouganville, to join me for 10 days cruising down through the islands to Ghizo. We visited many villages so he could get some idea of what his life could have been.

    His last words to me as he boarded the light aircraft at the little island airstrip just off Ghizo were, “Thank god dad was black birded”.

    I’m sure most of his contemporaries, if they were being honest would say something similar.

    • spangled drongo says:

      Yes Hasbeen, the Aboriginal rainmaker that I was apprenticed to used to often volunteer how good life was living at the station compared to his earlier existence of sleeping naked in the dirt and struggling for food.

      If only we could all live long enough to experience “history” we might not want to erase it.

  • Neville says:

    I see our silly fact free donkey is yapping his usual nonsense about
    one of his stupid left wing haters.
    We know he hardly ever thinks before he yaps, but I’d just ask why the Corbyn anti-Semite suffered the biggest swing against Labour for 100 years in the 2019 UK election?
    Contrary to what he thinks about me, my views obviously seem to be very close to the election result last year.
    Certainly Labour’s RED WALL electorates couldn’t stomach this vile extremist either and voted solidly for Boris and the Tories.
    Admittedly this wipe-out was enhanced by Nigel Forage’s decision not to stand in that Red wall area to make sure that Corbyn+ Labour suffered the maximum damage.
    And Labour’s new young leader has since apologised for their appalling behavior and anti- Semitism during the Corbyn years.

    • Chris Warren says:

      Neville

      Are you drunk???

      • Although I don’t live in Vancouver, Canada, I know it extremely well. Vancouver has a very large Chinese population. With other migrants and people of color taken into account, whites are now in the minority in that city. Should it make a difference? Who cares? Unfortunately, COVID-19 and its likely origin have given rise to unprovoked racist incidents caught on cameras around the city – principally against Chinese residents and visitors. Donald Trump’s continuous referrals to COVID as the “Chinese virus” haven’t helped.

      • Boambee John says:

        Chris

        A compelling, rational, logically argued, response. Well done!

  • Neville Gardner says:

    These liars are certainly doing their best to support the so called BLM extremism and all the rest of their stupid far left agenda.
    Like defunding the Police and not supporting them by responding in an accurate way to the lies and half truths from far left pollies ( like Bandt) and their mates in the media ( like the ABC and channel 10) .
    Here’s one of the Bolter’s best editorials from the Bolt Report.
    And why do fools and know nothings appear to have the most to say at their ABC and channel 10 etc?

    https://www.heraldsun.com.au/blogs/andrew-bolt/politicians-defend-your-police-from-black-lives-matter-lies/news-story/1a742c596b4d3e3ee1f64ba4a79c2a83

  • A very interesting post, as always. I find myself agreeing and disagreeing with both sides. We can’t imagine the pain of indigenous people or of people of color in a white society. I share your view that history should not be rewritten, but the line is fuzzy. It’s important to know there was a dictator named Hitler and that he slaughtered six million Jews and others who “didn’t meet the mark.” Is it important that Germany’s public squares mount Hitler statues? There are none, and Germans aren’t complaining. Germans are bound to Hitler through language and culture, yet they’ve (sensibly) repudiated him.

    You’ve known only a dozen or so indigenous people? Not enough. I’ve known one black person, and not well. Definitely not enough to understand the BLM movement at a visceral level. Some of the complaints and demands for change sound (dare Isay?) small and ill-founded to me, but I’ve never walked in a black person’s shoes, or felt the disproportionate poverty and mistreatment under which so many suffer. I have to take their word for it – as you should Australia’s indigenous people – when they seek to right a wrong with which we can’t even begin to identify.

    Change can be awkward and yes, it can be change for the sake of change. Time and talk will sort that out as we get to know one another better and repudiate – or keep – those symbols that matter and those that don’t. And Sydney …? Some Canadian places have two names. If that’s all it takes to make everyone happy and preserve history (including oral histories), I’m all for it.

    • Bryan Roberts says:

      “in a white society”

      I was born in Sydney. At the time, it may have been ‘white’, but on visiting some 30 years later, I may as well have been in Hong Kong. Even Hobart is obviously influenced by its Chinese population. Given that about a third of our current citizens were born overseas, and many, many more are children of immigrants, the idea that Australia is an inherently ‘racist’ WASP society is simply untenable. In fact, the rarity of overt racism is revealed by the assiduity with which it is sought by the media, and the difficulty of its prosecution.

      • Boambee John says:

        Bryan

        “the rarity of overt racism is revealed by the assiduity with which it is sought by the media, and the difficulty of its prosecution.”

        And the enthusiasm with which non-whites seek to come here.

        • Boambee John says:

          Chris

          In various places in this thread, you have made allegations that evidence of genocidal actions against Australian aboriginals has been concealed.

          Please provide reliable evidence to support these allegations.

          As a reminder, this is just one example of the allegations.

          “Like Germany, Australia has tried to expunge all traces of its death sites and has not assigned any responsibility to those who Australia commemorates for other deeds.”

          You also used the term “hitlerite”.

          Or were your allegations simply politically motivated lies and slander?

    • spangled drongo says:

      “We can’t imagine the pain of indigenous people or of people of color in a white society”.

      But can they imagine ours?

      A thought provoking passage written by an Englishman about the current situation in HIS homeland – this is thought provoking and is equally relevant in any other (once) white country.
      I have been wondering about why whites are racists, and no other race is?

      There are British Africans, British Chinese, British Asian, British Turks, etc, etc, etc.

      And then there are just British. You know what I mean, plain ole English people that were born here. You can include the Welsh, the Scottish and the people who live off our shores of Great Britain.

      You say that whites commit a lot of violence against you. So why are the ghettos the most dangerous places to live?

      You have the Muslim Council of Great Britain.

      You have Black History Month.

      You have swimming pools for Asian women.

      You have Islamic banks for Muslims only.

      You have year of the dragon day for Chinese people.

      If we had a White Pride Day, you would call us racists.

      If we had White History Month, we’d be racists.

      If we had any organization for only whites to ‘advance’ OUR lives, we’d be racists.

      A white woman could not be in the Miss Black Britain or Miss Asia, but any colour can be in the Miss UK.

      If we had a college fund that only gave white students scholarships, you know we’d be racists.

      There are over 200 openly proclaimed Muslim only schools in England. Yet if there were ‘White schools only’, that would be racist!

      In the Bradford riots and Toxteth riots, you believed that you were standing-up for your race and rights. If we stood-up for our race and rights, you would call us racists.

      You are proud to be black, brown, yellow and orange, and you’re not afraid to announce it. But when we announce our white pride, you call us racists.

      We fly our flag, we are racists. If we celebrate St George’s day we are racists.

      You can fly your flag and it’s called diversity. You celebrate your cultures and it’s called multiculturalism.

      You rob us, carjack us, and rape our daughters. But, when a white police officer arrests a black gang member or beats up an Asian drug dealer running from the law and posing a threat to society, you call him a racist.

      I am proud…. but you call me a racist.

      Why is it that only whites can be racists??

      There is nothing improper about this e-mail. Let’s see which of you are proud enough to send it on.

      I sadly don’t think many will. That’s why we have LOST most of OUR RIGHTS in this country. We won’t stand up for ourselves!

      BEING PROUD TO BE WHITE! It’s not a crime, YET… but its getting very close!

      • I am a white woman. I was the subject to racial discrimination about 40 years ago, in a South Asian restaurant frequented by South Asians, No one would take my order. I asked, I smiled, I made eye contact … The servers ignored me. It was an interesting, if slightly painful, experience. I’m not in the least racist and feel no”threat” from other groups, but it was interesting to see how people of color who live in an historically “white” country feel every day. I eventually left. The email below has merit. To me, it underscores that there needs to be more cross-communication among all of us. It’s a given that skin color isn’t an accurate predictor of morality.

  • John McDougall says:

    and I am the tautology Nazi. “Past history”? Please!

  • Peter E says:

    Thanks. Agree.

  • Neville says:

    Apologies to Don, but we should be hammering this fraudulent nonsense until everyone wakes up.
    SA now has a terrible, super expensive and very dangerous + delicate electricity grid, thanks to politicians wasting billions $ over the last few decades.

    And this could’ve been fixed by spending just $30 Mil a few years ago and of course much cheaper and reliable power 24/7. And again none of these billions of wasted $ will make the slightest difference to climate or temp by 2050 or 2100 and beyond.

    http://joannenova.com.au/2020/06/sa-still-at-risk-of-blackout-one-third-of-solar-pv-switching-off-to-save-state-needs-1-5b-interconnector-bandaid-to-nsw/

    • spangled drongo says:

      Yes Neville, it’s one lot of very important recent history that sure needs to be focussed on but instead it’s also being eliminated.

      Because as Jo says; the electricity these rooftop solar panels provide is not just useless, it’s dangerous.

      But nobody seems to be learning from it.

  • spangled drongo says:

    Wise words from Peta Credlin

  • spangled drongo says:

    The hypocrisy is rich. Gerard H in the Aus:

    “Any indigenous Australian who has even one European ancestor would not be around today were it not for 1788 and all that. That’s why it makes sense for contemporary Australians — while acknowledging the, at times, brutal past — to also recognise what we have in common today and not dwell on past injustices.”

    And

    “Soon, no doubt, there will be an attempt to tear down the statues of those who supported the White Australia policy. This would include every politician, including Labor heroes such as John Curtin and Ben Chifley, up until but not including the Liberal Party’s Harold Holt.”

  • spangled drongo says:

    What’s wrong with erasing a little bit of inconvenient history when we have been erasing inconvenient science for ages:

    “Ten days ago the journal Science issued an embargoed press release about a forthcoming paper that suggested the warming observed in West Antarctica was due to natural climatic variability.”

    The researchers conclude,

    ?”The current west-east asymmetry of Antarctic surface climate change is undoubtedly of natural origin because no external factors (e.g., orbital or anthropogenic factors) contribute to the asymmetric mode.”

    Thousands of journalists around the world see “Science” along with “Nature” as the world’s leading science journals. So why is it that no mainstream news media covered this important story?

    https://climatechangedispatch.com/natural-variability-behind-west-antarctic-warming-media-silent/

  • spangled drongo says:

    If you haven’t read of the erasing of history in Qld by our ABC and other lefty media regarding the Kanaka “slave” trade, you need to read the three articles here:

    https://quadrant.org.au/opinion/bennelong-papers/2020/06/the-myths-of-south-seas-slavery-in-australia/

    • Neville says:

      SD thanks for your recent links. I’ve met people who were descendants of the “Kanaka slave trade” and today most are very happy to be Aussies,just like the rest of us.

  • Neville says:

    So how much longer do we have to endure this so called BLM nonsense? The true data has been known for years and yet our clueless media avoid it like the plague. Exceptions like Bolt, Terry McCrann and Sky news etc are rare indeed.

    Here’s Willis’s latest post, including ALL THE DATA and the link is provided at the end. I also include a quote from his latest article. BTW all lives matter, whatever our race or skin colour or religion etc but some of this true USA data is horrendous. So when will we wake up?

    “In 2018, there were over 600,000 violent incidents between black people and white people. [1] That’s far too many, obviously, but humanoids of all flavors are not uniformly peaceful. However, here’s the relevant part:

    In nine out of ten of those 600,000+ incidents, black people were the offenders and white people were the victims of the violence.

    Let me run that past you again so you can take it in. In 2018, the latest year for which we have records, in over 600,000 violent black|white incidents:

    • Nine out of ten victims were white.

    • Nine out of ten offenders were black

    In other words, while there is indeed racism in America, the BLM-claimed and widely believed epidemic of violence against black people is not true in the slightest. There are no masses of white people out there roaming the nights and hunting down black people. There’s no concerted white effort to harm black people.

    In fact, the exact opposite is true. There is a verifiable, factual epidemic of black violence against white people.

    Note that I’m not complaining about that fact. I’m not giving any “poor me”. I’m just stating what is true.

    So no, I’m not taking a knee to the BLM. First off, they endorse and practice violence. They include violent thugs who chant “Pigs in a blanket, fry’em like bacon”. They ambushed and killed policemen. They support rioting and arson.

    Second, they are incurably racist, as Muhammad Ali Jr. pointed out above.

    But more to the current point, the entire BLM movement is built around a lie. The lie that the BLM is built on is the false claim that there is an epidemic of white violence against black people.

    Not only is that a lie, but it is a total inversion of the truth—there is an epidemic of black violence against white people.

    And it’s not just an epidemic of black violence against white people. There’s an epidemic of black violence against everyone, including black people. For example, black men are only about 7% of the population … but they commit almost half of all murders. And most of those murdered by black men? Other black people.

    Now, please be clear. I understand the variety of historical and social reasons for the black|white disparity in violence and hatred, including the current support of black violence by Democrat leaders. And not just tacit support of violence either—they’re putting up $ to bail out people committing violence. Like I said, Booker T. could see the future with very penetrating eyes. There are a lot of people whose very jobs and income depend on the existence of racial hatred, and they’re pushing it hard, they’ll pay good money to keep us at each others’ throats.

    Also, please be clear that I’m not putting any racial group, white, black, or other, up or down above anyone else. Not my style. Plus my friends and relatives of all colors would beat me to a pulp if I tried. Plus my grandma’s ghost would haunt me forever. She grew up in the 1890s in the swamps of Louisiana in the only white family in a large area, surrounded by people she later described as “blacks, Creoles, and Redbone Indians”. Those were the playmates of her childhood and the friends of both her youth and her later days. ”

    https://rosebyanyothernameblog.wordpress.com/2020/06/20/black-lies-matter/

  • Neville says:

    What a pity their so called BLM crusade doesn’t cover the poorest black adults and black kids in the world.
    Like the black kids slaving in Congo mines to provide the raw materials for the ramp up of the fraudulent EV industry etc.
    So long as big banks and big companies etc can exploit their misery and shorten their lives. Just another reason so called Renewable industries should be denied further taxpayer funding ASAP.
    Certainly blood batteries is a very accurate description for this new type of slavery. Remember this when you vote for Labor and the Greens at the next election.

    https://wattsupwiththat.com/2020/06/21/blood-batteries-climate-advocates-grappling-with-the-gruesome-extractive-price-of-renewable-energy/

  • spangled drongo says:

    Oxford finally standing up for themselves and NOT erasing history:

    Subject: Oxford Rebukes Black Activists

    How good is this! This should be standard reading for every University, School, Government, Council and business in Australia and everywhere!

    Oxford Don Rebukes Black Activists

    The letter (below) is a response from Oxford University to black students attending as Rhodes Scholars who demand the university removes the statue of Oxford Benefactor, Cecil Rhodes.

    Interestingly, Chris Patten (Lord Patten of Barnes), The Chancellor of Oxford University, was on the Today Programme on BBC Radio 4 on precisely the same topic. The Daily Telegraph headline yesterday was “Oxford will not rewrite history”.

    Lord Patten commented: “Education is not indoctrination. Our history is not a blank page on which we can write our own version of what it should have been according to our contemporary views and prejudice.”

    “Dear Scrotty Students,

    Cecil Rhodes’s generous bequest has contributed greatly to the comfort and well being of many generations of Oxford students – a good many of them, dare we say it, better, brighter and more deserving than you.

    This does not necessarily mean we approve of everything Rhodes did in his lifetime – but then we don’t have to. Cecil Rhodes died over a century ago. Autres temps, autres moeurs. If you don’t understand what this means – and it would not remotely surprise us if that were the case – then we really think you should ask yourself the question: “Why am I at Oxford?”

    Oxford, let us remind you, is the world’s second oldest extant university. Scholars have been studying here since at least the 11th century. We’ve played a major part in the invention of Western civilisation, from the 12th century intellectual renaissance through the Enlightenment and beyond. Our alumni include William of Ockham, Roger Bacon, William Tyndale, John Donne, Sir Walter Raleigh, Erasmus, Sir Christopher Wren, William Penn, Rep. Adam Smith (D-WA), Samuel Johnson, Robert Hooke, William Morris, Oscar Wilde, Emily Davison, Cardinal Newman, Julie Cocks. We’re a big deal. And most of the people privileged to come and study here are conscious of what a big deal we are. Oxford is their alma mater – their dear mother – and they respect and revere her accordingly.

    And what were your ancestors doing in that period? Living in mud huts, mainly. Sure, we’ll concede you the short lived Southern African civilisation of Great Zimbabwe. But let’s be brutally honest here. The contribution of the Bantu tribes to modern civilisation has been as near as damn it to zilch.

    You’ll probably say that’s “racist”. But it’s what we here at Oxford , prefer to call “true.” Perhaps the rules are different at other universities. In fact, we know things are different at other universities. We’ve watched with horror at what has been happening across the pond from the University of Missouri to the University of Virginia and even to revered institutions like Harvard and Yale: the “safe spaces”; the appalling black lives matter; the creeping cultural relativism; the stifling political correctness; what Allan Bloom rightly called “the closing of the American mind”. At Oxford however, we will always prefer facts and free, open debate to petty grievance-mongering, identity politics and empty sloganeering. The day we cease to do so is the day we lose the right to call ourselves the world’s greatest university.

    Of course, you are perfectly within your rights to squander your time at Oxford on silly, vexatious, single-issue political campaigns. (Though it does make us wonder how stringent the vetting procedure is these days for Rhodes scholarships and even more so, for Mandela Rhodes scholarships) We are well used to seeing undergraduates – or, in your case – postgraduates, making idiots of themselves. Just don’t expect us to indulge your idiocy, let alone genuflect before it. You may be black – “BME” as the grisly modern terminology has it – but we are colour blind. We have been educating gifted undergraduates from our former colonies, our Empire, our Commonwealth and beyond for many generations. We do not discriminate over sex, race, colour or creed. We do, however, discriminate according to intellect.

    That means, inter alia, that when our undergrads or postgrads come up with fatuous ideas, we don’t pat them on the back, give them a red rosette and say: “Ooh, you’re black and you come from South Africa. What a clever chap you are!” No. We prefer to see the quality of those ideas tested in the crucible of public debate. That’s another key part of the Oxford intellectual tradition you see: you can argue any damn thing you like but you need to be able to justify it with facts and logic – otherwise your idea is worthless.

    This ludicrous notion you have that a bronze statue of Cecil Rhodes should be removed from Oriel College, because it’s symbolic of “institutional racism” and “white slavery”. Well even if it is – which we dispute – so bloody what? Any undergraduate so feeble-minded that they can’t pass a bronze statue without having their “safe space” violated really does not deserve to be here. And besides, if we were to remove Rhodes’s statue on the premise that his life wasn’t blemish-free, where would we stop? As one of our alumni Dan Hannan has pointed out, Oriel’s other benefactors include two kings so awful – Edward II and Charles I – that their subjects had them killed. The college opposite – Christ Church – was built by a murderous, thieving bully who bumped off two of his wives. Thomas Jefferson kept slaves: does that invalidate the US Constitution? Winston Churchill had unenlightened views about Muslims and India: was he then the wrong man to lead Britain in the war?”

    Actually, we’ll go further than that. Your Rhodes Must Fall campaign is not merely fatuous but ugly, vandalistic and dangerous. We agree with Oxford historian RW Johnson that what you are trying to do here is no different from what ISIS and the Al-Qaeda have been doing to artefacts in places like Mali and Syria. You are murdering history.

    And who are you, anyway, to be lecturing Oxford University on how it should order its affairs? Your fucking Rhodes must fall campaign, we understand, originates in South Africa and was initiated by a black activist who told one of his lecturers “whites have to be killed”. One of you – Sizwe Mpofu-Walsh – is the privileged son of a rich politician and a member of a party whose slogan is “Kill the Boer; Kill the Farmer”; another of you, Ntokozo Qwabe, who is only in Oxford as a beneficiary of a Rhodes scholarship, has boasted about the need for “socially conscious black students” to “dominate white universities, and do so ruthlessly and decisively!

    Great. That’s just what Oxford University needs. Some cultural enrichment from the land of Winnie Mandela, burning tyre necklaces, an AIDS epidemic almost entirely the result of government indifference and ignorance, one of the world’s highest per capita murder rates, institutionalised corruption, tribal politics, anti-white racism and a collapsing economy. Please name which of the above items you think will enhance the lives of the 22,000 students studying here at Oxford.

    And then please explain what it is that makes your attention grabbing campaign to remove a listed statue from an Oxford college more urgent, more deserving than the desire of probably at least 20,000 of those 22,000 students to enjoy their time here unencumbered by the irritation of spoilt, ungrateful little tossers on scholarships they clearly don’t merit using racial politics and cheap guilt-tripping to ruin the life and fabric of our beloved university. Understand us and understand this clearly: you have everything to learn from us; we have nothing to learn from you.

    Yours, Oriel College, Oxford

  • spangled drongo says:

    In spite of Patten’s letter above, it looks like Oriel College have buckled at the knees and are happy to erase history after all. They have agreed to the removal of Rhodes but it has yet to go to an enquiry:

    “The Inquiry will, in turn, invite submissions from a broad range of stakeholders from Oxford itself and the country as a whole; the students, representatives of Rhodes Must Fall and Oxford City council, as well as alumni of Oxford and Oriel and citizens of the city.

    “Written and oral evidence will be requested. It is intended that some oral evidence sessions will be held in public, with similar rules of engagement to that of a parliamentary select committee. By setting up this commission, Oriel governing body is demonstrating that it is willing to be guided by all its stakeholders.”

    Hopefully the stakeholders have the testicles they are lacking.

    https://www.oxfordstudent.com/2020/06/17/99945/

  • Aynsley Kellow says:

    SD,
    I thought this seemed a little impolite for Oriel College and a bit ‘courageous’ (as Sir Humphrey might put it) for an Oxford don in the present climate. And so it was.

    Thanks to the miracle of Google, I tracked it down to James Delingpole 2016, in response to the idiotic campaign against Rhodes which commenced about then: https://delingpoleworld.com/tag/rhodes-must-fall/

    It seems to be aimed particularly at one of the ringleaders of the campaign, himself a Rhodes Scholar, who sees nothing hypocritical about accepting the money and then campaigning against it. You would think he would at least write a cheque for the value of his education, but he thinks he is only reclaiming what was legitimately the property of his people.

    Not a believer in any theory of value, obviously, that recognises the input of labour and capital. He seems to think that Rhodes just scooped up a few diamonds lying on the ground that the Bantu and Zulu had overlooked. Surely Rhodes should get no credit for buying the land, investing capital, continuing through a serious recession and then bequeathing his wealth to assist colonial types – specifying that race should not be a criterion.

    But (like most of his time) he did think chaps like himself were spiffing – so clearly a racist.

    Incidentally, an excellent piece on the current madness by Helen Dale:
    https://www.spectator.com.au/2020/06/newtons-3rd-law-of-statues/

  • Neville says:

    China continues to forge ahead with the completion of new coal plants and many new plants to come by 2030. Here’s a report from Bloomberg quoting Greenpeace’s latest evidence of their booming coal sector.
    If only Australia had the brains to start building coal plants again and have a guaranteed, reliable 24/7 base-load source of energy again.

    Of course India is just starting to gear up for it’s own coal boom and in part using Aussie coal, just like China has done over the last few decades.

    https://www.bnnbloomberg.ca/china-seen-adding-new-wave-of-coal-plants-after-lifting-curbs-1.1448154

    • Aynsley Kellow says:

      Neville,
      I am currently researching some of this. First, I am writing a chapter on Business and Energy and Environment Policy for a book I am co-editing. It will include discussion of Bloomberg, Steyer and Soros and related hedge funds shoring gas and renewables (the two complementary, with gas the easiest to balance intermittency from wind and solar) while lobbying the Obama administration to restrict coal.

      Roger Piece Jr has done an excellent job showing his this extended to the international level, in getting the extreme emissions scenario RCP8.5 adopted as ‘business as usual’. (Google his name at Forbes).

      Second, I have gathered the material (archival documents and interviews at OECD and IEA) on the attempt by the Obama administration to then restrict the use of export credits to finance coal fired power stations. Obama had already forced s similar measure through the World Bank, but was thwarted in the OECD by Australia (just before the Turnbull coup), Japan and Korea, which ensured it was allowed for HELE plants — the latter two with interests in construction. Export credits were larger and more significant than finance through the Bank.

      The upshot has been that a huge opportunity was created by the vacation of the field by the US, and this has been taken up by – you guessed it – China, which is financing many of these plants in our region and Africa.

      Huge opportunity for China to expand its influence.

  • Boambee John says:

    No response from Chris to my earlier request for evidence to back up his various assertions, so I will re-post it.

    “Chris

    In various places in this thread, you have made allegations that evidence of genocidal actions against Australian aboriginals has been concealed.

    Please provide reliable evidence to support these allegations.

    As a reminder, this is just one example of the allegations.

    “Like Germany, Australia has tried to expunge all traces of its death sites and has not assigned any responsibility to those who Australia commemorates for other deeds.”

    You also used the term “hitlerite”.

    Or were your allegations simply politically motivated lies and slander?”

  • Neville says:

    It seems that the Loony comperes at channel 10 strive to descend to new lows every day.
    Just watch as Andrew Bolt proves the point as these vile lowlifes enjoy the smashing , burning and looting etc around the world.
    How any TV station can allow this type of stupidity to be regularly aired and actually praising these criminals is beyond belief. And the small shop (black) owner who has to suffer the consequences has my sympathy and I hope she can one day manage to start again.
    But I fully understand why they wouldn’t bother again and just imagine a future if we no longer have the Police to protect law abiding citizens from mob rule.
    But what sort of idiot would watch channel 10 and these vile creeps? Once should be enough.

    https://www.heraldsun.com.au/blogs/andrew-bolt/no-more-police-cried-the-race-hustlers-now-watch/news-story/f902009b4f1bef1c5a5231e835ad021c

  • Neville says:

    BJ a credible historian on early Australia and particularly so called Aboriginal history is Keith Windschuttle.
    He started as a lefty but gradually grew tired of the left’s lies and distortions and by the 1970s he had started down a different path .
    This is from the left wing Wikipedia, but probably does a reasonable job. His history of Tasmania and conflict between Settlers and Aboriginals was a real eye opener and caused a heated debate about 18 years ago.
    But Windshuttle had used all the original source material available to genuine historians and his arguments held up well.
    Like Andrew Bolt he doesn’t think there were any so called Stolen generations of Aboriginal children and this seems to be supported by our courts over the years. Some Aboriginal kids were removed from terrible conditions but this was for their own welfare and safety.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Keith_Windschuttle

    • Boambee John says:

      Neville

      Thanks for that, I am aware of Windschuttle’s work. I was more interested in seeing if Chris “august refereed journals” Warren has any evidence for his assertions. It seems not.

  • Tim Walshaw says:

    Memories are short. George Orwell wrote a book on the subject rewriting history. “1984”. There is a strong ideological strand in rewriting history. It is central to Marxism. The past does not exist. Memories have to be constantly reshaped. It is interesting that this has resurfaced again. Remember the “history wars” fought by our ex-prime minister John Howard. Reshaping memories of the past is very, indeed crucially, important to the marxists. Any weapon will do. “racism”. “unfair”. Howl and scream. Statues are a solid memory of our past. They have to go.

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