FOR months we have had to endure war on all fronts – the class war, the gender war, the religion war, the equality war, the war on poverty, the war on drugs, the war against political correctness, the war on the ABC and of course the perennially convenient war on terror.
It has never really ended, of course – the ongoing but sporadic debate over Australia Day resurfaced when two Victorian councils voted to change the date from the more-or-less anniversary of the inauguration of our wide brown land as a British penal colony for something a little more celebratory and inclusive.
There were the predictable screams of outrage and Malcolm Turnbull went back to the formula that whatever it may once have been, it is now a day for all Australians, so if you don’t like it, bugger off.
But this was only the overture; it got interesting when the vastly respected Stan Grant began musing on the bitter and divisive brawl over statues of confederate generals in the United States and asked if it might be time to end what has been called the great Australian silence over our own history.
He focused on the statue of James Cook in Hyde Park in Sydney, which includes the inscription: “Discovered this territory, 1770”.
This, Grant avers reasonably, is hardly true; the Eora people were there a long time before then.
So he does not want the statue removed, but the inscription tweaked to make it more accurate.
Enter our national daily with all guns blazing: it instantly called on the right wing historian Keith Windshuttle to slap down Grant, who clearly deserves it – after all, he works for the ABC, enough said.
Windshuttle was the obvious choice; he is the man who insisted that whatever the…
click here to read the rest of this story