E-Newsletter no. 12, 31 March 2014

ISSN:2202-5561 © Honest History Inc. 2014

New at honesthistory.net.au

Whizzbangs

Australian voices

  • ‘For we are conquerors and self-poisoners/more than scorpion or snake/and dying of the venoms that we make/even while you die of us.’ (Judith Wright, ‘Australia 1970’)
  • ‘We are not free to break our word, abandon our principles, desert our party, betray our constituents. But the pledge cannot prevent us doing any one or all of those things if our inclination lies in that direction.’ (WM Hughes, The Case for Labor, 1910)
  • Prime Minister Abbott, asked what had been the most rewarding parts of the job so far, replied, ‘I suppose, being a fairly traditional person, the contact with the military at every level, from the service chiefs to the squaddies that I’ve been lucky enough to do PT with, has been a special highlight’.

Dealing with terror

‘[W]e must learn to manage the risk of terrorism, just as we manage other unavoidable risks, including natural disasters, economic catastrophes, violent crime, and traffic accidents. It means arresting and trying terrorists, not simply killing them – as we must do with serial killers, rapists, and would-be assassins. It involves intelligence-gathering, diplomacy, foreign aid, and working to alleviate the underlying grievances that drive human beings to kill innocent people for political ends.’ (David Cole, ‘The end of the war on terror?‘, New York Review of Books, 7 November 2013)

Writings and happenings

  • ABC Canberra 666 and online: Honest History spot Tuesdays, 10 am: next 1 April, Peter Stanley
  • Honest History-Manning Clark House lectures: next 26 May, Kerry Neale on World War I facial wounds and how they were treated
  • Honest History in Adelaide: we are planning a launch of Honest History in Adelaide; if interested in helping, contact us
  • Honest History has gigs at Pax Christi NSW (7 April, 6.30 pm start, not 7.30 pm as shown in early flyers), Canberra Peace Convergence (22 April), Manning Clark House Anzac week seminar (22 April), Southern Cross University public lecture and two Anzac services, Lismore (24-25 April), and a History Teachers’ Association of NSW training day (9 May). If your organisation is looking for Honest History speakers, contact us.
  • Paul Daley asks whether arms manufacturers should be subsidising war commemoration. The article attracted some heated comments on both ‘sides’.
  • An Indigenous studies centre at the ANU studies the deeds of Indigenous warriors wearing the King’s uniform.
  • Manning Clark House, Canberra, has an exhibition of rarely seen photos of Gallipoli while a Brisbane exhibition has pictures of Indigenous Australians from the nineteenth century.
  • The Lowy Institute, Sydney, has events on 2 April on the lessons of war (Vietnam and Afghanistan) and on 7 April on Snowden and WIkileaks. Tickets needed.
  • Among the many Northern Hemisphere World War I centenary events being supported by a range of peace groups is International Conscientious Objectors Day, 15 May, centring on a ceremony in London. The flyer lists organisations involved.
  • A new blog from Stephen Clarke ‘across the ditch’ monitoring commemoration.

And a punt on public opinion

There’s a lot in this newsletter on war and alarums thereof. Which is fitting as we move into the Anzac season. Apropos, Honest History has been wondering about public opinion on Anzac. One gut feeling is that about one-third of Australians today are Anzac enthusiasts, about one-third are confirmed Anzac sceptics and one-third are indifferent. Any thoughts on this guess? As time permits, we are looking at past polling to find anything relevant.

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