Minister tweets a response to Honest History post

We don’t often get public responses from government (though we see evidence from time to time of official attitudes to our work – there’s a list below) so it was nice to hear from the Hon. Stuart Robert MP, Minister for Human Services, Minister for Veterans’ Affairs, Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for the centenary of Anzac and member for Fadden. This is what provoked the Minister; the story is below.

We tweeted earlier today:

Will be too busy to do the Anzac Centenary job properly? Are we at peak Anzac?

To which the Minister responded:

  you tweeted that yesterday and it was a rubbish question then. Of course I can walk and chew gum at the same time.

To which we riposted:

glad to hear it Minister; we’ll see. You haven’t yet answered our letter of 10 October

Previous straws in the wind from the busy Veterans’ Affairs portfolio

There was:

  • the time ‘very top level management’ at the Australian War Memorial accidentally told us we didn’t ‘get it’;
  • the time DVA (at our suggestion), improved its reporting of grants under the Anzac Centenary Local Grants Program (ACLGP);
  • the time DVA thanked us for pointing out an error in their arithmetic on the ACLGP;
  • the time the then Minister reluctantly admitted (after we pointed it out) that he’d got his figures wrong – and misled the Senate – on commemoration expenditure; and
  • the mysterious insertion of the word ‘attributed’ in two DVA website references to the famous ‘Ataturk words’ of 1934 – ‘Those heroes that shed their blood …’ (after we published material in April and later, questioning the provenance of the words).

So …

Honest History is always ready to help the Veterans’ Affairs portfolio and looks forward to meeting the Minister (as requested in our letter of 10 October) to discuss how this might happen.

Have a nice weekend, Minister.

David Stephens

4 December 2015

PS Honest History will make space available to the Minister on our website any time. Meanwhile, there’s a comment facility directly below.

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