About Ruling ourselves

Click here for all items related to: Ruling ourselves Australia has followed its own unique path toward nationhood and an unknown future, drawing on different traditions adapted to our own time and place. The themes here include political, constitutional, law

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Flanagan, Richard: The world is being undone before us. If we do not reimagine Australia, we will be undone too

Richard Flanagan ‘The world is being undone before us. If we do not reimagine Australia, we will be undone too‘, Guardian Australia, 5 August 2018 Speech at Garma festival, NT, by distinguished author. (Over 500 comments at time of this

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Whish-Wilson, Senator Peter: Ten questions for Brendan Nelson, speaking on Friday at the Tamar Valley Peace Festival

Senator Peter Whish-Wilson* ‘Ten questions for Brendan Nelson, speaking on Friday at the Tamar Valley Peace Festival’, Honest History, 1 August 2018 updated This article is posted as a contribution to public debate. These issues are also canvassed elsewhere on

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Douglas, Bob: What will it take to restore governance to its rightful owners?

Bob Douglas ‘What will it take to restore governance to its rightful owners?’, Pearls and Irritations, 26 July 2018 Around the world, and also here in Australia, voters are turning away from the political process, alarmed at the capture of

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Keating, Michael: The future Budget outlook – a comment on the Parliamentary Budget Office report on trends affecting the sustainability of Commonwealth taxes

Michael Keating ‘The future Budget outlook – a comment on the Parliamentary Budget Office report on trends affecting the sustainability of Commonwealth taxes‘, Pearls and Irritations, 24 July 2018 The independent Parliamentary Budget Office (PBO) has released a report on

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Morris, Shireen: The Uluru Statement from the Heart: why I have hope

Shireen Morris ‘The Uluru Statement from the Heart: why I have hope‘, Legal Affairs (University of Melbourne), 19 July 2018 The Uluru Statement created a massive political opportunity that is not going away. The opportunity remains alive and growing –

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Gullibility on steroids? An Australian precedent for politicians believing – or pretending to believe – what Moscow tells them

We posted this in February 2017 in response to a previous protestation by President Trump about what the Russians had been doing and when they had been doing it. It’s well worth running again. Update 20 July 2018: the story

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Jones, Benjamin T.: Where does Mark Latham sit among Labor rats?

Benjamin T. Jones ‘Where does Mark Latham sit among Labor rats?‘ Independent Australia, 13 July 2018 Historical survey from 1911 through Hughes, Lyons, Lang and the Groupers, with a few more mentioned in the comments from readers. ‘Contrary to [Graham]

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Morrissey, Douglas: Stringybark Creek and Glenrowan still resonate but can we ever hit the right note? Ned Kelly movies considered

Douglas Morrissey* ‘Stringybark Creek and Glenrowan still resonate but can we ever hit the right note? Ned Kelly movies considered’, Honest History, 9 July 2018 Recently, there has been an abundance of enthusiastic moviemakers wanting to make films about Ned

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Whiteford, Peter: Good times, bad times

Peter Whiteford ‘Good times, bad times‘, Inside Story, 5 July 2018 Looks at recent evidence of growing inequality in Australia, mostly driven by gains among the highest earners. There is little doubt that inequality is worse now than it was

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Bongiorno, Frank: From “Toby Tosspot” to “Mr Harbourside Mansion”, personal insults are an Australian tradition

Frank Bongiorno ‘From “Toby Tosspot” to “Mr Harbourside Mansion”, personal insults are an Australian tradition‘, The Conversation, 29 June 2018 ‘Political name-calling and insults are sometimes like water off a duck’s back. But others can stick.’ A useful survey. Frank

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Broinowski, Alison: Australia, 2018: Lies, cover-ups and suppression of free speech

Alison Broinowski ‘Australia, 2018: Lies, cover-ups and suppression of free speech‘, Independent Australia, 20 June 2018 Honest History’s vice president summarises the current state and recent history of freedom in the wide brown land whose young men died in the

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Ryan, Lyndall: The Sydney Wars 1788-1817: mythbusting around the Harbour and the Hawkesbury

Lyndall Ryan* ‘The Sydney Wars 1788-1817: mythbusting around the Harbour and the Hawkesbury’, Honest History, 19 June 2018 Lyndall Ryan reviews The Sydney Wars: Conflict in the Early Colony, 1788-1817 by Stephen Gapps  It seems extraordinary that, after 230 years,

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Gapps, Stephen: The Sydney Wars: Conflict in the Early Colony, 1788-1817

Stephen Gapps The Sydney Wars: Conflict in the Early Colony, 1788-1817, NewSouth, Sydney, 2018 The Sydney Wars tells the history of military engagements between Europeans and Aboriginal Australians – described as “this constant sort of war” by one early colonist –

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Schultz, Julianne & Sandra Phillips, ed.: Griffith Review 60: First Things First

Julianne Schultz & Sandra Phillips, ed. Griffith Review 60: First Things First, April 2018 After more than two hundred years of largely unresolved disputes, Australia needs to hear the voices of Australia’s First Nations – and act on them. First

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McKenna, Mark: First Things First and finding a way through

Mark McKenna* ‘First Things First and finding a way through’, Honest History, 12 June 2018 Mark McKenna reviews Griffith Review 60: First Things First As editor Julianne Schultz explains in her introduction, ‘First Things First’ – a title suggested by

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Lambert, Michael: Review of Fair Share by Stephen Bell and Michael Keating: Part I; Part II

Michael Lambert ‘Review of Fair Share by Stephen Bell and Michael Keating; Part I; Part II‘, Pearls and Irritations, 28-29 May 2018 The coverage of topics [in the Bell-Keating book] is extensive. While its overall theme is exploring the mitigation

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Burden, Gemmia: The violent collectors who gathered Indigenous artefacts for the Queensland Museum

Gemmia Burden ‘The violent collectors who gathered Indigenous artefacts for the Queensland Museum‘, The Conversation, 28 May 2018 Detailed examination of the links between frontier violence and museum collecting. While there is no evidence of the museum being directly involved

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Stephens, David: War Memorial fundraising probe should come up with donations code of practice

David Stephens* ‘War Memorial fundraising probe should come up with donations code of practice’, Honest History, 29 May 2018 updated Update 10 June 2018: Toni Hassan in Fairfax with quotes from Director Nelson and Honest History spokesperson. Update 31 May

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Troughton, Geoffrey & Philip Fountain, ed.: Pursuing Peace in Godzone: Christianity and the Peace Tradition in New Zealand

Geoffrey Troughton & Philip Fountain, ed. Pursuing Peace in Godzone: Christianity and the Peace Tradition in New Zealand, Victoria University Press, Wellington, 2018 This is a book about how New Zealanders have been inspired by visions for peace. Focusing on

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Hynd, Douglas: Is peace as interesting as war?

Douglas Hynd* ‘Is peace as interesting as war?’ Honest History, 23 May 2018 Douglas Hynd reviews Pursuing Peace in Godzone: Christianity and the Peace Tradition in New Zealand, edited by Geoffrey Troughton and Philip Fountain Towards the conclusion of Judith

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Whyte, Sally: War Memorial should ditch weapons manufacturers: Anti war organisation

Sally Whyte ‘War Memorial should ditch weapons manufacturers: Anti war organisation‘, Canberra Times, 21 May 2018 updated Interview with Sue Wareham of Medical Association for Prevention of War (and one of Honest History’s distinguished supporters). Wareham discusses MAPW’s submission to

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Taffe, Sue: A White Hot Flame: Mary Montgomerie Bennett – Author, Educator, Activist for Indigenous Justice

Sue Taffe A White Hot Flame: Mary Montgomerie Bennett – Author, Educator, Activist for Indigenous Justice, Monash University Publishing, Melbourne, 2018 Mary Montgomerie Bennett (1881–1961) is an important but under-recognised figure in Australian history. A member of a successful squatting

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Burton, Pamela: A White Hot Flame: Mary Montgomerie Bennett – Author, Educator, Activist for Indigenous Justice

Pamela Burton* ‘This white hot flame burned bright’, Honest History, 19 May 2018 Pamela Burton reviews A White Hot Flame: Mary Montgomerie Bennett – Author, Educator, Activist for Indigenous Justice by Sue Taffe This well-researched biography of Mary Montgomerie Bennett

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Mitchell, Adrian: Peat Island: Dreaming and Desecration

Adrian Mitchell Peat Island: Dreaming and Desecration, Wakefield Press, Adelaide, 2018 For just over 100 years an institution for the mentally ill has stood on little Peat Island, in the lower Hawkesbury. It was decommissioned in 2010; quite empty now,

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Myrtle, John: Removing the cloak of mystery from an island in the Hawkesbury

John Myrtle* ‘Removing the cloak of mystery from an island in the Hawkesbury’, Honest History, 18 May 2018 Adrian Mitchell’s Peat Island: Dreaming and Desecration is reviewed by John Myrtle Anyone travelling by road or rail north from Sydney to

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Reynolds, Henry: The fighting retreat of the Anglo-Australians

Henry Reynolds ‘The fighting retreat of the Anglo-Australians‘, Pearls and Irritations, 16 May 2018 Anglo-Australian atavism is at the root of the recent moves for an upgraded Captain Cook Memorial and related stuff, the defence of Australia Day, and the

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Daley, Paul: The National Picture: overwhelming reminder of wilful gaps in Australia’s history

Paul Daley ‘The National Picture: overwhelming reminder of wilful gaps in Australia’s history‘, Guardian Australia, 14 May 2018 Review of a new exhibition at the National Gallery of Australia, Canberra, ‘The National Picture: the art of Tasmania’s Black War’. The

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Honest History’s submission to the Parliamentary Inquiry into Canberra’s National Institutions – and the proposed $500m extension to the Australian War Memorial

Note: This post has grown since it began and now covers two closely related matters: the Honest History submission to the parliamentary inquiry into Canberra’s national institutions; the proposed $500m extension of the Australian War Memorial – an underground project

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Reynolds, Henry: Australia’s perpetual ‘war footing’

Henry Reynolds ‘Australia’s perpetual “war footing”‘, Pearls and Irritations, 7 May 2018 Riffs off a belligerent interview in 2013 by then Defence Minister, Senator David Johnston. [Johnston] clearly took it for granted that there was a need for Australian military

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Morrissey, Doug: The Irishness of Ned Kelly: romance and reality

Doug Morrissey* ‘The Irishness of Ned Kelly: romance and reality’, Honest History, 23 April 2018 Fenian martyr or common criminal? Ned Kelly is a celebrity in both the Australian and Irish republican canons of heroes. In Ireland, he is honoured

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Heiss, Anita, ed.: Growing Up Aboriginal in Australia

Anita Heiss, ed. Growing Up Aboriginal in Australia, Black Inc., Melbourne, 2018 What is it like to grow up Aboriginal in Australia? This anthology, compiled by award-winning author Anita Heiss, showcases many diverse voices, experiences and stories in order to

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Stephens, David: This book about growing up Aboriginal in Australia is not just one for whitefellers of a certain age

David Stephens ‘This book about growing up Aboriginal in Australia is not just one for whitefellers of a certain age’, Honest History, 20 April 2018 David Stephens reviews Growing Up Aboriginal in Australia, edited by Anita Heiss It makes a

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Keating, Michael: Why Australia needs a stronger revenue base

Michael Keating ‘Why Australia needs a stronger revenue base‘, Pearls and Irritations, 19 April 2018 Former senior public servant stresses the importance of boosting the revenue base through taxation. Fundamentally the reason for taxation is to pay for the services

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Waller, Mike: The real problem with our banks – “it’s leverage, stupid”

Mike Waller ‘The real problem with our banks – “it’s leverage, stupid”‘, Pearls and Irritations, 10 April 2018 Former Australian Public Service senior official and BHP economist writes about banking issues. We are more than a decade on from the

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McKenna, Mark: Quarterly Essay 69: Moment of Truth: History and Australia’s Future

Mark McKenna Quarterly Essay 69: Moment of Truth: History and Australia’s Future, Black Inc., Melbourne, 2018; electronic version available Australia is on the brink of momentous change, but only if its citizens and politicians can come to new terms with

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Piggott, Michael: Time for something from the heart, from and for all of us: Mark McKenna’s Quarterly Essay 69

Michael Piggott* ‘Time for something from the heart, from and for all of us: Mark McKenna’s Quarterly Essay 69’, Honest History, 10 April 2018 Michael Piggott reviews Mark McKenna’s Quarterly Essay 69: Moment of Truth: History and Australia’s Future Sixteen

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Stephens, David: Brendan Nelson’s bunker and with cap in hand: contrasts in funding our national cultural institutions

David Stephens* ‘Brendan Nelson’s bunker and with cap in hand: contrasts in funding our national cultural institutions’, Honest History, 9 April 2018 updated Update 11 May 2018: Honest History’s submission to the JSCNET Inquiry into Canberra’s National Institutions The Director

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Daley, Paul: A $500m expansion of the war memorial is a reckless waste of money

Paul Daley ‘A $500m expansion of the war memorial is a reckless waste of money‘, Guardian Australia, 9 April 2018 Picks up the issue also canvassed by David Stephens of Honest History. Having spent more than half a billion dollars

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Daley, Paul: Uluru, reconciliation and republic: a chance to reimagine Australia?

Paul Daley ‘Uluru, reconciliation and republic: a chance to reimagine Australia?‘ Guardian Australia, 4 April 2018 There is an awakening among constitutional progressives that perhaps the Australian republic ought not be so divorced from the cry out of Uluru last

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Gainsborough, Vance: Review note: Meanjin Autumn 2018: ‘the moral consequences of the things we do’

Vance Gainsborough* ‘Review note: Meanjin Autumn 2018: “the moral consequences of the things we do”‘, Honest History, 5 April 2018 Like all issues of this venerable but feisty publication, Meanjin Autumn 2018 has a lot of meaty content, so this

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Mills, Stephen: Dick Casey’s Forgotten People

Stephen Mills ‘Dick Casey’s Forgotten People‘, Inside Story, 25 February 2018 updated We missed this piece when it first came round but it is worth drawing attention to for its careful study of a notable piece of election year propaganda,

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Want to buy (or sell) some ‘Made in Australia’ military kit?

Following recent announcements about an increased Australian arms export drive, there has come to light online this interesting resource: the Australian Military Sales Catalogue 2018, Edition 2, published by the Australian Military Sales Office. This glossy document now includes ‘a

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Jones, Benjamin T.: This Time: Australia’s Republican Past and Future

Benjamin T. Jones This Time: Australia’s Republican Past and Future, Black Inc., Melbourne, 2018; e-book available In This Time, Benjamin T. Jones charts a path to an independent future. He reveals the fascinating early history of the Australian republican movement of

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Warhurst, John: Republican past – and invigorating present and future

John Warhurst ‘Republican past – and invigorating present and future’, Honest History, 23 March 2018 This Time: Australia’s Republican Past and Future by Benjamin T. Jones is reviewed by John Warhurst Ben Jones represents the next generation of Australian republicans

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Robison, Richard: Why the Coalition, conservatives and big business are terrified by Emma Alberici

Richard Robison ‘Why the Coalition, conservatives and big business are terrified by Emma Alberici‘, Independent Australia, 2 March 2018 update A further contribution to the debate on ABC economics correspondent Emma Alberici’s analysis of Australia’s corporate tax system. (Our post

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Taflaga, Marija: The end of the era of mass politics?

Marija Taflaga ‘The end of the era of mass politics?‘, Inside Story, 26 February 2018 Historical look at the trajectory of the major parties in Australia. Healthy or not, our parties are here to stay. The combination of the preferential

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Schultz, Julianne & Jane Camens, ed.: Griffith Review 59: Commonwealth Now

Julianne Schultz & Jane Camens, ed. Griffith Review 59: Commonwealth Now, January 2018 At the Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast in April athletes from countries that were once a part of the British Empire will battle for gold –

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Abbott, Derek: Griffith Review 59: a timely survey of ‘Commonwealth Now’

Derek Abbott* ‘Griffith Review 59: a timely survey of “Commonwealth Now”’, Honest History, 28 February 2018 Derek Abbott reviews Griffith Review 59: Commonwealth Now, edited by Julianne Schultz and Jane Camens Given the current and continuing debates in this country

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Reynolds, Henry: A hundred years of mateship?

Henry Reynolds ‘A hundred years of mateship?‘ Pearls and Irritations, 27 February 2018 updated A passionate piece from veteran historian Henry Reynolds. I was astonished! An SBS news report about the Turnbull visit to Washington declared that the two countries

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New Deputy PM’s workload raises questions about treatment of Veterans’ Affairs, Centenary of Anzac and Defence Personnel: new Ministry list

Update 5 March 2018: new Ministry List released. Update 1 March 2018: Sorted. McCormack’s former jobs (and the ticket for Villers-Bretonneux in April) passed to Chester. Update 28 February 2018: Reports (for example, this one) circulating of a reshuffle of

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Abjorensen, Norman: Keeping the country in the coalition

Norman Abjorensen ‘Keeping the country in the coalition‘, Inside Story, 23 February 2018 Useful background to the current upheavals within and beyond the National Party. Regardless of how this latest conflict plays out, it is just another chapter in a

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If Michael McCormack becomes Leader of the Nationals, there’ll be an opportunity to abolish Veterans’ Affairs

Update 26 February 2018: how it turned out. Michael McCormack: the last of the line? (Queensland Times) After a glitch a few days ago, Michael McCormack MP seems to be favourite to become Leader of the Nationals and Deputy Prime

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Clarke, Patricia: Political journalist Joe Alexander: establishing Canberra’s heritage — Parliament, diplomacy and life in suburbia

Patricia Clarke* ‘Political journalist Joe Alexander: establishing Canberra’s heritage — Parliament, diplomacy and life in suburbia‘, Honest History, 23 February 2018 Originally a lecture to the ACT Heritage Symposium in August 2017. An exploration of the career of a significant

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Stephens, David: How does the tax-paying record of large Australian companies square with our much-vaunted Australian egalitarian ethos?

David Stephens ‘How does the tax-paying record of large Australian companies square with our much-vaunted Australian egalitarian ethos?’ Honest History, 18 February 2018 updated The ABC’s chief economics correspondent, Emma Alberici, this week put out some articles on the tax

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Latimore, Jack: The stolen generations apology anniversary should stand as a day of shame

Jack Latimore ‘The stolen generations apology anniversary should stand as a day of shame‘, Guardian Australia, 13 February 2018 The difficulty and reluctance in recognising the way this intergenerational trauma impacts upon the lives of First Nations people says a

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Broinowski, Alison: The trust deficit in Canberra

Alison Broinowski ‘The trust deficit in Canberra‘, Pearls and Irritations, 13 February 2018 Looks at the implications of the appointment of Admiral Harry B. Harris as United States Ambassador to Australia. The Prime Minister has said we are joined at

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Menadue, John: We are in denial about the risks in our relationship with the United States. Part 1 of 2

John Menadue ‘We are in denial about the risks in our relationship with the United States. Part 1 of 2′, Pearls and Irritations, 8 February 2018 updated We are a nation in denial that we are “joined at the hip”

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Broinowski, Alison: Is militarism in Australia’s DNA?

Alison Broinowski ‘Is militarism in Australia’s DNA?’ Pearls and Irritations, 6 February 2018 updated Australians who don’t live in other countries don’t realise how our self-image differs from the perception, particularly in Asia, that we were militarists from the start.

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Attwood, Bain: The Good Country: The Djadja Wurrung, The Settlers and the Protectors

Bain Attwood The Good Country: The Djadja Wurrung, the Settlers and the Protectors, Monash University Publishing, Melbourne, 2017 A local history of the Djadja Wurrung people of Central Victoria, looking at the relationship between the people of this Aboriginal nation,

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Wilkie, Ben: Complex stories of the Djadja Wurrung in Victoria’s Good Country

Ben Wilkie* ‘Complex stories of the Djadja Wurrung in Victoria’s Good Country’, Honest History, 30 January 2018 Ben Wilkie reviews Bain Attwood’s The Good Country: The Djadja Wurrung, the Settlers, and the Protectors. Bain Attwood’s most recent book appears, at

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Broinowski, Alison: Murky wars and missions unaccomplished

Alison Broinowski ‘Murky wars and missions unaccomplished‘, Pearls and Irritations, 25 January 2018 This [Syria] longest war in Australia’s history is the latest in the list of foreign conflicts in which we have joined Americans, supposedly fighting communists or terrorists,

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Miller, Geoff: White Paper versus White’s paper: some questions about Australian policies

Geoff Miller ‘White Paper versus White’s paper: some questions about Australian policies‘, Pearls and Irritations, 23 January 2018 Former senior Australian diplomat compares the official government publication with the recent Quarterly Essay by Professor Hugh White. The former is essentially

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Repost of Humphrey McQueen 2017 on Australia Day – plus other material on this perennial but important set of issues

Update 8 February 2018: Paul Daley in Guardian Australia on what the confected fuss about flying the Indigenous flag on a large Sydney coathanger says about Australia 2018: It is regrettable that anything approaching public argument over such a fundamental

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Broinowski, Alison: Incorrigible Optimist review: Gareth Evans’ account of his public life

Alison Broinowski ‘Incorrigible Optimist review: Gareth Evans’ account of his public life‘, Sydney Morning Herald, 12 January 2018 This book was launched by Bob Hawke and has been widely reviewed. (See especially Norman Abjorensen in the Canberra Times and Jock

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Three angles on security – including a bit of quis custodiet ipsos custodes

‘Three angles on security – including a bit of “quis custodiet ipsos custodes?”‘, Honest History, 10 January 2018 The Latin tag, for those who don’t know it, means roughly ‘who will guard the guards themselves?’ and it was coined by

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The World Inequality Report 2018: latest word on an Honest History ‘special subject’

For the last three years, Honest History has tracked media (mainstream and not) articles and research-based reports on inequality, its multiple causes and manifestations. The Honest History Book also focused sharply on inequality, given what seemed to us to be

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Bongiorno, Frank: An Iced Vovo and a broken heart

Frank Bongiorno ‘An Iced Vovo and a broken heart‘, Inside Story, 5 January 2018 Honest History president and ANU professor, Frank Bongiorno, reviews volume I of former PM Kevin Rudd’s autobiography. The two Rudd prime ministerships were probably not the

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Going deep into international taxation: these issues have been around for a long time

Many readers (and viewers) will have been following the recent publicity about the large companies who avoid paying much tax – or, in some cases, any tax. Most recently, Labor frontbencher, Andrew Leigh, weighed in, and before him there were,

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Patience, Allan: Confecting a new China hysteria

Allan Patience ‘Confecting a new China hysteria‘, Pearls and Irritations, 12 December 2017 Australia’s diplomacy with its Asian neighbours and contenders has always been awkward. In a similar manner to Britain’s awkward partnering with Europe, so Australia is Asia’s awkward

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A Nobel achievement, partly Australian, unsung by the Australian government: the Nobel Peace Prize goes to ICAN

ICAN (the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons) has received its Nobel Peace Prize at a ceremony in Oslo. Margaret Beavis writes from the Medical Association for Prevention of War; Dr Beavis is an ICAN Board member. Also this from

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Stephens, David: Review note: Great Convict Stories by Graham Seal

David Stephens ‘Review note: Great Convict Stories by Graham Seal’, Honest History, 11 December 2017 This book contains about 85 little chunks of history (two to four pages each, mostly), bound into ten bundles, with seven to eleven chunks per

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Eureka 163rd anniversary: resources on the Honest History site

Yesterday, 3 December 2017, was the 163rd anniversary of the Eureka stockade skirmish, which marked the end of a brief uprising of goldminers at Ballarat, Victoria. At least 20 miners and six soldiers were killed. The Honest History site has

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The Australian banking Royal Commission of 1935-37: a precedent unlikely to be followed

Update 27 February 2018: Nicholas Gruen in Pearls and Irritations dives deep into the issues. Update 3 December 2017: Greg Jericho in Guardian Australia looks closely at the terms of reference this time around. And so does Kevin Davis in

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Bolton, Geoffrey: The Gluckman Affair 1960: a bystander’s view

Geoffrey Bolton ‘The Gluckman Affair 1960: a bystander’s view‘, Labour History Canberra, 16 November 2017 Max Gluckman (makinganthropologypublic) John Myrtle, Honest History volunteer, author of our Online Gems, retired librarian and facilitator of this article’s republication explains its provenance: In

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Farhart, Claudia: Give Peace a Chance

Claudia Farhart Give Peace a Chance, YouTube, 6 November 2017 A 50 minute documentary featuring interviews with Australian protesters against conscription and against the Vietnam War, interspersed with comments from academics and archival film. The interviews were collected by Larry

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Steady as she goes or wait and see? Some (mostly) non-Main Stream Media views of the Foreign Policy White Paper

The Foreign Policy White Paper would not have escaped most reasonably alert people’s notice, even as there began the cricketing equivalent of the Battle of Brisbane though, in that case, the Australians’ antagonists were Americans. (That battle was 75 years

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Divided sunburnt country: Australia 1916-18 (29): All at once – another conscription vote and news of Bolshevik revolution

‘Divided sunburnt country: Australia 1916-18 (29): All at once – another conscription vote and news of Bolshevik revolution’, Honest History, 9 November 2017 updated The ‘Divided sunburnt country’ series Another run at conscription The possibility of a second conscription referendum

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Butler, Richard: Iraq 2003: the fabricated war of choice

Richard Butler ‘Iraq 2003: the fabricated war of choice‘, Pearls and Irritations, 7 November 2017 Former British Prime Minister, Gordon Brown, has revealed a report showing that US intelligence agencies knew Iraq did not have weapons of mass destruction and

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Beavis, Margaret: US militarism: what are the costs to Australia?

Margaret Beavis ‘US militarism: what are the costs to Australia?‘, Pearls and Irritations, 31 October 2017 It is time to reflect on the close enmeshment of Australian and US foreign policy, and the real costs of such close military ties.

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Broinowski, Alison: A foreign affairs Alt-White Paper

Alison Broinowski ‘A foreign affairs Alt-White Paper‘, Independent Australia, 27 October 2017 Dr Broinowski suggests what should be in the foreign policy White Paper due for release soon. The themes are independence and innovation. For other material on this subject

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Brodie, Nick: The Vandemonian War

Nick Brodie The Vandemonian War, Hardie Grant, Melbourne, 2017; available electronically The Vandemonian War had many sides and shades, but it was fundamentally a war between the British colony of Van Diemen’s Land (Tasmania) and the Aboriginal people who lived

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Shield, John: A Vandemonian war story passionately told

John Shield* ‘A Vandemonian war story passionately told’, Honest History, 29 October 2017 John Shield reviews The Vandemonian War by Nick Brodie If you were slightly unsure about this book and its subject matter before, Nick Brodie does everybody a

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Hocking, Jenny: ‘A royal green light’: The Palace, the Governor-General and the dismissal of the Whitlam Government

Jenny Hocking ‘“A royal green light”: the Palace, the Governor-General and the dismissal of the Whitlam Government‘, Pearls and Irritations, 23 October 2017 Contrary to the accepted story that the Queen was not involved in the dismissal of the Whitlam

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Morrissey, Doug: The heritage marketing of Ned Kelly

Doug Morrissey* ‘The heritage marketing of Ned Kelly‘, Honest History, 15 October 2017 updated Ned Kelly, hero or villain, put-upon Irish victim or psychopathic killer? These questions have been around for almost the whole time since Kelly was executed almost

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The heritage marketing of Ned Kelly

Doug Morrissey* ‘The heritage marketing of Ned Kelly’, Honest History, 15 October 2017 Mention Ned Kelly and everybody has an opinion. To many people, Ned is a hero, a champion of the poor man, the quintessential Aussie battler. To others,

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Tocsin magazine brings out another edition … and here’s an apposite poem from 1917

Honest History noted a little while ago the launch of Tocsin, a publication from the John Curtin Research Centre. The centre’s inaugural gala dinner happens to be tonight, addressed by the Leader of the Opposition, Bill Shorten. Tocsin‘s second number

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Shield, John: Dylan Voller, Kinchela and a long history of silence

John Shield* ‘Dylan Voller, Kinchela and a long history of silence’, Honest History, 9 October 2017 On 17 November, the Royal Commission into the Protection and Detention of Children in the Northern Territory will deliver its final report. No doubt

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Beavis, Margaret: A Nobel Peace Prize born in Australia

Margaret Beavis ‘A Nobel Peace Prize born in Australia‘, Sydney Morning Herald, 7 October 2017 updated Discusses the award of the Nobel Peace Prize to an Australian-founded organisation. The winner of the 2017 Nobel Peace Prize, the International Campaign to

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Bowen, Chris; The case for engagement with Asia

Chris Bowen ‘The case for engagement with Asia‘ (speech to the Asia Society), Chris Bowen, 29 September 2017 updated Labor Shadow Treasurer says: Australia needs a step change in our economic relationship with Asia. Our economic relationship with Asia has

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Higgins, Claire: Asylum by Boat: Origins of Australia’s Refugee Policy

Claire Higgins Asylum by Boat: Origins of Australia’s Refugee Policy, UNSW Press, Sydney, 2017 Claire Higgins’ [book] is driven by the question of how we moved from a humanitarian approach to policies of mandatory detention − including on remote islands

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Abjorensen, Norman: The art of being prime minister (review of Strangio, ’t Hart & Walter)

Norman Abjorensen ‘The art of being prime minister‘, Inside Story, 29 September 2017 Long review of Paul Strangio, Paul ’t Hart and James Walter, The Pivot of Power: Australian Prime Ministers and Political Leadership, 1949–2016, which is the second volume

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Butler, Richard: The Alliance: the facts and the furphies

Richard Butler ‘The Alliance: the facts and the furphies‘, Pearls and Irritations, 19 September 2017 ‘A review of how we conduct our alliance relationship with the US is urgently required’, says the author, ‘not simply because it has elected a

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Political partisans: a conservative line of succession (culminating in Tony Abbott) and the Burkes of Perth

Two new books have hit the shelves. One is thicker than the other but both take the long view. They look at nominally different sides of politics, though readers of both books might suspect considerable overlap of views between the

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Stephens, David: Carmen Lawrence’s 2006 book Fear and Politics is still very relevant more than a decade on

David Stephens ‘Carmen Lawrence’s 2006 book Fear and Politics is still very relevant more than a decade on’, Honest History, 19 September 2017 Carmen Lawrence is a professorial fellow in the School of Psychological Science at the University of Western

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Lloyd, Christopher: The roots and limitations of Australian progressivism

Christopher Lloyd* ‘The roots and limitations of Australian progressivism’, Honest History, 20 September 2017 updated This article is a response to Frank Bongiorno’s piece in The Conversation, ‘On marriage equality, Australia’s progressive instincts have been crushed by political failure’, in

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Torsh, Daniela & Max Humphreys: On Sydney Harbour with the prime minister of South Vietnam, 1967

Daniela Torsh & Max Humphreys ‘On Sydney Harbour with the prime minister of South Vietnam, 1967‘, Honest History, 19 September 2017 This extended interview transcript is provided as a primary source for readers interested in the history of protest in

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On Sydney Harbour with the prime minister of South Vietnam, 1967: Daniela Torsh interviews Max Humphreys

‘On Sydney Harbour with the prime minister of South Vietnam, 1967: Daniela Torsh interviews Max Humphreys’[1], Honest History, 19 September 2017 Kirribilli House from the Harbour (Wikipedia/Stephen Bain) Daniela Torsh: So Max, I’ve got a question to start with: tell

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Bongiorno, Frank: On marriage equality, Australia’s progressive instincts have been crushed by political failure

Frank Bongiorno ‘On marriage equality, Australia’s progressive instincts have been crushed by political failure’, The Conversation, 18 September 2017 In the context of the forthcoming postal survey, the author looks at aspects of the history of sexuality in Australia. He

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Broinowski, Alison: Till war do us part

Alison Broinowski ‘Till war do us part‘, Pearls and Irritations, 30 August 2017 A Fairfax readers poll of some 1300 people showed resounding opposition to Australia sending even the token additional force to Afghanistan. The article also mentions the unwisdom

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Brett, Judith: The Enigmatic Mr Deakin

Judith Brett The Enigmatic Mr Deakin, Text Publishing, Melbourne, 2017, e-book available This insightful and accessible new biography of Alfred Deakin, Australia’s second prime minister, shines fresh light on one of the nation’s most significant figures. It brings out from

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Carr, Andrew: I’m here for an argument: why bipartisanship on security makes Australia less safe

Andrew Carr ‘I’m here for an argument: why bipartisanship on security makes Australia less safe‘, The Australia Institute, 22 August 2017 updated While bipartisanship seems to be an innocuous idea it is actually making us less safe by restricting policy

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Divided sunburnt country: Australia 1916-18 (28): More on the 1917 Great Strike in Australia

‘Divided sunburnt country: Australia 1916-18 (28): More on the 1917 Great Strike in Australia’, Honest History, 27 August 2017 Update 28 August 2017: Unions NSW advises of its exhibition on the Great Strike. See comment below – and three pictures

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McQuire, Amy: Don’t just change the date of Australia Day … get rid of it all together

Amy McQuire ‘Don’t just change the date of Australia Day … get rid of it all together‘, Buzzfeed, 19 August 2017 Honest History doesn’t claim this is the only – or a representative – piece on the latest outbreak of

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James, Jonathan D.: As Australia becomes less religious, our parliament becomes more so

Jonathan D. James ‘As Australia becomes less religious, our parliament becomes more so‘, The Conversation, 21 August 2017 An interesting examination as the marriage equality issue bubbles. Even though the 2016 Census revealed that more than 30% of the Australian population identify

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South China Sea, Korea and Pine Gap: three items on foreign and defence policy, historically and now

Former diplomat Mack Williams writes in Pearls and Irritations about the importance of involving South Korea in any ‘solution’ to the festering crisis on the peninsula. Williams is a former Australian ambassador to Seoul. Another former diplomat, Andrew Farran, speculates

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Myrtle, John: Observing journalism for 80 years: The Arthur Norman Smith Lecture in Journalism

John Myrtle ‘Observing journalism for 80 years: The Arthur Norman Smith Lecture in Journalism’, Honest History, 18 August 2017 A paper in three parts: an introduction to Arthur Norman Smith and the endowed Arthur Norman Smith Lecture in Journalism; consideration

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Observing journalism for 80 years: The Arthur Norman Smith Lecture in Journalism

John Myrtle[1] ‘Observing journalism for 80 years: The Arthur Norman Smith Lecture in Journalism’, Honest History, 18 August 2017 Introduction There are three parts to this paper: an introduction to Arthur Norman Smith and the endowed Arthur Norman Smith Lecture

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Want to spend the weekend with Constitution section 44? A useful backgrounder from the Parliamentary Library

Note: related material on ‘Australian values’. Update 12 November 2017: more from former Labor speechwriter, Graham Freudenberg, who links the unsuccessful Bicentennial celebrations of 1988 with various events since (Pearls and Irritations). The disqualification of members of parliament is only

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‘There is a land where summer skies are gleaming with a thousand dyes’: a 1977 voluntary vote plebiscite on a musical matter

Plebiscites are in the news. There have been plebiscites before in Australian history. There were two on conscription in 1916-17 and they were held against perhaps the greatest societal divisions in our history. (See our series, ‘Divided sunburnt country‘.) Forty

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Minister says stand-alone DVA will continue – but here’s some advice, just in case

We don’t quite know why he felt the need but Minister for Veterans’ Affairs, Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for the Centenary of Anzac, Minister for Defence Personnel, and Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for Cyber Security [pause for breath],

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Divided sunburnt country: Australia 1916-18 (26): Lest We Forget the Great Strike of 1917

‘Divided sunburnt country: Australia 1916-18 (26): Lest We Forget the Great Strike of 1917’, Honest History, 7 August 2017 The ‘Divided sunburnt country’ series One hundred years ago this week, Australia confronted not only the horrors and privations of the

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Abjorensen, Norman: Australia’s great political shift

Norman Abjorensen ‘Australia’s great political shift‘, Inside Story, 28 July 2017 On the eve of Liberal and Coalition party meetings on an issue – marriage equality – which has, for some people at least, a religious element, this piece is

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Inequality is a much more complex issue than kneejerk political responses suggest: a dozen links

Honest History has had a special interest in inequality for more than three years. Under our homepage Inequality thumbnail we have collected a mass of links to resources – reports, comments, even some policy proposals from government – which track

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Graham, Chris: How we failed Elijah Doughty, and countless others

Chris Graham ‘How we failed Elijah Doughty, and countless others‘, New Matilda, 23 July 2017 updated Riffs from the recent conviction and sentencing (to a relatively short time in gaol) of a West Australian man for running down and killing

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Harris, Rhondda, ed.: Ashton’s Hotel: The Journal of William Baker Ashton, First Governor of the Adelaide Gaol

Rhondda Harris, ed. Ashton’s Hotel: The Journal of William Baker Ashton, First Governor of the Adelaide Gaol, Wakefield Press, Adelaide, 2017 South Australia was meant to be the perfect colony: free settlers, no crime, and no mental illness. But good

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Flynn, Rosetta: Politics (from The Woman Voter, May 1917): Honest History document

Rosetta Flynn* ‘Politics‘, The Woman Voter, 11 May 1917 (Honest History document) ‘Father, what’s politics?’ the inquiring son demanded. ‘Um – well – er – er – it’s like this, my son. There are two boys, one’s name is Liberal

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A gaol story from the city of churches (review of Ashton/Harris)

‘A gaol story from the city of churches’, Honest History, 25 July 2017 John Shield* reviews Ashton’s Hotel: The Journal of William Baker Ashton, First Governor of Adelaide Gaol, edited by Rhondda Harris  We Australians love a good gaol story.

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Broinowski, Alison: Beware: armed response

Alison Broinowski ‘Beware: armed response‘, Pearls and Irritations, 19 July 2017 updated Honest History vice president comments on the government’s anti-terrorism measures. If Turnbull’s plan [National Security Statement, last month] becomes law – and the prospects of the Opposition stopping

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Arms spending and war: which comes first, at home and abroad?

Christopher Pyne, Minister for Defence Industry, has been talking up the possibilities of Australia growing its arms exports industry. Fairfax’s David Wroe says Pyne ‘wants Australia to become a major arms exporter on par with Britain, France and Germany and

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Divided sunburnt country: Australia 1916-18 (25): The Free Religious Fellowship: anti-conscription – and unexpected family history

The ‘Divided sunburnt country’ series Chris Wade’s article, ‘Practical idealists: the Free Religious Fellowship, the Great War and conscription‘, reminds us of the breadth and depth of feeling against conscription in Great War Australia: the cause was taken up by

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Bongiorno, Frank: Donald Horne’s ‘lucky country’ and the decline of the public intellectual

Frank Bongiorno ‘Donald Horne’s “lucky country” and the decline of the public intellectual‘, The Conversation, 11 July 2017 updated Honest History’s president reviews Donald Horne: Selected Writings, edited by Nick Horne. Horne’s message [in his most famous book, The Lucky

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Reynolds, Henry: Memories and massacres

Henry Reynolds ‘Memories and massacres‘, Pearls and Irritations, 10 July 2017 For over 30 years, Henry Reynolds has been writing about massacres of Indigenous Australians. The culmination of his research was the well-received book Forgotten War in 2013. This brief

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Cain, Frank: The Wobblies at War: A History of the IWW and the Great War in Australia

Frank Cain The Wobblies at War: A History of the IWW and the Great War in Australia, Australian Scholarly Publishing, Melbourne, 2017; first published 1993 Driven by Marxist ideology, the Industrial Workers of the World sought to draw the Australian

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The Wobblies at War (review of Cain)

‘The Wobblies at War’ (review of Cain), Honest History, 11 July 2017 Rowan Day* reviews Frank Cain’s The Wobblies at War: A History of the IWW and the Great War in Australia This is a republication of Frank Cain’s 1993

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Sherratt, Tim: Historic Hansard: Commonwealth of Australia parliamentary debates presented in an easy-to-read format for historians and other lovers of political speech

Tim Sherratt Historic Hansard: Commonwealth of Australia parliamentary debates presented in an easy-to-read format for historians and other lovers of political speech This is a searchable database of Commonwealth Hansard, Reps and Senate, from 1901 to so far, 1980. You

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Allen, Liz: Australia doesn’t have a population policy – why?

Liz Allen ‘Australia doesn’t have a population policy – why?’, The Conversation, 3 July 2017 updated Despite recommendations from inquiries over a number of years, Australia lacks a population policy. Includes key graphs covering decades and concludes as follows: A

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Gillard, Julia: John Curtin Prime Ministerial Library Anniversary Lecture, Perth

Julia Gillard ‘John Curtin Prime Ministerial Library Anniversary Lecture, Perth‘, Beyond Blue, 28 June 2017 Former prime minister, now chairperson of a mental health organisation, Beyond Blue, speaking about another former prime minister who had mental health issues. Curtin’s determination

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Gainsborough, Vance: Tocsin first and Meanjin latest: alarm bells at the bend in the river: review note

Vance Gainsborough* ‘Tocsin first and Meanjin latest: alarm bells at the bend in the river: review note’, Honest History, 2 July 2017 A ‘tocsin’ is an alarm bell or signal and ‘Meanjin’ is an Indigenous word for the bend in

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Census results: 45.5 per cent of us had one or both parents born overseas – but does the Anglo-Celtic narrative still dominate?

The Conversation has a comprehensive coverage of the results of the 2016 Census (six articles from this week, plus earlier material), released yesterday. The Census website goes into further detail. There is also a video on the Guardian Australia site

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Stephens, David: “Australian values” and security: have we been here before?

David Stephens ‘”Australian values” and security: have we been here before?’ Honest History, 26 June 2017 updated Note: related material on section 44 of the Constitution. Update 19 October 2017: the Government’s proposed citizenship changes fail to pass the Senate.

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Piccini, Jon: Amnesty International and conscientious objection in Australia’s Vietnam War

Jon Piccini ‘Amnesty International and conscientious objection in Australia’s Vietnam War‘, JHI Blog, 13 June 2017 This small case study provides insights into how the idea of human rights has been contested over time. Australia’s two Amnesty Sections – not

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Stephens, David: Graham Freudenberg, elegant and erudite scribe of an important era in Australian politics – and earlier

David Stephens ‘Graham Freudenberg, elegant and erudite scribe of an important era in Australian politics – and earlier’, Honest History, 22 June 2017 Norman Graham Freudenberg AM is 83 years old this year. He has written speeches for Labor leaders,

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Talking about The Conversation: five easy pieces in just a few days

Update 22 June 2017: and, lo, just as we ruled a line and settled on the headline, The Conversation came good again with: three charts on looming differential access to the National Broadband Network (digital divide, another form of inequality);

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Muller, Denis: Mixed media: how Australia’s newspapers became locked in a war of left versus right

Denis Muller ‘Mixed media: how Australia’s newspapers became locked in a war of left versus right‘, The Conversation, 19 June 2017 updated Historical view of the ownership and attitudes of Australian newspapers since the 19th century, though nowadays it is

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Daley, Paul: The legacy reverberates: how a repulsive image reminds us of our ugly past

Paul Daley ‘The legacy reverberates: how a repulsive image reminds us of our ugly past‘, Guardian Australia, 19 June 2017 Riffs off Every Mother’s Son is Guilty: Policing the Kimberley Frontier of Western Australia 1882-1905, by Chris Owen, the cover

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Butler, Richard: Turnbull, Trump and the Alliance

Richard Butler ‘Turnbull, Trump and the Alliance‘, Pearls and Irritations, 14 June 2017 updated Update 3 August 2017: Richard Broinowski in Pearls and Irritations on the broader implications of the Talisman Sabre/Talisman Saber joint military exercise. Update 31 July 2017:

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Russell, Sophie & Eileen Baldry: Three charts on: Australia’s booming prison population

Sophie Russell & Eileen Baldry ‘Three charts on: Australia’s booming prison population‘, The Conversation, 14 June 2017 Ten years of ABS statistics on remand versus sentenced prisoner numbers (remand numbers going up more), Indigenous imprisonment rates (going up), women in

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Patience, Allan: It’s time for new politics

Allan Patience ‘It’s time for new politics‘, Pearls and Irritations, 12 June 2017 Looks at the recent success of Bernie Sanders and Jeremy Corbyn and detects the fall of old politics and the rise of new. Only by implication are

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Sparrow, Jeff: Internment is so hot right now, but it’s nothing new in Australia

Jeff Sparrow ‘Internment is so hot right now, but it’s nothing new in Australia‘, Guardian Australia, 10 June 2017 Pauline Hanson and others have discussed the possibility of interning perceived suspicious persons. Sparrow recalls how internment was carried out in

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Divided sunburnt country: Australia 1916-18 (24): Soldiers’ farewells and welcomes 1917

The ‘Divided sunburnt country’ series Phil Cashen shows in this post on the excellent Shire at War blog (‘Soldiers’ farewells and welcomes in the first half of 1917’) how intense agendas ran deep beneath the apparently simple gesture of farewelling

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Daley, Paul: Tim Fischer’s ties

Paul Daley ‘Tim Fischer’s ties‘, Museum of Australian Democracy Old Parliament House Blog, 7 June 2017 An example of how to hang an insightful biographical piece off a clothing accessory (which, in this case, itself hangs, but hangs correctly only

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Wright, Clare: How Australia became a nation, and women won the vote

Clare Wright ‘How Australia became a nation, and women won the vote‘, The Conversation, 6 June 2017 Article to mark the 120th anniversary of the Australasian Federal Convention in Adelaide (Queensland absent). Among the outcomes of the Convention was votes

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Abjorensen, Norman: Ben Chifley’s botched attempt to nationalise Australia’s banks

Norman Abjorensen ‘Ben Chifley’s botched attempt to nationalise Australia’s banks‘, Canberra Times (Public Sector Informant), 6 June 2017 Against the background of another poke at banking power, this time by a conservative government, this is a concise summary of Chifley’s

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Five links from left field: communism, radicalism, war and peace, utopia, Tiananmen Square

Sometimes we like to post miscellanies of links – small collections that range reasonably widely but still have a theme. These five are from left field, if not entirely from the left-hand end of that rather glib and facile left-right

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Myrtle, John: Vale David Biles: A pioneer of Australian criminology

John Myrtle* ‘Vale David Biles: A pioneer of Australian criminology‘, Age, 6 June 2017 (an earlier, edited version appeared in the Canberra Times) ‘David Biles was a pioneer of criminology in Australia. Over many years he contributed to the development of

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Broinowski, Alison: The Merkel moment: wherever that works

Alison Broinowski ‘The Merkel moment: wherever that works‘, Pearls and Irritations, 30 May 2017 Chancellor Merkel’s remark that the United States is no longer reliable, and that Europe should look after itself, should also be a wake-up call for Australia.

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Putting Reconciliation Week in context: Lest We Forget Queensland Genocide

Reconciliation Week runs annually from 27 May, the anniversary of the 1967 Referendum, to 3 June, the anniversary of the Mabo decision in 1992. The theme for this year is ‘Let’s take the next steps’, which is appropriate, given the

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Patience, Allan: Australia’s involvement in an “Anglosphere” is the delusion of a golden age that never existed

Allan Patience ‘Australia’s involvement in an “Anglosphere” is the delusion of a golden age that never existed‘, The Conversation, 24 May 2017 Post-Brexit, some in Britain are turning to a resurrected Commonwealth as the basis of an alternative to Europe.

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Bottoms, Timothy: Genocide in colonial Queensland, Australia

Timothy Bottoms ‘Genocide in colonial Queensland, Australia‘, Honest History, 26 May 2017 The attached pdf is a revised and extended version of the prologue to the author’s 2013 book, Conspiracy of Silence: Queensland’s Frontier Killing Times. Honest History thanks Timothy

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Atkinson-Phillips, Alison: Remembering Colebrook and the Stolen Generations, 1997 and 20 years

Alison Atkinson-Phillips* ‘Remembering Colebrook and the Stolen Generations, 1997 and 20 years on’, Honest History, 26 May 2017 Twenty years ago, on ‘Reconciliation Sunday’, 1 June 1997, some 2000 people gathered on a vacant lot in the Adelaide hills to

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Daley, Paul: Five factors that will shape the outcome for ‘recognise’ at Uluru

Paul Daley ‘Five factors that will shape the outcome for “recognise” at Uluru‘, Guardian Australia, 24 May 2017 updated Surveys the state of play as the Uluru conference gets under way. The ‘five factors’: the lack of interest of many

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Online Gem No. 13: Researching Australia’s prime ministers

‘Online Gem No. 13: Researching Australia’s prime ministers’, Honest History, 23 May 2017 The Australia’s Prime Ministers website, published and curated by the National Archives of Australia (NAA) provides useful information on every one of Australia’s 29 prime ministers, from

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Better not forget The Forgotten People: 75 years since RG Menzies’ direction-setting speech

There is to be a big dinner at Parliament House tonight to mark the 75th anniversary of a broadcast delivered on radio station 2GB, 3AW and others by a former prime minister, but then humble backbencher, the Right Honourable Robert

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Appleby, Gabrielle & Sean Brennan: The long road to recognition

Gabrielle Appleby & Sean Brennan ‘The long road to recognition‘, Inside Story, 19 May 2017 updated Updated 24 May 2017: Paul Daley in Guardian Australia: Given the disparate experiences [says Daley] of delegates and their divergent views (on recognition versus

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Stephens, David: Divided sunburnt country: Australia 1916-18 (23): ‘A wartime police state’: Australia’s War Precautions Act during the war for freedom

David Stephens ‘Divided sunburnt country: Australia 1916-18 (23): ‘A wartime police state’: Australia’s War Precautions Act during the war for freedom’, Honest History, 19 May 2017 updated The ‘Divided sunburnt country’ series Every country at war takes measures to protect

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Stephens, David: Afghanistan infinitum or walking away? The possible cost of shared values

David Stephens ‘Afghanistan infinitum or walking away? The possible cost of shared values’, Honest History, 18 May 2017 updated Update 30 May 2017: Defence Minister Payne announces 30 more troops to be sent to Afghanistan, in a training capacity. Comments.

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Broinowski, Alison: Reading Room: Fighting with America (review of James Curran)

Alison Broinowski ‘Reading Room: Fighting with America‘, Australian Outlook, 8 May 2017 This is a review note of James Curran’s book, Fighting with America: Why Saying No to the US Wouldn’t Rupture the Alliance. Honest History previously linked to an

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Abjorensen, Norman: The party switchers

Norman Abjorensen ‘The party switchers‘, Inside Story, 9 May 2017 Provoked by the puzzling switch of former Labor leader, Mark Latham, to the Liberal Democrats, this is a concise summary of rats, code switchers and swappers of horses, state and

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Broinowski, Alison: What Australian foreign policy?

Alison Broinowski ‘What Australian foreign policy?‘ Pearls and Irritations, 26 April 2017 updated Discusses Allan Gyngell’s new book, Fear of Abandonment: Australia in the World since 1942. Gyngell, she concludes,  ‘doesn’t endorse [former Prime Minister Malcolm] Fraser’s radical call for

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Contemporary Histories Research Group, Deakin University: Contemporary Histories Blog

The group has commenced a new series on exploring contemporary histories and decision-making. It gets under way with a note from Carolyn Holbrook on ‘The Australian Federation of the Mind’. She points to something of a contradiction in the way

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Bond, Catherine: Anzac: The Landing, The Legend, The Law

Catherine Bond Anzac: The Landing, The Legend, The Law, Australian Scholarly Publishing, Melbourne, 2017 The year 2016 marks an ‘Anzac’ anniversary of a different kind: the centenary of legal regulation over use of the term ‘Anzac’ in Australia and internationally.

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Word War One: how the law shaped the Anzac legend (review of Bond)

‘Word War One: how the law shaped the Anzac legend’, Honest History, 2 May 2017 Jo Hawkins reviews Catherine Bond’s Anzac: The Landing, The Legend, The Law In the weeks leading up to the 2015 centenary of the Gallipoli landing,

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Wallace, Donald M.: The Web of Empire (1902): highlights reel of a royal visit to Brisbane

Donald Mackenzie Wallace ‘The Web of Empire (1902): highlights reel of a royal visit to Brisbane’, Honest History, 2 May 2017 Members of the Royal Family have visited Australia regularly since Prince Alfred was here in 1867. (He was shot

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Jericho, Greg: Malcolm Turnbull’s myth of “middle Australia” ignores both gender and reality

Greg Jericho ‘Malcolm Turnbull’s myth of “middle Australia” ignores both gender and reality‘, Guardian Australia, 18 April 2017 Looks at taxation statistics to ‘highlight that middle Australia earns much less than the government would have you believe and that women

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Welcome to what? A note on immigration, multiculturalism and ‘Australian values’

Update 19 March 2018: proposal by Minister Dutton to bring white South African farmers to Australia is linked by Jon Piccini in The Conversation to a historic Australian whiteness trope. Update 19 October 2017: the Government’s proposed citizenship changes fail

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Biddle, Nicholas: First results from the 2016 Census paint a picture of who the “typical” Australian is

Nicholas Biddle ‘First results from the 2016 Census paint a picture of who the “typical” Australian is‘, The Conversation, 11 April 2017 For the statistical agency of a supposedly diverse country to bother presenting a picture of ‘a typical Australian’

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The Constitution, White Australia and population shifts: recently on The Conversation

The online journal The Conversation continues to traverse a wide range of subject matter. Recently, we noted: Ryan Goss on how our Constitution came to be written and what we should do with it next; Benjamin T. Jones on the

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Wilkie, Douglas: Duchene/Hargraves

Douglas Wilkie Duchene/Hargraves, Historia Incognita, Melbourne, 2016 This self-published book has the long sub-title or explanatory tag of ‘Alexandre Julien Duchene, Edward Hammond Hargraves and the discovery of gold in Australia, three or four days from Sydney’. This book looks

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Discovering the discovery of gold (review of Wilkie)

‘Discovering the discovery of gold’ (review of Wilkie), Honest History, 3 April 2017 Derek Abbott* reviews Duchene/Hargraves by Douglas Wilkie Generations of Australian school children are familiar from their history text books with the story of the discovery of gold

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Butler, Richard: The myths of Australian foreign policy

Richard Butler ‘The myths of Australian foreign policy‘, Pearls and Irritations, 31 March 2017 The former senior Australian diplomat surveys the scene as Australia develops a foreign policy white paper. It will be of crucial importance in the review of

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Multiculturalism statement stresses diversity, ‘fair go’ and equality but reality is different

Update 21 March 2017: Andrew Jakubowicz in The Conversation comments on the statement. Neroli Colvin and John Tons in New Matilda. The Prime Minister and two of his ministers have released the government’s multiculturalism statement Multicultural Australia: United, Strong, Successful.

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Turning the yellow South Australian hills green? Marian Quartly on a state of hope

‘Turning the yellow South Australian hills green? Marian Quartly on a state of hope’, Honest History, 21 March 2017 Marian Quartly* reviews Griffith Review 55: State of Hope Any collection of essays focussing on a single state of Australia will

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Schultz, Julianne & Patrick Allington, ed.: State of Hope: Griffith Review 55

Julianne Schultz & Patrick Allington, ed. State of Hope: Griffith Review 55, January 2017 As the industrial model that shaped twentieth-century South Australia is replaced by an uncertain future, now more than ever the state needs to draw on the

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Latham, Mark: Insiders and outsiders (2002 Menzies Lecture, London): Highlights reel

Mark Latham ‘Insiders and outsiders (The 2002 Menzies Lecture, Menzies Centre for Australian Studies, King’s College London, 17 September 2002): Highlights reel’, Honest History, 21 March 2017 updated This is a 4000 word article, originally presented as a speech and

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FitzGerald, Stephen : Managing Australian foreign policy in a Chinese world

Stephen FitzGerald ‘Managing Australian foreign policy in a Chinese world‘, The Conversation, 17 March 2017 An edited extract of the 2017 Whitlam Oration, delivered by Stephen FitzGerald, Australia’s first ambassador to the People’s Republic of China (1973-76), at the Whitlam

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Shorter hours and vigorous industrial action were all the rage 100 years ago, too

This week we heard the Greens leader, Senator Richard Di Natale, go hard for the need to debate shorter working hours. On Lateline, for example, he said this: We’ve got, in Australia, people here doing more hours than any other

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Cain, Frank: The Petrov Affair and fake documents: another look

Frank Cain* ‘The Petrov Affair and fake documents: another look’, Honest History, 15 March 2017 In a previous edition of Honest History, David Stephens referred to fake news and the seeking by Dr HV Evatt, then Leader of the Opposition,

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Leigh, Andrew: Why corporate Australia should care about inequality – Speech, Minerals Council of Australia Tax Conference, Friday 10 March 2017

Andrew Leigh ‘Why corporate Australia should care about inequality – Speech, Minerals Council of Australia Tax Conference, Friday 10 March 2017‘, Andrew Leigh MP Blog, 10 March 2017 updated Over the past generation [says Leigh], Australia has seen an increase

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True Blue but by no means politically correct – or just a different form of correctness?

Update 10 August 2017: John Roskam of the Institute of Public Affairs talks to Genevieve Jacobs of the ABC. Update 3 May 2017: Tony Abbott talks in Perth: search for ‘Western civilisation’. Update 14 April 2017: We didn’t want to

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Robertson, Joshua: $5bn used to safeguard Murray-Darling from drought largely in vain, says study

Joshua Robertson ‘$5bn used to safeguard Murray-Darling from drought largely in vain, says study‘, Guardian Australia, 2 March 2017 Reports on the political aspects of water planning in Australia. The [ANU] report, Water Reform and Planning in the Murray-Darling Basin,

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Manne, Robert: It’s time to rethink asylum-seeker policy

Robert Manne ‘It’s time to rethink asylum-seeker policy‘, The Monthly, 28 February 2017 Described as ‘an open letter to the supporters and opponents of the Nauru and Manus Island asylum seekers’, this long article canvasses the history of asylum-seeker policy

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Clanchy, Michael: In search of ‘civilised’ capitalism: a non-neoliberal approach

Michael Clanchy ‘In search of “civilised” capitalism: a non-neoliberal approach‘, Independent Australia, 28 February 2017 Socialism is not the answer, as it tends towards totalitarianism, but the ills of neoliberal capitalism still need tackling. These include boom-bust, inequality, underemployment, climate

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How defence spending gets its claws in: From the Honest History archives

Update 7 March 2017: Andrew Farran on Pearls and Irritations tries to match the F-35 to strategic imperatives. Update 3 March 2017: Steven L. Jones on The Conversation gives some background. News.com report on claimed job spin-offs. ‘A pilot’s dream‘.

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Divided sunburnt country: Australia 1916-18 (20): The soldiers’ vote denied: making sense of the first conscription plebiscite

The ‘Divided sunburnt country’ series ‘Divided sunburnt country: Australia 1916-18 (20): The soldiers’ vote denied: making sense of the first conscription plebiscite’, Honest History, 28 February 2017 During 2016 our ‘Divided sunburnt country’ posts (linked above) tracked events in the

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Wroe, David: The secret Iraq dossier: inside Australia’s flawed war

David Wroe ‘The secret Iraq dossier: inside Australia’s flawed war’, The Age, 25 February 2017 updated Long article, with illustrations and video, on Australia’s Iraq involvement, the key point being that the motivation – why we fought – was to

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Hamilton, Rebecca: Australia’s refugee policy is a crime against humanity

Rebecca Hamilton ‘Australia’s refugee policy is a crime against humanity‘, Foreign Policy, 23 February 2017 The author, an Australian lawyer working in Washington, writes that a brief has been lodged with the International Criminal Court, which gives ‘every indication that

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Stephens, David: Review note: Leaders using and abusing power through the ages

David Stephens ‘Review note: Leaders using and abusing power through the ages’, Honest History, 23 February 2017 At a time when on-the-run psychological assessments of world leaders – and one leader in particular – are becoming routine news items, considered

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West, Michael: Australia’s march towards corporatocracy

Michael West ‘Australia’s march towards corporatocracy‘, The Conversation, 20 February 2017 Looks at government reliance on external consultants, compared with the Australian public service. Such is the pervasive influence of corporations and consultants over government and the de-skilling of the

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Tiffen, Rodney: How changing times made Australia’s political leaders more disposable

Rodney Tiffen ‘How changing times made Australia’s political leaders more disposable‘, The Conversation, 16 February 2017 Looks at factors behind the relatively rapid denefenestration of Australian political leaders, state and federal, since – well, since Menzies, the only one who

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Menadue, John: The terrorism threat here is because our troops are over there

John Menadue ‘The terrorism threat here is because our troops are over there‘, Pearls and Irritations, 14 February 2017 Compared to other risks, we have little to fear from terrorism. In the last two decades only three people in Australia

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Patience, Allan: How conservative or populist is the contemporary Right in Australian politics?

Allan Patience ‘How conservative or populist is the contemporary Right in Australian politics?’ Pearls and Irritations, 14 February 2017 Examines the relationship between current apparently conservative outbreaks in Australian politics and superficially similar incidences overseas as well as historical parallels.

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Michaels, Wendy: NSW Parliamentary Trailblazers: A Fit Place for Women?

Wendy Michaels ‘NSW parliamentary trailblazers: a fit place for women?‘ Vida! Australian Women’s History Network, 9 February 2017 Mentions women in the NSW Parliament over the last century and links to an exhibition in the NSW Parliament. The review is

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Beeson, Mark: Trump triggers overdue policy debate

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Abjorensen, Norman: The long Liberal split

Norman Abjorensen ‘The long Liberal split‘, Inside Story, 8 February 2017 Triggered by the departure of Senator Bernardi to become an independent conservative, this piece by a long-time Liberal watcher looks at a century of splits and dissension on the

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McKenna, Mark: The character business: On the deluge of political biography and memoir

Mark McKenna ‘The character business: on the deluge of political biography and memoir‘, The Monthly, February 2017, pp. 36-41 Discusses political biographies, autobiographies and diaries from Crossman on Crossman to David Marr on Kevin Rudd. Addresses interesting question of who

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Smith, Evan: Some highlights from the CIA’s recent document dump online

Evan Smith ‘Some highlights from the CIA’s recent document dump online‘, Hatful of History, 21 January 2017 Adelaide-based academic and blogger, Evan Smith, has trawled through this trove and made an initial listing of what is there, including 1949 reports

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Tedeschi, Mark: Murder at Myall Creek: The Trial that Defined a Nation

Mark Tedeschi Murder at Myall Creek: The Trial that Defined a Nation, Simon & Schuster, Sydney 2016 In 1838, eleven convicts and former convicts were put on trial for the brutal murder of 28 Aboriginal men, women and children at

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Keeping up with The Conversation: wide selection as Parliament returns

Whether your problem is the return to school last week or the return of Federal Parliament this week, President Trump being erratic or AFLW making a splash, if one needs distractions there seems to be more to read at the

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Stephens, David: Opposition Leader HV Evatt receives certain assurances from Comrade Molotov: another case of “They would say that, wouldn’t they”?

David Stephens ‘Opposition Leader HV Evatt receives certain assurances from Comrade Molotov: another case of “They would say that, wouldn’t they”?’, Honest History, 7 February 2017 ‘Totally made up facts by sleazebag political operatives, both Democrats and Republicans – FAKE

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Mackay, Hugh: The state of the nation starts in your street

Hugh Mackay ‘The state of the nation starts in your street‘, The Conversation, 2 February 2017 The Gandhi Oration at the University of New South Wales, 30 January. Mackay ranges widely from politics to personal happiness, the ‘fair go’ to

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Butler, Richard: Trump: a sideshow?

Richard Butler ‘Trump: a sideshow?‘ Pearls and Irritations, 27 January 2017 updated Update 5 March 2017: More from Butler on Trump and the implications for Australia. Update 9 February 2017: related piece by Ramesh Thakur in Pearls and Irritations on

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McQueen, Humphrey: 26 January – or thereabouts: thoughts on Australia Day

Humphrey McQueen ‘26 January – or thereabouts: thoughts on Australia Day‘, Honest History, 23 January 2017 updated Humphrey McQueen is an independent Australian historian, with almost five decades of work to his credit. Some of this work has appeared on

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26 January – or thereabouts: thoughts on Australia Day

Humphrey McQueen ‘26 January – or thereabouts: thoughts on Australia Day’, Honest History, 23 January 2017 Vox Pop illustrates that the most enthusiastic celebrants of Australia Day do not always know what happened on January 26, 1788 in Sydney Cove.

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Honest History’s Alison Broinowski quoted on 1975 Australian election and possible US involvement

Honest History vice president, Alison Broinowski, is quoted today in a story in The New Daily about whether the United States interfered in the Australian election of 1975. The article references authors Andrew Fowler and John Pilger and former CIA

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Broinowski, Alison: Don’t ask about the war

Alison Broinowski ‘Don’t ask about the war‘, Pearls and Irritations, 10 January 2017 Conservative leaders’ reputations grow over time, John Howard being an example. Howard has refused to apologise for his Iraq decision of 2003. ‘His actions and opinions have

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Stephens, David & John Myrtle: Review notes: Geoffrey Bolton on Paul Hasluck

‘Review notes: Geoffrey Bolton on Paul Hasluck’, Honest History, 11 January 2017 This book (Paul Hasluck: A Life) was published in 2014 and its author, Emeritus Professor Geoffrey Bolton, has since died. The book deserves recognition after this lapse of

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Economist Ian McAuley on Brexit, Trump and the Lucky Country: new series on Pearls and Irritations blog

The Pearls and Irritations blog is always worth following for thoughtful explications of current issues, ones which the mainstream media mostly no longer has the resources or patience to run. Today, P&I publishes nine articles (introduction plus eight) by economist

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Barker, Renae: Australians have an increasingly complex, yet relatively peaceful, relationship with religion

Renae Barker ‘Australians have an increasingly complex, yet relatively peaceful, relationship with religion‘, The Conversation, 21 December 2016 A good subject for a time of year in Australia when those who were nominally Christian in their youth (or perhaps a

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Webster, Beth: Budget deficit hoo-ha is about 0.5% of GDP

Beth Webster ‘Budget deficit hoo-ha is about 0.5% of GDP‘, The Conversation, 20 December 2016 A useful corrective to the mainstream media-political class herd mentality that gives too much profile to deficit and surplus and not enough to what should

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Sherratt, Tim: Turning the inside out: Keynote at Australian Society of Archivists Annual Conference 2016

Tim Sherratt Turning the inside out: Keynote presented at the Australian Society of Archivists Annual Conference, Parramatta, 2016 A detailed examination, using a case study, of ‘the workings of legislation, archival practice and technology’. In this talk, I want to

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Culture Victoria: Out of the Closets, Into the Streets

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Saying ‘No’ to the United States: new material on non-MSM Pearls and Irritations blog

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Tanter, Richard: Fifty years on, Pine Gap should reform to better serve Australia

Richard Tanter ‘Fifty years on, Pine Gap should reform to better serve Australia‘, The Conversation, 9 December 2016 In the last 50 years, Pine Gap’s growth has burst its original security compound. There are now 33 separate antenna systems at

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Divided sunburnt country: Australia 1916-18 (19) The 1916 coal strike

The Divided Sunburnt Country series ‘Divided sunburnt country: Australia 1916-18 (19): The 1916 coal strike’, Honest History, 13 December 2016 ‘The strikes and upheavals, political and industrial, we see around us are the manifestations of a deliberate policy which aims at destroying

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Australia in the 21st Century (A21C): We need a transformational foreign policy

Australia in the 21st Century (A21C) ‘We need a transformational foreign policy: Submission to the Minister for Foreign Affairs for the White Paper on Foreign Affairs and Trade‘, Pearls and Irritations, 9 December 2016 The submission is headed ‘FILLING THE

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Five from the Pearls and Irritations blog: China, Trump, our out of touch MSM

Honest History’s distinguished supporter, John Menadue, continues to add solid content to his Pearls and Irritations blog, both his own articles, guest bloggers and material reproduced from other sources. Apart from the important submission on foreign policy, this week’s new

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Edwards, John: The plight of the right

John Edwards ‘The plight of the Right‘, Inside Story, 5 December 2016 A long, thoughtful review of an expensive book of essays published in July, following a conference in Perth in 2014 of ‘conservative’ economists and journalists. The book is

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While we are on the subject: four articles on aspects of democracy – and its possible future currency

Last Sunday we put up a post riffing off four articles which said something about the nature of politics. Without exactly saying so, we were talking about democratic politics and about how it can be a long, hard slog. We

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Hocking, Jenny: The palace letters case: ‘a matter of our national history’

Jenny Hocking ‘The palace letters case: “a matter of our national history”‘, Pearls and Irritations, 29 November 2016 Update 16 October 2017 referring to further discoveries in UK archives. Revised edition of Professor Hocking’s book. Whitlam biographer and constitutional activist

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Eureka 162 years on: resources on the Honest History site

Tomorrow, 3 December, is the 162nd anniversary of the attack on the Eureka Stockade at Ballarat. Honest History has a number of resources on the site, links to lectures by Andrew Leigh MP and historian Humphrey McQueen, a post about

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Abjorensen, Norman: Politicians behaving badly

Norman Abjorensen ‘Politicians behaving badly‘, Inside Story, 28 November 2016 If the Trump victory in the United States represented a backlash against a perceived self-interested “political class,” just as the Brexit vote did in Britain, Australia is by no means

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Blaxland, John & Rhys Crawley: The Secret Cold War: The Official History of ASIO, 1975-1989

John Blaxland & Rhys Crawley The Secret Cold War: The Official History of ASIO, 1975-1989, Allen & Unwin, Sydney, 2016 The blurb reveals that the book deals with espionage by foreign agents, terrorist attacks, the underground Cold War of tensions

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Pearls and Irritations experts ask where are we going with ANZUS now that Trump towers: more than you get on MSM

Pearls and Irritations is a blog wrangled by former senior public servant John Menadue, with the help of some knowledgeable guest writers. It has a new series entitled ‘Quo vadis and ANZUS’. ‘Quo vadis?’, for those who have no Latin

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Stephens, David: These four articles on politics reinforce each other in unexpected ways

David Stephens ‘These four articles on politics reinforce each other in unexpected ways’, Honest History, 27 November 2016 Fifty years on In 1966, 50 years ago, Lyndon Baines Johnson was in the White House, Australia’s new prime minister, Harold Holt,

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Divided sunburnt country: Australia 1916-18 (18): The Prime Minister is determined to carry on

The Divided Sunburnt Country series ‘Divided sunburnt country: Australia 1916-18 (18): The Prime Minister is determined to carry on’, Honest History, 26 November 2016 The referendum (plebiscite) had been held on 28 October. Prime Minister Hughes was the guest of

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Markus, Andrew: Australians more alarmed about state of politics than impact of migration and minorities, survey finds

Markus, Andrew ‘Australians more alarmed about state of politics than impact of migration and minorities, survey finds‘, The Conversation, 22 November 2016 Links to detailed report of the latest survey. In 2016 just 34% of respondents considered that the immigration

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Productivity Commission: Overcoming Indigenous Disadvantage: Key Indicators 2016

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Hamilton, Clive: What do we want? Charting the rise and fall of protest in Australia

Hamilton, Clive ‘What do we want? Charting the rise and fall of protest in Australia‘, The Conversation, 17 November 2016 updated Discusses the author’s new book, What Do We Want? The Story of Protest in Australia, just published. Traces the

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Pearls and Irritations blog provides non-MSM views of Trump

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The Conscription Conflict and the Great War (review of Archer, Damousi, et al)

‘The Conscription Conflict and the Great War’ (review of Archer, Damousi, et al), Honest History, 16 November 2016 Derek Abbott* reviews The Conscription Conflict and the Great War, edited by Robin Archer, Joy Damousi, Murray Goot and Sean Scalmer. See

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Archer, Robin, Joy Damousi, Murray Goot & Sean Scalmer, ed.: The Conscription Conflict and the Great War

Archer, Robin, Joy Damousi, Murray Goot & Sean Scalmer, ed. The Conscription Conflict and the Great War, Monash University Publishing, Melbourne, 2016 Collection with articles by the editors, Douglas Newton, Frank Bongiorno, John Connor and Ross McKibbin. While the Great

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Haigh, Gideon: Basic income for all: a 500-year-old idea whose time has come?

Haigh, Gideon ‘Basic income for all: a 500-year-old idea whose time has come?‘ Guardian Australia, 11 November 2016 Long article under the heading ‘Fourth Industrial Revolution’, with links to other relevant material. Haigh looks at ‘the potential of ideas such

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‘The Call to the People of Australia’, Remembrance Day, 1951: highlights reel

‘” The Call to the People of Australia”, Remembrance Day, 1951: highlights reel’, Honest History, 11 November 2016 This Remembrance Day is the 65th anniversary of one of the stranger documents of early post-war Australia. Titled ‘The Call to the

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Donalds are Trumps: going deeper after the breast-beating

There is so much being said on the US election result that we are not going to add to it (yet). Except to say three things: roughly half of eligible Americans did not vote; roughly a quarter of eligible Americans

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Divided sunburnt country: Australia 1916-18 (17): Three post-mortems on the first conscription referendum

The Divided Sunburnt Country series Note: No. 16 in the series was updated on 7 November to include a short speech by Michael McKernan on the impact of conscription in Jugiong, NSW, and a paper by Frank Bongiorno on why

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Thakur, Ramesh: The nuclear refuseniks: how the recent nuclear vote put Australia on the wrong side of history

Thakur, Ramesh ‘The nuclear refuseniks: how the recent nuclear vote put Australia, Japan, and South Korea on the wrong side of history, geography, and humanity‘, Policy Forum, 4 November 2016 updated Update 16 November 2016: more on this subject in

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Bond, Catherine: Is it time to repeal Australia’s century-old laws on the use of the word “Anzac”??

Bond, Catherine ‘Is it time to repeal Australia’s century-old laws on the use of the word “Anzac”?‘ The Conversation, 1 November 2016 Article marks the centenary of Australian restrictions on the use of the word ‘Anzac’. (The author has a

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Piggott, Michael: Peace, love and world war: the Denmans, Empire and Australia, 1910–1917: a review of a Canberra exhibition

Michael Piggott* ‘”Peace, love and world war: the Denmans, Empire and Australia, 1910–1917″: a review of a Canberra exhibition’, Honest History, 1 November 2016 Note: The exhibition concludes on 13 November 2016 First, an admission. Actually, two. As a rule,

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Manne, Robert: How we came to be so cruel to asylum seekers

Manne, Robert ‘How we came to be so cruel to asylum seekers‘, The Conversation, 26 October 2016 updated ‘If you had been told 30 years ago that Australia would create the least asylum seeker friendly institutional arrangements in the world,

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Aileen Palmer and Maralinga: Honest History highlights reel

‘Aileen Palmer and Maralinga: Honest History highlights reel’, Honest History, 18 October 2016 This material has been made available by Sylvia Martin, author of Ink in Her Veins: The Troubled Life of Aileen Palmer, published earlier this year by University

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Gillard, Julia: Julia Gillard speaks in London in memory of Jo Cox MP

Gillard, Julia ‘Julia Gillard speaks in London in memory of Jo Cox MP‘, Julia Gillard, 11 October 2016 (updated) As well as being a tribute to the assassinated British Labour MP this is a wide-ranging speech on women in politics.

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Broinowski, Alison: Review note: Homeground in Sydney

Alison Broinowski ‘Review note: Homeground in Sydney’, Honest History, 11 October 2016 Marking the 60th anniversary of the Maralinga nuclear tests, Sydney displayed several First Nations events over the weekend of 8-9 October. In the forecourt of the Opera House

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Tynan, Elizabeth: Atomic Thunder: The Maralinga Story

Elizabeth Tynan Atomic Thunder: The Maralinga Story, NewSouth, Sydney, 2016 How could a democracy such as Australia host another country’s nuclear program in the midst of the Cold War? In this meticulously researched and shocking work, journalist and academic Elizabeth

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Atomic Thunder: 60 years on from Maralinga (review of Tynan)

‘Atomic Thunder: 60 years on from Maralinga’, Honest History, 11 October 2016 Richard Broinowski* reviews Elizabeth Tynan’s Atomic Thunder: The Maralinga Story. David Pope’s cartoon of the 60th anniversary of Maralinga (Fairfax, 3 October 2016) shows Prime Minister Robert Menzies

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Burgess, Rob: The banks didn’t save Australia – they ate it

Burgess, Rob ‘The banks didn’t save Australia – they ate it‘, New Daily, 6 October 2016 Analysis in the context of the appearance of banking CEOs before a parliamentary committee, which was followed by a proposal for a banking tribunal

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Lyons, Tim: The Labour Movement: my part in its downfall

Lyons, Tim ‘The Labour Movement: my part in its downfall‘, Meanjin, Spring 2016 (vol. 75, no. 3, pp. 85-92 in hard copy) Works backwards from the demise of the resources super profits tax in 2010 to make some important points

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Aspects of foreign and defence policy: eight blogged Pearls that are likely to Irritate

Pearls and Irritations, the blog run by John Menadue, one of Honest History’s distinguished supporters and former senior public servant and businessman, regularly serves up pithy and thought-provoking pieces from experts with strong backgrounds in their fields. The blog’s masthead

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Essential poll on banning Muslim immigration and listening to Pauline Hanson

The Essential Report poll on attitudes to Muslim migration is here, along with responses to questions about Pauline Hanson. One thousand people were polled. The poll was run in August and re-run in case it was a ‘rogue’. Key responses

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Habibis, Daphne, Maggie Walter & Penny Taylor: To move forward on reconciliation, Australia must recognise it has a race relations problem

Daphne Habibis, Maggie Walter & Penny Taylor ‘To move forward on reconciliation, Australia must recognise it has a race relations problem‘, The Conversation, 20 September 2016 updated Our research in Darwin [survey of 474] shows most Indigenous people feel judged,

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Stephens, David: Review note: Howard on Menzies rolls out on the ABC

David Stephens ‘Review note: Howard on Menzies rolls out on the ABC’, Honest History, 18 September 2016 updated So much is available about this two-part ABC doco that we won’t attempt more than some random thoughts which we’ll update after

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Now this is a Maiden Speech: Senator Malarndirri McCarthy (ALP, Northern Territory)

Senator McCarthy’s speech brings together the stories of Indigenous Australia – the Senator is Yanyuwa, Garrwa, Mara and Kudanji – and settler Australia – her McCarthy ancestors came from Ireland in 1842. A great read and a great listen (30

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Concerning the proposed foreign policy White Paper: Alison Broinowski, Richard Woolcott, John Menadue, James Cogan

Australia has not had many foreign policy White Papers, though we have had a lot of Defence White Papers. There may be some significance in this. The recent announcement from the Foreign Minister  provoked some responses to add to the

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McQueen, Humphrey: Time and Bob Menzies’ essence: lifting the cover on Australia 1960

McQueen, Humphrey ‘Time and Bob Menzies’ essence: lifting the cover on Australia 1960′, Honest History, 30 August 2016 When Humphrey McQueen first wrote this article in 2000 he had this to say: ‘Forty years ago this week, Time presented a

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Time and Bob Menzies’ essence: lifting the cover on Australia 1960

Humphrey McQueen ‘Time and Bob Menzies’ essence: lifting the cover on Australia 1960’, Honest History, 30 August 2016 Note: this article includes a photograph of an Indigenous Australian who has died Time magazine ‘Indignation’ and ‘hilarity’ jostled each other through

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Many facets of inequality revealed in online sources: Honest History miscellany

A current article in Guardian Weekly wonders if the abundance of online sources is killing memory. We don’t need to remember anything because we can look it up. Maybe. The upside is the ease of finding information online – information

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Smith, Evan: ‘Between the bomb and the ballot box’: the history of the far-right in Australia

Smith, Evan ‘“Between the bomb and the ballot box”: the history of the far-right in Australia‘, Guardian Australia, 16 August 2016 updated The return of One Nation (on steroids) provokes this useful run-down of Australian fringe groups over the last

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Farrell, Paul, Nick Evershed & Helen Davidson: The Nauru files: 2,000 leaked reports reveal scale of abuse of children in Australian offshore detention

Farrell, Paul, Nick Evershed & Helen Davidson ‘The Nauru files: 2,000 leaked reports reveal scale of abuse of children in Australian offshore detention‘, Guardian Australia, 10 August 2016 updated Leaked files reveal assaults, sexual assault and self-harm. The devastating trauma

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Sheil, Christopher & Frank Stilwell: Land of the ‘fair go’ no more: wealth in Australia is becoming more unequal

Sheil, Christopher & Frank Stilwell ‘Land of the “fair go” no more: wealth in Australia is becoming more unequal‘, The Conversation, 9 August 2016 Yet another piece to add to our collection under the thumbnail, ‘Inequality’. Reports and analyses continue

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Williams, George: Australia needs a treaty and constitutional recognition for Indigenous people

Williams, George ‘Australia needs a treaty and constitutional recognition for Indigenous people’, Sydney Morning Herald, 8 August 2016 Indigenous journalist, Stan Grant, claims in the video with this piece that Australia is the only Commonwealth country that lacks a treaty

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McKinley, Michael: The ANZUS Alliance-as-disastrous diffusion

McKinley, Michael The ANZUS Alliance-as-disastrous diffusion: The political virology of a wartime liaison: Presented to the Panel WA 71 Diffusion-as-Empire: Theory and Comparative Studies in Disastrous Circulations of Power, 54th Annual Convention, The International Studies Association, San Francisco, California, USA,

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McQuire, Amy: 200 years of trauma through a CCTV lens (Don Dale and after)

McQuire, Amy ‘200 years of trauma through a CCTV lens‘, New Matilda, 3 August 2016 The best piece that we have seen on this issue. Darumbul journalist, Amy McQuire, looks behind the Royal Commission kneejerk reaction. Aboriginal affairs moves at

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AHRC Working Group: Leading for Change: A Blueprint for Cultural Diversity and Inclusive Leadership

Australian Human Rights Commission Working Group Leading for Change: A Blueprint for Cultural Diversity and Inclusive Leadership, The Commission, Sydney, 2016 The Working Group was chaired by Tim Soutphommasane, Race Discrimination Commissioner, and included Greg Whitwell, Rae Cooper, Ainslie Van

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Ashenden, Dean: The educational consequences of the peace (education policy over a century)

Ashenden, Dean ‘The educational consequences of the peace‘, Inside Story, 28 July 2016 Long article on the history of education policy from the nineteenth century, through the Labor Split of 1955, the Goulburn schools boycott in 1962 to the Karmel

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Broinowski, Anna (dir).: Pauline Hanson: Please explain!

Broinowski, Anna (dir.) ‘Pauline Hanson: Please explain!‘ SBS, 1 August 2016 Full video and supporting material of the documentary shown on SBS on 31 July. Another link. The documentary moves back and forth between 1996 and more recently, interviewing many

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Lydon, Jane: Worth a thousand words – how photos shape attitudes to refugees

Lydon, Jane ‘Friday essay: worth a thousand words – how photos shape attitudes to refugees‘, The Conversation, 29 July 2016 Looks at the politicisation of migration over the last two decades and how ‘[p]hotography has mapped a distinctively Australian version

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Graham, Chris: NT juvenile prison abuse: the most shocking part is that anyone is actually shocked

Graham, Chris Update 4 August 2016: Calla Wahlquist in Guardian Australia on Indigenous incarceration rates. Thalia Anthony in The Conversation on the same subject. Update 1-3 August 2016: Take 2: Commissioner No. 1 steps down and Commissioners Nos 2 and

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Know any bushrangers whose stories should be told but haven’t been?

Meg Foster is currently a PhD Candidate in history at the University of New South Wales. She is working on a project called ‘The “other” bushrangers’, investigating the impact of bushrangers (those of them who were not white men) on

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Kelly, Sean: Trump and circumstance

Kelly, Sean ‘Trump and circumstance‘, The Monthly Today, 22 July 2016 updated The teaser to this piece runs, ‘How Donald Trump is exploiting the rules of politics and media, and what it means for Australia’. The article is about much

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Stephens, David: Is Julia Gillard’s speech to the US Congress the most sycophantic speech by an Australian PM?

Stephens, David ‘Is this the most sycophantic speech by an Australian prime minister? Julia Gillard’s address to the United States Congress, March 2011’, Honest History, 19 July 2016 This article analyses a recent claim by former Australian diplomat, Richard Butler,

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Landers, Rachel: Who bombed the Hilton?

Landers, Rachel Who Bombed the Hilton? NewSouth, Sydney, 2016 On 13 February 1978 a bomb exploded outside the Hilton Hotel in George Street, Sydney. Two garbage collectors and a police officer were killed. Often called the first act of terrorist

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Is Julia Gillard’s speech to the US Congress the most sycophantic speech by an Australian PM?

David Stephens ‘Is this the most sycophantic speech by an Australian prime minister? Julia Gillard’s address to the United States Congress, March 2011’, Honest History, 19 July 2016 Former Prime Minister Rudd gets Anzac biscuit, 2012 (Courier-Mail/Brad Cooper) Anzackery precedents:

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Australia’s no-go zones: Rachel Landers’ Who Bombed the Hilton?

‘Australia’s no-go zones: Rachel Landers’ Who Bombed the Hilton?’ Honest History, 19 July 2016 Alison Broinowski reviews Rachel Landers’ book Who Bombed the Hilton? We are not suddenly making the world uninhabitable all at once. Instead, the world is creating

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From the Honest History archives: Alison Broinowski from October 2013 on Iraq 2003 and war powers reform

In the wake of the Chilcot report and recognising its relevance for Australia, we are re-running a perspicacious October 2013 piece from Alison Broinowski (vice president of both Honest History and Australians for War Powers Reform). Called ‘The streaker’s defence:

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Fielding, Victoria: The big election story the media missed

Fielding, Victoria ‘The big election story the media missed‘, New Matilda, 7 July 2016 PhD student writes on the lack of attention during the election campaign to growing inequality. (The Honest History website has collected extensive resources on inequality.) She

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Sarra, Chris: We Indigenous people are stronger than we believe, and smarter than we know

Sarra, Chris ‘We Indigenous people are stronger than we believe, and smarter than we know‘, Guardian Australia, 10 July 2016 Address after Dr Sarra received NAIDOC 2016 Person of the Year award. In the course of it, he supports negotiation

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From the Honest History archives: Gough Whitlam centenary, 11 July 2016

Monday, 11 July 2016, is 100 years since the birth of Edward Gough Whitlam, prime minister of Australia 1972-75. Gough Whitlam died in October 2014 and at that time, Honest History collected a lot of resources, obituaries, reminiscences, commentaries, extracts,

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Five uneasy pieces on the mainstream media and the election

Update 3 August 2016: Richard Denniss in The Monthly on Brexit, election, perceptions, the media and the whole damn thing. Update 22 July 2016: Sean Kelly in The Monthly Today on some of the issues below. ____________ The founder of

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From the Honest History archives: An old Queen and a new nation (Constitution Day, 9 July)

‘From the Honest History archives: An old Queen and a new nation (Constitution Day, 9 July)’, Honest History, 6 July 2016 Victoria by Charles Léandre, Le Rire, 12 June 1897 (Wikimedia Commons) Update: National Archives of Australia events on Constitution

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McQuire, Amy: More Aboriginal MPs shouldn’t let the major parties off the hook

McQuire, Amy ‘More Aboriginal MPs shouldn’t let the major parties off the hook‘, New Matilda, 5 July 2016 Darumbul journalist, Amy McQuire, notes the election of Wiradjuri woman, Linda Burney, ALP, as the first Indigenous woman in the House of

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Marks, Russell: An impoverished estate (media and politics)

Marks, Russell ‘An impoverished estate‘, The Monthly, 5 July 2016 The sub-heading reads ‘The Australian media prioritised personality over policy during this election campaign’. Honest History has avoided running ‘horse-race’ stories about this election campaign, punting (sorry) instead for the

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McAuley, Ian: Hung Parliament Explained: Too Much Party Testosterone Drives The Opposition

McAuley, Ian ‘Hung parliament explained: too much party testosterone drives the Opposition‘, New Matilda, 3 July 2016 Historical analysis of primary votes of major parties and other parties/independents since 1946, showing the decline for the major parties and the rise

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Coombs, Anne: It seems like a good time to ask: what are governments for?

Coombs, Anne ‘It seems like a good time to ask: what are governments for?‘ Guardian, 24 June 2016 This piece was re-run in the latest Guardian Weekly (1-7 July) where it earned the additional headline: ‘We give them power to

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Davey, Melissa: Australia’s gun laws stopped mass shootings and reduced homicides

Davey, Melissa ‘Australia’s gun laws stopped mass shootings and reduced homicides, study finds‘, Guardian Australia, 23 June 2016 Over 500 comments on this piece which reports a longitudinal (20 year) study by Sydney and Macquarie University researchers. The original article

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Bongiorno, Frank: Politicians’ inability to speak freely on issues that matter leaves democracy all the poorer

Bongiorno, Frank ‘Politicians’ inability to speak freely on issues that matter leaves democracy all the poorer‘, The Conversation, 21 June 2016 The author notes the poor quality of political debate in Australia, particularly during the current election campaign, but also

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Megarrity, Lyndon: Northern Dreams, National Realities: The Life and Times of Dr Rex Patterson

Megarrity, Lyndon Research Report 46: Northern Dreams, National Realities: The Life and Times of Dr Rex Patterson, TJ Ryan Foundation, Brisbane, May 2016 Rex Patterson (1927-2016) was Australia’s first minister for portfolios specialising in Northern Australia. After a career in

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Review note: The Soldier’s Curse by Meg and Tom Keneally

‘Review note: The Soldier’s Curse: Book One, The Monsarrat Series, by Meg and Tom Keneally’, Honest History, 13 June 2016 Gentle Reader reviews a Keneally family enterprise published by Vintage Random House. Tom Keneally is not only prolific but also

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Venturini, VG (George): The facets of Australian fascism: the Abbott Government experiment (Parts 1-5)

Venturini, VG (George) ‘The facets of Australian fascism: the Abbott Government experiment (Parts 1-5)‘, Australian Independent Media Network, 2-6 June 2016 First of a planned multi-part series by this veteran commentator. The other parts will link from Part 1. With

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Which bank do you know? Some notes from Humphrey McQueen on Australian banking history

‘Which bank do you know? Some notes from Humphrey McQueen on Australian banking history’, Honest History, 7 June 2016 and updated [*] The distinguished Australian historian, Humphrey McQueen, has sent Honest History extensive notes distilling his recent research on the

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Daley, Paul: 25 years of reconciliation and what do we have to show for it?

Daley, Paul ‘25 years of reconciliation and what do we have to show for it?‘ Guardian Australia, 3 June 2016 Written in Reconciliation Week, the article argues indicators are going backwards, gaps are widening and sovereignty is unacknowledged. And, after

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Leigh, Andrew: Markets, monopolies and moguls: the relationship between inequality and competition

Leigh, Andrew ‘Markets, monopolies and moguls: the relationship between inequality and competition: John Freebairn Lecture in Public Policy, University of Melbourne, 19 May 2016‘, Andrew Leigh MP website, 20 May 2016 Like a large tree that overshadows the saplings around

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Jericho, Greg: Myths of the neoliberal economic model

Jericho, Greg ‘It’s time to expose the myths of the neoliberal economic model‘, Guardian Australia, 30 May 2016 Election commentary which takes a broad historical sweep. The writer looks at trend figures for GDP growth going back 20, 30 and

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Hillman, Nick: The ten commandments for influencing policymakers

Hillman, Nick ‘The ten commandments for influencing policymakers‘, Times Higher Education Supplement, 26 May 2016 Honest History has always been interested in how the discipline of history can be used for good or ill in government. Many of our resources

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Armstrong, Mick: The radicalisation of the (Australian) campuses 1967-74

Mick Armstrong ‘The radicalisation of the campuses 1967-74‘, Australian National University course material for ‘Marxist interventions’ course Based on a chapter from Armstrong’s (now hard to get) book, One, Two Three, What are We Fighting For? (Socialist Alternative, Melbourne 2001).

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Bright, Denis: The income divide in Australia: The return of class-based politics?

Bright, Denis ‘The income divide in Australia: the return of class-based politics?‘, Australian Independent Media Network, 19 May 2016 Gets beyond the politics of campaigning to look at some statistics – some of which have been used previously in the

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Muldoon, Paul & Adrian Little: Indigenous reconciliation opens old wounds

Muldoon, Paul & Adrian Little ‘Indigenous reconciliation is hard, it re-opens wounds to heal them‘, The Conversation, 11 May 2016 First of a series, linking from this article, about the issues surrounding reconciliation (or treaty), starting from the assumption that

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McLean, Ian: With secrecy and despatch (review of exhibition)

McLean, Ian ‘With secrecy and despatch‘, Artlink, April 2016 This is a review of an exhibition (With Secrecy and Despatch, 9 April-12 June) at the Campbelltown Arts Centre on Australian and Canadian contemporary Indigenous art. It also touches on When

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Bongiorno, Frank: lessons from history on election campaigning

Bongiorno, Frank ‘Lessons from history in how to run a good election campaign – or how to avoid a really bad one‘, The Conversation, 9 May 2016 Don’t make yourself a big target, don’t write a (policy) book – or

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The dogs of war at home and abroad: miscellany

(Australian Electoral Commission) As the election is announced, complete with warlike metaphors, it is timely to look at some other slices of our history, past and present, where war is rather more real or more possible. (Honest History will probably

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Daley, Paul: Australian patriotism: it’s not about war, it’s in our love of the land

Paul Daley ‘Australian patriotism: it’s not about war, it’s in our love of the land‘, Guardian Australia, 7 May 2016 updated Daley rejects violent metaphors for election campaigns and suggests patriotism, always evoked at such times, is more subtle and

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Commonwealth Budget 2016 and the size and direction of government

‘Commonwealth Budget 2016 and the size and direction of government’, Honest History, 5 May 2016 updated There has been lots of Budget analysis. Honest History wishes only to note the specifically commemorative elements and pick out some other aspects that

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Brown, AJ: Reforming the Federation requires strong bipartisan support

Brown, AJ ‘To really reform the federation, you must build strong bipartisan support‘, The Conversation, 26 April 2016 Includes results of a survey of politicians, state and federal. The survey found an issue that stood out. But where the most

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Henry, Adam Hughes: The Gatekeepers of Australian Foreign Policy 1950-1966

Henry, Adam Hughes The Gatekeepers of Australian Foreign Policy 1950-1966, Australian Scholarly Publishing, North Melbourne, 2015 Analyses the role of, and networks between, important individuals, elected and in the bureaucracy, as they influenced the direction of Australian foreign policy during

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Orthodoxy at the top (review of Henry’s The Gatekeepers)

‘Orthodoxy at the top’ (review of Henry’s The Gatekeepers), Honest History, 26 April 2016 Derek Abbott* reviews The Gatekeepers of Australian Foreign Policy 1950-1966 by Adam Hughes Henry Examinations of the ‘culture’ of institutions, industries and sectors of society are

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McAuley, Ian: How the deficit obsession is eroding the budget’s usefulness

McAuley, Ian ‘How the deficit obsession is eroding the budget’s usefulness‘, The Conversation, 21 April 2016 Over many years the budget has morphed from an economic statement explaining how the government allocates resources, to a fiscal statement. The emphasis has

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Kaine, Sarah: State of the union(s): perfect storm weakened workers’ voices

Kaine, Sarah ‘The state of the union(s): how a perfect storm weakened the workers’ voices‘, The Conversation, 21 April 2016 The author says that, given the current political focus on unions, an observer would think Australian unions were at the

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Twenty-five years since Deaths in Custody Royal Commission: Honest History miscellany

‘Twenty-five years since Deaths in Custody Royal Commission: Honest History miscellany’, Honest History, 15 April 2016 Taking a line through the dozen or so news reports and pieces of commentary below, we do not attempt any summing up other than

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Stephens, David: Bill Shorten’s Royal Commission proposal: Labor and banks go way, way back

Stephens, David ‘Bill Shorten’s Royal Commission proposal: Labor and the banks go way, way back‘, Pearls and Irritations, 9 April 2016 and updated Update of some earlier material on the Honest History site about the history of Labor’s relations with

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Marsh, Ian: What’s wrong with Australian politics (Parts 1-3)

Marsh, Ian ‘What’s wrong with Australia’s political system?‘; ‘Disaffected electorates? Dysfunctional political systems?‘; ‘What’s wrong with Australian politics?‘ Pearls and Irritations, 4, 5, 7 April 2016 updated People fail to recognise ‘that the political world is … a complex interdependent

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Labor call for banking Royal Commission has historical echoes aplenty

Update December 2017: a Royal Commission of a different feather is announced. Update June-September 2016: more from Humphrey McQueen and others. Update 9 April 2016: updated article on Pearls and Irritation website. ______________ Opposition Leader Shorten has called for a

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Daley, Paul: Lachlan Macquarie was no humanitarian

Daley, Paul ‘Lachlan Macquarie was no humanitarian: his own words show he was a terrorist‘, Guardian Australia, 5 April 2016 Discusses the strategy employed towards Indigenous Australians by New South Wales Governor (1810-22) Lachlan Macquarie. Macquarie is perhaps the most

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Daley, Paul: It’s not “politically correct” to say Australia was invaded, it’s history

Daley, Paul ‘It’s not “politically correct” to say Australia was invaded, it’s history‘, Guardian Australia, 30 March 2016 updated This article comments on the Daily Telegraph‘s comment on a diversity guide at the University of New South Wales, pointing out

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Review note: Certain Admissions by Gideon Haigh is a very Melbourne story

‘Review note: Certain Admissions by Gideon Haigh is a very Melbourne story’, Honest History, 24 March 2016 Update 30 August 2016: the book won the Ned Kelly award for 2016. This is a gripping ‘true crime’ story by a prolific

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Terrorism reprise in the wake of Belgian attacks and Lindt inquest: resources from the Honest History vault

We thought it would be useful today to bring out of the vault a collection we put together about a year ago on background to the then new anti-terrorism laws. It hangs off a review by Jeff Sparrow of a

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Wahlquist, Calla: how Australia embraced gun control after Port Arthur

Wahlquist, Calla ‘It took one massacre: how Australia embraced gun control after Port Arthur‘, Guardian Australia, 15 March 2016 Twenty years on from the Port Arthur massacre (35 dead, 23 wounded), the article traces how Prime Minister announced a package

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Liddle, Celeste: Looking past White Australia and white feminism

Liddle, Celeste ‘Looking past White Australia and white feminism‘, New Matilda, 9 March 2016 updated Update 17 March 2016: Liz Conor writes in New Matilda (excerpt from forthcoming book). Includes cringe-making cartoons and advertisements depicting Indigenous women. _______________ Arrernte woman

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Bentley, Tom & Jonathan West: Time for a new consensus

Bentley, Tom & Jonathan West ‘Time for a new consensus: fostering Australia’s comparative advantages‘, Griffith Review 51 supplement, March 2016; available as pdf and electronically Australia has emerged from a spectacular resources boom without any clear approach to achieving growth

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Defending the national tuckshop (again): Defence White Paper miscellany

Update 1 April 2016: four pieces on the South China Sea from former diplomats Broinowski, Miller and Woodward, published in Pearls and Irritations. ____________________   The title of this piece is pinched shamelessly from that of Michael Cathcart’s excellent book

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Cox, Eva: Feminism has failed and needs a rethink

Cox, Eva ‘Feminism has failed and needs a rethink‘, The Conversation, 8 March 2016 The author says women achieved formal legal equality ‘but moving past that into wider social equity changes seems definitely to have stalled’. Partly due to neo-liberalism,

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Review note: Remembering Ben Chifley by Suzanne Martin: well meant but flawed

‘Review note: Remembering Ben Chifley by Suzanne Martin: well meant but flawed’, Honest History, 5 March 2016 This is a well meant but flawed book about one of our most attractive prime ministers. The author is Chifley’s great-niece, her sisters

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Marshall, Daniel: Does Australia need a Queer History month?

Marshall, Daniel ‘Does Australia need a Queer History month?‘ The Conversation, 3 March 2016 In the wake of the Safe Schools controversy and just after the NSW Parliament and NSW Police apologise for the treatment of Gay and Lesbian marchers

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Abjorensen, Norman: The meaning of John Howard

Abjorensen, Norman ‘The meaning of John Howard‘, Inside Story, 1 March 2016 updated Written to mark the 20th anniversary of the coming to power of the Howard Government. Abjorensen is the doyen of the rise and fall of prime ministers,

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Murphy, Katharine: The politics we deserve

Murphy, Katharine ‘The politics we deserve‘, Meanjin, 74, 4, Summer 2015 The writer is deputy political editor of Guardian Australia. We are posting this link not much more than four months after the article was written – we had missed

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Wilkie, Douglas: La Trobe’s decision to postpone gold exploitation until after 1851

Wilkie, Douglas ‘Ten thousand fathoms deep: Charles Joseph La Trobe’s decision to postpone gold exploitation until after Separation from New South Wales in 1851‘, La Trobeana, 14, 1, March 2015, pp. 6-14 The beginning of the Victorian gold rushes and

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Venturini, VG (George): Towards an Australian republic

Venturini, VG (George) ‘Towards an Australian republic: parts 1-10’, Australian Independent Media Network, 2-11 February 2016 A series of essays from a veteran Australian commentator. The titles of all ten essays and links to them are set out below: Towards

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Daley, Paul: Peter FitzSimons gives republicanism a megaphone

Daley, Paul ‘Love him or hate him, Peter FitzSimons gives republicanism a megaphone‘, Guardian Australia, 24 February 2016 Looks at the rejuvenation of republicanism under Peter FitzSimons, including the support that has been extracted from most State premiers and chief

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Walter, James: can Turnbull manage the ultra-conservatives?

Walter, James ‘A liberal leading the Liberals: can Turnbull manage the ultra-conservatives?‘ The Conversation, 24 February 2016 Comments on the government decision to inquire into Safe Schools, an education program supporting gender-diverse children. Conservatives have claimed the program leads to

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Illogical two per centers still thrive in defence spend debate

Ahead of tomorrow’s release of the Defence White Paper we have this from the prime minister: Defence spending will reach 2% of Australia’s gross domestic product (GDP), the prime minister, Malcolm Turnbull has confirmed, sticking with a commitment made by his predecessor,

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Could Veterans’ Affairs portfolio changes follow departure of Minister?

Stuart Robert MP, the Minister for Human Services, Veterans’ Affairs and Assisting the Prime Minister for the Centenary of Anzac is leaving the Ministry. While the departure of the Minister arises from matters unconnected with his current three jobs, it

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Online gem No. 6: Selected political records of the Commonwealth Parliament

Online gem No. 6: Selected political records of the Commonwealth Parliament (11 February 2016) Any week when the Australian Parliament is sitting brings a sharpened focus on the House on the Hill, even for those Australians who do not live

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It’s a system, dammit, not a horse-race (review of Griffith Review 51)

‘It’s a system, dammit, not a horse-race’ (review of Griffith Review 51), Honest History, 2 February 2016 David Stephens reviews Griffith Review 51, ‘Fixing the system’, edited by Julianne Schultz and Anne Tiernan  Once upon a time gentlemen who made

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Schultz, Julianne, Anne Tiernan, et al.: Fixing the system

Schultz, Julianne, Anne Tiernan, et al. ‘Fixing the system‘, Griffith Review, 51, January 2016, available online to subscribers Collection of nearly thirty essays on how to foster ‘a society that really works’. Authors include the editors, Carmen Lawrence, Chris Wallace,

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High Commissioner Fisher talks up the war, January 1916: highlights reel

‘High Commissioner Fisher talks up the war, January 1916: Honest History highlights reel’, Honest History, 2 February 2016 Andrew Fisher left the Australian prime ministership on 30 October 1915 and, with his family, travelled to London to take up the

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Headon, David & John Uhr, ed.: Eureka: Australia’s greatest story

David Headon & John Uhr, ed. Eureka: Australia’s Greatest Story, Federation Press, Sydney, 2015; electronic version available Papers from a conference held in Canberra, December 2014, plus some additional papers. The editors of this book boldly proclaim that Eureka is

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Melleuish, Gregory: Australian head of state but de facto monarchy

Melleuish, Gregory ‘An Australian head of state won’t save us from being a de facto monarchy‘, The Conversation, 27 January 2016 Prime ministers have become quasi-monarchs (despite their elected status) which is a particular worry given the poor quality of

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Organ, Michael K.: Governor Macquarie’s Aboriginal War of 1816

Organ, Michael K. ‘Secret service: Governor Macquarie’s Aboriginal War of 1816: Proceedings of the National Conference of the Royal Australian Historical Society, Mittagong, 25-26 October 2014‘, University of Wollongong Research Online Detailed analysis of Governor Lachlan Macquarie’s punitive actions against

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Patience, Allan: Can we afford Australia’s federal system?

Patience, Allan ‘Can we continue to afford Australia’s federal system?‘ Pearls and Irritations, 18 January 2016 The article looks at the issues facing Australia and anticipates the forthcoming White Paper on the reform of federalism. It is now more obvious

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Browne, Peter: Postwar boomer (RG Menzies 50 years on)

Browne, Peter ‘Postwar boomer‘, Inside Story, 18 January 2016 Long essay looking back from Sir Robert Menzies’ retirement 50 years ago to the events of his 16-year reign (and even glances at his earlier time in office in 1939-41). Menzies

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Latimore, Jack et al: New News 2015: From the ground up: New Media and Indigenous reporting

Latimore, Jack, Allan Clarke, Paul Daley, Amy McQuire, and Steve Hodder Watt ‘New News 2015: From the ground up: New Media and Indigenous reporting’, Wheeler Centre, 10 October 2015 One hour video of panel discussion, chaired by Latimore, who is

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Honest History Christmas miscellany 2015: lots to read and ponder

‘Honest History Christmas miscellany 2015: lots to read and ponder’, Honest History, 20 December 2015 Christmas often brings a reckoning and it is the same in our compact little enterprise. We would have loved to have afforded some of the

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World War I internment case rings ‘national security’ bells today

What happens in Marrickville today would have been of interest to the enforcers of the War Precautions Act 1914 had it happened a century ago. Sunday, 22 November 2015, saw the Gallipoli Centenary Peace Campaign (GCPC) and St Brigid’s Parish

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Eltham, Ben: for a new thing, innovation has been around for a while

Eltham, Ben ‘Malcolm “Boom Boom” Turnbull is an old ideas man‘, New Matilda, 10 December 2015 Anyone older than 40 should be able to remember at least three ‘innovation statements’ by Australian governments. They may also have a shelf of

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Appleby, Gabrielle: what say do our elected representatives have in going to war?

Appleby, Gabrielle ‘What say do our elected representatives have in going to war?‘ The Conversation, 10 December 2015 updated The authorisation of military force is one of the most serious and consequential powers that governments possess. This power should be

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Three essays on the Cronulla riots 10 years on

Update 14 December 2015: the World Socialist Web Site weighs in with some detailed analysis of the court decision on the proposed Cronulla commemorative barbecue by the Party for Freedom. WSWS has also sent us a link to its 2006

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Powell, Graeme with Stuart Macintyre: Land of opportunity (Post-War Reconstruction archives)

Powell, Graeme with Stuart Macintyre Land of Opportunity: Australia’s Post-War Reconstruction, National Archives of Australia, Canberra, 2015 This is 336 pages (30 chapters) of guidance to the files of the National Archives of Australia on a crucial decade of Australia’s

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Whiteford, Peter: is welfare sustainable?

Whiteford, Peter ‘Is welfare sustainable?‘ Inside Story, 22 November 2015 Looks at recent government statements about social services expenditure then moves on to detailed historical consideration of the issue. Most of the graphs go back to 1995 and cover, for

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Eureka 161 years on: Honest History miscellany

‘Eureka 161 years on: Honest History miscellany’, Honest History, 1 December 2015 Thursday this week, 3 December, is the 161st anniversary of Eureka. Honest History has collected resources on Eureka over the last couple of years and here are links

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Stephens, David: will the new Anzac centenary minister be too busy to bother?

Stephens, David ‘Will the new Anzac centenary minister be too busy to bother?‘ Honest History, 1 December 2015 Update 4 December 2015: the Minister has responded on Twitter. The article looks at the ministerial workload implications of the machinery of

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Bongiorno, Frank: The Eighties: Decade that Transformed Australia

Bongiorno, Frank The Eighties: The Decade that Transformed Australia, Black Inc, Collingwood, Vic, 2015; hardback and electronic It was the era of Hawke and Keating, Kylie and INXS, the America’s Cup and the Bicentenary. It was perhaps the most controversial

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Will the new Anzac centenary minister be too busy to bother?

David Stephens ‘Will the new Anzac centenary minister be too busy to bother? Honest History, 1 December 2015 updated [Note: earlier, edited versions of this article appear in the Public Servant Informant supplement of the Canberra Times for 1 December

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The eighties in nine chapters (review of Bongiorno)

‘The eighties in nine chapters’ (review of Bongiorno), Honest History, 1 December 2015 Janet Wilson* reviews The Eighties: The Decade that Transformed Australia by Frank Bongiorno __________________________ Among the words and phrases that entered the lexicon in the 1980s are

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Wilkie, Douglas: the convict ship Hashemy and historical error

Wilkie, Douglas ‘The convict ship “Hashemy” at Port Phillip: a case study in historical error‘, Victorian Historical Journal, 85, 1, June 2014, pp. 31-53 Received history is that the convict ship Hashemy was turned away from Melbourne in 1849 and

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Online gem No. 5: Medico-Legal Society of Victoria: experience of war

Online gem No. 5: Medico-Legal Society of Victoria: the experience of war (26 November 2015) Here are some more items from the extensive holdings of the Medico-Legal Society of Victoria (MLSV). Online gem No. 4 also included papers from the

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Woolombi Waters, Marcus: Australia is a nation of white privilege

Woolombi Waters, Marcus ‘Whether you’re listening or not, Australia is a nation of white privilege‘, The Conversation, 17 November 2015 The author is a Kamilaroi man who has recently returned from travelling overseas for work. This article received more than

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Cochrane, Peter: Keith Murdoch and the birth of a dynasty

Cochrane, Peter ‘Book review: Before Rupert: Keith Murdoch and the birth of a dynasty‘, The Conversation, 13 November 2015 Cochrane reviews this new book by Tom DC Roberts. The book starts with Murdoch’s ‘Gallipoli letter’ but goes much further. It is

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Smith, Evan: Australia and the fascist idea of Greater Britain

Smith, Evan ‘Australia and the fascist idea of Greater Britain‘, Imperial & Global Forum, 9 November 2015 Guest blog by an Australian scholar. Shows how important to Oswald Mosley’s 1930s British Union of Fascists (BUF) was to the maintenance of

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Jakubowicz, Andrew: we need a Multiculturalism Act

Jakubowicz, Andrew ‘How national multicultural legislation would strengthen Australian society‘, The Conversation, 5 November 2015 The author looks at 40 years of history of how governments, state and federal, have dealt with multiculturalism. He finds they have lacked ‘the courage

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Menadue, John: how Kerr saved Fraser in 1975

Menadue, John ‘The Dismissal: how John Kerr saved Malcolm Fraser forty years ago‘, Pearls and Irritations, 5 November 2015 John Menadue, close to the events of the Dismissal, recalls some key events and attitudes. Malcolm Fraser’s political life was saved

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Abjorensen, Norman: The manner of their going

Abjorensen, Norman The Manner of Their Going: Prime Ministerial Exits from Lyne to Abbott, Australian Scholarly Publishing, North Melbourne, 2015 A study of the departures of all our prime ministers, from the one who was commissioned but never served (Lyne)

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Parting not such sweet sorrow (review of Abjorensen)

‘Parting not such sweet sorrow’, Honest History, 4 November 2015 Michael Piggott reviews Norman Abjorensen’s The Manner of Their Going: Prime Ministerial Exits from Lyne to Abbott I was in a bus on a group tour in Turkey when the news

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Code, Bill: PMs’ childhood homes

Code, Bill ‘The childhood homes of Australia’s prime ministers – in pictures‘, Guardian Australia, 28 October 2014 The imminent (but then delayed) demolition of the home in Kew, Victoria, where Gough Whitlam was born (reputedly on the kitchen table) provoked

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Highlights reel: ACOSS Poverty Report 2014

‘Highlights reel: ACOSS Poverty Report 2014’, Honest History, 30 October 2014 We are told that one of the most notable aspects of recent Australian history has been unbroken economic prosperity. We are told about more than two decades of growth,

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Honest History list: about 98 resources on Gough Whitlam

Australia’s 21st prime minister, Edward Gough Whitlam, has died at the age of 98. This is a roundup of commentary. It may show something of how myths are created and nourished. Mark Latham wrote this in June 2014. There is

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Melleuish, Gregory: Restoring federalism

Melleuish, Gregory ‘To restore federalism, strengthen the states and make Australia more republican‘, The Conversation, 18 September 2014 Only by providing states with the capacity to raise the taxes they need to finance their operations can we restore them to

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Trade-offs

(I) For some time to come, the delicate balance between freedom and security may have to shift … so that there can be more protection. (Prime Minister Abbott, 22 September 2014) (II) Those who would give up essential Liberty, to

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The Playbook

The formula for saving any dictatorship is universal: create an enemy, start a war. The state of war is the regime’s elixir of life. A nation in patriotic ecstasy becomes one with its “national leader”, while dissenters can be declared

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Jokes at the Front

One can joke with a badly-wounded man and congratulate him on being out of it. One can disregard a dead man. But even a miner can’t make a joke that sounds like a joke over a man who takes three

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Henry, Ken: Public policy and economic reform

Henry, Ken ‘Public policy resilience and the reform narrative‘, ANU News, 18 September 2014 A lecture delivered at the Crawford School of Public Policy, ANU, 16 September 2014. The lecture focuses on two questions: how should one assess the wealth

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Australian Quarterly: 85 years in 85 days

Australian Quarterly 85 Years in 85 Days – AQ Celebrates Australian Quarterly, which claims to be Australia’s oldest current affairs magazine, temporarily lowered its paywall early in 2014 to give free access to articles published from 1929 to 1989 (which

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Holt, Stephen: An unlikely leftist

Holt, Stephen ‘An unlikely leftist: Douglas Berneville-Claye‘, Honest History, 7 October 2014 A case study in dishonest history at the personal level, which speaks to both the irresistible attraction of wartime fame and the inevitability of exposure by the forces

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Douglas Berneville-Claye: unlikely leftist

Holt, Stephen ‘An unlikely leftist: Douglas Berneville-Claye’, Honest History, 7 October 2014 Domestic opposition to Australia’s involvement in the Vietnam War in the 1960s and early 1970s was a potent force. The opposition was a mass movement which attracted idiosyncratic

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ABC RN Saturday Extra: Arthur Phillip and the Eora

ABC Radio National ‘Arthur Phillip and the Eora‘, Saturday Extra, 13 September 2014 Geraldine Doogue interviews Grace Karskens (audio only, no transcript) on relations between Captain Arthur Phillip and Bennelong of the Eora Nation. Notes that the precise nature of

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Harris, Eleri: Utopian Canberra that wasn’t

Harris, Eleri ‘The utopian city that wasn’t: how two American architects won a competition to design Australia’s capital in 1912‘, Reform, 25 September 2014 Comicbook version of the story of Canberra from 1912 to now. Notes the impact of World

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Saunders, Cheryl: Making federalism work

Saunders, Cheryl ‘Federalism is a natural fit for Australia, but we need to make it work‘, The Conversation, 24 September 2014 The author concludes that ‘abandonment of federalism is not desirable … It is impossible to imagine democracy without federalism

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Muscular patriotism

Hitler, because in his own joyless mind he feels it with exceptional strength, knows that human beings don’t only want comfort, safety, short working-hours, hygiene, birth-control and, in general, common sense; they also, at least intermittently, want struggle and self-sacrifice,

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Fear sells

Politicians and media populists are expert at the manipulation of fears to exercise control and ratchet up their approval ratings. And we are conditioned to respond. Fear sells – and it gets governments elected. (Carmen Lawrence, 2006)

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ABC RN Bush Telegraph: Stitching the Eureka flag

ABC Radio National ‘The brave women who stitched Australia’s flag of unity and rebellion‘, Bush Telegraph, 10 September 2014 Podcast (23 minutes) discussion between Clare Wright, Val D’Angri, descendant, and Jane Smith, curator, about the history of the Eureka flag,

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Dowse, Sara: What are feminists to do?

Dowse, Sara ‘So what are feminists to do?‘ Inside Story, 14 August 2014 Text of 2014 Emily’s List Oration. The author was head of the federal government’s Office for the Status of Women in the 1970s. The 1970s could be

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Tilley, Cristen: Violence against women surveyed

Tilley, Cristen ‘10 charts that reveal Australian attitudes to violence against women‘, ABC News, 18 September 2014 Charts changes since 1995 in VicHealth’s poll of 17 500 people on the community’s knowledge, attitudes and responses to physical and other forms of violence,

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Cahill, Damien & Frank Stilwell. ed.: Australian economic boom

Cahill, Damien & Frank Stilwell, ed. ‘Special issue on the Australian economic boom: 1992-?‘ Journal of Political Economy, 61, June 2008 Sixteen articles on this period of the Australian economy. Multiple authors address Australian economic booms in historical perspective, Australian

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Paul, Erik: Violence in Australia

Paul, Erik ‘The political economy of violence in Australia‘, Journal of Political Economy, 63, Winter 2009, pp. 82-101 Considers the economic, cultural and political aspects of violence, in particular, its connections with the nature of capitalism. Specific issues addressed include

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Humphrys, Elizabeth: Birth of Australia

Humphrys, Elizabeth ‘The birth of Australia: non-capitalist social relations in a capitalist mode of production?‘ Journal of Political Economy, 70, Summer 2012-13, pp. 110-17 This article argues that, despite the early Australian colonies encompassing the extensive use of unfree convict

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Bridge, Carl et al, ed.: Australian High Commissioners, London

Bridge, Carl, Frank Bongiorno & David Lee, ed. The High Commissioners: Australia’s Representatives in the United Kingdom, 1910-2010, Australia. Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Canberra, 2010 Full text (340 pages) of collection of articles on the London connection, brought

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With respect to John Burton

Edwards, Clive T. ‘With respect to John Burton’, Honest History, 10 September 2014 Rob Foot’s article (‘The curious case of Dr John Burton’, Quadrant, November 2013) denigrates the character and contribution of John Burton by reference to incidents that were

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Edwards, Clive T.: With respect to John Burton

Edwards, Clive T. ‘With respect to John Burton‘, Honest History, 10 September 2014 At a time (2014) when governments are increasingly relying on advice from security services to help them formulate policy, the history of events which have attracted the

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Daley, Paul: Renouncing Australia

Daley, Paul ‘The man who renounced Australia,’ Guardian Australia, 26 August 2014 The story of Murrumu Walubara Yidindji, formerly Jeremy Geia, who has ‘left’ Australia, while remaining within it, and who believes Yidindji laws, as the laws of the original

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Stevenson, Chrys: Politics of Australian religion

Stevenson, Chrys ‘The politics of Australian religion‘, The King’s Tribune, 25 August 2014 Examines the reasons for the bipartisan support gathered by the school chaplaincy program, despite the constitutional difficulties it has faced and doubts about its efficacy and ethics.

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Cotton, James & David Lee, ed.: Australia and the UN

Cotton, James & David Lee Australia and the United Nations, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Canberra, 2012 Comprehensive and well-illustrated publication (available in hard copy as well as online) with chapters by the editors, academics Neville Meaney, Peter Carroll,

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Burton, Pamela: John Burton, undermined by dishonest history

Burton, Pamela ‘John Burton: undermined by dishonest history’, Honest History, 1 September 2014 The illustrated text of an Honest History lecture at Manning Clark House, Canberra, 18 August 2014. The author is a Canberra lawyer and writer and the daughter

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Noye, Larry: O’Malley MHR

Noye, Larry O’Malley MHR, Sid Harta Publishers, Glen Waverley, Vic., 2009; first published 1985 Detailed biography of O’Malley, with a foreword by Barry Jones. Focuses mainly on O’Malley’s years in federal politics, effectively ending with his defeat in 1917 –

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Honest History list: inequality by the dozen

You can now find our inequality resources linked from here. 14 November 2015

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Smith, Evan: Fascist view of Australia 1937

Smith, Evan ‘A fascist view of Australia (1937)‘, Hatful of History, 11 August 2014 Quotes at length from an article in Action by the British Fascist, A. Raven Thomson, who was the chief theoretician of the British Union of Fascists

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Support ineffective dissent

‘The smart way to keep people passive and obedient is to strictly limit the spectrum of acceptable opinion, but allow very lively debate within that spectrum …’ (Noam Chomsky, The Common Good, 2002). ‘We will tolerate dissent as long as

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Responsible Government NSW 1856

The mainstream media always gets excited by significant changes in government. This was particularly so at the beginning. This from the Sydney Morning Herald, 22 May 1856: The youth of the colony will cherish the memory of this day. They,

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December in Kabul, 1841

In December 1841, the British Envoy in Kabul, Sir William McNaghten, wrote to his superior, Lord Auckland, in these terms, as the British occupying force prepared to leave Afghanistan. ‘We shall part with the Afghans as friends, and I feel

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Anzac and the Australian republic

Does harping on Australia’s role in an imperial war 100 years ago slow our path to a republic? Here is the view of Sarah Brasch, national convenor of Women for an Australian Republic: The Anzac Centenary is due to take

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Paul Keating on Jack Lang on World War 1

Marilyn Lake’s essay ‘Fractured nation‘ brings to mind a remark made by the former Premier of New South Wales, JT Lang, to a young Paul Keating, later Prime Minister. Lang was around during the buoyant days of Australian nationalism, the

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Backpackers and Eureka

Eureka was a youth movement. The inhabitants of Ballarat, like the youth of a century later, believed that the times they were a’changing. And like today’s backpackers, the gold rush generation was transient, expansive, adventurous: in search of experience, questing

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Class War 1930

I … a member of the working class do hereby solemnly swear to protect the working class against armed and other aggression of our capitalist class enemy… should I betray the trust imposed upon me I will receive the scorn

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Political pledges

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. (William Morris

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Primordial state

The early circumstances of New South Wales were against its rapid growth. Founded as a receptacle for convicts, a system akin to slavery soon took root. Such of the early settlers as were neither gentlemen nor convicts belonged to the

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If equality returns

Liberal democracy has allowed more and more of both the best and the worst to exploit the new superiority of minority attack against majority defence. Participation makes conflicts fairer, but it doesn’t resolve many of them: and an equal society

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Vicious voters, 1891

One-man-one-vote would mean the enfranchisement of whole armies of idle or vicious nomads … the lazy sundowner, the spieler, would all be enfranchised … it would place another weapon in the hands of the plutocracy. Western nomads, like all such

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Fear beats reason, since 1756

No passion so effectually robs the mind of all its powers of acting and reasoning as fear. Edmund Burke, On the Sublime and the Beautiful (1756).

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History v. Economics

To put it bluntly, the discipline of economics has yet to get over its childish passion for mathematics and for purely theoretical and often highly ideological speculation, at the expense of historical research and collaboration with the other social sciences.

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