E-Newsletter no. 15, 12 June 2014

ISSN:2202-5561 © Honest History Inc. 2014

Not only a newsletter but also a website

New on honesthistory.net.au

Centenary Watch

  • Honest History Factsheet on Anzac centenary local grants: monuments and memorials are popular but is the demand there?
  • Minister Ronaldson talks up business donations to the centenary at least $100 million worth
  • Remembering Australia Remembers 1995: a centenary appointment looks backward and the Minister touches on the obligations of children during the centenary
  • New South Wales’ centenary focuses sharply on slaughter
  • Not happy on the Gallipoli champagne cruise circuit

Honest History launches Adelaide, Melbourne, Sydney

There will be launch functions in Adelaide, 2 October, with speaker Professor Melanie Oppenheimer, Flinders University, Melbourne, 13 October, with speaker Professor Peter Stanley, ADFA, and Sydney, date and speaker to be advised. More details soon. Meanwhile, Honest History speakers are available: ask us.


  • Children and history. ‘Every State wishes to promote national pride, and is conscious that this cannot be done by unbiased history. The defenseless children are taught by distortions and suppressions and suggestions. The false ideas as to the history of the world which are taught in the various countries are of a kind which encourages strife and serves to keep alive a bigoted nationalism.’ Bertrand Russell, Why Men Fight (1917), p. 161.
  • 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 will have to police its equalities.’ Hugh Stretton, Capitalism, Socialism and the Environment (1976), p. 312.
  • Electoral analysis. ‘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 people, are essentially venal.’ Darling Downs Gazette (Toowoomba), 1891, contemplating the shearers’ strike; quoted DB Waterson, Squatter, Selector, and Storekeeper (1968), p. 237.
  • Blurb for honesty. ‘While never denying the achievement of D-Day, or the bravery of the soldiers who took part, What Soldiers Do reminds us that history is always more useful when it is most honest, and when it goes beyond the burnished beauty of nostalgia to grapple with the real lives and real mistakes of the people who lived it.’ Promo for Mary Louise Roberts, What Soldiers Do (2014).
  • Canuckery? The announcement of closer ties between the Australian War Memorial and its Canadian counterpart raises questions about national comparisons. Will we emulate Yves Frenette’s Canada? Our Anzackery is already like their Vimy-worship.
  • Too much? ‘A sign this country has grown up will be when there is a memorial erected to the war resisters.’ Nathan Houser, one of thousands of American draft resisters who fled to Canada during the Vietnam War; quoted Christian G. Appy, Patriots (2003), p. 339.
  • Fear and reason. ‘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).
  • Lowy poll. Spying good, turning back boats good, climate change a worry, hard to choose between China and Japan. To get beyond this one-liner, read the findings in full.
  • Commemoration meets climate change. Rising seas in the Marshall Islands uncover Japanese war graves.

Selected dates. Wheeler Centre, Melbourne, 3 July, Nick Bryant, author The Rise and Fall of Australia; Sydney Institute, 29 July, Michael Kirby, human rights in North Korea; Yirrrkala crayon drawings exhibition, Brisbane Southbank, ends 13 July.