Tim Blair


New Criterion



Sunday, December 22, 2002

Yes, Uncle is feeling that Christmas spirit of goodwill.

There’s too much accusation and bitterness flying around. Where is the spirit of healing and forgiveness?

You could wait for Auntie to begin broadcasting her New-Age nostrums for the intellectually-challenged in the New Year, when New Horizons returns like a January dust-storm.

If you can’t wait that long, join Uncle now in his Christmas charity work.

It’s time to rehabilitate sinners, whose depravity can be cured if they sincerely wish to be saved, and restore them to their proper place in society.

That’s right, I’m talking about those naughty scholars Henry Reynolds and Lyndall Ryan, recently convicted of molesting the children placed in their care. What can we do to help?

Here are Uncle’s options:

1. The Inquisition of Iniquity. We could persuade Wilson Tuckey, Peter Reith and Professor Bunyip to don the black hoods of God’s justice. Their task would be to compose salacious stories of what Henry and Lyndall might have done in their youth. This history would be made required reading in every curriculum-challenged university in the country. If, after twenty years, Henry and Lyndall can provide scholarly proof that they did not commit any of the deeds imagined by our ingenious tribunal, they will be eligible for entry into graduate school for apprentice historians.

2. The Phrase Perversion Test. Our two scallywags would be required to swap phrases in the following statement without changing its sense in any way:
"The evidence shows that Henry and Lyndall have fabricated evidence and misrepresented the rest to support a pre-determined view of Tasmanian history".

3. The Mud-bath of Death. This is more a trial than a test. Henry and Lyndall will be chained to a post in the deepest recesses of Auntie's Commune and subjected to incessant slurping and stroking from Philip Gastropod Adams. If they vomit it proves their hearts are pure. If they die with a smile on their faces who's going to complain?

4. Finally, for those of you without charity, even at Christmas, there is a fourth option. Leave them to suffer the social isolation that disgrace brings. You heartless wretches!

Over to you, gentle readers. Vote early and often. (When is back online.)