Tim Blair


New Criterion



Monday, April 21, 2003
THE PIETY CONTINUES at Henny Herald, which is Auntie in print. Robert Cudgels Manne has discovered a new conspiracy, whose name can only be whispered in private:

In recent months many of its members [i.e. Australia's intelligentsia, i.e. people who agree with Cudgels] have been privately discussing the rather rapid ideological shift of The Australian towards the kind of neo-conservatism dominant on the right of the "culture wars" being fought out in the US.

Brave, brave souls.

The first unmistakable sign of this shift was the support it offered Keith Windschuttle after the publication last year of his The Fabrication of Aboriginal History,

That is to say, The Aus published excerpts, reviews and also excoriations from people, like Cudgels, who made no pretence of having read the book. Why is this an offence to terrify the decent intelligentsia of Australia?

[Windschuttle's book is] probably the most reactionary historical work to have been published in Australia for a generation

You can't accuse old Cudgels of understatement. Has he got round to reading it yet? Apparently not.

He fails to address even one of the catalogue of offences against honest scholarship documented in Windschuttle's book.

Why bother when you have irrefutable evidence of a conspiracy, like the following:

[The Australian] even regarded as newsworthy the fact that Geoffrey Blainey had reviewed it enthusiastically in the US. On two occasions it published editorials on the controversy, both on balance favourable to Windschuttle. Clearly it was sympathetic both to his minimisation of the tragedy of Aboriginal dispossession and to his description of its historians as left-wing fabricators who blackened their country's noble past.

It's our country's present these lying academics are blackening. By disgracefully abandoning the standards of their chosen professions while taking our money under false pretences.

But before you can say to old Cudgels; old chap, why don't you put up or shut up, he changes the subject.

It's all about Iraq. Windschuttle is Tommy Franks's mascot.

God help us. Robert Manne is beyond it.