Rudd has called for a cease fire over the History Wars during the launch of Thomas Keneally’s latest salvo for the left: Australians: Origins to Eureka.
The Prime Minister said he believed the “the time has now come to move beyond the arid intellectual debates of the history wars and the culture wars of recent years”….Mr Rudd said he believed a core timeline of events was essential for understanding our history and “we should all agree that a sequence of events took place”.
Sounds too me like Rudd wants to get out of a hot kitchen, and it does not spell good for Keneally’s latest book.
The author of the Booker prize-winning novel Schindler’s Ark, Mr Keneally said he also intended to bring those historical figures, usually found on a plinth in a park, down to earth.
Typical left-wing tactic, see the bad over the good: ‘Damn it, Australian history is not allowed to have any heroes in it’. He continued this line on Lateline, describing Australian history as ‘perverse’ and settler culture as a ‘virus’ and then he rambled on about the ‘inevitability’ of Australia being a Republic, describing our constitutional arrangements as ‘absurd’.
Keneally claims of course that he is not writing a ‘blackarm band’ view of Australia, but this is just to make his book appear acceptable to potential book buyers. If it is a powerful book for the left, Rudd wouldn’t exactly be raising the white flag at the book’s very launch. Rudd ally and history war propaganda commander-in-chief Robert Manne, speaking about what the other side has to say about his own history:
…began to challenge what was perhaps 20 years or so of history about Aboriginal dispossession and regard it as a kind of left-wing fraud…
Which is exactly what it is. Of course the ABC online news interview of Manne does not provide an opportunity for one of his opponents to offer a rebuttal. Manne again:
“I agree entirely with the Prime Minister’s desire for an end to the history wars,” he said…”So that if we can end what I think is something associated with culture wars and is associated really with a period of neo-conservatism; if we can end that then we’re much likely to get much better and nuanced history.”
Nuanced history?!? History without the facts. Looks to me like Manne is putting out a smoke screen to cover his retreat. The left is definitely on the run. We should not be looking for a cease fire, but the type of victory that comes from total conquest of our opponents. John Howard – like a calvary charge cutting down retreating infantry – hit back at Rudd:
”I can understand why he wants to move on from the debate because he clearly doesn’t understand the intellectual framework of it…”
And then Rudd had the following to say, a white flag if I have ever seen it:
Mr Rudd said it was time to turn the page and ”embrace a balanced, reflective but positive view of our past that both informs and inspires our future”.
I wonder what Manne and his gulag history of Australia would have to say about that. Naturally Geoffery Blainey agrees with the PM’s movement away from Manne’s view of Australian history:
I thought a lot of them were sensible comments. What he said was that you should have a balanced view of our past; that there are things that make us embarrassed and there are a lot of things that make us proud and on the whole I thought his speech was a balanced summary of our past.
I’m not sure that the ABC’s radio interview of Blainey really delved deep enough. Blainey would likely disagree with Rudd on what is ‘bad’ within Australian history. However, Rudd’s retreat is a promising start.