The Daily Telegraph exposed the latest example of political correctness gone mad by revealing in a March 30 front page exclusive that the University of New South Wales is teaching students that Australia was “invaded” by Britain and was not actually “discovered” by Captain James Cook.
This incredible rewriting of history brings to mind the outrageous claims by the bar staff last night that I was “drunk” and so they “couldn't serve me” and if I didn't put my pants back on they'd have to call the cops as it was “offensive behaviour”.
Honestly, what next? Are we to teach that the ANZACs “invaded” Gallipoli simply because they sought to seize land belonging to another nation by military force?
Of course, the insistence the British "discovered" Australia is pretty selective history. After all, The British weren't even the last ones to discover Australia. The Japanese, for instance, famously "discovered" Darwin during World War II.
Of course, there may be a case that claiming the British “discovered” Australia is a bit like “discovering” the Daily Telegraph is a piece of racist trash. There are large numbers of people who discovered it a long, long time ago.
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When Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull announced the budget would be moved forward a week from May 10 to May 3, the nation's excitement was hard to contain. It's like the anti-Christmas is coming early this year.
Rather than a jolly man in red giving us gifts we want, we'll have a prick in an expensive suit taking things we need. Like public education or the ability to retire with dignity.
It is no wonder the federal government is floating the idea of ending all funding for public schools. With apparently almost no corporations paying tax, there is just no cash about. Some say huge multinationals should be made to pay taxes, but then maybe they wouldn't be willing to stay in the country sacking workers. They might take their operations to a country that makes them pay even less tax and sack workers there.
And anyway, when you look at the widespread destruction of industry across the country, you can see why it is such a waste to spend what little tax money we have on educating the public. Looking at current trends, it's not like there'll be much in the way of jobs for the next generation to need much schooling for anyway.
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Speaking of discoveries, by now Green Left readers have probably taken note that there is a big “Socialism for the 21st Century” conference in Sydney over May 13-15.
I'll admit, the line up of speakers from struggles around the world looks reasonably impressive, but looking hard over the program, I could not but help notice a stunning omission. Nowhere in the conference publicity is there any indication that I will be speaking. You think I am joking? Seriously, check out www.socialismforthe21stcentury.org — I am simply not there.
Now I am not knocking the featured speakers. I mean, Marta Harnecker and Michael Lebowitz are not just world-renowned Marxist intellectuals, they worked in Venezuela as advisers to the government of Hugo Chavez.
Sure, advising the greatest revolutionary of the 21st century who did so much to revive the socialist project is impressive. But I would like to point out that I was also an adviser to the sadly late Hugo Chavez! Well, at least I sent him a lot of emails.
He never replied, as such, but in the 2013-19 Socialist Plan for the Nation that Chavez promoted, I feel you can see the influence of some of my ideas, even if my proposal for socialising the beer industry as a top priority unfortunately appears to have been ignored.
There are speakers from Palestine, Pakistan, India, Malaysia, the Philippines and East Timor, as well as North America and Europe. Fine. I am sure they all have interesting things to say.
But I see no reason to exclude me. It is not so much for myself, I mean I don't mind one way or the other. Being a featured guest at a major international socialism conference with some of the most important socialist intellectuals and activists from around the world? I can take it or leave it.
But I am thinking here of the paying conference attendee, many who will have come from across the country or overseas. I'd hate for them to make the effort only to face the disappointment of me not appearing on any panel or discussion at all
And I am not saying you should contact conference organisers to demand my inclusion. They are very busy people and I would hate to encourage any further imposition on their time.
I am just saying, should you want to — and who could blame you? — then the contact details can be found at the website. I'll leave it to you to decide the appropriate course of action.