AUSTRALIAN COUNCIL FOR THE DEFENCE OF GOVERNMENT
SCHOOLS - D.O.G.S.
PRESS RELEASE 213 #.
16 JULY 2007
GEORGE ORWELL, GEORGE PELL AND
"A HISTORY OF STATE AID TO NON-GOVERNMENT SCHOOLS IN AUSTRALIA"
In the 1983 Penguin edition of George Orwell's famous work, "Nineteen Eighty Four", at p. 34 he wrote the following:
"The Party said that Oceania had never been in alliance with Eurasia. He, Winston Smith, knew that Oceania had been in alliance with Eurasia as short a time as four years ago. But where did that knowledge exist? Only in his own consciousness, which in any case must soon be annihilated. And if all others accepted the lie which the Party imposed - if all records told the same tale- then the lie passed into history and became truth. 'Who controls the past, ran the Party slogan, controls the future: who controls the present controls the past.' "
DOGS suggest that the statement "Who controls the past...controls the future: who controls the present controls the past" is relevant to a consideration of a statement made by George Pell on 8 June 2006 when he presented a bronze statue of Sir Thomas More to the New South Wales Parliament on behalf of the Roman Catholic community of that state.
We quote :
"We are paying tribute to More's courage, to his adherence to principle, to his opposition to tyranny...He (More) regarded heretics as small "l" liberals today regard racists, while going further so that during his time as chancellor six Protestants were executed."
Does Pell's somewhat anachronistic account fit the facts?
As Chancellor Thomas More punished religious dissent with state violence. He was the heretic hunter of the mid-1520s who personally broke into Lutheran's homes and sent men and women to the stake. From 1523 and until his death in 1535 the battle against religious reform became an obsession with him. In October 1529 Thomas More broke into houses of suspected heretics, arresting them on the spot and sometimes interrogated them in his own home. He raided the home of a businessman called John Petyt who was suspected of financing Tyndale. Petyt died in the Tower. Six rebellious Oxford students were kept for months in a fish cellar; three of them dying in prison. Six protesters were burned under his Chancellorship and approximately forty were imprisoned. ( James Wood's Review of Peter Ackroyd, The Life of Thomas More in The London Review of Books, 16 April, 1998 pp 10-12). Thomas More passionately pursued the arrest and burning alive of William Tyndale, the translator of the English Bible. He offered what amounted to the present equivalent of a million dollars to capture William Tyndale. He was successful.
James Wood said of Thomas More that, when he was not lying, he was dissembling.
It is particularly appropriate that on 31 October 2000 , Reformation Day, the Pope John Paul 11declared Sir Thomas More the patron saint of politicians.
Given the above information, one wonders at George Pell's claim that Thomas More "opposed tyranny". The truth is that he was a tyrant himself.
Pell's claim that More regarded "heretics" in the same fashion as small"l" liberals regard "racists in this day and age is a gross distortion of what More was in fact about in the 1520s and 1530s. More wrote extensively ( hundreds of thousands of words) against the "heretics" like Tyndale of his time. Examples of his language "pestilent sect"; "accursed"; " son of the Devil"; "the Beste". On Sir Thomas More's epitaph on his monument at Chelsea was a Latin inscription which translated links Protestants with thieves and killers.
How many small "l" liberals would denigrate "racists" in such terms and then bankroll their capture for burning at the stake?
Pell is treating our politicians and citizens with complete contempt. Some of us still know our British History. It has not yet been written out.
A History of State Aid to Non-Government Schools in Australia
The official history of State Aid was a project funded by the Department of Education, Science and Training. The Coalition Government selected Brian Caldwell private think tank, "Educational Transformations Pty Ltd" with a self selected group to carry out this project. It has the date September 2006 on the title page and the foreword by Julie Bishop is dated November 2006. DOGS have finally been able to get a copy at the end of June 2007. Readers can try to obtain a hard copy by contacting the Department of Education, Science and Training.
Three of DOGS Press Releases ( Press Release 130 at www.adogs.info/pr130.htm;Press Release 140 at www.adogs.info/pr140.htm and Press Release 187 at www.adogs.info/pr187.htm) deal with this official history. We will present its many shortcomings in detail in later News Releases. DOGS consider it presents a church favorable view . DOGS suggest that readers consider George Pell's, the church school product's view of Thomas More. We also refer reader's to George Orwell's statement:
"Who controls the past,..controls the future: who controls the present controls the past"
DOGS have perused the hard copy of this Official History. It is a "triumphal victor's account". It is noteworthy for what it leaves out in relation to the no State Aid position. There is no way that it could be presented as a balanced historical account. The use of "A History" rather than "The (definitive) History" is correct.
The chief failing of this official publication is that at both the beginning and end the writers fail to take account of the Founding Fathers of Federation and the DOGS position that State Aid to Church Schools is a cancer in the Body Politic. The document proves this latter point.
For this reason alone, this "Official History" cannot be taken too seriously.
George Orwell and DOGS
As powerful as Orwell's Statement may be, DOGS do not and will not concede the past, the present or the future to the Church School interests and their academic and historical apologists. Nor will they concede the past, the present or the future to detractors of public education with its eightfold definition. DOGS intend to fight like those in the past who presented an accurate history so that those in the present and future can fall back on a full understanding of their current problems in discussions on State Aid.
DOGS can reject the interpretation of Church School interests on the history of State Aid from the 19th Century. We know that the Church School interests have largely controlled the interpretation of the past since the late 1960s until 2007. They are also attempting to control present policy through this official history.
DOGS REFUSE TO CONCEDE THE PAST, PRESENT OR FUTURE TO THE
CHURCH SCHOOL APOLOGISTS
AND THE FORCES OPPOSING PUBLIC EDUCATION
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|Last modified:Monday, 16 July 2007|