3 August 2006




 News chums and campaigners who have recently joined the secularist ranks, have recognized an absolute void in recent history writing regarding crucial aspects of determinants of our  Australian democratic institutions. They have been amazed when they fail to discover any informative reference to church state separation, the public education system, or dissenting and secularist movers and shakers in our historical development.

Unfortunately, these secularists do not realize the full extent of this void .Nor do they realize that vacuum the  stretches back as far as the 1950s and 1960s.

Fortunately, the Australian History Summit gives secularists and the DOGS a chance to ponder why scholarship in the area of Australian History has been so lacking in relation to crucial aspects of the formation of the Australian secular, democratic State. Since DOGS was established in the 1960s, its members have been appalled at the low standard, itsy bitsy scissors and paste, selective  history produced after the second World War.

Much of what has passed as history in the last 50 years is written with a rear vision mirror. This rear vision mirror has been shaped by a value system which is best described by a quote from David Pryce Jones in his Paris in the Third Reich:

"People did not think of themselves as having moral choices to make - they had careers, and ambitions, and so on !"

Recent  statements  from the office of the Federal Minister of Education, Julie Bishop, lead DOGS to reflect on the no-go areas in current Australian historical writing.

The self censorship problem is both reflected and extended when one contemplates the 22 invitees to her 'History Summit". DOGS wonder on the basis of her selection of Gerard Henderson and Paul Kelly . Since his involvement with political journalism in the 1970s, Paul Kelly has assisted in the creation and continuation of the no-go areas. Readers can check on the failures of Paul Kelly and his media mates by going to Press Releases 27 AND 111. (  and

 DOGS believe that   Gerard Henderson could hardly have been selected to fill the void to  put forward the basic secular, dissenting value system that underpinned our particular Australian democratic inheritance.

DOGS recognizes however that Julie Bishop has to keep key Australian thought police happy and that is what will happen with the charade known as "The Australian History Summit". She has made a list of the elements she considers basic to the Australian democratic inheritance. These are : parliamentary democracy; rule of law; and the "enlightenment." This list is Ok as far as it goes. But  Julie Bishop  fails to include the role played by  key players and forces in our historical inheritance. No mention is made for example, of the role played by key members of the Press like Syme and West; the initial and continuing influence of our public or national education system; those who fought in the dissenting tradition, for a secular society in which the "rights of man" could flourish. Above all no mention is made of the separation of church and state.

Julie Bishop's selection of personnel and ideologies endorses and appeases those in the Press and/or academia who wish to write down and out the British, non-Roman Catholic, dissenting and secularist traditions from our Australian story in both the past and the present.

For this reason the History Summit will be just another example of the influence of the Australian version of a cancer in the body politic.


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Last modified:Thursday, 03 August 2006