Unless something new comes up, I think it’s time to wrap up the debate raised by Keith Windschuttle. I think historical truth is important and I don’t apologise for spending time on it, but I take Ken Parish’s point that the problems of today should take precedence. I plan a summary of the debate next week and then I’ll move on to my very inadequate ideas for an economic policy response to the problems of Aboriginal communities.
My last substantive point on Windschuttle is this. He makes great play of the Christian conscience of the British and claims that this justifies him in always imputing the best possible motives to the colonists. But whenever he comes across historical figures who actually display this Christian conscience, like the Rev Ernest Gribble, he dismisses them as ” emotionally disturbed” troublemakers, a description that could certainly be applied to the biblical Jesus. My impression is that Christianity sat pretty lightly on the average 19th century Australian or Englishman. I certainly see no evidence of it in Windschuttle and his friends at Quadrant.