User talk:Keepitshort

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Say Hello[edit]

Welcome; please say hello (note - you might want to RIGHT click on that, and open in in a new tab or something - and when you get there, please wait a few mins for a reply)  Chzz  ►  14:25, 31 May 2009 (UTC)


Hi, Keepitshort. This is NOT some automated's from a real person. You can talk to me right now. Welcome to Wikipedia! I noticed you've just joined, and wanted to give you a few tips to get you started. If you have any questions, please talk to us. The tips below should help you to get started. Best of luck!  Chzz  ►  14:25, 31 May 2009 (UTC)

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Good luck with editing; please drop me a line some time on my own talk page.

There's lots of information below. Once again, welcome to the fantastic world of Wikipedia!

--  Chzz  ►  14:25, 31 May 2009 (UTC)

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Moving posts on talk pages[edit]

Please do not move other editors posts on article talk pages - this is a form of disruptive editing and you will be blocked if it continues. I have just reverted your changes to Talk:History wars. Nick-D (talk) 11:45, 14 June 2009 (UTC)

No worries. I accept that you were trying to be helpful, but Wikipedia article talk pages are often shambolic, and this can indicate the way that the discussion has progressed. If you haven't seen them, the guidelines for article talk pages are at WP:TALK. Cheers, Nick-D (talk) 12:08, 14 June 2009 (UTC)
Moving posts happens occasionally, on more productive talk pages, and would probably have been helpful to this one. It is was likely to be opposed, but reasonable to assume an attempt at improvement was made by this user. Anyway ...
Thanks for the great response to my enquiry, Keepitshort. I wonder if anything else is known about the fellow, or if Bennett gives another ref that clarifies his identity. I'm also wondering where we can make use of the general information on terminology, that you have summarised so well, and improve article space. The drifts of meaning, in these terms and phrases, is particularly interesting with "Australian"; peoples, language, ethnicity and so forth. Welcome, cygnis insignis 15:16, 14 June 2009 (UTC)
I sent you a Thylacine as a reward for agreeing that the page was a dog's breakfast. ba-boom! I've got to assemble more on Martial Law in AU before I do anything much else, since there's no sub-head on the topic for local applications, but it takes forever to clean up the OCR stuff at the NLA digitised newspapers. But you are right about the "identity" business, in relation to what "Australian" means. The catch is that it's OR. And the other catch is that it presses the buttons of edit-warriors. Basically it means "not {insert farourite out-groups here}", and it changed over time. For example, the Biraban/Threlkeld documentation of Awabakal was called an "Australian" language when it was quite clear who the "Australians" were, as distinct from "us"=British. Too hard, I'd say. Keepitshort (talk) 16:47, 14 June 2009 (UTC)
Cheers for that! And for cleaning up that OCR, it made doing this crude start easier. My blather, unsupported by citations, certainly is OR, but I have been recently reminded of the term's appearance in original documents. I will get around to finding secondary sources ... one day. Regards, cygnis insignis 12:45, 17 June 2009 (UTC)

Saved Non-talk from History Wars[edit]

WHY NOT ASSEMBLE THE ARTICLE THEN? Since I only went to two schools "prior to the 70s" I don't have's universal knowledge of what was being taught "in high schools and Unis in Oz" at that time. But I can tell you what I was taught at the time about "Australian" history: (a) not much, because maybe 75% was British history, and (b) the rest was basically what Stanner called the "Great Australian Silence" combined with Ward's "The Australian Legend". I think they mentioned an Aboriginal guy who helped an explorer or something like that. Otherwise Zip. Nada. Ze-ro. So I reckon that bit of the article is spot on. Australia was "discovered" in 1770, "settled" in 1788, "explored" and "developed" by heroic bushmen, was "baptised in blood" at Gallipoli, and like that. Since I had rellos who "explored" and "developed" and were at Lone Pine and Villers-Bretonneux and Tobruk, the "Three Cheers" view seemed a fair enough account, though there was a bit of a "culture war" going on about compulsory free trips to the Viet Nam War at the time, and there was no historical precedent for that sort of thing in Australia. And there were young radicals like Keith Windshuttle and Bob Gould stirring things up. [1].

Then there was this referendum in 1967 and other stories started to be told. Some of them took the shine off the Australian Legend. The historical record started to get adjusted a bit, and other historians selected stories they felt Australians should know about, just as C.E.W. Bean did for the ANZAC legend. (And the ANZAC legend was useful in 1924 when the South Australian authorities took away Priscilla Karpany's baby, because her brothers George and William were Aboriginal ANZACs, you see, and there was a public fuss, and the baby was returned to her.[2][3]. Andrew Bolt didn't mention that particular "good news" story, so I thought I'd share it here.)

Now, maybe some of those who revised Australian History weren't as fussy as they should have been about checking references that seemed to support their POV as well as they checked and challenged those that didn't. But to me this revised history seemed quite probable in the light of OTHER colonial history, and history-as-lived-through in Australia. Then, much later this "History war" thing turned up and re-revised a bit of Australian History - a fairly safe bit to re-revise, since there's not many records. And golly, checking Tasmanian history in the early 1800s is tricky, because guess what? It seems there are no Statutory Declarations on record to say that so-and-so planned to break the law by killing someone in such-and-such a date by such-and-such means, so apart from a few trials there's not much that would stand up in court, and the eyewitnesses are all dead. And Colonial History is written by literate survivors, so you'd have to be terminally naive to suppose that the written record of the time, including Government Poclamations, is any more free of bias than what people write now, or what they wrote during more recent conflicts.

Personally,having read the works of the main "warriors", I wouldn't believe any reference or interpretation by either unless I'd read the original source, and I wouldn't believe most of the original sources, either, without knowing who wrote them, and THEIR history. And who has the time for that? So, I think that the best we can do here, in this article that seems to have been forgotten, is describe the debate as it has been, and cite the references that others can read to form their own POV, and (maybe) categorize them by date and viewpoint. If someone has argued that there are only written records of XYZ standard for NNN deaths, that's a fact, and if someone has challenged the nature of the records and the standard chosen, that's a fact too. Neither proves anything about why everyone ELSE died. However, to infer causes of death for the vast majority that died in an undocumented manner is legitimate historical interpretation, and what historians wrote is a verifiable fact. So it seems to me that OUR job here, or rather in the article, is just to say so, and assemble (not "count" as PBS seems to think) verifiable references for the POV's expressed by the "warriors", as neutrally as possible. It is surely NOT our job to have our own "History war" by proxy, unless it contributes to a position every editor can live with as "good enough" neutrality for the purposes of writing a mutually acceptable article. Which others will then edit, anyway, when all of this (except, I hope, the references) has been buried in an archive.. Keepitshort (talk) 17:07, 18 June 2009 (UTC)

User Talk:Keepitshort#Saved Non-talk from History Wars

  1. ^ "Bob Gould (June 30, 2000),Deconstructing the 1960s and 1970s: An open letter to Keith and Liz Windschuttle. [1]
  2. ^ Robert Foster. "endless trouble and agitation" : Aboriginal activism in the Protectionist era. Journal of the South Australian Historical Society 2000,28:15-27. [2]
  3. ^ Robert Manne. The Stolen Generations: A Documentary Collection. The Monthly, 3 September 2006.[3]

Cape Grim[edit]

Hi there, As to the specific weaponry used, I tend to rely on my own expertise. I collect antique firearms and shoot competitively with modern reproductions of guns like the Brown Bess musket (as well as a Kentucky long rifle which is a hell of a lot more accurate than the Brown Bess). I'm acknowledged as being pretty good, not the best (there are a couple of old geezers I can't beat, I'll just have to poison their coffee when I get a chance) but pretty good, and I and 3 others like me couldn't have done what the 4 shepherds are supposed to have achieved in terms of accuracy and rate of fire. Not that I'd say that on the discussion page, No Original Research allowed, of course, but this is just between you and me.

I'd especially say it's not possible on the terrain at Cape Grim firing from where they are supposed to have fired from (actually there are a number of different claims regarding that, some say the shepherds were on top of the cliffs shooting down and some say down below near the Aborigines and some say they started out below the cliffs, apparently took the Aborigines captive, forced them to climb up to the top where they killed them and then tossed the bodies off the cliff, none of which makes any logical sense but it's a rollicking good story anyway). I've been to Cape Grim (2006, froze my rear end off, never go to Tasmania in Autumn, yeah the colours of the leaves are pretty but the cold wind from the Antarctic cuts right through you) and walked the ground there and put simply, it can't be done. The ascents and descents in the area where this is all supposed to have happened are too steep to do it with captives, bloody dangerous in fact requiring the use of both hands to get up the ascent on your own, let alone carrying a heavy musket and forcing captives to climb too. If the shepherds were on top of the cliffs and firing down, it's too far away for that number of accurate hits and kills plus firing downhill with any kind of accuracy is damn difficult, firing downhill messes with trajectories in unexpected ways (that's why shooting ranges tend to be on flat ground) and as I said too many escape routes. If they were down below the cliffs, 4 of them with over 30 Aborigines that they were firing upon, you have 3 possibilities: 1 the aborigines simply stood there and let themselves be shot one after another, not bloody likely; 2 the Aborigines ran away and as I said before, too many escape routes and it's possible to run out of effective range (80 to 100 yards) of those types of firearms in a matter of well under a minute; and 3. the Aborigines had attacked them, if so there is no mention of any defensive positions like a hut down there that they could have barricaded themselves in and held them off. So 4 shepherds with single shot weapons against 30 plus aborigines? They'd have been overrun and killed, simple as that.

If the historians who say that 30 is possible were experienced in the kind of firearms used in those days and walked the alleged 'killing ground' with that in mind, they couldn't honestly say it was possible either, not honestly but there are some historians for whom honesty isn't an issue.

Oh, and it is disputed that the killings were cold-blooded murders in retaliation for the sheep being killed. The citations Windschuttle give basically say that the 6 were killed in a number of separate incidents; some outright 'unprovoked' attacks on the shepherds and one provoked by an attempt to entice aboriginal women into the shepherds' hut so that they could have their wicked way with them. Nothing to do with sheep. Webley442 (talk) 02:39, 20 June 2009 (UTC)

I forgot to mention the issue raised by McFarlane of people using shot in muskets, yes it can be devastating in certain circumstances. It would have been very useful if, for example, the shepherds were barricaded in their hut trying to fight off a larger force of Aborigines trying to force their way in. But don't compare them with the performance from modern shotguns as modern shotguns using modern powder generate a hell of a lot more pressure and so have greater range and impact. In black powder muskets, it reduces the EFFECTIVE range of the musket (less pressure generates in the barrel of a gun firing shot than solid balls due to gas leakage around the shot as it is propelled down the barrel plus the individual shot pellets don't have as large a surface area as a solid ball for the expanding gas to 'push' against to give it force) from 80 to 100 yards to about 20 to 25 yards (so the shepherds couldn't have fired down upon the Aborigines from up top and done much damage). The shot spreads out but also rapidly loses force. Because of the roughly circular pattern in which the shot spreads out, unless you are using it at very close range, most of the shot either goes over the head of whoever you are shooting at, to either side of them or into the ground before them. At even as short a distance as 40 to 50 yards, because the velocity of the shot reduces so rapidly it's unlikely to lethal to a human being. There's only a remote chance of hitting anyone at greater ranges and a good chance the shot wouldn't even break the skin at as little as 100 yards. Modern firearms rely on small projectiles fired (under very high pressures) at tremendously high velocities. At anything much beyond point-blank range, the old black powder guns firing under much lower pressures and generating much lower velocities relied on the killing impact of huge projectiles like the 75 calibre balls used in the muskets. It would have had to been a confrontation down on the water's edge and as I said before 4 shepherds with single shot weapons vs 30 plus Aborigines, do the math. Webley442 (talk) 05:42, 20 June 2009 (UTC)

Firstly when I said 6 over a number of incidents before I ‘misspoke’. I should have said 7 possibly more Aborigines killed over a number of incidents (one of which involved 6). That’s what happens when you rush and don’t reread what you’ve written.

After Robinson’s version of events began to get about, Curr wrote to his directors that after the killing of the sheep: “The natives afterwards kept quiet until the 10th February when a very large party were assembled on the Hill at the foot of which the hut stands. There our men saw them and the account they gave me of the transaction was that they considered the natives were coming to attack them again and they marched out to meet them, and in the fight which ensued they killed six of the natives one of whom was a woman. This was the manner in which the story was first related to me: nothing was said about the natives being a party of people who were returning from the Islands with birds & fish, nor do I now believe that was the case but I think it probable they were going there. But suppose that were the real fact and that the natives were only going to or were returning from the Islands with birds & fish, how was I to establish the fact? Who was there to prove it except the parties implicated?… Now I have no doubt whatever that our men were fully impressed with the idea that the natives were there only for the purpose of surrounding and attacking them, and with that idea it would be madness for them to wait until the natives shewed their designs by making it too late for one man to escape. I considered these things at the time for I had thought of investigating the case, but I saw first that there was a strong presumption that our men were right, second if wrong it was impossible to convict them, and thirdly that the mere enquiry would induce every man to leave Cape Grim.”

Later writing to Arthur Curr says the number killed was 3. There are a number of possible explanations for this discrepancy: (1) having had time to learn more about the incident, he considered 6 to be an over-estimate of the casualties and 3 to be a better one; (2) he was trying to make the incident look less ‘bloodthirsty’ to Arthur (who had already said that he’d treat the killings of Aborigines as seriously as though they were white settlers); (3) careless mistake?.

So the more expansive quote from the Curr letter shows that the fight in which 6 were killed wasn’t over sheep. It seems more that the attempt to entice women into the hut started this off, resulting first in the wounding of 1 convict servant and the killing of a tribal chief according to one account or ‘several’ Aborigines according to another. The Aborigines’ first response was the killing of the sheep. The failed attempt by the boat crew to attack the Aborigines was the Company’s response to that. No question that that attempt was over the sheep plus possibly some consideration being given to discouraging Aborigines from killing the shepherds, too. The Aborigines’ second response may have been a planned attack on the hut, which developed into the fight in which 6 were killed. There may be a faint possibility that they hadn’t gathered near the hut for the purpose of attacking it but very faint, I’d say.

So it seems that the shepherds saw the ‘natives’ ‘on the Hill’ and, thinking that they were about to be attacked (and there is no real evidence that they weren’t), made a pre-emptive attack by leaving the hut, going within range of the Aborigines and opening fire on them.

As for the adequacy of their weapons with 4 taking on a ‘large party’ of Aborigines similar to the failed attack by the captain of the Fanny, these sort of tactics developed in fighting in various colonies around the world to make up for the shortcomings of the guns. Basically the idea was, rather than wait for the ‘natives’ to get organised and attack you in your hut or wherever you were, instead you’d ‘sally forth’, get within musket range of your enemy (but still out of range of their spears) and open fire. If the flash, bang, and smoke from the guns, along with people being hit by musket balls, scared the ‘natives’ away, then you’d been successful, attack thwarted. If the ‘natives’ aren’t frightened off and instead charge at you, well you are 80 to 100 yards closer to your defensive position than they are, so you retreat back there (possibly reloading and firing as you go, possibly not) barricade yourself in and fight off the attack from there. Or you might land a party from a boat, make your attack and, if the natives weren’t intimidated, retreat to the boat which could be rowed out of range of their spears (or bows and arrows elsewhere in the world). Alternatively you pick a firing position which can’t be attacked or overrun by the people you are firing on, eg you shoot from across a ravine, a deep or fast flowing river, from a cliff above them, etc. The tactics developed to make up for the shortcomings of various weapons or make best use of particular advantages of various types of weapons is a field of study in itself.

Robinson recorded 3 sources for his accounts. One was Charles Chamberlain who claimed 30 killed. But come on! If you were a convict (with a particularly bad record like his, repeated offences since being transported), would you admit to involvement in 30 murders if you’d actually done such a thing? In a colony where the Governor had declared his intention to punish killings of natives like they were killings of white settlers? This was before the declaration of martial law, BTW. You might claim to have done it if you knew you hadn’t and so knew you couldn’t be punished for it. The second source was a group of ‘native’ women who Robinson records as confirming the number as 30. The trouble with that (aside from other issues of Robinson’s credibility) is that elsewhere in his journals, Robinson records that the ‘natives’ couldn’t count beyond 4 (except those of Robbins Island, who were mathematical prodigies who could count up to 7). It’s pretty standard for hunter-gatherers to be innumerate, they really have no use for learning to count in their daily lives. It's 1,2,3,4, many. It’s highly suspicious that the confirmation of the number came from the ‘native’ women who were unlikely to be located and re-interviewed by others and who wouldn’t ever be called to testify in court. Robinson recorded William Gunshanan as saying “he couldn’t tell how many were killed” so he didn’t confirm the count of 30.

Curr later asked Joseph Fossey, the mens’ superintendant if their men could have claimed to have killed 30 and recorded that Fossey’s response was that they werely merely playing on Robinson’s gullibility. Robinson was notorious for recording highly suspicious tall tales from very doubtful sources as though they were gospel truth. He never met an atrocity story he didn’t like (or believe). He’s also suspected of putting his own words into the mouth of his sources on more that one occasion, for example, the ‘native’ women who confirmed the number as 30.

The Rosalie Hare account is highly suspect also. She was 19, the wife of a ship’s captain, recording entertaining stories told to her in the places they visited. The stories of the failed attack by the ship’s captain and the killings by the shepherds would have been relatively fresh news and gossip in VDL at the time of her brief visit when she recorded it. It’s far more likely that what she recorded was a piece of colonial gossip in which the two events were conflated to one and a death toll of 12 plucked out of the air. No other source confirms her account and the editor of her diaries, Ida Lee, annotated the entry saying Rosalie Hare had probably confused one incident with the other. Either that or whoever told the tale to her had.

The letter from Alexander Goldie needs to be considered in the context in which it was written. Curr, who was Goldie’s superior in the VDL Company was also the magistrate for the district. Magistrates in those days had a more pro-active role than today. Curr had just informed Goldie that he was about to charge or was considering charging Goldie as an accessory to the murder of an aboriginal woman who’d been murdered by a convict who worked under Goldie’s supervision. Goldie wanted Curr removed as magistrate or the charge to be heard by someone other than Curr, hence the letter to Arthur accusing Curr of involvement in many killings of Aborigines. Webley442 (talk) 00:30, 23 June 2009 (UTC)

Just briefly, can’t see how McFarlane can be right about those dates for Rosalie Hare. The last I heard Rosalie Hare came to Tasmania in January 1828 aboard the Caroline, as the captain’s wife and that the Caroline left the area in March 1828. (Don't have exact dates.) Inward Despatch No.2. Curr to Directors. 14th January 1828 mentions the incident with the sheep killed on 31 December 1827 and the failed attack ‘a few days later’ led by the captain of the Fanny. So the the captain of the Fanny led the failed attack in early January 1828. In Despatch No.11. Curr to Directors. 28th February 1828; Curr mentions that the fight between the shepherds and the Aborigines in which he reported 6 killed. This fight took place on 10 February 1828.

So it seems that Rosalie Hare was the area at the time of or shortly after the Fanny incident and then left the area well after the fight between the shepherds and the Aborigines had occurred. Plenty of time to have heard both stories or a mish-mash of the two.

Haven’t read McFarlane’s version in a while and have to admit I was just skimming through a borrowed copy at the time and wasn’t paying particular attention to the Hare diary section. I hope he wasn’t arguing that her actual diary entry was dated before the fight between the shepherds and the Aborigines, i.e. 10 February 1828 or before the earliest report by Curr, was he? Because if he was, he should know better. Any historian should know that it’s relatively common practice for someone keeping a personal diary to go back and add to entries on previous dates, eg entering in today’s date, you might write that you attended a dinner party with X, Y and Z present. Then some days/weeks later, when you have some spare time, you go back and fill in that page with details of what was on the menu and what was discussed around the table. Other diarists have been known to write in blocks, eg putting in all the entries for the past week or month in on one day but writing as though they had made their entries daily. The result of both practices is that things you learned or heard of after a particular date get recorded under an earlier date. Webley442 (talk) 05:35, 28 June 2009 (UTC)

BTW, feel free to delete what I've posted on your talk page once you're done with it. It's your talk page and you may want to do some pruning every now and then to keep the growth under control. :) Webley442 (talk) 06:27, 28 June 2009 (UTC)

OK, thanks for the information on sailing dates: I was using the dates supplied for Rosalie Hare’s arrival and departure by James Boyce in Van Diemen's Land, p203 where he definitely says the Caroline arrived January left March 1828. My mistake in believing Boyce was accurate, should have known better …… unless the advertised sailing to Batavia was delayed for some reason or it was a round trip i.e. quick trip to Batavia with a cargo, pick up a return cargo and then back to Tasmania with a final departure in late March 1828? How long would that have taken? Are the newspapers’ records of inbound and outbound sailings complete enough to determine that?

As for “Why not believe she was told what she recorded? And why would they make it up?” There is no reason to believe that she wasn’t told the story she recorded. But there is no particular reason to believe that story she recorded was accurate either. Just because someone wrote something down doesn’t make it accurate or true. Any account needs to be assessed for credibility, reliability, that sort of thing. Historians, at least the ones that are any good at what they are doing, prefer accounts written by people who were on the scene and that were written as close in time to the events as possible (less time for memories to fade, for bragging or minimisation of responsibility to set in). They also tend to prefer corroborated accounts, eg if two independent accounts both describe an event pretty much the same, you have a higher level of reliability than 1 uncorroborated account.

There are things we know for certain: one she’s not someone who was on the scene; she’s simply recounting what she has been told by someone who possibly wasn’t on the scene either. Her version of events may be tenth-hand or fiftieth-hand for all we know. I know (now) the Fanny and the Caroline were both in port at the same time but that doesn't mean that Rosalie necessarily heard the story direct from its master or a crew-member. Given 19th Century sensibilities, it may not have been considered proper for men to speak of such matters in front of ladies; Rosalie may have got her information from a much more indirect source, the local ladies, perhaps. I'll have to get hold of a copy of the diary, if I can, to see if there is more detail in it. There is an old experiment that is supposed to have been carried out in American colleges. The professor would whisper a story in the ear of one of the students, the students would then have to pass the story on until finally the last student had to tell the story back to the professor. By the time the story did the rounds of X number of people and got back to the professor, of course, it was very different to the ‘original’. That’s what happens with stories passing around verbally; they mutate, which is why contemporary written records are preferred to ‘oral traditions’. But corroborated written records made by someone with first-hand knowledge or direct access to someone with first-hand knowledge are preferred.

Perhaps Rosalie’s account “The master of the Company’s Cutter, Fanny, assisted by four shepherds and his crew, surprised a party and killed 12. The rest escaped but afterwards followed them. They reached the vessel just in time to save their lives.” is the only surviving record of something that actually happened; the killing of 12 Aborigines. Or perhaps it’s someone’s exaggerated version of the failed attack by the Fanny’s master and it’s just a coincidence that it mentions 4 shepherds in the story and the later attack involved 4 shepherds. Or perhaps it was common knowledge amongst the people Rosalie met, i.e. employees of the VDL Company, that the Company had 4 shepherds working at Cape Grim and that got worked into the story somehow. There isn’t enough evidence for anyone to claim that they know for certain one way or the other. Webley442 (talk) 10:28, 28 June 2009 (UTC)

A point regarding Curr's report that the attack by the master of the Fanny et al. Wouldn't Curr have been running a considerable risk if he was lying to his Directors in reporting that there had been no Aborigines killed if there had been 12 killed? When the master of the Fanny, his crew and the shepherds, all employed by the VDL Company could contradict him? Whereas Rosalie Hare was 'accountable' to no-one for what she wrote in her private diary. It also occurs to me that the claim of 12 killed could have come to her direct from the master of the Fanny but still be untrue. It could have been him telling a tall tale to a young woman he knew was just about to leave the Colony. Webley442 (talk) 23:42, 28 June 2009 (UTC)

Thanks for the info on Rosalie Hare, her diary and her stay in VDL. Haven't yet obtained a copy of the diary myself, but will keep looking. Sounds well worth reading. But anyway, it seems she was still around after the fight in which Curr reported 6 Aborigines were killed and in close contact with the Currs and others in the VDL Company so it's possible, even likely, that she some account of what happened through them. Even though Curr's official reports of what happened weren't publicly available, she was where any verbal account/rumour would have been available. We'll probably never be able to say with absolute certainty what happened on Cape Grim but in a sense the issue has achieved a prominence it doesn't really deserve.

Mrs Hare's account of events at Cape Grim only got the attention it has received because of the attempt by certain parties to misuse it by suggesting that: because her account wasn't mentioned in the first edition of Fabrication, Vol 1, it `proved' that Windschuttle was unaware of it; that being unaware of it meant that he had failed to do proper research; failure to do proper research meant he was a `bad' historian and because he's a `bad' historian all his work should be disregarded.

This sort of argument really gets up my nose. It treats the reader as either an idiot (i.e. unable to see through a misleading argument) or dishonest (i.e. prepared to accept a specious argument if it suits their preferred position). Webley442 (talk) 06:19, 11 July 2009 (UTC)

With regard to “KW is as bad as any of them”, to a certain degree you’re right but in a sense it was necessary for him to be aggressive, a stirrer. One of the reasons that the “black armband brigade”, as I do like to call them, got away with what they were doing for so long, i.e. politicising history and misrepresenting the evidence, was that they were very good at using political tactics like point scoring, labelling their opponents as reactionary, racists or apologists for colonialism and at shouting down anyone who disagreed with them. Most of the academics who disagreed with them, and there were quite a few, going right back to the 70s, weren’t used to competing in that sort of arena and instead just wound up keeping their heads down and keeping quiet.

He’s not the best historian in the world and doesn’t claim to be but in the circumstances, it took someone as aggressive as KW to stand up, name names, point out the deceptions and get these issues in the popular press and out on public view.

As for the Bolt/Manne material, there probably is too much there but it does cover an important issue. We keep getting told that there were children being ‘stolen’ right up to the 70s but when it comes to producing specific identifiable ‘victims’, the people being put forward as both examples and ‘evidence’ pretty much always turn out to have been removed for the same sort of reasons that children are removed today, neglect, abuse, etc or not to have been removed at all but instead were unwanted and were handed over or abandoned. If you can come up with some text that shortens it without losing that kind of important information, great. Webley442 (talk) 09:54, 14 July 2009 (UTC)

Hi again. I've reconsidered my position on the Bolt/Manne material in the History wars article. In keeping with my current plans to make the whole article more readable, I now think that the whole Stolen Generations section in the HW article needs radical pruning. It shouldn't be much more than a brief overview of the Stolen Generations debate as it stands as part of the HW debate plus, of course, the link to the SG article. So if you want to remove the Bolt/Manne material entirely plus as much of the other stuff that is in the main SG article anyway, I'll back you. Webley442 (talk) 03:28, 27 July 2009 (UTC)

A reply to some sensible suggestions[edit]

There may be a case for writing a seperate article on the events in Tasmania because the genocides in history article is already too large and it is meant to be a summary style document.

I am loath to create a new article because of the inevitable disagreement over the name, so I suggest that the details over the issue are to be added to Wikipedia that they are placed into the History of Tasmania, with a section on the events entitled something like the "Extinction of the Tasmanian Aborigines", with a subsection called the "genocide debate" which has a main header to the history wars article. I have found in the past that separating out the agreed facts from disputed facts and then a seperate section for the disputed analysis helps create a more coherent and less POV article. (see for example "Greek Genocide" June 2008 and "Greek genocide" June 2009. -- PBS (talk) 13:08, 23 June 2009 (UTC)

One other thing. Historians are also influenced by other events. For example after the introduction of the term "ethnic cleansing" into English in the 1990s many historians started to describe certain events like the Cromwellian clearances in Ireland as ethnic cleansing. More recently the international court decisions, and hence refinement in law over what was and was not genocide in Bosnia and Rwanda, must have had an affect on comparative genocide studies. --PBS (talk) 16:41, 23 June 2009 (UTC)

Terra nullius debate[edit]

I read the user space article User: Keepitshort/Terra nullius debate, seems to me to be an interesting article. But I think it is too large to fit into the History wars article and so I think it would be better as a stand alone article with a short WP:Summary style paragraph in the History wars article. --PBS (talk)

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