October 24th 2015

  Buy Issue 2959

Articles from this issue:

COVER STORY Labor proposes expanded role for infrastructure fund

CANBERRA OBSERVED Crossbench unity plugs Coalition water spill

EDITORIAL Deplorable attack on Sir Peter Lawler

LITIGATION Appeal to freedoms will not avail for Archbishop

INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS Europe generous in face of Middle-Eastern influx

INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS Europe's refugee crisis was much worse last time

CULTURE WARS The PC left is saving us from ... Tintin and Twain

SCIENCE AND CERTAINTY No safety in numbers as variable as these

EUTHANASIA Belgium, Netherlands in the grip of the small laws

FAMILY AND SOCIETY Marriage redefinition will feed government business

PUBLIC POLICY A wake-up call from land of rocky highs and lows

CINEMA Respectfully intended to make you laugh: The Intern

BOOK REVIEW Clearing the head


Books promotion page


News Weekly, October 24, 2015

Schools as bullies


The latest form of violence against children in Australia is in reality perpetrated by our own governments.

The euphemistically named Safe Schools Coalition program, dressed up as an anti-bullying program without doing anything constructive, encourages children to cross-dress at school and demands that schools accept this.

One utterly damaging subject is its “Seven ways to bind your chest” advice to girls who think they may be boys. Yet the Minus 18 website, which is promoted by Safe Schools, advises that this practice is harmful.

Australian Christian Lobby managing director Lyle Shelton said: “ACL is seeking legal advice about whether our state and federal governments are liable should a girl be harmed by their advice.”

For further information, see www.acl.org.au and Safe School Coalition Australia websites.

Robert Bom,
West Rockhampton, Qld.

Unhappy reading


I am shocked and hurt on behalf of the Clark family, whom I have never met, that you would publish such a letter as “Recollections of Clarks” (News Weekly, September 12, 2015). Did you publish it to hurt the Clarks? I would like to see an apology published.

Cathrine Hall
Melbourne, Vic



News Weekly regrets that some readers took the letter, “Recollections of the Clarks”, from Lucy Sullivan as being meant in any way as derogatory of the Clark family, whom we hold in the highest esteem. The comments were made by a long-time acquaintance of the family and were made in the spirit of a fond remembrance of the family; hence their tone of gentle ribbing as among friends. The editor nonetheless apologises for the hurt caused.



A protest ...


I refer to the review of my book, Hollow Heroes, that appeared in your edition dated September 26, 2015.

Your reviewer doesn’t like the book, which is fine; he is entitled to his opinion. However whilst it is expected that tastes will differ, it is alarming, and particularly so in the case of a periodical of integrity, to find that outright lies are included.

I refer to page 20 where James states I had said that “Admiral Chester Nimitz was a wiser and greater Admiral than Mountbatten”. This is a complete falsehood. Nimitz is mentioned only once, and then only en passant, on page 174, and there was never any comparison with Mountbatten.

Again, on page 22, he states: “Arnold doesn’t help his case by claiming that Montgomery’s lack of height contributed to an ‘inferiority complex’.” I made no such claim or even suggestion.

As to the evidence upon which the book is based, I quote the following opinions, of which there are many more.

1. Churchill.

“He knows no details, has got only half the picture in his mind, talks absurdities and makes my blood boil to listen to his nonsense. And the wonderful thing is that ¾ of the population of the world imagine that Winston Churchill is one of the Strategists of History, a second Marlborough, and the other ¼ have no conception what a public menace he is and has been throughout the war.”

General Sir Alan Brooke, Wartime Diary, September 1944

2. Montgomery.

“Monty was made into a national treasure, largely because Alamein was a victory of sorts ... His ... desperate desire for success and recognition, his complete inability to understand the feelings of others and his determination to do everyone down make him a deeply unattractive figure.”

Military historian Gordon
The Second World War

3. Mountbatten.

“He was a mendacious, intellectually limited hustler, whose negligence and incompetence resulted in many unnecessary deaths.”

Historian Andrew Roberts,
Eminent Churchillians

There is just one comment where he is quite correct and that is that I have a “bee in my bonnet”. Quite right, I do have many bees, all aimed at uncovering the truth and particularly so where received wisdom can be demonstrated to have been wrong.

Michael Arnold,
Sydney, NSW

... and a reply


As regards Nimitz and Mountbatten,mea culpa. Though it was a reasonable inference, given the contrast  between the two senior naval officers and Mr Arnold’s appreciation of the successes of Coral Sea and Midway. But it should not have been articulated in the absence of any explicit comparison on Mr Arnold’s part.

On the other hand, the connection drawn between Montgomery’s height and his possible inferiority complex was quite unexceptionable.

On page 94 Arnold lists some of Montgomery’s character deficiencies, including historian Antony Beevor’s suggestion of an inferiority complex, and then goes on to conclude: “a factor that might have contributed to these traits may have been his lack of physical stature”.

The three quotes on the shortcomings of the “Unholy Trinity” are quite superfluous, since I did not question the accuracy of Mr Arnold’s account, but simply suggested that their faults did not represent the whole story, and needed to be seen in the context of an unprecedented conflict in which many mistakes were made by many leading protagonists – a perspective common among historians of World War II.

Bill James,
Frankston, Vic

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