Sunday, September 06, 2020

British Museum shows artefacts collected by explorer Captain Cook as part of ‘permanent British occupation’ of Australia

Australia is an independent multicultural nation. It has been independent since 1901. It is NOT under occupation by the British.  And Cook was NOT part of the settlement of Australia

But the whole idea is to deplore European settlement in Australia.  As such, it is clearly racist.  The systematic racists are on the Left, not the Right. The Left can't leave race alone.  They find racism under every bed when the place that they should be looking at is the mirror

The British Museum has been accused of rewriting history and hypocrisy after it relabelled Aboriginal artefacts collected by Captain Cook as being part of the “permanent British occupation” of Australia.

The relabelling of the artefacts is a response by the museum to the Black Lives Matter protests, linking Captain Cook’s charting of the east coast of Australia to the suffering of Aboriginal people following the arrival of the First Fleet 18 years later.

“James Cook sailed up the east coast in 1770, permanent British occupation began in 1788 with a ‘First Fleet’ of ships carrying convicts to establish a penal colony at present day Sydney,” a sign next to a Gweagal shield said.

“Some Aboriginal people in central Australia remained out of contact with Europeans until the 1980s,” another label states.

“The Eora people of the Sydney region suffered the first brunt of British colonisation from 1788.

“Despite loss of population due to disease and frontier violence as well as displacement, Aboriginal people continue to live in the Sydney region maintaining strong bonds with their traditional lands and culture.”

The British Museum would not officially answer questions about why the labels for the items had been changed but staff in the Enlightenment room, where the Indigenous items, were kept said The Black Lives Matter protests had “inspired” the change.

“They were inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement to finally address it,” a staff member said.

Another staff member said the signs were “explaining the history of the museum and how things got here”.

Despite the changes to the signs, the museum has refused to repatriate the items to Australia as requested by Indigenous Australian man Rodney Kelly, who says the Gweagal shield belonged to his ancestors.

Institute of Public Affairs Foundations of Western Civilisation Program director Dr Bella d’Abrera said the museum was reinventing history by conflating talented navigator Captain Cook with the suffering of the Aboriginal people.

“The British Museum is guilty of promoting the false narrative that Captain James Cook invaded and occupied Australia,” she said.

“Attributing genocide to the son of a Scottish farmer is both historically inaccurate and morally wrong … Captain Cook did not invade Australia.

“This is sheer hypocrisy. On the one hand they imply that the shield was stolen from the indigenous population, but on the other, they are not returning it to the descendants of its original owners.”

History Council of NSW president Dr Stephen Gapps also said the museum should return the items if that is what indigenous people wanted.

“I personally think that (relabelling) is a way of getting around the fact they still have those artifacts in their collections and are not willing to give a lot of those back,” he said.

“Ideally they wouldn’t have an object label on the shield and the spears and other objects, they would begin a process of repatriation.”

Exhibitions of Indigenous Australian artwork at the museum have also been given similar signs acknowledging their origins.

A statue of Cook located in The Mall near Buckingham Palace was defaced during the London Black Lives Matter protests, two statues of him were defaced in Sydney during protests in June, and there has been an online petition to have a statue of him removed in Cairns.

Australian National University history professor Ann McGrath said the myth of Captain Cook needed to be separated from the facts.

“I think that Cook the man is a different thing from Cook the myth and what he came to symbolise,” she said.

“It is logical that Aboriginal people see him as the beginning of their troubles and the loss of everything that they had — and in a way we have to separate that from the biography of the actual man.”

The official reason for Cook’s voyage to the Pacific was to observe the 1769 transit of Venus in Tahiti while the unofficial purpose discovered in a note from the King once the Endeavour set sail was to look for evidence of an ‘unknown southern land’ — a prize in a great race place between Britain and France at the end of the 18th Century.

His instructions from the King were “if he found a “continent or land of great extent” he should seek “with the consent of the natives to take possession of convenient situations in the country”.

Cook named the new land known as New South Wales and claimed it for Britain before sailing north towards Queensland.


Bettina Arndt and Mike Carlton can keep their orders of Australia, council decides

Cancel cultists lose one

The sex therapist Bettina Arndt and writer Mike Carlton will retain their orders of Australia, after the council responsible for the awards refused to revoke them.

In a statement on Friday, Shane Stone, the chairman of the Council of the Order of Australia, said the awards were not an endorsement of recipients’ social or political views, and revocation was generally reserved for criminal convictions, adverse court findings or misrepresentations about personal achievements.

Arndt’s 2020 Australia Day honour was referred to the Council of the Order of Australia for review after public backlash that she had been awarded it for services “to gender equity through advocacy for men”.

Arndt came under fire for a 2018 interview with the convicted paedophile Nicolaas Bester in which she described the behaviour of female students as “sexually provocative”. Arndt was also forced to defend claims she had misrepresented herself to be a clinical psychologist, despite not being legally registered.

Carlton’s award was referred after the News Corp columnist Sharri Markson complained about swearing and violent imagery in his tweets and claimed that cabinet ministers were unhappy with the award.

In a statement on Friday, Stone said the council had “considered requests for the cancellation of appointments … and will make no further recommendations to the governor general”.

Stone said that in a system that honours hundreds of people each year “it is inevitable that each list will include some people who others believe should not be recognised”.

“Unanimous community approval is not a criteria for council to make a recommendation,” he said.

Although nominations for the awards were sourced from the community, the decision to grant or revoke awards was not “directed by governments or influenced by lobbying or public campaigning”, he said.

“Similarly, individuals are neither qualified nor disqualified on the basis of their political leanings, social views or religious convictions.”

Stone said recommendations for an award were not “an endorsement of the political, religious or social views of recipients, nor is conferral of an honour an endorsement of the personally held beliefs of recipients”.

Stone said the order’s constitution and precedent set out that revocation of awards will be considered “where an individual has been convicted of a crime or offence under the law, received a civil penalty under the law or has been subject to an adverse finding by a court, tribunal or other body exercising judicial or administrative power under the law”.

Although the constitution allows cancellations “where an individual has behaved or acted in a manner that has brought disrepute on the order” this is generally reserved for convictions or adverse court findings.

“The council will also consider cancellation or termination where information on which the initial recommendation was made is found to be based on false or misleading material.”

New Matilda revealed close to 200 instances where Arndt had been interviewed on TV or radio or referred to in articles, in parliament or at conferences and was introduced as a psychologist, a clinical psychologist or a doctor, despite not being registered with the regulator, Ahpra (Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency). This included the Guardian in 2010.

Arndt has explained that when she obtained her Master of Clinical Psychology in 1973, it was not a requirement for psychologists to be registered.

“As professional registration of psychologists tightened up, I tried to control how I was described more carefully when being introduced on radio and television,” she said in February.

“This isn’t always so easy. Producers and researchers looking after these programs change jobs frequently and it requires constant monitoring,” she said.

Arndt said she refers to herself as “trained as a clinical psychologist.”


How Australia's definition of 'forest' has cheated beef producers

WHY is fast food giant McDonald's demanding an end to deforestation in Australia's beef supply chain when ranchers in it's homeland, the United States, have no restrictions on thinning or clearing on agricultural land?

Have you ever wondered why Queensland has become defined as a global hotspot for deforestation when 87 per cent of the state is mapped remnant vegetation?

The answer is Australia plays by a different rule book when it comes to the definition of forests, says prominent northern beef producer Josie Angus.

With husband Blair, Mrs Angus breeds, backgrounds and feeds cattle on close to 162,000 hectares spread across four properties in central and north western Queensland, to market branded beef to 30 countries.

Australia has effectively self-imposed trade barriers that is costing the beef industry dearly and if ever there was a time to change that, it's now, Mrs Angus believes.

"It won't be an easy sell, but if we can't drive change now in this current environment where people are fresh from the first empty supermarket shelves they've ever tripped across in their lives, then when can we?" she said.

Mrs Angus was joined by fellow cattle producers Jacqueline Curley and Alice Greenup in a webinar hosted by Agforce last week which tapped into sentiment that it was time for the beef industry to stand up to those making inaccurate claims about its sustainability credentials.

She presented a graph of global rates of land cover changes since 1992, which showed Australia is consistently at the bottom of the list - it is clearing less than all G20 nations, less than Europe and even less than the world average.

"So why are we being beaten up, identified as a deforestation hotspot?" Mrs Angus asked.

"It's simply because we are not playing by the same rule book as the balance of the world."

All in a definition

The United Nations' definition of forest is land spanning more than 0.5 of a hectare with trees higher than 5m and a canopy cover of more than 10pc, not including land that is predominantly under agricultural or urban use.

Explanatory notes clarify forest is determined both by the presence of trees and the absence of other predominant land uses.

The Australian definition: Forest is an area of land dominated by trees that have a height of at least 2m and a crown cover of at least 20pc.

The Australian definition includes no exemption for agriculture.

"If we were, as the rest of the world does, to classify land currently in ag use as ag land, it is exempted from deforestation," Mrs Angus said.

So why has the Australian Government saddled its beef industry with such an unfair definition?

Mrs Angus argues beef was made a sacrificial lamb to the likes of mining and cities enjoying increased emissions in Australia's commitment to the Kyoto protocol.

The time was ripe for a policy reset and it must begin with equivalence in definition, she said.

"We are on the cusp of negotiating a trade deal with the United Kingdom, a market to which we once supplied 170 000t," she said.

"The UK has just announced legislation that would see their corporations prosecuted for sourcing products like beef from areas with deforestation.

"The UK will use this as a trade barrier and it all boils down to a definition - Australia has self imposed a definition of forest that is doing us real harm."

In the 1960s, Australia was the second largest agriculture exporter in the world but has now 'plummeted off the graph', Mrs Angus said.

If we had grown at the same rate as the now second placed Netherlands we would be producing $126b in extra product.

"That makes the target of $100b by 2030 seem rather unambitious," Mrs Angus said.

"It is time to stop apologising, stop focusing on fixing all the world's environmental issues and stop pandering to NGOs (non-government organisations) who want nothing but to see our demise.

"It's time we stopped believing the only way to make an extra buck is to become a carbon credit so other industries can expand at our expense.

"Our land is for ag purpose, I can't underline that fact enough."


Don’t expel school accountability

This year’s abandonment of NAPLAN could inflict an enduring blow to school accountability. The literacy and numeracy tests — normally conducted in mid-May — were scrapped amid the pandemic uncertainty.

But now, Queensland’s education unions have urged teachers against preparing pupils for next year’s exams — unilaterally declaring the tests are over for good. This is just the latest in a series of attempts in recent years to hijack the testing regime.

If governments cave in to these threats they will do so at the expense of students, parents, taxpayers, and even teachers.

Strengthening, not whittling away, accountability is key to arresting the decline in Australia’s education outcomes.

Policymakers must accept that the decision to halt this year’s testing has needlessly strengthened the hand of those who have long opposed standardised assessment and resisted the accountability that comes with it.

What’s telling is that so much effort was exerted to cancel the tests, rather than into making them happen, rescheduling them, or coming up with viable alternatives.

Standardised assessments are needed because they offer objective and comparable tools for monitoring students’ progress, informing teaching practice, and measuring performance of teachers and schools. It’s needed more than ever given the educational disruption wrought by the pandemic.

It’s true that NAPLAN can be improved. The task for policymakers mustn’t be to quit the test, but to upgrade it so it becomes a more effective tool for educators, students, parents, and decision-makers.

It could be held at a more appropriate time of the school year (and potentially in different year groups), it could be a more rigorous assessment and one varied according to students’ capabilities, its content could be better aligned with curriculum, and it could be online (especially because test results are far more timely).

NAPLAN will again to be on the agenda for the Education Council — constituted of Australia’s education ministers — due to meet next Friday.

Reviving Australia’s educational outcomes will depend upon commitment to rigorous national assessment, not more of the same anti-test and anti-performance mentality that threatens to steer the education system yet further astray.


 Posted by John J. Ray (M.A.; Ph.D.).    For a daily critique of Leftist activities,  see DISSECTING LEFTISM.  To keep up with attacks on free speech see Tongue Tied. Also, don't forget your daily roundup  of pro-environment but anti-Greenie  news and commentary at GREENIE WATCH .  Email me  here

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