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December 27th 2008 print

Michael Connor

Love among the ruins

Christmas is over. A splendid new year, well interesting anyway, stretches before us. But spare a thought for the unfortunate Left.

Christmas is over. A splendid new year, well interesting anyway, stretches before us. But spare a thought for the unfortunate Left.

On Christmas morning many of them awoke to find that amongst the piles of presents under their environmentally responsible plastic trees – without nasty, CSIRO cursed, electricity eating fairy lights – was a weighty tome from their loved ones.

As they carefully removed the wrapping paper, and saved it for next year, they discovered the miserable face of the famous bonking historian looking up at them. The story of the unlikely Casanova and his research assistants in the stacks. Oh dear. As we go forward they have to stop and read it if they wish to glow on the dinner party circuit where questions will be asked and delighted sniggers will be shared.

Love in the academy. Who would have thought that “Meet me at the Mitchell” was a term of endearment?

If they were really unfortunate they may have also scored the other hagiography of the week – the one about Whitlam.