We’ve been Fisked!

johnboy 13 November 2010 9

Tiresome, dishonest, and frequently downright wrong British pundit Robert Fisk (beloved of the Canberra Times for syndication purposes) has taken a swipe at us in an article gracing The Independent opining on why the world can’t be arranged exactly to suit his own prejudices.

(Intriguingly he thinks Istanbul/Constantinople was a Crusader city)

While complaining bitterly that his favourite cities don’t get to be capitals here are his thoughts on Canberra.

Travel far further. The capital of Australia should be Sydney (or Melbourne) but, instead, I had to drive into the hotlands not long ago to the old hill station which is now called Canberra, all smart streets, university campuses and tiresome government ministries. This is ridiculous.

Never a hill station, but Fisk doesn’t let facts get in the way of his stories.


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9 Responses to We’ve been Fisked!
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farnarkler farnarkler 7:59 pm 14 Nov 10

I didn’t read the article but obviously he and I have the same opinion of Brasilia.

Jethro Jethro 6:15 pm 14 Nov 10

farnarkler said :

I’m surprised he didn’t compare Australia to Brazil; leave the coastal cities alone and put all the government and administration in the middle of nowhere.

Um…

“Travel far further. The capital of Australia should be Sydney (or Melbourne) but, instead, I had to drive into the hotlands not long ago to the old hill station which is now called Canberra, all smart streets, university campuses and tiresome government ministries. This is ridiculous. Even worse is Brazil. The business centre of Sao Paulo is “my” capital of Brazil. But no, the Brazilians had to invent their distant capital of “Brasilia” so that – in the words of a Sao Paulo woman on my last visit – “the politicians could escape from the people”.”

terubo terubo 5:27 pm 14 Nov 10

He was here a year or two ago, at the ANU…I think it was to promote a vast tome relating to the Middle East – about which he knows something.

Perhaps the book sales didn’t live up to expectations. I know I didn’t buy one, mainly because the lecture was delivered in a hectoring and slightly manic manner.

– Backed up by some video clips from obscure British documentaries….featuring, of course, the crusading Mr Fisk.

nanzan nanzan 3:59 pm 14 Nov 10

Would someone tell Robert Fisk that the capital city of Switzerland is Berne…and not Basle, as he wrote. (Perhaps it proves his point that Berne is virtually unknown, while Zurich is famous! Or perhaps he is just too smart by half. At any rate, why do capital cities have to be famous?)

Now, what I would like to know is who invited Fisk to Canberra recently so that he could make those comments about us once he returned to the safety and comfort of Beirut? Anyone care to fess up?

farnarkler farnarkler 10:43 am 14 Nov 10

I’m surprised he didn’t compare Australia to Brazil; leave the coastal cities alone and put all the government and administration in the middle of nowhere.

astrojax astrojax 7:20 am 14 Nov 10

smart streets? has he been here since the potholes were fixed?

GardeningGirl GardeningGirl 12:45 am 14 Nov 10

“Hill station” made me think of places in the hills where colonials used to go to get away from the heat and humidity of the coast, though I wasn’t conscious of knowing that exact term. Turns out I knew more than I thought.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hill_station
“Hill station is a term used for a town located at a higher elevation than the nearby plain or valley. The term was used mostly in colonial Asia (particularly India), but also in Africa (albeit rarely), for towns founded by European colonial rulers as refuges from the summer heat, up where temperatures are cooler.”

The idea of being a cooler refuge contradicts “hotlands” then.

And the idea of a capital city having government ministries! Whodathunkit!

Dr Strange Dr Strange 7:09 pm 13 Nov 10

Met Mr Fisk, sitting around the table parting of meals a few times. His views on quite a few things are very one sided and arguably ill informed at times – His book ‘Pity the Nation’ is great but you need to read elsewhere for balance / perspective. Reading that article though I get the impression it’s supposed to be annoying. Suggesting that Tehran doesn’t deserve to a capital? Yeah, right!

boo boo boo boo 4:41 pm 13 Nov 10

Hill Station (located in Hume) was recorded as an entity in 1862 and the homestead was built in 1909. The only residents of note were during WW2 with Cabinet Ministers Sir Henry Gullett and Sir David Fairbairn residing there. If this is the Hill Station in Canberra he’s referring to it’s a bit of an obscure reference.

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