We’d better give Alexander Downer some marks for responding to the criticism of the idiosyncractic history lesson he gave in his Earle Page lecture at the University of New England last month – although we’re more interested in the claim that his press sec Chris Kenny (would-be candidate for the SA Liberal seat of Unley) was the actual author.

“The juvenile and vitriolic response to my Earle Page lecture last month from the Labor Party and its fellow travellers has provided an education in itself about the Left’s inability at times to contribute sensibly to public debate,” the foreign minister writes in today’s Australian.

Downer’s most effective history lesson, however, was a little on the juvenile and vitriolic side, too. It was delivered in Question Time on 20 October 1994, as opposition leader when he interrupted a typical Keating tour de horizon with a cry of “Tell us about Evatt; he was mad.” Not bad, really. You can find it here.