Health services and media billionaire Paul Ramsay died three years ago, his money going to an umbrella foundation, which will be funding a Paul Ramsay Centre For Western Civilisation. The new centre got a full-court press in the meeja with chairman John Howard launching it in his usual whiny fashion -- "Western civilisation had its faults, all civilisations do …" -- and board member Bomber Beazley spruiking it in the AFR.
But it was another board member's piece in the Oz that caught our eye. Tony Abbott (oh, it's a very pluralist board) went out of his way to compare Paul Ramsay to ... Cecil Rhodes. What were the similarities between Ramsay, whose other donations had been to science education funds and, erm, the Kevin Spacey Foundation? Well, they were both childless, and they both created scholarships. Ramsay, however, ran a hospitals corporation; Rhodes ran a brutal empire across southern Africa, murdering and enslaving millions of Africans, and formulated an Anglo-Saxon racialist ideology that influenced the Nazis.