Pacific Islander labourers on a plantation in Queensland, 1900 (Image: State Library of Queensland)

This government continues to be historically illiterate and the AFR botches its numbers (and everything else). Plus more tips and murmurs from the Crikey bunker.

Alternative histories While we were still trying to wrap our head around acting Minister for Multicultural Affairs Alan Tudge declaring that racism in Australia had been defeated thanks to one Australian-born woman of Asian descent being on TV, this morning Prime Minister Scott Morrison told Ben Fordham that "there was no slavery in Australia".

So what would he call the practice of "blackbirding"? From the 1860s onward, tens of thousands of Pacific Islanders were brought to Australia to work on plantations in Queensland -- some by choice, but others often by "force or trickery". Unmarked mass graves are still being found.