Thank God it’s nearly over

About twelve months ago, I saw this coming.  I thought I should leave the country for this time.  I am bloody sorry I didn’t.  The bullshit about Anzac Day might choke me.

A young country sent its young men to a cruel and useless death on the other side of the world.  It just did as it was told by a parent whose cruel and stupid ruling class murdered so much of our future.  We went, we lost, and we quit – or, as the Honourable Alexander Downer said about Iraq, we just cut and ran.  And we celebrate this frightful waste every year.

Why?  We have no history and this is our way of trying to invent one.  We whites should leave the dreamtime to the blackfellas.  We invented this bullshit about ‘mates.’  The last time I looked, more French troops died at Gallipoli than ours’.  Did those poor buggers not have mecs or amis?  Did the Turks that we invaded and killed not have mates?

If you go there, and look at the cliffs, and see how close the trenches are, you can just about hear and taste the cult of death that we sent our young men to die in.  And now we prostitute the memory of the poor bastards in every way that we can.  We ought to be ashamed.

There is another view.  About 25 years ago, the then Prime Minister, Bob Hawke, took a team over to Gallipoli with some aged veterans.  One old guy – I think his name was Syd – declined the invitation to go back after all those years.  When the ABC asked him why he was not going, Syd gave a very sensible answer. ‘Quite frankly, I wasn’t too keen on the reception I got the first bloody time.’

A distinguished Englishman who had served in intelligence in the First World War was fascinated by what the Australians had done at Gallipoli.  He got this reaction from one digger.  ‘He reported that all he knew was that he had jumped out of a bloody boat in the dark and before he had walked five bloody yards he had copped a bloody bullet in his foot and he had been pushed back to bloody Alexandria almost before he bloody well knew he had left it’.  The commentator, Compton Mackenzie, who wrote the original Monarch of the Glen, also said: ‘An absurd phrase went singing through my head.  We have lost our amateur status tonight’.

Well, Sir Compton may have lost his amateur status, but we haven’t.  We are at it again.  We are doing what we are told to kill Muslims in a part of the world that we have nothing to do with, and with no idea about how things might turn out.

I’m with Syd.  And Einstein.  He said one life was enough.  It’s the same with me for Gallipoli.