Has Anzac Day changed over time, or has it never really been a day for respectful reflection? Plus: what impact is Clive Palmer and his ad blitz going to have on the Australian political landscape? Crikey readers share their thoughts:
Steven Westbrook writes: There was indeed once a time of more dignified reflection. As time goes by, and the direct personal experience of living veterans fades there is a risk that militarism and jingoism might come to the fore. I stopped attending the march when the existing service units started to outnumber the veterans and I heard cries of “Aussie Aussie Aussie oi oi oi”. I agree with others that the shift to adding Western Front commemorations turns what was originally a recognition of bravery in defeat to an inevitable tendency to celebrate the defeat of the Central Powers in 1918. The closest parallel to the original Gallipoli spirit I can think of is the British heroic defeat at Arnhem in World War II.
Peter Schulz writes: In my working life I was privileged to have some deep-and-meaningful conversations with some older men who had experienced World War II. I was struck by their reluctance to rake up the submerged pain, the quiet sadness in their eyes and voices, their disdain for the instigators of war, and their almost pacifism — an attitude of: you go to war when there is absolutely no alternative, and not before. No jingoistic Rambos there.
John Attwood writes: I’ve been “over” Palmer’s advertising for nigh on three months now. The only variable is how pissed off I am likely to become between now and actually voting. Judging on his current “shitvertising” — where there are “problems” identified but zero solutions advanced — my pissed-off-ness is likely to only increase, to the point that his party might just get themselves ranked below Barnaby Joyce. While I have a major problem with both major parties, this will not see my vote descend to the sub-terrain of voting for the fringe. Independent, a true independent, will be my vote! Who gets last spot will be a toss-up between BJ, CP, PHON — but at that point it will be well and truly irrelevant.
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