Our Traditions Are Worth Upholding

On this day, the 97th Anzac Day, I have been wondering about the motives of some in our community who, by all appearances, seem to want to ditch our national traditions, in particular our annual remembrance of those soldiers who made the ultimate sacrifice in the cause of our nation’s freedom.

Last year, the Gillard government spent over $370,000 commissioning a focus group to examine the community reaction to our upcoming centenary Anzac celebrations in 2015. According to it, growing multiculturalism in Australia has meant that commemorating our war dead is a double-edged sword and a potential area of divisiveness.

Really? Who, exactly, is going to be offended? Our former enemies? Read the magnificent words of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, founder of the modern secular state of Turkey, and inscribed on the Anzac memorial at the site where he and his compatriots fought off the Allied invasion of 1915:

Today, the Turks celebrate Anzac Day with us

Similarly, I’ve yet to hear any complaints raised by any German, Italian or Japanese ex-servicemen or other immigrants from those countries. So who is offended by Anzac Day, and why is their offence of such importance that we should countenance modifying, or even winding back, our centenary celebrations?

Julia Gillard has apparently become aware of the community backlash against the report’s findings, and has distanced herself from them. But why spend so much public money on a useless focus group in the first place? I get the feeling that the Canberra clique are so insulated from everyday Australian society that they feel this is the only way they can find out what real Australians think. Someone needs to get out more, I’d say.

Anyway, I’m going to try and get away a bit later for a game of two-up. Should be back later this afternoon.

Lest we forget.

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12 Responses to Our Traditions Are Worth Upholding

  1. Kitler says:

    They shall not be forgotten at least by our generation for the sacrifice that they made for sadly none now remain from the Great War. The psychological scars of that war echoed down the generations even to mine and made it very real to us. It is a source of intense pride to know that family members fought in that war for our liberty’s and freedoms. Sadly there has arisen a generation of politicians that have forgotten all the lessons we learned from that sacrifice and it seems we are doomed to repeat history.

  2. Pingback: How Australia surrendered to the wowsers – Telegraph Blogs

  3. Ozboy says:

    Actually, if you look at the layout of Canberra there is a very clever design feature incorporated (Memoryvault and Blackswan used to go on about how the layout is supposed to represent the spear of some Norse god, but I’m not referring to that). No, if you look at Capital Hill, which has straight boulevards spoking out in all directions, one leads towards Mount Ainslie to the north-east:

    Chicago architect Walter Burley Griffin won the design contest for Canberra in 1912, two years before the Great War broke out. The war itself was a highly contentious issue in Australia, with the Labor Party splitting in 1916 over the issue of consciption. But it was clear by 1918, with 60,000 dead and 156,000 wounded, out of a total population of just five million, the cream of our young manhood destroyed for a generation, that politicians should be made to think very carefully indeed before committing our nation’s troops to yet another foreign war.

    And so it was decided in the 1920s to site the Australian War Memorial on the slopes of Mount Ainslie. That way, our political leaders would be forced to look, every day as they walked in and out of our national parliament, at the grim, silent reminder of the consequences of their decisions in their insulated little world. Here is the view from the forecourt of the present Parliament House. The white building in the middle distance is Old Parliament House, a temporary structure which was used until the present Parliament House was completed in 1988. Circled above, on the slopes of Mount Ainslie in the far distance, is the Australian War Memorial.

    Canberra wouldn’t be on my list of recommended places to visit if you are travelling to this country. But if you do find yourself in Canberra, it is one of the more poignant places you may visit, anywhere on earth. The names of my own family members are inscribed on the Wall of Remembrance. No-one could ever visit it and remain a warmonger.

  4. meltemian says:

    Anzac Day is remembered here as well.
    I’m going to cross-post, I believe they’d appreciate this, and the posts. Hope that’s OK Oz’?

    No problems Mel. Orphans of Liberty seems to have a similar mission to LG, so I’m adding it to the blogroll – Oz

  5. Doug proctor says:

    The Land of the Free, except when someone else must be considered first.

    How did it happen? Was Australia never free from the Victorian idea that the aristocratic class must “protect” the working classes from their own selfish desires? Social equality values in early Australia were about making your own way, but there was always a chip-on-the-shoulder by the ruling group, a need to prove themselves worthy. It is ironic that the deaths at Gallipoli, an epic screw-up, are taken to have done that. Only those who suffer, love, I suppose; only those who sacrifice are worthy of our respect.

    Still, it is an odd thing that in Australia you have the most Green, self-damaging idealists outside of California. Are the politicians still trying to prove that they are Big Boys and Big Girls, fit to be on the stage next to their English cousins?

    Would seem that way, right, mate? I’d say I’m not wrong.

    G’day Doug and welcome to LibertyGibbert. Would seem, but watch this space. Our constitutional arrangements mean it’s going to be two elections at a minimum before we’re rid of them completely, but at least their mask has now slipped. Environmentalism was their clothing, one-world totalitarianism their real agenda. They won’t again sneak into power in Australia, rest assured – Oz

    If that sounds too strong, check out the clip below:

  6. Dr. Dave says:


    Thanks very much for that video link. It was quite moving. A far as I know I didn’t have any kinfolk directly involved in WWI…at least not my grandparents. I guess they dodged Wilson’s conscription. Wilson ran for the Presidency promising to keep the US out of foreign wars. Luton Ian provided a great link to an article on the mises site that explained how Wilson dragged the US into that war to protect US banks. It almost sickened me. Wilson instituted conscription only after far too many US citizens showed no interest in fighting and dying in a war in Europe that had nothing to do with us…except, perhaps, our banks. Of all US presidents, Wilson has to be the biggest SOB.

  7. Angry Exile says:

    @ Ozboy. I’m with you 100% about Canberra and the War Memorial. Canberra is a city that wouldn’t even exist if it wasn’t for the federal government – without all the people living there whose incomes come from taxes paid elsewhere in Australia all the businesses there would pack up and move out. But the War Memorial is something else entirely and is absolutely a must-see worth taking for anyone visiting the south-eastern states. The museum part is interesting (I think they have the largest collection of Victoria Crosses in one place in the world) and the memorial part is strangely beautiful as well as deeply moving. I’d thoroughly recommend anyone planning a holiday to Melbourne or Sydney to set aside three days to drive up to Canberra, see the War Memorial, and drive back. I wouldn’t worry too much about the rest of it though. The suburbs are like a cross between Milton Keynes and 28 Days Later and while you can visit Parliament House you can easily skip it if you can imagine what the Teletubbies’ home would look like if it had been designed by Kim Jong Il.

    G’day AE and welcome to LibertyGibbert.

    If you’re by-passing Canberra and visiting Sydney, the ANZAC Memorial in Hyde Park is a must-see. Built in the 1930s in art-deco styling, and featuring as its centrepiece the jaw-dropping sculpture “Sacrifice” by Rayner Hoff, it is one Sydney attraction you’re unlikely to quickly forget.

    James, if you’re reading this – well worth your while if you can fit it in during your stay – Oz

  8. Kolnai says:

    I was privileged to be able to visit your wonderful country a year ago, an unforgettable occasion. Aus is nowhere near perfect – where is? But I found amongst strange flora and fauna a great people,who possesed integrity, generousity and open-heartedness to an extraordinary extent. They still seemed to cling on to values such as trust, good humour and self-restraint, which long ago faded from Pommyland under the heel of ‘liberalism’ (sic!).

    Please never be ashamed of your country. Unless I miss my guess, the US and Britain’s collective contribution to freedom is going to be much less in future than in the past. Indeed, if evidence of this were needed, the Global Warming hysteria reminds us our loss is near total. For was it even thinkable, say in 1958, that a state university would lie and conceal publicly finded information as both Virginia and East Anglia have done?

    Yet the strange thing is the nuisances and the totalitarians are able to get things through without a ‘by your leave’ ‘down under’. How on earth is this possible? You need a Movement for Australia, one which will unite all sections of the population – New Australians will understand the need for this better than many whites. For are they not also proud of their own countries of origin? That is what they expect when they come to Aus. Instead, they find instead weak and vacillating politicans whose mouths are stuffed with oatmeal, always ready with a weasel word or phrase to kowtow to bullies and madmen.

    Fair go to you all! You are many, your masters are few. Let them know their days are numbered.

    G’day Kolnai, and welcome to LibertyGibbert.

    Grand sentiments you have expressed, indeed. You’re quite right, of course. I don’t know what part of the world you hail from, but as I’ve said recently, here and elsewhere, it’s those who have experienced repressive societies that are better able to appreciate the liberty those of us in Western society have for so long taken for granted – Oz

  9. Phil says:

    First visit to your site (via James Delingpole). My Grandad’s life was saved at Villers-Bret by a brave Aussie counterattack 24th-25th April 1918. Been to site several times with Dad who always insisted we visited Aussie memorial to say thanks to those who sacrificed their lives there. Without them, neither Dad nor I would have existed. I won’t forget, nor will the French – “The school in Villers-Bretonneux was rebuilt using donations from school children of Victoria (many of whom had relatives perish in the town’s liberation), and above every blackboard is the inscription “N’oublions jamais l’Australie” (Let us never forget Australia). There is a good museum at the school – full of tributes to Aussies. Well deserved tributes to a fantastic fighting force without whom where would we be now? Please don’t forget them.

  10. Phil says:

    By the way, without the Aussies at Villers-Bret, the way would have been open for the Germans to take Paris. With the Aussies, the counterattack at Villers -Bret lead in the end to the great advance which eventually brought victory 6 months later – but I expect you all knew that anyway!

    G’day Phil, and welcome to LibertyGibbert.

    Yep, both my grandfathers fought in France in the Great War. Dad’s father emigrated from England in 1913, aged just sixteen. Two years later he enlisted in the AIF, and was sent straight back to Europe as a sapper. I believe on his time of furlough he would go back to London to visit his parents! Mum’s father was an infantry sergeant who in 1918 took command of his lieutenant’s platoon following his injury and recaptured the village of Estrees from the Germans, an action for which Pop won the DSO. I’ve only been to France once, but I must try to find the place one day as I believe his name is inscribed on a monument there – Oz

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