Australia Day

Australia Day.

I was in a disabled taxi the morning of the 25th January, on my way to a physiotherapy torture session, when lo and behold came group of six or eight Police motorcycles, two abreast, lights flashing and sirens tootling passed us. They came out of Anzac Parade at a great rate of speed, turned into Oxford street, passing my taxi so close that it rocked and buggered off down Oxford Street at the same speed. ”Jesus,” said my taxi driver “it must be that cunt the prime minister.” We know each other well and have the same appreciation of archaic english language.

But it wasn’t! Fucking Scummo that is. Tailgating the group of motorcycles was a ten-tonne Army Truck, tastefully decorated to look as much like a speeding hedge as possible. And – fucking seriously – the speeding hedge was towing a seventy-five millimetre howitzer, which failed miserably in its disguise as a shrub.

Then! If that wasn’t enough, the shrub was followed by another group of motorcycles, another truck pretending to be a hedge and another one then a final group of police motorcycles to finish the whole parade off, and that was it, three big trucks, three howitzers, 18 Police motorcycles; no Scummo escaping bushfires to snatch a quick Hawaiian holiday in preference to doing actual work.

And off they all duly fucked-off, down Oxford Street towards the city, the largest collection of self-important wankers I’ve seen in many a long year. My Taxi driver was not at a loss for words. Neither was I. “What The Fuck was That?” we said in unison. This is where we diverged in character and mental makeup; after about a minute my Taxi driver said “Fucking Australia Day!” I had spent the time perhaps less constructively, in considering how much I loathe and detest Scott ”Projectile Vomit” Morrison.

But what I had witnessed stuck in my mind and started a very focussed train of thought in my head. ”How the fuck have the military got anything to do with Australia Day? They are, at best an exceedingly peripheral part of Australian Society, yet, by virtue of loud barking at strategically chosen times they have managed to cement themselves into the Australian zeitgeist in a wholly undeserved position of importance.

Look at it this way, the peacetime Australian Armed services do very little but sit around being paid, fed and clothed while waiting around for some national emergency, where, by participating in photo opportunities they attempt to make the incumbent regime look as competent as possible. (And handsome man in uniform standing to attention next to some pond scum in a suit is considered to make the pod scum look better). In the absence of a local natural disaster, the government of the day will search until they can find something, anything that they can boost their image with, and the troops on the ground will pop overseas for a nice all-expenses-paid-holiday where they get up to whatever misbehaviour they think they are entitled to, and, more important, that they think thy can get away with. For their part, the incumbent government hopes that their misbehaviour is not discovered until the voters have forgotten who deployed them there in the first place, because surely if the buck stops anywhere with war crimes, it stops with the governing regime in question. You need look no further than the mass executions of Nazi leaders in Spandau prison for that, or the hanging of Saddam and his cronies at the end of the gulf war. The recent war crimes committed by Australian SAS troops in Afghanistan are the direct responsibility of the government which deployed them there.

Indeed in the lack of a convenient war or national emergency, a person in the armed “services” amounts to little more than being the recipient of a kind of Social Security; fed and clothed from the taxpayers purse and for the most part providing far less value-for-money than the average dole ”bludger” who’s dole money supports the local community, as opposed to being spent within the armed services system. As far as it goes too, the average recipient of civilian social security can be trusted to find their own entertainment, and it must be said, in the overwhelming majority of cases this entertainment is harmless, and by dint of the paucity of the benefits in question, cheap.

Conversely an air-force pilot may be bought, with taxpayer funds, an airplane costing twenty billion taxpayer dollars – a plane which has no purpose other than killing foreigners to make the incumbent government look good- a technique beloved by despots throughout history and the world over, – which is why bad governments strangle education and stifle free media; an educated population is dangerous to a criminal government, in that it thinks for itself, and a free media can expose the lies of a government that has turned septic to even a poorly-educated population.

(c) Alex Rieneck, 2021

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