War heroes didn’t die for virtue signalling
THE wholesale destruction of national tradition will continue this week with the politically correct virtue-signalling annihilation of the Anzac ritual. Since its inception in 1916, a year after the April 25 landings on Gallipoli, the Anzac Day commemoration has been observed to honour those who died and those whose comrades also served but survived — initially in the Great War and now in subsequent wars.
This year, according to the president of the NSW RSL James Brown, the march will honour women and they will lead the march at the front of the parades in Sydney, Melbourne and Perth.
“This is about saying women are veterans, too,” he told a breakfast television program, a favoured platform for those hoping to advance their chances of future political careers. This is such a virtue-signalling move it could only have been cooked up by Brown over a breakfast of kale and quinoa with Malcolm and Lucy Turnbull, Brown’s parents-inlaw, at their waterfront mansion. Putting women first will be, according to the RSL, a show of support for the thou- sands of women who weren’t deployed overseas but still made huge contributions to the defence force and military.
As did every man, woman and child who took their aluminium pots and pans down to the local depot to be recycled into war matériel, or who observed the rationing and didn’t opt for the black market in fuel and clothing, who waited and worked in munitions factories and other essential industries, who worked the farms when the men weren’t there, and kept food on the tables.
The RSL doesn’t mention however the strikes by the Communist-led unions which denied the men at the front their rations and munitions — those unionists weren’t acting selflessly. They were acting in the interests of Communist Russia which had signed up to the notorious Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact.
The RSL is also a little shy when it comes to the amount of poker-machine revenue raked in at its clubs which is actually directed to returned service men and women battling post traumatic distress syndrome (PTSD).
Virtue signalling apparently stops where the bucks start.
Brown insisted to Sunrise host Samantha Armytage the move was “about saying that women are veterans too, veterans come in all shapes and sizes”. “It’s about being fair and making sure that their service on behalf of this country is recognised, so for one year, we’re putting them upfront to send that message loudly and clearly.” He’s taking a leaf out of retired chief of army David Morrison’s book on introducing political correctness to military matters — not that Morrison was so inspirational.
Still, in an otherwise undistinguished career, Morrison’s decision to don high heels to demonstrate his embrace of gender politics did win him the Australian of the Year title in 2016, emphasising the neartotal irrelevance of the award.
In any case, his arrogantly virtuous approach to the military overlooked a reality which he as chief of army must have been aware of.
The pointy end of modern land warfare is primarily in close-quarter combat — as we know from the role our troops have played in Iraq and Afghanistan. It is not a place for women because of the sheer physical dimension that it takes. If the government continues to follow its politically correct path and demand that women serve in equal numbers in forward deployment it will have to bear the unfortunate consequences we have seen result from such an irrational policy in other forces.
We will see an unacceptable volume of occupational injuries, just as the US military has, where women have been deployed as combat engineers.
Anyone — outside the Canberra bubble — knows that on average women do not have the same physical strength as men. It is an undeniable fact to all but the most obsessed feminists and the virtue-signalling corps. When physically broken women are signing up for compensation for the injuries they received attempting to carry the same loads as the men they worked alongside, someone might just get smart enough to realise the error that has been committed. The military can’t be blamed for this though, it’s just enthusiastically implementing government policy.
This Wednesday as the Ode is solemnly recited and the bugler sounds the Last Post, as on other Anzac Days, my mind will be on those legions who didn’t return and on those who served and lost their mates.
Ninety-nine per cent of them men who took deliberate, considered action to expose themselves to near certain death to protect their families, this country and our way of life. They were patriots, the sort of people who are sneered at today and told not to flaunt the national flag. Their heroic deaths and bravery are worth remembering. We owe a prodigious debt to the World War II generation, which is not to denigrate the feats of others in other theatres of war, but those men and women are dying out, the Korean and Vietnam generations are ageing.
War fighting is overwhelmingly men’s business. To pretend that diktats from the PC warriors can erase and rewrite history is purely a Marxist fantasy. Among the women who gave their lives was Wilhelmina Raymont, my mother’s closest cousin who died after three years of suffering and torture as a prisoner-of-war of the Japanese in Indonesia. Raymont was among members of the Australian Army Nursing Service (AANS) captured after the SS Vyner Brook was sunk while fleeing Singapore.
Of the 65 nurses aboard, 12 drowned in the Bangka Straits and 21 died after being ordered to enter the sea at Radji Beach where they were machinegunned from behind by the Japanese. Raymont died aged 33 on February 8, 1945
Having walked the narrow beach and crumbling clifftops of Gallipoli, the collapsed trenches of the Western front where my father-in-law fought and visited my uncle’s grave on Crete and my father’s grave on Cyprus, thoughts are with those everywhere who fought for the freedom we should cherish but which so many scorn today.
Those we honour were not virtue signalling and they didn’t give their lives for political correctness.