About Me

My photo
The Author Erik’s family emigrated from Britain to the island State of Tasmania then lived in the woods. The family home schooled, helping to pioneer the home education movement in Australia. The Blog …explores ways to create a sustainable and just community. Explores how that community can be best protected at all levels including social policy/economics/ military. The Book Erik’s autobiography is a humorous read about serious things. It concerns living in the bush, wilderness, home education, spirituality, and activism. Finding Home is available from Amazon, Barnes&Noble and all good e-book sellers.

Monday, 20 April 2015

Letter to an Imaginary ANZAC


 
 
Well Joe, it’s been a hundred years but ANZAC day is coming around (yes that’s what they call it) and I thought I would write you a letter. You may be pleased to know that you are not forgotten. Your name is engraved on a cross in the middle of your small town that is smaller now than when you left it. You wouldn’t believe how many other names are there Joe. It is hard to imagine there were any men left in the town.  Why did you all leave anyway? Did you really think the Turks or the Huns were going to ride across the paddocks? Was it for Empire or did you just want to be off with your mates?


They print your names in the paper on ANZAC day and school children write about how you are all heroes. God bless ‘em but I can’t see it. You volunteered to go to the other side of the world and make some mother childless, some woman a widow, for what Joe? You were the aggressor, the Turks were defending. You were gallant I’m sure. You endured hardship, stood by your mates and were brave beyond belief – but so is everyone in war.  I doubt that your death was glorious; I bet it was pretty bloody awful if the truth were known. And you were cruel Joe. There is no nice way to stab someone to death with a bayonet, but you chose that. Maybe you thought it would make you a man.


Speaking of men, the war left a generation of widows and unmarried women.  You might have been more a man if you had stayed at home. The children you could have fathered, who would have built the country, were never born. We were forced to open the flood gates to immigration. They were good blokes those immigrants, still are mostly. I’m one of them. But things have changed a lot Joe. The white Anglo Saxon Christian nation you thought you were fighting for no longer exists.


We won by the way. That’s what they told us and some of your mates came home. It wasn’t the war to end all wars though; it just turned out to be a dress rehearsal for the next one. It was bad mate. We didn’t need you at ANZAC Cove we needed you at fucking Kokoda. The Japs came down and tried to make us all their slaves. War came to us then, we were fighting for our survival, and that bloke Churchill still wanted our troops in their theatre of war.


Oh, and the Empire? That finished up in the sixties. Doesn’t exist any more. Its over. See after your war financial speculators on the New York stock exchange crashed the global money system. We would have been alright but the private banks broke the Commonwealth bank and we got no help from Britain. They called in the Great Depression and it was worse than the 1890’s. A lot of women had no men and were forced into prostitution. If you thought it was bad here but you should have tried Germany. The French and the Brits made Germany pay for the whole cost of the war. Fair enough maybe but the Germans were starving. They needed a nationalist leader and they found one; then it was on for young and old. Not that you can be blamed for that. My mother’s father fought the Germans and Italians in North Africa. My Fathers father was a pacifist. He sounded the air raid siren at his factory in Coventry. They both survived the war but my parents didn’t want to stick around for the next one. They came to Australia.


So you know Joe, its kinda funny. You went to the other side of the world to take part in a war. My family came from the other side of the world to get away from wars. Australians are still trotting off to take part in wars on the other side of the world because some big country wants them to. We are still brave and we still give our troops useless shit to fight with. The propaganda has changed a bit but the same old lies still get used, and they still work.

The fact is mate, we’ve forgotten. Rest in peace.

 ---------------------------------------------------------------------------

To see some local war memorials go here: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-04-22/11-unsung-war-memorials-to-see-in-tasmania-this-anzac-weekend/6401618