Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: This Anzac Day

106 Responses

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  • Hebe, in reply to izogi,

    Are they allowed to trade on ANZAC morning these days?

    I don't know about cafes. This household was woken on Anzac morning by a biohazard team stripping out the neighbouring house before demolition. I'm unsure whether to be peeved or pleased.

    Christchurch • Since May 2011 • 2898 posts Report Reply

  • Hebe, in reply to andrew gunn,

    Bad taste biscuits, fake trenches, John Key – by all means call out these low hanging fruit, but really is that all you’ve got? I couldn’t spot many of the 25,000-odd in Cranmer Square this morning who were there for the glorification or entertainment.

    There’s more than one way of remembering and respecting. I, and another 400,000 or so Christchurch people, do not happen to need a military ceremony to do so.

    I am not sorry that my very personal and thought-through account of a close family Great War veteran who lived his life in this city doesn’t measure up to your standards.

    Christchurch • Since May 2011 • 2898 posts Report Reply

  • Kumara Republic,

    Attachment

    Here's my artistic take on the Gallipoli centennary, "Ghosts of Gallipoli" (also viewable at Renderosity and DeviantArt)

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5429 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel, in reply to andrew gunn,

    strained fruit...

    I couldn’t spot many of the 25,000-odd in Cranmer Square this morning who were there for the glorification or entertainment.

    I don't believe anyone else had implied that those going to dawn parades were doing so for the motives you allude to - from what dark well did that odd conflation of concepts spring forth?

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7943 posts Report Reply

  • Joe Wylie, in reply to Hebe,

    This household was woken on Anzac morning by a biohazard team stripping out the neighbouring house before demolition. I’m unsure whether to be peeved or pleased.

    Heh.
    I'd thought that Australia was a little tougher than NZ when it came to enforcing the sanctity of ANZAC proper, but it seems that Mammon must be appeased. From my experience of finding myself within earshot of the occasional Sydney Lower North Shore property auction, they sound like rabble-rousing political rallies on the verge of breaking into full-blown civil disturbances.

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 4593 posts Report Reply

  • izogi, in reply to Hebe,

    Apparently since the Holiday's Act, cafe's can now open on ANZAC Saturday if they close on the following Monday. Or something.

    That seems rather weird. If it was merely about ensuring that all of your workers has one of the two days off, it's hard to see why large supermarkets and similar would have bothered to close at all. But instead, businesses can open on ANZAC Day Saturday as long as they keep their doors shut on a future day which has little significance except being the Monday after?

    Wellington • Since Jan 2007 • 1139 posts Report Reply

  • Michael Homer, in reply to izogi,

    Cafes have always been allowed to open, as has anywhere else "whose principal business is selling ... prepared or cooked food ready to be eaten immediately in the form in which it is sold".

    They don't have to close on Monday either.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 85 posts Report Reply

  • David Hood,

    I went to one of the smaller satellite events in the area of Dunedin, as my daughter was involved in posy laying with Girl Guides.

    People might be familiar with the way the older generations (including my own) will tend to mumble through the Maori verse of the National Anthem (in the typical public ceremony verse 1 in Maori and English) as many people are not confident of the wording.

    I would take it as a sign of the increasing secularization of New Zealand that that Maori verse was positively deafening when compared to the response to singing a hymn (for which the words were provided). Very few in the crowd had the slightest idea of how the words fitted the accompanying music, so I felt it verged on an instrumental piece.

    Dunedin • Since May 2007 • 1445 posts Report Reply

  • wendyf, in reply to Russell Brown,

    "Anyway, thanks all. I had actually been struggling with what to say about this, but I just stopped what I was doing this morning and wrote the post. It’s a relief to discover I’m far from the only one feeling this way."

    Echoing Russell here. I've just finished reading all the responses and I feel battered. But grateful for the knowledge and wisdom in so much of the writing. I was angry because I had been lied to over so many years, because only in the last few of my 80 years did I start making any sense of what it was all about.

    And now the Armenians to think about, and the deliberate turning away from their significance. How could they?

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 88 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to izogi,

    Leaving the Wellington dawn parade this morning, I noticed at least a couple of cafes open on Cuba Street, at least one of which had some ANZAC themed advertising out front taking advantage of the mass exodus, and Burger King on Lambton Quay appeared to be open. Are they allowed to trade on ANZAC morning these days?

    Honestly, the only thing that was affronted by seeing people lined up at the Newmarket Coffee Club around 7am yesterday was my inner coffee snob. As Michael Homer pointed out, it’s been the case for twenty five years.

    I’d thought that Australia was a little tougher than NZ when it came to enforcing the sanctity of ANZAC proper, but it seems that Mammon must be appeased.

    Again, I really wish ministers that have merrily slashed support for veterans, servicemen and women and their families would take their moral high horses to the knacker’s yard. It’s long since crossed the line from tiresome to offensively two-faced. BTW, how many auctions do you think were being held in Sydney during hail storms, flash floods and freakishly torrential rain?

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22830 posts Report Reply

  • Son of Dad,

    There have been some truly strange responses to this Anzac Day. There's a French delicatessen in my neighbourhood oddly named after a resistance group from the Second World War (and grotesquely named in my opinion; kind of like calling a German-themed florist 'the White Rose'). This shop advertised an Anzac day barbeque and two-up competition. Is that opportunism or community-building?

    Since Aug 2014 • 14 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    WW1 is as long ago for us as the Napoleonic invasion of Russia was for them. Despite my family having been in it, I'm losing interest. The military parades seemed like an appropriate memorial for those who had been in wars, although for most of my life that would have been WW2 vets. Now they're gone and there's only the grim memorials that I occasionally visit with my boys for educational purposes. I don't really want to make a song and dance about it for them.

    The worst thing about WW1 is WW2. It was like we learned nothing and had to do it all again, but 5 times harder. I can't romanticize anything about that.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10650 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to BenWilson,

    The worst thing about WW1 is WW2. It was like we learned nothing and had to do it all again

    Not into military history but it seems the first war wasn't finished properly (Germany not properly defeated) so after a couple of decades the second one started.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19707 posts Report Reply

  • Joe Wylie, in reply to Sacha,

    (Germany not properly defeated)

    Are you suggesting that the conditions imposed upon Germany after it's WW1 defeat were excessively punitive? That seemed to be the dismayed consensus of Robert Graves and his fellow junior officers in Goodbye to All That. As a participant in the "Christmas Truce" of 1914 he ended his military career predicting that the extortionate reparations demanded by the victors of WW1 would eventually provoke another conflict.

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 4593 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Joe Wylie,

    The impression I got was that Germany were not forced to properly admit they had been beaten, so the conditions were resented as unfair. Like I say, not my area. The WW1 series on Maori TV has been illuminating but is based on only one author's perspective.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19707 posts Report Reply

  • Joe Wylie, in reply to Sacha,

    The impression I got was that Germany were not forced to properly admit they had been beaten

    I'd suggest that the problem might have been that they really had their collective nose rubbed in it.

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 4593 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Joe Wylie,

    Said doco series painted that as the US and other financiers demanding a return on their loans, to the surprise of the Kaiser et al.

    But there also seemed to be a culture angle. Troops never marched through Berlin. Suspect that's why Allies went the distance in WW2.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19707 posts Report Reply

  • Joe Wylie, in reply to Sacha,

    to the surprise of the Kaiser et al.

    The Kaiser wasn’t a player in the 1918 surrender, having been forced to abdicate some months earlier by the military dictatorship that had effectively ruled Germany since 1916. The WW1 focus on the dastardliness of the largely ineffectual “Kaiser Bill” was mostly British jingoism.

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 4593 posts Report Reply

  • Rich Lock, in reply to Sacha,

    Not into military history but it seems the first war wasn't finished properly (Germany not properly defeated) so after a couple of decades the second one started.

    The period 1914-1945 is sometimes referred to (somewhat contentiously) as 'the second thirty years war'.

    French/German antipathy, and the roots of the French mindset that saw the post-WW1 settlement as justifiable, go back far further - to the battles of Austerlitz (1805) and Jena/Auerstedt (1806), and the creation of the Confederation of the Rhine in 1806.

    back in the mother countr… • Since Feb 2007 • 2728 posts Report Reply

  • Rich Lock, in reply to Lucy Telfar Barnard,

    I’m not arguing with the work the “Heroes” charities do. I’m arguing with their labelling. As far as I can see, the only pre-requisite for “Hero” status is to join the armed forces. Volunteering to kill people doesn’t seem particularly heroic to me. In order to benefit from the “Hero” charities, you need to have had someone you were trying to kill manage to kill or nearly kill you first. That doesn’t seem to me to justify “Hero” status either.

    On the “Keep Calm and Carry On” bit, I think we differ on cause and effect. The timing was indeed no coincidence. But the “national yearning for a simpler time”, and the lack of social discord and breakdown is a result of the success of rhetoric and propaganda that has convinced the UK masses that the huge degradation in their public services and employment is something outside everyone’s control (like their experience of war), to be soldiered through. This lets The City off the hook, and lets the Government off the hook for not doing more to recoup national losses from The City. The people SHOULD be marching in the streets, but (unlike in the 70s and 80s) they’ve now been successfully convinced that that would be un-British or something.

    I think we're both reaching the same conclusion, but ascribing different weight to different signs/evidence.

    The word 'hero' has become incredibly over-used. However, I do have some sympathy for charities using it. Despite it's devaluation, I don't think any other word would have had the resonance that causes contributors to reach into their pockets.

    Yes, the people should be marching in the streets. My own theory is that the last large protest of any coherence and significance (the 'not in my name' anti-war protests in 2001/2002) were so roundly ignored - the parliament of the day couldn't have said 'go fuck yourselves' more clearly without actually saying it - that it's taken the legs out from under people. They're still a lot of angry people out there, but they're also despairing: 'if that didn't work, what will?'

    back in the mother countr… • Since Feb 2007 • 2728 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen, in reply to Hilary Stace,

    I still don’t really understand how NZers came to be invading Turkey.

    Really short version.

    Churchill had this idea that opening up another front would relieve pressure in France and Belgium. His plan was to sail troops into the Sea of Marmara and attack Istanbul.

    The problem was the narrow strait leading into the sea was flanked by guns that would destroy any fleet, so he decided landing troops on each side of the strait to capture those guns was a good idea.

    It so happened that there were some Australian and New Zealand troops that nobody knew what to do with so he sent them along with the French and British troops he assigned to this errand.

    That was about the level of planning involved and hence it was an unmitigated* disaster - so Churchill became a politician.

    *this could almost be a perfect definition of the word

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4458 posts Report Reply

  • John Farrell,

    Bart - Churchill was elected to parliament in 1900, and he was 1st lord of the admiralty (a political position) when the war started, so he was already a politician.

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 496 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen, in reply to John Farrell,

    1st lord of the admiralty

    Yeah I did know that. Was being facetious.

    His story is interesting - the debacle at Gallipoli somehow didn't quite destroy his career. To some degree he probably became a better war leader because he no longer actually planned campaigns and left that task to those with some competence, by contrast Hitler's (and yes I guess that Godwin's the thread) direct involvement as a general contributed significantly to the allied success.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4458 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz, in reply to Bart Janssen,

    I'd just point out that had almost any other British politician been PM in 1941 (especially the crypto-quislings on the Conservative benches) Britain would probably have surrendered to the Nazis.

    Also, unlike just about every other politician, Churchill (albeit briefly) left politics during WW1 and took command of front-line troops in France.

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 5550 posts Report Reply

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