Iwo Jima in reverse: RSL surrenders the hill without a fight

Quitters: WA RSL backs down over ban on Aboriginal flag after public backlash.


The WA branch of the RSL has overturned a ban on the performance of Welcome to Country ceremonies and the flying of the Aboriginal flag at Anzac and Remembrance Day services after a public backlash

On Friday, it was revealed RSLWA introduced a ban in response to some members taking issue with the Ode of Remembrance being translated and delivered in Noongar at last year’s Anzac dawn service in Fremantle.

The veterans’ organisation said at the time it did not support the performance of the ceremonies at any sites which commemorated those who died during the war…

The announcement drew swift and harsh criticism from state and federal politicians and today RSLWA chief executive John McCourt announced the policy had been withdrawn.

 
There was no “public backlash.” There were unctuous politicians making noise so as to avoid other politicians making noise about them. Just the kind of virtue theatre for the left-wing media that now constitutes debate in contemporary Australia. What we will see everywhere eventually is the men who fought for the country being “welcomed” to it by paid performers whose skin might be black (or thereabouts) but who have less of it in the game of defending Australia than their captive audience.

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30 Responses to Iwo Jima in reverse: RSL surrenders the hill without a fight

  1. Lefties are bad

    Leftism destroys everything.

  2. Roger

    Eventually this symbolism, adopted initially in a well intended move to recognise indigenous people, will take malevolent form, as it currently is in Canada.

    There some indigenous folk and their white supporters have blocked rail lines in protest against the construction of an oil pipeline on “their country”.

    Billions of dollars of freight has been held up along with passenger trains and the government remains frozen in response. Having promoted the Canadian version of ‘Welcome to Country’ for decades, they can’t be seen to be denying indigenous folk their rights in “their country”.

    The land in question is actually Crown land, not Indian land.

    The sovereignty of the Canadian government is being challenged and their response is paralysis.

    Coming soon to an Australian jurisdiction.

  3. a happy little debunker

    There were no ‘welcome to countries’ at Gallipoli, the Western Front or the Pacific Theatre.
    Honour the dead – not some farcical Ernie Dingo ceremony!

  4. Shy Ted

    It may not be pleasant or palatable but the returned servicemen and those who honour them need to choose a different venue or a different time of the day. The media would be all over it and there’s the opportunity to put your case. It might bastardise the intent of the day but you can stick it the politicians.

  5. Zulu Kilo Two Alpha

    Honour the dead – not some farcical Ernie Dingo ceremony!

    I fail utterly to see how you honour the sacrifice by watching two or three faux Aborigines, prancing, to the tune of another faux Aborigine making farting noises through a hollow log.

  6. Vicki

    Polite concessions from the majority needs to stop. If we do not defend our what is dear and of value to us – we will lose it – as simple as that.

  7. candy

    Poor fellows who died in horrendous war circumstances now have to be welcomed to their own country before we can remember them.

  8. Adelagado

    Don’t they get it? ‘Every Welcome to Country’ ceremony is really a ‘You are Not Welcome in My Country’ ceremony.

  9. David Archibald

    John McCourt is a unpleasant individual who stopped me from hiring an RSL hall to hold a political meeting. Is there no end to his perfidy?

  10. C.L.

    Don’t they get it? ‘Every Welcome to Country’ ceremony is really a ‘You are Not Welcome in My Country’ ceremony.

    Yep. I think that’s true in a growing number of cases.
    As Roger says, this will likely lead to more aggressive and ugly stand-offs.

    With respect to ANZAC Day, there is no doubt in my mind that insisting on an Ernie ceremony was pure trolling.

  11. jupes

    John McCourt is a unpleasant individual who stopped me from hiring an RSL hall to hold a political meeting. Is there no end to his perfidy?

    I’ve had dealings with the dickhead as well. I attended the 2018 Anzac Day service at Kings Park and was disgusted that they had removed all prayers and hymns and introduced a Welcome to Country and combined Aboriginal / Maori haka (yes really – they’d allowed the haka the previous year, so the Abos complained that they wanted something as well) albeit this was performed after the main ceremony.

    My email exchanges with McCourt ended with me telling him that if he wouldn’t stand up for Anzac traditions then he should step aside for someone who would. He claimed I was a rude man and he would cease any further correspondence.

    Nothing changed for last years ceremony so I was surprised to read that RSLWA was intending to ban the Welcome to Country and Aboriginal flag for this year’s ceremony. I wonder what or who had changed his mind. Of course the reversal of the policy at the first sign of pressure was not surprising at all. McCourt is obviously no Bruce Ruxton.

  12. Titch

    I find my handbag has a habit of falling on the floor at just that moment. Have to pick it up, scrabble around the floor under my feet, until the performance is over. Oh. dear, missed that serious moment. Tough.
    I have got to the stage that every invite requires enquiry. Will there be some aboriginal rubbish? OK, sorry, have to sort my sock drawer.
    Until we stand up to this bullying, we are never going to get a sensible solution to the fawning over people who are making a mozza out over what is a faux industry. I recently heard an “Auntie” proclaim that this welcome to country rubbish has been around for thousands of years. Geeze, I didn’t realize Ernie Dingo was that old!

  13. Scott Osmond

    All this sort of thing is a giant civilizational shit test. We’ve been failing them for several decades now. The problems with failing shit tests is that the next one just gets bigger and more ridiculous.

  14. Zulu Kilo Two Alpha

    Geeze, I didn’t realize Ernie Dingo was that old!

    I was at school with Ernie Dingo…

  15. iggie

    Maybe those who object to WTC speech should avoid it and turn up after the ‘welcome’ is over.

  16. PB

    “Don’t they get it? ‘Every Welcome to Country’ ceremony is really a ‘You are Not Welcome in My Country’ ceremony.”

    This is the unvarnished truth of the matter. Our greatest failure was to not conquer them and demand their surrender, creek bed by creek bed. Now they pretend to have once been a Nation.

  17. Olrence

    As a life-long dawn service attender it had always been my belief that the rigorously non-sectarian, non-commercial tone of the observance was it’s unifying and inclusive characteristic. It made no special provision for Catholics or Carlton supporters or the left-handed, but embraced us all in our single unifying allegiance, that as Australians. For it was for and on behalf of the Australian nation that our young stepped forward when the country needed them, often at the ultimate cost. And as a unified nation we offer our respects.

    But now we have a tiny self-separating minority with garish banners and a feigned welcome and inevitably a good old whinge thrown in for good measure and an unintelligible invocation. I mean, why stop there, bigots? Where the gay pride flag, and the banners and club songs of all the original and new sporting codes as well? The Masons? Every conceivable denomination? Surely all could claim equal entitlement?

    Another unifying convention trampled in the scramble for splintering the lovingly burnished soul of Australia.

  18. Zulu Kilo Two Alpha

    This is the unvarnished truth of the matter. Our greatest failure was to not conquer them and demand their surrender, creek bed by creek bed. Now they pretend to have once been a Nation.

    Was there ever s race, conquered so utterly, after mounting such an ineffectual resistance?

  19. Ubique

    John McCourt is a unpleasant individual who stopped me from hiring an RSL hall to hold a political meeting. Is there no end to his perfidy?

    The leadership of the RSL in WA is so poor I have declined to renew my membership.

  20. Crossie

    Adelagado
    #3332857, posted on February 23, 2020 at 8:24 pm
    Don’t they get it? ‘Every Welcome to Country’ ceremony is really a ‘You are Not Welcome in My Country’ ceremony.

    I am always glad for the “welcome home” greeting when going through arrival Immigration at the airport. This stupid ceremony tells me I’m not home.

  21. Iampeter

    When I saw the heading of the post I thought it was going to be about Trump once again trying to order American surrender in Afghanistan.
    That would’ve been on point…

  22. Young Freddy

    Happy Little Debunker, you say there was no Welcome to Country at Gallipoli … well there was, sort of, the Turks machine-gunned the tripe out of the ANZACs as soon as got within range.

  23. dover_beach

    Billions of dollars of freight has been held up along with passenger trains and the government remains frozen in response. Having promoted the Canadian version of ‘Welcome to Country’ for decades, they can’t be seen to be denying indigenous folk their rights in “their country”.

    Which was the point of the former to begin with, to implant, innocuously at first, a premise that would bloom as the latter in good time. This is why the habit of never defending anything on this hill but the next (which never happens, BTW) is foolish and only makes the next battle/retreat all the more difficult.

  24. P

    Australian Government – Department of Defence – Anzac Day Handy Hints –
    Order of service

    I can not see anything referring to ‘Welcome to Country’ ceremony.

  25. Scott Osmond:

    All this sort of thing is a giant civilizational shit test. We’ve been failing them for several decades now. The problems with failing shit tests is that the next one just gets bigger and more ridiculous.

    The Conservative side of politics has forgotten that appeasement with Collectivists isn’t the final step in a set of negotiations – it’s the first step in the next set.

  26. duncanm

    jupes
    #3332886, posted on February 23, 2020 at 8:51 pm
    .. introduced a Welcome to Country and combined Aboriginal / Maori haka (yes really – they’d allowed the haka the previous year, so the Abos complained that they wanted something as well) albeit this was performed after the main ceremony.

    .. at which point, as a view, its time to turn your back and walk away.

  27. Top Ender

    Be interesting to find out which capital cities will have what this year.

    Then a judgment call could be made – not to turn up.

  28. GoWest

    A simple “about face” veterans… “present Arses” would solve the problem… make sure you get the right photo and plaster it over every govt building.
    The vets will absolutely love it..

  29. Tony Tea

    A “blacklash,” surely.

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