Crimson Tried

YESTERDAY the ABC asked – legitimately – why Scott Morrison literally received the red carpet treatment when he landed at Williamtown RAAF Base earlier this month. He is not Head of State. It does seem strange but should it? While Ellen McCutchan for RMIT/ABC Fact Check went to the trouble of consulting Malcolm Turnbull and Kevin Rudd about their prime ministerial receptions at airports – no move on rouge for them – there may be an explanation at least for the second regal welcome she cites. When the PM arrived at Williamtown in February, he was accompanied by the then Minister for Defence and the Minister for Defence Industry, as well as the Air Force Chief, Air Marshal Mel Hupfeld, and Air-Vice Marshal Cath Roberts. Conceivably, this was thought to be an ensemble more VIP-laden than usual and deserving of ceremony. I was surprised they were all on the same flight. Economical maybe but demonstrably unwise.

Anyway, this mini-fuss and those pictures give rise to a few other observations. First, I don’t have any objection to the Prime Minister of Australia – or rather, his office – being afforded a degree of respectful acknowledgement in such settings. Two ADF personnel standing to attention in US-style at the bottom of boarding stairs – and nothing more – is not unreasonable. Such a duo should not salute, needless to say. Purists will point out that the Governor-General (on behalf of his principal, Queen Elizabeth II) is the chief of the defence forces, not the prime minister. Except he isn’t. If he wants to put the issue to the test, David Hurley can try to dispatch a frigate to the South China Sea next week. Second, the Air Force should choose for its Ceremonial Stairway Guard male personnel with a military bearing, similar height and no guts over belts. Finally…

… Neil James, the executive director of the Australia Defence Association… said he initially thought the photo was a “photoshopped hoax”…

According to Mr James, the backlash to the photo of Mr Morrison was “fully justified”.

“One of the key points about the Defence Force is that you don’t bring the Defence Force into political controversy,” Mr James said.

He explained that the principle of civil control of the military was reciprocal, and that while it was important that the Defence Force not get involved in politics, it was also the responsibility of politicians to not involve it.

“It’s not just the military that has to be neutral politically, it’s that politicians have to do nothing that undermines the public’s confidence that the military is apolitical,” he said.

 
Once again I point out in response to James (nowadays, the Fr Bob of military moralising) that the principle of civil control of the military is not “reciprocal.” It is absolute. He conflates a convention about involvement in politics (a good one) with the overarching legal reality of ultimate command. Moreover, there is no evidence Mr Morrison’s office ordered these honour guards or that the RAAF itself did so for a party political reason. As for neutrality, the ADF’s far left-wing agenda, its illegal leaking to media and its feminist-ideological war on the SAS prove that an honour guard for Scott Morrison is a tenth-order issue to any impartial, intelligent observer.

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52 Responses to Crimson Tried

  1. jupes says:

    Such a shame that at a time when we need a Bruce Ruxton, we get a Neil James.

  2. jupes says:

    I am more offended that SloMo is wearing a mask than the fact he is walking on a red carpet.

  3. Lee says:

    “It’s not just the military that has to be neutral politically …”

    LOL
    Then why does the ADF go along with all the woke left wing causes, Mr James?

  4. Bruce of Newcastle says:

    Sounds like some staff officer said “we should have a carpet” and one thing led to another. I doubt Williamtown bothers to stock multiple colours of carpet rolls.

    Defense has a powerful incentive to smoodge to the pollies right now in light of Dutton’s deliberate distancing from the department insiders, and his interest in capital spending, which the RAAF would be quite high up in the rankings of…

  5. PeterW says:

    Purists will point out that the Governor-General (on behalf of his principal, Queen Elizabeth II) is the chief of the defence forces, not the prime minister. Except he isn’t

    It’s one of those things that doesn’t matter, until it does.
    Foreign policy is determined by Parliament and the Monarch/GG is “guided” by their “advice”. That is as it should be, up to the point at which PM with dictatorial delusions tries something like using the military to make himself “President for Life”…

    Upon which, the military can respond, “We don’t work for you.”

    Our English ancestors fought a rather bloody civil war to establish that the King could not use the military to over-rule Parliament. This was followed by Cromwell acting as both head of Parliament and head of the army… a dictatorship that the good folk found unpleasant.
    So we have the current compromise. The military hold their allegiance to the non-elected Crown, whose duty is to represent all of us, not merely those who voted for us… but the Crown cannot personally pay the Armed forces because Parliament hold the purse strings.

    Separation of Powers.

  6. calli says:

    no move on rouge

    Nyuk, nyuk.

  7. Rohan says:

    Bruce of Newcastle says:
    May 18, 2021 at 12:33 pm
    Defense has a powerful incentive to smoodge to the pollies right now in light of Dutton’s deliberate distancing from the department insiders, and his interest in capital spending, which the RAAF would be quite high up in the rankings of…

    Maybe the old guard that still remains within the ADF realise, that with the appointment of Dutton and his no nonsense approach, is a return to comon sense. This might be a simple acknowledgement to that effect. A simple tip of the hat.

    Let’s face it, up until Dutton, the ADF’s morale was at rock bottom.

  8. Dot says:

    I am sure I have seen an early Prime Minister in full court dress.

  9. Fair Shake says:

    Traditionally Ceremonial red carpet requires community twerking and welcome to Vicholification ritual

  10. Roger says:

    It’s one of those things that doesn’t matter, until it does.

    The genius of the Westminster system.

  11. Simple Simon says:

    Oh, Currency Lad!
    Have you lost your culture?
    Have you forgotten your roots?
    Be out and proud!
    Let the world know you are an Australian and not ashamed of it!

    Americans have ‘honour guards’; Australians have ‘guards of honour’.

  12. twostix says:

    The fuck is he wearing the stupid mask for? What the hell is wrong with him?

  13. Des Deskperson says:

    ‘Such a shame that at a time when we need a Bruce Ruxton, we get a Neil James.’

    Here’s Neil James’ CV:

    https://www.ada.asn.au/about-us/board-of-directors/speaker-biography.html

    ExADF cats are in a far better position than I to advise whether it is impressive or not, but I note;

    there is no information on the rank he reached in the Army before leaving:

    while he is a graduate of the former Army Staff College at Queenscliff – for Majors – there is no evidence that he completed any higher level staff course, including the old JSSC course for LTCOls and equivalents.

    An unkind civilian might assume from this that he never rose beyond a Major.

  14. Crossie says:

    Maybe the old guard that still remains within the ADF realise, that with the appointment of Dutton and his no nonsense approach, is a return to comon sense. This might be a simple acknowledgement to that effect. A simple tip of the hat.

    Let’s face it, up until Dutton, the ADF’s morale was at rock bottom.

    The top brass are not exactly in public’s good graces either at the moment.

  15. Leigh Lowe says:

    Expect to see a lot of push-back from Russell Offices and their media enablers against ScoMo and Dutton.
    This from the Oz:-

    Man on a mission: Peter Dutton keeps Defence staff at arm’s length

    Peter Dutton has insulated his ministerial office from interference by Defence, accepting only the bare minimum of departmental staff as he prepares to shake up his $44bn portfolio.

    The cold steel, Suh!
    They don’t like it up ’em!

  16. Leigh Lowe says:

    Snap Crossie.

  17. H B Bear says:

    Our English ancestors fought a rather bloody civil war to establish that the King could not use the military to over-rule Parliament.

    Im reading about that now. Like much of what today passes for granted, there is a bit of reason behind it.

  18. Mustapha Bunn says:

    As the person who was charged with marshalling the RAAF VIP aircraft in at Tullamarine many years ago I can vouch that the VIP on board…. Queen Elizabeth… did not get a red carpet either,as didn’t any other politicians etc. how ever high they were up the tree.

  19. H B Bear says:

    We can only imagine “what if” Dutton had got the numbers against Waffleworth. Another Australian sliding doors moment.

  20. Dot says:

    twostix says:
    May 18, 2021 at 1:27 pm
    The fuck is he wearing the stupid mask for? What the hell is wrong with him?

    He’s an MMT loving, cultural Marxist, left wing Christ cuck.

    But you already know that.

  21. Mique says:

    An unkind civilian might assume from this that he never rose beyond a Major.

    As an instructor at Queenscliff, James would have been at least a LTCOL. That, along with the rest of his CV, ought to convince even the thickest “unkind civilian” that he is far better qualified than all but the rarest Public Serpent in Defence, and immeasurably better qualified than any professional journalist without a comparable military background.

    To compare James with Bruce Ruxton is laughable. He talks sense, while Ruxton mostly came across as a raving ratbag.

    As for the comment

    Then why does the ADF go along with all the woke left wing causes, Mr James?

    , three guesses. Here’s a clue: Who pays their salaries?

  22. Ruxton mostly came across as a raving ratbag.

    It would be of invaluable assistance if someone was able to list the points where Ruxton was in error:

    Perhaps it was his observation that Australia is being run by emotional pinko-lezzo sympathising types?
    How stupid was Ruxton to keep saying that?

  23. Des Deskperson says:

    ‘Peter Dutton has insulated his ministerial office from interference by Defence, accepting only the bare minimum of departmental staff ‘

    And that’s two Departmental Liaison Officers (DLOs) who aren’t Ministerial staff at all, but middle level APS administrators whose job is to manage the flow of information and documents between the Minister’s Office and the department. They play no part in advising the Minister, that’s a political role outside the responsibilities of APS employees.

  24. Des Deskperson says:

    ‘As an instructor at Queenscliff, James would have been at least a LTCOL.’

    Then why isn’t he boasting about it? And there were LTCOL instructors at the JSSC, which trained LTCOLs

  25. Spurgeon Monkfish III says:

    As noted above, where were the ample bottomed dancing girls to greet Morristeen?

    One can’t take any of these ceremonies seriously, otherwise.

  26. Leigh Lowe says:

    They play no part in advising the Minister, that’s a political role outside the responsibilities of APS employees.

    That is precisely what the article went on to say.
    That they wouldn’t be allowed within bull’s roar of policy making.
    It looks like we are introducing a novel concept:-
    The elected Minister decides … the Department implements.
    And if any in the Department don’t like it, they can fuck off.
    Dutton is also in the unique position of rooting out disgruntled leakers on National Security grounds and shunting them.
    Bring it on.

  27. egg_ says:

    Traditionally Ceremonial red carpet requires community twerking and welcome to Vicholification ritual

    Is the haka twerking?

    Defence Qwerties will be twerking?

    “Twerking for the man…”

  28. Leigh Lowe says:

    Des.
    Also from the Oz article:-

    The Australian has learned the Defence Minister has allowed just two departmental liaison officers and a uniformed aide-de-camp to work on his staff …

    It’s understood he relies on his aide de camp, a naval officer, for ceremonial and protocol support.

    What odds the “ceremonial and protocol” guy was lined up to pull the red carpet stunt to embarrass ScoMo and Dutton, so Defence can t back to their core business of pissing away money.

  29. egg_ says:

    The fuck is he wearing the stupid mask for? What the hell is wrong with him?

    His wingnuts are reminiscent of Trumble’s gull wing doors.

  30. Roger says:

    I doubt a naval officer would hold sway on an RAAF base.

    I suspect the base commander has a penchant for pomp.

  31. HT says:

    Des Deskperson says:
    May 18, 2021 at 2:17 pm
    ‘As an instructor at Queenscliff, James would have been at least a LTCOL.’

    Then why isn’t he boasting about it? And there were LTCOL instructors at the JSSC, which trained LTCOLs

    I knew him in Darwin. He was a LTCOL in what was then HQNORCOM.

  32. candy says:

    Someone trying to get on PM Morrison’s good side for some reason or other or perhaps his advisors arranged it.

    More appropriate to a dignitary such as the Queen.

  33. billie says:

    mousenuts

  34. jupes says:

    To compare James with Bruce Ruxton is laughable. He talks sense, while Ruxton mostly came across as a raving ratbag.

    Bruce Ruxton stood up against political correctness which is something sadly lacking in these times. Neil James is a shill for the top brass at a time when the they are destroying the morale and fighting capbality of the ADF.

    A fuckwit of the ocean-going class.

  35. Perfidious Albino says:

    Just so long as we’ve stopped figuratively rolling out the red carpet for the ChiComs, I’m not fussed if the PM is partial to be a bit of shagpile.

  36. Perfidious Albino says:

    Also – another pithy headline CL – kudos.

  37. Leo G says:

    Except he isn’t.

    Indeed- that kind of executive power appears to belong to

    the head of the ABC’s Federal parliamentary bureau.

  38. Squirrel says:

    The ABC republicans could have ignored this, or spun it the other way, but, of course, they hate Morrison even more than they hate the monarchy.

  39. Colin Jones says:

    Purists will point out that the Governor-General (on behalf of his principal, Queen Elizabeth II) is the chief of the defence forces, not the prime minister. Except he isn’t.

    Wrong. The GG is the Commander in Chief of the defence forces in his own right as per the constitution. It’s right there in black and white. He’s not doing this on behalf of the queen.

    The Chief of the Defence Force is a uniformed officer. Each of the three services separately have their own Chiefs. The PM is nowhere in the chain of command but represents the will of the parliament and can make orders for the use of the services along with his defence ministers under the various defence acts given assent by the GG.

    The GG’s role is symbolic but real. He’s obliged to act on the advice of his properly elected government. Convoluted, but it works.

  40. C.L. says:

    The GG is the Commander in Chief of the defence forces in his own right as per the constitution.

    No it isn’t “wrong.”

    We all know the Constitution makes the Queen’s viceroy the imaginary CC.

    But he doesn’t command anything and has no military authority.

  41. Colin Jones says:

    We all know the Constitution makes the Queen’s viceroy the imaginary CC.

    But he doesn’t command anything and has no military authority.

    There’s a hint in the title “Commander in Chief”. And I very much doubt that you all know the constitution much at all if you can’t read it without imagining there’s imaginary stuff in it.

  42. Dot says:

    The GG’s role is symbolic but real. He’s obliged to act on the advice of his properly elected government. Convoluted, but it works.

    Mmmyes so it’s the PM’s call, really.

  43. Colin Jones says:

    Mmmyes so it’s the PM’s call, really.

    Mmmyes, in a way, you could say that (although it’s more likely a collective decision of cabinet) but it doesn’t change the title of the GG as Commander in Chief. The PM certainly is NOT the Commander in Chief because the constitution says so.

    The PM is a position not mentioned anywhere in the constitution, but we still have one and it seems to work. What are you trying to prove? That we are a constitutional monarchy? That the GG acts on the advice of his ministers? In which case we all agree.

  44. Mique says:

    Bruce Ruxton stood up against political correctness which is something sadly lacking in these times. Neil James is a shill for the top brass at a time when the they are destroying the morale and fighting capbality of the ADF.
    A fuckwit of the ocean-going class.

    You’re dreaming, Jupes. Bruce Ruxton was the very epitome of the ocean-going fuckwit that you believe Neil James to be. That you don’t recognise Ruxton as the ignorant blowhard that he famously was, with precisely zero understanding of the role, functions and reality of the military’s political environment demonstrates your own ignorance. Try this, just for openers: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bruce_Ruxton?wprov=sfti1

    That you (and others in here) fail to understand why no serving senior military officers are ever going publicly challenge Government policy simply proves that you have no understanding of our constitutional system and the ethos of the ADF. Our military forces are well aware of and, except for ignorant blatherskites never likely to rise higher than the most junior ranks, willingly accept the concept of civilian control. They also understand that this means that they obey the government of the day. If that means implementing policy that some would describe as “politically correct”, then that’s precisely what they will do. You can rest assured that before those controversial policies are introduced, the generals will have argued long and hard IN CONFIDENCE against any that they do not believe appropriate. What retired Colonel Blimps or Private Ruxtons think about these matters is utterly irrelevant.

    Irrelevant or not, I was personally involved as a staff officer in the considerations leading to policy change to allow women to be integrated fully into the three Services. Ditto in the change to remove discrimination against homosexuals in the military. The IN CONFIDENCE debate was long and thorough. In the end, the Government of the day was always going to win, but the logic of modern societal mores meant there was very little uniformed resistance to the changes except, perhaps, at the level of the Bruce Ruxtons of this world, whose attitudes to homosexuals was famously ignorant.

    Comparing Neil James with Bruce Ruxton is fatuous.

  45. Mark A says:

    Mique says:
    May 19, 2021 at 12:51 am

    If that means implementing policy that some would describe as “politically correct”, then that’s precisely what they will do. You can rest assured that before those controversial policies are introduced, the generals will have argued long and hard IN CONFIDENCE against any that they do not believe appropriate.

    Take your word for it as far as You believe it’s the case.

    I have my doubts about government initiatives in some of the changes taking place.
    Seems to me it is initiated inside the ADF.

    If you have proof for your claim please supply.

  46. Des Deskperson says:

    ‘Seems to me it is initiated inside the ADF.’

    I certainly find it a little hard to believe that former Chief of Army LTGEN David Morrison’s enthusiastic, zealous and at time bizarre embrace of ‘progressivism’ began only after he left the ADF.

  47. Mique says:

    I have my doubts about government initiatives in some of the changes taking place.
    Seems to me it is initiated inside the ADF.

    I’ve no doubt that most if not all is initiated within the governing political party and propagated via Prime Minister and Cabinet to all Government departments. In my time, admittedly many years ago now, the Chiefs had much more pressing issues to fill their days than instigating these debates. It’s orders of magnitude worse now with the diversity virus, a very recent thing, complicating matters, but changes to the Boys’ Own culture of the ADF were long overdue. While he behaved like a dickhead and stumbled badly over his daintily shod feet, LTGEN Morrison was basically well within his rights and duty to take firm action against the sexual harassers. How he did it was the problem, not that he did it.

  48. Spurgeon Monkfish III says:

    you have no understanding of … the ethos of the ADF

    Bwahahahaha! This is one of the most legendary pieces of idiocy I’ve ever seen posted here.

    There are few commenters here who have a better understanding of “the ethos of the ADF” than you commenter you’ve just criticised.

  49. Mique says:

    There are few commenters here who have a better understanding of “the ethos of the ADF” than you commenter you’ve just criticised.

    Judging by his apparent belief that the top brass have a choice in implementing Government policy, I seriously doubt that he has any understanding at all.

    That a couple of generals have made goats of themselves is not evidence of anything other than that those generals are goats.

  50. jupes says:

    … but changes to the Boys’ Own culture of the ADF were long overdue.

    And that ladies and gentleman, is the perfect example of the attitude that emasculated the ADF. Thanks for the insight ‘staff officer’ Mique.

    The IN CONFIDENCE debate was long and thorough. In the end, the Government of the day was always going to win …

    No. In the end the ADF leadership was always going to cave. I seem to recall when Commodore Bruce Kafer was criticised and sent on leave by the defence minister over the Skype scandal, that the ADF leadership jacked up and he was reinstated.

    So, when one of their own is threatened, the ADF leadership found a spine. However, when the fighting capability of the ADF was threatened by the Sex Discrimination Commissioner’s 28 recommendations designed to emasculate the ADF, they rolled over and implement every single one them. The Council of Service Chiefs made that decision, not the government.

    They could have threatened to resign en masse over the loss of their ability to defend the country, but no, they chose to keep their jobs and destroy the fighting capbability of the ADF.

    Bruce Ruxton would have had something to say on that and he would have been correct. The sychophantic Neil James just rolled over and let the generals tickle his tummy.

  51. Xenophon says:

    Of course there was a time when PMs sought to set standards and avoid looking like wankers. Increasingly cartoon-like the political leadership selected by the genius quality controllers (Kim Carr, Michael Photios, Michael Kroger, graham Richardson and so on) are wearing out the script. Soon it will be AI.

  52. jupes says:

    That a couple of generals have made goats of themselves is not evidence of anything other than that those generals are goats.

    No, it goes a bit deeper than that. It is evidence of the utter corruption of the officer class.

    Generals at the very top are promoted by politicians. Therefore, if a general wants to keep going up the ladder, they will make sure the politicians know that they fervently agree with their gay-arse policies. War fighting capabilities be damned.

    This has been going on for decades now, so in order to be promoted at any level, officers must believe the diversity horseshit, or at least pretend they do. Thus, while they may be admired by the likes of Neil James, these treacherous pricks have done more to degrade the combat capability of our military than any enemy we have faced.

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