Today, Sam Koim, of Task Force Sweep, made an application to the Supreme Court to discontinue his appeal. The appeal was against the decision of Justice Colin Makail in the National Court that dismissed the judicial review of the disbanding of Task Force Sweep.
In finally accepting judicial defeat, and after three long years of court battles, Koim, nevertheless still sought to maintain control by asking the courts to direct the government and its agencies, by order, to surrender all Task Force Sweep’s files to line agencies and the Fraud Squad.
While the discontinuation was granted, the order to surrender the files, according to Koim’s direction, was refused.
This effectively puts control of the of the country’s disciplinary forces back where they belong – with the duly elected government of the day.
Therefore, the NEC’s 2014 decision to set up an interim office of ICAC under the direction of retired judge Graham Ellis now stands. I expect that the new office will take custody of those files forthwith and PNG will be welcoming the Judge back to its shores.
National chauvinism is an aggressive patriotism that is often displayed when countries are at war. Lately it is raising its ugly head – even in peace time. Writes PNG Echo
Australia, yesterday, celebrated ANZAC Day and the battle on the peninsular of Gallipoli during the First World War where it is said Australia gained nationhood.
It was celebrated royally all over the nation with large enthusiastic turnouts for dawn services and marches even though the surviving Diggers of the Gallipoli campaign have all since passed on.
In contrast, by the late 1970s, when there were many surviving diggers of that campaign, the celebration of ANZAC Day had all but died in Australia. It was revived in the 1990s. Some say that it was not an organic revival but a manufactured one.
Ironically, Eric Bogle who wrote his ballad in 1971 “And the Band Played Waltzing Matilda” that has become the unofficial anthem of Anzac Day, did not glorify what happened in Gallipoli, nor the way it was being remembered – but condemns it. His hero asks:
And the young people ask me, “what are they marching for?” And I ask myself the same question.
It begs the question of whether the revival of the popularity of ANZAC Day has been a forerunner of a worrying global trend promoted by vested interests – national chauvinism?
For the ANZAC tradition commemorates a war where 56,639 Australia males between the ages of 18-44 died. Fully, 65% of Australian recruits were casualties – the highest rate in the British army.
One commentator has written:
“…perhaps the bravest thing the ANZACs could have done at Gallipoli in April 1915 would have been to mutiny.”
There’s no doubt that Australian troops were regarded by the British as cannon fodder and the Australian Military Commanders facilitated the senseless slaughter of their own – they must have known. Where’s the glory in that?
How well I remember that terrible day When the blood stained the sand and the water And how in that hell that they called Suvla bay We were butchered like lambs at the slaughter Johnny Turk he was ready, he primed himself well He showered us with bullets, he rained us with shells And in five minutes flat he’d blown us all to hell Nearly blew us right back to Australia
As poignantly sad as the whole of Bogle’s ode to the ANZACs is, for me, it is the chorus that is the most chilling as he juxtaposes the band playing Waltzing Matilda – a sign of patriotism – against first, the anticipation; then the horror of what was waiting for the conscripts (and those that had enthusiastically joined up of their free will) and finally their ignominious, desperately sad and inglorious return.
And still the band played Waltzing Matilda… is a perfect illustration of the insensitivity of rampant patriotism and its deadly bounty.
But do we never learn?
National chauvinism, globally, is running rampant – Trump, the resurrection of Pauline Hanson in Australia, Brexit and in a few days time maybe the success of Marine Le Pen, in France. Le Pen, like Trump has, in gentler times, been considered part of the political loony fringe – her party a marginal player. Not any more.
How many casualties do we need before the band stops playing Waltzing Matilda? When will we realise that when we kill or stand by and watch (nay, condone) suffering (as in Australia’s atrocious treatment of refugees) and we claim to do it “For God and Country” it is far from glorious. It is blasphemy.