Dolly's balance

As is well known, the execrable Difference of Opinion is a direct response to the ABC balance police agenda. (Coming to a tiny audience tomorrow – are the kiddies connected or disconnected to phones and those intertubes and “what sort of adults will the digital generation become?”). I’ve heard it suggested it should be retitled “Moral Panic Monday”.

I can’t help wondering, though, if the rather intriguingly bizarre appearance of Dolly for two episodes of Australian Story (yes, the incredible true story of Dolly and his staffers and how funny Condi finds his wit!!!) is some sort of sop to compensate the Foreign Minister for the absolutely excellent Curtin. After all, we know that Dolly has strong views on the wartime PM.

Incidentally, how good was Geoff Morrell as Chifley?

“This is a nice piece,” Morrell says. “The writing doesn’t get in the way of the story. And there’s an interesting parallel to present-day politics. At that time we really were just the providers of fodder for the protection of the Empire. To have a prime minister who stood up to these foreign leaders and who genuinely had the interests of the people at heart, that really does bring into perspective some of the stuff going on today.”

And also not quite incidentally, can anyone imagine today’s men of steel straw facing the sorts of challenges our WW2 pollies met?

<img src="http://larvatusprodeo.net/wp-content/uploads/2006/04/curtin.jpg&quot;

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Posted in culture, Film, TV, Video etc, history, politics, War
141 comments on “Dolly's balance
  1. Christine Keeler says:

    rather intriguingly bizarre appearance of Dolly for two episodes of Australian story

    Yes Kim, this will get the punters in in their droves. Audiences have been crying out for footage of Dolly on the tennis court, Dolly in Washington, Dolly in Canberra, and Dolly demonstrating the persona of the clueless insulated schoolboy twat he has spent a lifetime cultivating.

    And when you think that the Australian Story’s that have had multiple episodes have involved miscarriages of justice and other examples of things generally going completely arse-up, well there’s got to be a message in there somewhere.

  2. Kim says:

    I was disappointed, Christine, that he wasn’t wearing a striped blazer and a boater for the tennis party but perhaps some parts of one’s life are too intimate to… pearls, swine, etc…

    Also, why did he have a remembrance day poppy in his lapel tonight when telling SBS that Rupe was just being polite about Ruddy, and anyway, he’d also said that Ratty was a good PM! (Not that there’s any inconsistency between those two items of spin…)

  3. steve says:

    The way that Howard Government Ministers have been flitting through Brisbane for photo opportunities in the past couple of weeks is amazing.

    But unless they have a two episode special on Dolly, how will anyone know that the Federal Cabinet is meeting here on Tuesday? Will they bring cash with them this time?

    Latest Galaxy poll is out in the Courious Snail today and news is not any brighter for the Cabinet to consider while here so a couple of episodes of Dolly should be relaxing for them..

  4. Enemy Combatant says:

    Dolly’s been blown up one too many times for my liking, Kim.
    Can’t stand the presenter on Difference of Opinion. The topics are spot on but Geoff Thingo makes me squirm too much to watch.

    Dolly is a political nincompoop compared to a leader like Jack Curtin. Yes, Geoff Morrell did a terrific job with the help of a strong supporting cast. Dug the Ralph Richardson(as Daddy in House of Cards) technique of “players” speaking confidentially to the “audience” to keep us up to speed. Not quite a sililoquoy, nor a narration but we were left in no doubt that we were inside the rope. Think film folk call them asides-to-camera. Whatever, the device, initially unsettling, worked well.
    Perhaps it because I’m in denial, but some of the office and corridor camera-work had a bit of a West Wingy feel to it. (Sigh). Cracked up when Claudia Jean smiled(forgiveness transformed her) and hugged Toby farewell. Then she got away from the cauldron clean. Ahhhhhh.

    John Curtin was a war-time leader who earnt the respect of both sides of The House when Australia was in genuine peril. He stood up to Churchill (a Rodent idol) about bringing our troops home from Africa and the Mediterranian to defend us. He also fronted the Yanks about military deployments. That’s right. Curtin was no South Pacific poodle. He stood up to America during a real World War. Sure they ran the show, been doing so ever since, but at least Curtin did his nation proud.

    Alongside him, The Rodent is a power-grubbing scuttler.

  5. Kim says:

    Perhaps it because I’m in denial, but some of the office and corridor camera-work had a bit of a West Wingy feel to it. (Sigh). Cracked up when Claudia Jean smiled(forgiveness transformed her) and hugged Toby farewell. Then she got away from the cauldron clean. Ahhhhhh.

    I guess it had to happen, EC. The new genre rules for political drama.

    Wasn’t too keen on the last ep – though loved the CJ/Toby one. The inauguration was a bit too schmaltzy (and isn’t Mrs Santos just so annoying?) and the will the Prez pardon Toby? suspense didn’t really cut the mustard.

  6. Kim says:

    And thanks for the heads up on the poll, steve.

    Here’s the link:

    http://www.news.com.au/couriermail/story/0,23739,21601260-952,00.html

    When voters were asked who was more honest, 44 per cent opted for Mr Rudd, while only 23 per cent chose Mr Howard.

    Even among Coalition supporters, only 52 per cent backed Mr Howard when asked about honesty. “Perceived honesty is not John Howard’s strong suit and even his own supporters recognise he can be economical with the truth,” Galaxy’s principal David Briggs said.

  7. Christine Keeler says:

    When voters were asked who was more honest, 44 per cent opted for Mr Rudd, while only 23 per cent chose Mr Howard.

    Yes. It’s all about character.

  8. grace pettigrew says:

    Last night watching Curtin not sleep for weeks while the boats slipped through the dark and perilous oceans bringing our boys back home from the Middle East, I got a bit misty. My late father was on one of those boats, soon to be deployed onwards to New Guinea and Burma. I never really knew how risky and unprotected the return ride was because Dad was one of those hardened old soldiers who never talked about the war and wished only for peace on earth. Thanks Curtin, for bringing my father back home to meet my mother!

    And yes, I cannot imagine the Lying Rodent, our Man Without Qualities, ever having the guts to do the same. The Australian people know in their bones (and the polls) that we are about to face another almighty challenge to our existence as a nation, with the onset and acceleration of global warming. And when the going gets tough, they will vote Labor, just like they did in the war years.

  9. Ron says:

    “can anyone imagine today’s men of steel straw facing the sorts of challenges our WW2 pollies met?”

    I had that thought more than once during the programme for both sides of the House.

  10. Peter Kemp says:

    And also not quite incidentally, can anyone imagine today’s men of steel straw facing the sorts of challenges our WW2 pollies met?

    Yeah, with Tojo in place of GWB2 think of the arselicking and signing up to the Australian-Japanese Greater Co-Prosperity Sphere.

    Dolly reminds me of the story of a fat Dutch cook in a SEA POW camp, bowing to a Japanese officer and letting out an involuntary fart. In embarrassment, bowing even lower but farting lounder and louder until the Japanese officer left in disgust.

    Kinda symbolic of Dolly’s efforts at historical revisionism and on the international stage.

  11. I dunno with the “asides-to-camera”. Personally, I reckon that if you’re going to break the fourth wall, you should make it a little more unambiguous that you’re doing so. That said, still enjoyed it a lot.

    Wonder what Peter Stanley thought of it, given his previously expressed views?

  12. Katz says:

    And how fortunate was Australia to have General Vernon Sturdee as Chief of the General Staff?

    At a pivotal moment in Australia’s history as a sovereign nation he staked his career on a policy of national salvation.

  13. Alex on the Bus says:

    And, as mentioned in The Age‘s ‘Spy’ column, there was a striking resemblance between William McInnes’s Curtain and a certain pugilistic former Labor leader. Maybe we should look forward to Latham and the Roosters next year on the Auntie, with McInnes in the lead role.

    Also, I’m looking forward to how Geoff Morrell portrays everyone’s favourite bastard boss in the upcoming series Bastard Boys. Even I had trouble telling between him and the real Chris Corrigan.

  14. Lefty E says:

    Have you seen this?

    The Galaxy poll also questioned voters on their preferred Prime Minsiter if Downer replaced Howard. Here, Rudd led 110% to -10%, indicating that some voters would be prepared to breach electoral laws and vote twice against him.”

  15. Christine Keeler says:

    And how fortunate was Australia to have General Vernon Sturdee as Chief of the General Staff?

    It’s a good thing they didn’t mention Sir Thomas Blamey, known to one and all as “Shagger Tom” for his heroic defence of the brothels of the middle east, and his even braver sledging of the milita, virtually calling them cowards after they’d fought a fighting retreat against the Japanese on Kokoda http://www.theage.com.au/articles/2004/07/28/1090694021479.html?from=storyrhs

  16. tim says:

    I reckon Geoff Morell is one of the finest actors in Australia today, but I’m surprised noone’s really commented on how good McInnes was, too. He was unrecognisable, which is some feat, given his strong features, and had the stoop and the strange walk absolutely spot on.

    Excellent piece of television. Surely to be outclassed only by the Dolly specials…

  17. pablo says:

    It was good tv but gee I feel sorry for any viewers out there in tv land trying to give up the evil weed. Even as a non-smoker I felt my eyes watering everytime Jack and crew lit up – the air seemed to be perpetually thick with it. Sure its a reality thing, a period piece and they nearly all did it back then, but we can know that was the case without every pregnant pause being an occasion to light up.

  18. Kim says:

    ALEXANDER Downer didn’t appear to see the irony.
    Against the advice of his staff, the Foreign Minister had invited a television crew to follow him for 16 weeks. But even as the cameras rolled, he could not resist attacking Opposition Leader Kevin Rudd.

    I’ve never met anybody as vain, I never have,” Mr Downer said in an extraordinary attack in December, to be aired tonight on the ABC’s Australian Story. “And being a politician, I’ve met a lot of vain people. I’m, of course, referring to foreign politicians, not Australians.”

    http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,20867,21602948-2702,00.html

  19. Phil says:

    The Downer Show could be worth a live blogging effort.

  20. Kim says:

    Over to you, Phil!

  21. Enemy Combatant on 23 April 2007 at 1:26 am

    He stood up to Churchill (a Rodent idol) about bringing our troops home from Africa and the Mediterranian to defend us. He also fronted the Yanks about military deployments. That’s right. Curtin was no South Pacific poodle. He stood up to America during a real World War.

    Excuse me but didnt Curtin spend most of WWII fighting the Japanese? He certainly spent alot of govt money whipping up anti-Japanese hate campaigns. I dont have a problem with that, Machiavellian-wise. But we should remember who Curtin really hated.

    I seem to remember it was Curtin who introduced the US alliance to AUstralian security policy. Curtin’s landmark speech makes this clear:

    Without any inhibitions of any kind, I make it quite clear that Australia looks to America, free of any pangs as to our traditional links or kinship with the United Kingdom.

    Curtin was a great leader. But lets not forget what the politico-cultural underpinned of his power: Anglo-Celtic chauvinism and Anglo-American imperialism.

  22. Phil says:

    Yep, Downer is a toffee nosed wanker. Sounded like Ricky Gervais in the office in a couple of spots. Excruciating. And the Chief of Staff comes across as exactly what the position entails, smarter than the boss.

  23. jdef75 says:

    Please, what a load of nonsense. There was one person clearly in charge in Australia during World War Two and his name was not Curtin, it was MacArthur. MacArthur called the shots with Curtin providing support, Alanbrooke, the British CIGS, especially noted within his war time diary that ‘Curtin was in MacArthur’s pocket’. MacArthur was the major proponent of the ‘First Japan then Germany’ campaign and as such was the main instigator of efforts to return and retain forces in Australia in order to further his plans for future Pacific Campaigns. Naturally this is no indictment of Curtin, he did what was necessary and the fact remained that Australia needed an experienced military leader who could leverage support where it was needed (i.e. with a strong power, in this case the US), hence MacArthur was the perfect choice. Curtin’s genius came from recognising his limitations, and, where he could genuinely contribute and additionally not letting his ego get in the way. Incidentally it is very easy to strike poses about ‘standing up to Churchill’ however, the fact remained that:
    1. Japan never had the intention or the resources to invade Australia
    2. If they did (after the defeat of allied naval forces for example) an extra division here or there was hardly likely to tip the balance in Australia’s favour.
    3. The debacle in the Singapore/Malaysia campaign was partially the result of the idiotic tactics employed by one of Australia’s Generals, Gordon Bennett.
    4. The fact remains that if the British were defeated militarily (given that they were initially doing the heavy lifting in Asia-Pacific) then Australia, regardless of the number of divisions returned would be in a precarious position with a successful blockading only a matter of time.

  24. Enemy Combatant says:

    “Excuse me but didn’t Curtin spend most of WWII fighting the Japanese?”

    Yes, Jack, all but the last five weeks. So what exactly is your point, son. I suspect that you are trifling with me. Come on now, spit it out. Are you trying to be cute, or are you genuinely that obtuse?

  25. Sir Henry Casingbroke says:

    Did you watch the show, Jack? Or did you just look up Curtin in Wiki?

  26. Sir Henry Casingbroke says:

    And Christine, let’s not forget the lettuce.

  27. Christine Keeler says:

    Yes Sir Henry. I thought the Victorian Tourism Commission’s most recent campaign was a nice touch and a very subtle piece of historical commentary.

  28. Katz says:

    The show went out of its way to insist that Curtin didn’t hate Japanese people at all.

    I don’t know how historically accurate was the depiction of the Curtin family’s friendship with that Japanese diplomat.

    As for Australia’s wartime propaganda:

    1. It was fairly standard wartime fair: “The [insert name of enemy here] is a filthy little monster.”

    2. I doubt that Curtin had any personal responsibility at all for deciding how Japan and the Japanese were depicted in it. He was quite busy doing other things and probably had little time to opine: “No, that Jap’s glasses don’t look enough like the bottoms of Coke bottles.”

  29. Russell says:

    I’m surprised to see the TV drama about Curtin so favourably received – apart from the dreadful casting, (McInnes as Curtin,), and the awful acting, (Noni Hazlehurst), the mediocre writing …. isn’t anybody slightly offended that a man widely held to be our greatest PM got a miserable 90 minutes – not even, say, 3 90 minute episodes? There was no historical context and no background about the man: I spoke to someone today who saw it and missed the reference to Curtin’s alcohol problem, because they didn’t know beforehand about it. A perfect example of a dumbed down historical drama.

  30. Sir Henry Casingbroke says:

    Let us not give Victorians the credit for the ad. Because it was Leo Burnett Sydney’s copywriter Grant McAloon.

  31. Enemy Combatant on 23 April 2007 at 9:10 pm

    So what exactly is your point, son. I suspect that you are trifling with me. Come on now, spit it out. Are you trying to be cute, or are you genuinely that obtuse?

    Your tone is impertinent considering the staggering ignorance of your comment. My point should be abundantly clear to every one but thick-as-two-planks kindergarten-Stalinist revisionists like yourself.

    Let me spell it out for your in plain English, sunshine. Curtin, far from being a defiant rebel against the US, was actually the founder of the AUS-USA military coalition. One that still exists today, with some token offerings made by one of Curtins successor, the so-called “power-grubbing scuttler…rodent”.

    So the whole thrust of your point is the exact opposite of the truth. Instead of blustering like an exposed charlatan you might try to improve your historical knowledge. While you are at it you might brush up on your manners. You might find a little more humility would lead to a little less humiliation.

    And lets not forget that whilst Curtin was right to defy Churchill in bringing the troops back from the Meditteranean, it is wrong to paint the UK’s military demands on AUS as some kind of threat to our national interest. The British continued to fight the Japanese on air, sea and land whilst their own homeland was being blitzed by the Luftwaffe. The war on fascism was a global war in which every party did its bit.

    Curtin certainly surrendered a tremendous amount of Australian sovereignty to the US. When Macarthur arrived in Australia Curtin more or less gave him carte blanche, to the extent that the General became a kind of Generalissimo. The current historical view, completely at odds with Left wing hagiography, is that Curtin gave the US much more power than Menzies was willing to give the UK:

    in the words of military historian Gavin Long, that during the Curtin-MacArthur era, the Australian Government ‘had made a notable surrender of sovereignty’ when ‘no Australian government would have so completely surrendered control of its forces in its own territory to a British commander and staff’.

    So complete was the surrender of sovereignty that MacArthur from the outset appointed Americans to lead every branch of his staff even though there were several highly qualified Australian Army specialists who had the additional advantage of ‘recent and varied active service’.

    As a consequence, Long argued, the Australian government had virtually no share in the making of key strategical decisions even though for the first twelve months at least it contributed ‘the greater part’ of the forces under the South-West Pacific Command. Peter Edwards suggests that in Long’s view the surrender of control was ‘politically distasteful and strategically futile’.

    Why had this situation developed in the way it did? Essentially, according to Long it was simply that the Americans appeared to possess the power which Britain now lacked, and the Australian leaders were willing to take extreme measures to attract that power across the Pacific.

    I for one dont have a problem with the loss of Australian sovereignty in the dire situation that we faced after Darwin. Lets not forget that the Anglo-American Allies were prepared to give over decisive power to the senior partner in the war, Joseph Stalin’s Soviet Union, for much the same reason.

    Most Larva Prodders are clueless about the geographic disposition and geopolitical rationale of ADF deployments. Howard is no US lackey. He was quite right to invoke the ANZUS treaty after 911 and devote ADF resources to booting out Al Quaeda from Afghanistan. Should have been done years ago.

    Howard has directed most of Australia’s military resources to the Arc of Instability to our Near North. We provide some assistance to the US for the more global conflicts. The ADF’s deployment to Iraq is quite trivial, mainly aimed at protecting the embassy and own-force protection. We are really only just there to show the flag. This is a useful chip to have should we ever have a showdown with a Great Power in the region, eg PRC, IND, INDON et al. The case of Timor is an example of this kind of favour bank in operation.

  32. Christine Keeler says:

    You’d think someone in a marching band somewhere would have the nouse to belt out a rousing chorus of ‘Run Rabbit’ on ANZAC Day. Let’s hope so.

  33. monaro says:

    Never shall an enemy set foot upon the soil of this country without having arrayed against it the whole of the manhood of this nation, with such strength and quality that this nation will remain forever the home of sons of Britishers, who came here in peace, in order to establish in the South Seas an outpost of the British race.

    John Curtin, March 1942

  34. Enemy Combatant says:

    “A perfect example of a dumbed down historical drama.”

    Yes, Russell, possessing little “historical context”, the person that you spoke to may have thought he was watching a re-run of The Sullivans. So I take it you’d advise William McInnes against auditioning for the role of Quasimodo? Soft on body language, right?

  35. Russell says:

    Given his impressive physicality I just don’t think McInnes could capture Curtin’s physical / emotional fragility. Which means you didn’t see the effort of a man pushing all his limits, knowing he had failed before, knowing he couldn’t fail his country at that time.

  36. Enemy Combatant says:

    “Your tone is impertinent considering the staggering ignorance of your comment. My point should be abundantly clear to every one but thick-as-two-planks kindergarten-Stalinist revisionists like yourself.”

    God I love it when you talk dirty, Jack.

    “So the whole thrust of your point is the exact opposite of the truth. Instead of blustering like an exposed charlatan you might try to improve your historical knowledge. While you are at it you might brush up on your manners. You might find a little more humility would lead to a little less humiliation.”

    Mate, I can hook you up with some people who run a House of Historical Discipline, no worries. You’re a Natural. Penalty rates on the night shift and strictly cash-in-hand. They’ve got some terrific costume uniforms. Just say the word, Jack.

  37. Sir Henry Casingbroke says:

    I must disagree, Russell, wholeheartedly, on most points you made with regard to Curtin. All the actors, with the exception of the one playing Bob Menzies – not enough sly mendacity – were brilliant, memorable, moving and true-to-life.

    I was enthralled, as I rarely am, and moved by the way the story was framed, with economy, audacious direction that worked, and the performances, what can I say? that could not have been bettered. Noni was superb. McInnes was brilliant. If anything, the make-up department should have greyed him up a bit around the head – Curtin was in his late 50s when the action took place.

    Yes, I agree with you on one point: it could have been longer. But the drama had to work within the miserable budget the would-be assassins of ABC allowed. I was surprised the ABC head (Sandra?) gave the nod to even this much, so spooked they are, especially as this was about Curtin. Wouldn’t want to displease Ron and Keith and Janet, would we…

    This was an extremely well-made play in a classical sense. It was no more dumbed down history than Goya’s Execution of the Rebels, May 3, 1808, or Picasso’s Guernica was dumbed down history.

    Russell, this is not meant to be an essay on the causes of World War II but a compassionate, psychological portrait of an individual who is thrust into the spotlight by the forces of history. An accidental hero. A fallible, yet lovely ordinary bloke, all too sensitive, all too humane, possessing of a temperament of a poet who took on a mantle of a wartime leader to try and save his nation from an awful fate, when it stood alone in the world, or so it seemed then. And succeeded.

    Curtin stepped up and took on the job, did it brilliantly, even though he paid with his life in the end – the stress killed him. And he knew what it was doing to him, as we saw on TV.

    Russell, you are dead wrong. You didn’t see this gem for what it was, so it is your loss. You obviously failed to obtain the joy, the exhilaration and the catharsis of a great work of art. This was one of Australian TV’s finest moments. There aren’t that many. If you blink you miss them. And you blinked Russell.

    Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet. – Matthew 7:6

  38. Christine Keeler says:

    Wherein Timmeh’s head explodes

  39. Russell says:

    “true to life” – you think Curtin had that physical stature? dominated any group of men by his physical presence? And he looked much younger than Noni. The actor who played Chifley was also very different from the real man. “Noni was superb” – you don’t think Elsie was more intelligent, more politically involved ?

    I think you have filled out the thing with all that you knew about Curtin. Try to imagine an 18 year old watching it – he would learn 2 things: Curtin broke with Britain and turned to the US, and that the man worried himself sick with the responsibility of putting men’s lives at risk, and perhaps having to surrender the country to the Japanese. But that viewer would have learned nothing else about the times, those other characters, or the man. It was just too little to offer of a very big story.

  40. Ken Scott says:

    It is you who is impertinent, Jack, making assumptions about people’s motivation and resorting to abuse, such as “Stalinist revisionist” for one. I have watched your performance on this blog and it is found wanting. Instead of argument you go for the ad hominem attack. What is it with you Jack? Is this why you come to LP? To look for “leftists”, “wets” and “luvvies” to abuse? I am not saying you are fascist bully boy, far from it – like Brian, you are just a naughty boy – but you know that is what fascisti did in the country of your father’s birth.

    Nobody has disagreed with your schoolboy discovery that Curtin turned to the US for assistance. Grandstanding on this obvious historical fact does not make you a card-carrying member of the intelligentsia.

    Get off your high horse Jack. Enough of this puerile, uptight moralistic pendantry. Say something interesting. In a couple of pars. Wading though your pseudo-academic waffle is just too tedious. it makes no sense whatsover, no matter how many links and quotations you dredge up.

    By the way. Enemy Combatant was just having a bit of fun with you. It’s a joke, Jack.

    Gee, you depress me.

  41. Sir Henry Casingbroke says:

    I do not think Tim had anything intelligent to say except parrot a shibboleth that “leftists hate America”, Kim. Of course, many far-right commenters deliberately obfuscate the difference between America under FDR and George W Bush.

  42. Sir Henry Casingbroke says:

    “Given his impressive physicality I just don’t think McInnes could capture Curtin’s physical / emotional fragility.”

    A. I did not think McInnes demonstrated anything other than that I saw of Curtin on newsreels.
    B. McInnes, as Curtin did not, to my eyes, intimidate physically his fellow politicians. Quite the opposite. C. McInnes is an actor. His job is to capture, or shall we say, put across, exactly that kind of physical quality that the person they are impersonating has or had. McInnes appeared to have pulled it off in spades.
    D. I was very conscious, through McInnes’s portrayal, of Curtin’s fragility. It moved me to tears. This is all the more amazing since hardly anything does. I am a hard bastard.

    So here we are, Rus. I loved it. Kim, Enemy Combatant, Robert Merkel, my aunt Ms Keeler, Katz, Monaro V8, Tim, Pablo, Grace Pettigrew all seemed to think it was good gear. We all got our 8 cents’ worth, so to speak. I’m sorry you missed out. I’ll reimburse you personally – where do I send the cheque to?

  43. Megan says:

    I honestly can’t understand why anyone would want to say hello to that fatuous, useless Dolly after watching Curtin boldly wrest back our boys from Churchills cold-hearted, cavalier, imperialist clutches. I turned it off in disgust, especially as dinner was on the table. Do you watch absolutely every TV program there is? You’ll make yourself sick.

  44. su says:

    I loved it -thought it was the best I’ve seen of McInnes. Morrell was good though he is permanently Col Dunklified for me now. Wish there were more of Grass Roots to look forward to.

  45. thomasrhall says:

    What are the differences between America under FDR vs. GWB?

  46. Enemy Combatant says:

    ” It moved me to tears. This is all the more amazing since hardly anything does. I am a hard bastard.”

    Ain’t that the truth! Since he days of VH-2EJ, Sir H, I know this for a fact. Firm, fair and friendly, but never familiar….. unless, of course, you sense something exploitable in a situation, at which point your nictitating membranes roll over and I swear, one can hear the signature riff of “Jaws”.

  47. Christine Keeler says:

    What are the differences between America under FDR vs. GWB?

    You mean apart from competence?

  48. nasking says:

    What are the differences between America under FDR vs. GWB?

    You mean apart from competence?

    Both Wars have dynasties & industrialists from the USA that helped support the Common enemy (BAD GUYS) & initially propped up their regimes.

    http://www.historycooperative.org/journals/llt/51/pauwels.html

    or google: American industrialists who supported the Nazis

    WARS ARE CONSTRUCTED…many die…many profit.

  49. OldDigger says:

    What drivel you write Kim – Curtin was a MacArthur lapdog and surrendered Australian sovereignty and control of Australian forces ON OUR OWN TERRITORY, he refused advice from his General Staff and allowed MacArthur to waste Australian Soldiers in unnecessary assaults on Gona, Buna and Sanananda.

    Great War veterans amongst the assaulting Australian units wrote that they were forced into repeating the errors made in the early part of WW1 by attacking across open ground without sufficient artillery against well fortified and cleverly sited Japanese defences.

    MacArthur-who had fled the Philippines to Australia in March 1942 was not a soldiers’ soldier. He never ventured beyond Port Moresby, and never took the trouble to familiarise himself with either the terrain or the enemy’s defences.

    Yet, for his own publicity purposes, he applied great pressure for quick results-which were quite impossible in the circumstances because he desperately wanted to claim a land victory against the Japanese with Army troops before the Marines on Guadalcanal could finish off the Japanese defenders.

    He caused attacks to be mounted without adequate preparation, without adequate support, and astride approaches that held no hope for success.

    For every thousand Australians killed in action in New Guinea another thousand died from Malaria and Typhus.

    Incredibly most troops went into action day after day in almost futile attempts to take ground one to two metres at a time riddled with Malaria and dysentery to the point they fell exhausted after each assault with shit leaking out of their shorts.

    It’s worth noting that as the Australians set about burying their mates after the campaign, it did little for their morale to learn that the communist-led waterside workers in Australia had gone on strike for ‘danger money’ in return for loading ammunition.

    MacArthur’s irresponsible attacks also cost the US National Guard’s 32nd Infantry Division dearly. It was thrown into the New Guinea battles with few weapons, little training and its men were slaughtered. The division quickly lost 5000 men through both disease and enemy action.

    In the words of military historian Gavin Long, during the Curtin-MacArthur era, the Australian Government ‘had made a notable surrender of sovereignty’ when ‘no Australian government would have so completely surrendered control of its forces in its own territory to a British commander and staff’.

    In Long’s view, a ‘strange aspect of this alliance of an Australian government and an American commander’ was how far apart were ‘their views on international and local politics’. So complete was the surrender of sovereignty that MacArthur from the outset appointed Americans to lead every branch of his staff even though there were several highly qualified Australian Army specialists who had the additional advantage of ‘recent and varied active service’.

    And the left calls Howard a US deputy sheriff/bush poodle/lapdog.

  50. Russell says:

    SHC – I said McInnes physical presence dominated, not imtimdated … but it’s not worth disputing. It’s nice that a lot of people enjoyed it. The acting didn’t work for me – I just don’t think Curtin was in McInnes’ range – a bit like if you chose someone like McInnes to play George VI.

    I still think it might have been better for the ABC to have left the subject alone if they couldn’t afford to give it better treatment. There’s too much background people need to know if they are to get a real sense of what was happening: as a character study it didn’t give enough history to get at the complexity of the man, and the other characters were not fleshed out at all; as a study of the times and the politics it said almost nothing.

  51. Enemy Combatant says:

    Checked out Tim Blair’s link, Kim.
    Now I get the Timmeh bit, Lettuce Lady. (It’s like a cryptic crossword around here some posts)

    Tim’s certainly got a way with words. Spelling them correctly and doing origami with other peoples’. Cleverer as a literary stylist than Right leaning, Irvre Lewis “Scooterâ€? Libby, Blair effortlessly heels the “anti-war leftist” Pirate Queen. The man is merciless. Future transgressions could incur forty lashes, perhaps a decent keel-hauling, or even Two Years Before The Mast.
    (Stay brave and true, Kim.)

    Being labelled a “leftoid” was almost too much for me to bear; being quoted out of context, a minor irritant. To defend one’s honour it is necessary to register and provide all sorts of information.

    He’s just a pest. I’m brushing him.

  52. Christine Keeler says:

    I’m afraid I have to agree with OldDigger for the most part. Other than the gratuitous slags at teh left, pretty much bang on IMO

  53. Sir Henry Casingbroke says:

    Old Digger makes good points. In hindsight of history, Curtin was not up to the job. But, but, the portrayal on the box was definitely on the money and that weakness came across.

    Curtin gave away Australian lives towards the end of his life probaly because he was too sick and too tired.

    And unfortunately, he defended Blamey, refusing to sack him. He should have been cashiered.

    But my comments re the Tv program stand. Brilliant. You are wrong Russell, the program stood on its own – even ET would have taken something out of that.

  54. Christine Keeler says:

    Good points Sir Henry.

    As for Macarthur, there were very good reasons why the US Navy wanted nothing to do with him. Someone should have taken the hint.

  55. Kim says:

    What drivel you write Kim – Curtin was a MacArthur lapdog and surrendered Australian sovereignty and control of Australian forces ON OUR OWN TERRITORY, he refused advice from his General Staff and allowed MacArthur to waste Australian Soldiers in unnecessary assaults on Gona, Buna and Sanananda.

    I think you’ve read much more into my post than what I wrote, OldDigger. I didn’t say that Curtin was the bees’ knees and that he never made a mistake.

  56. Katz says:

    So far as McArthur was concerned, WWII was all prologue and little action.

    The US Army was in a subsidiary role during the island-hopping phases of the war.

    These famous battles were fought by Marines.

    It wasn’t until late in the War that McArthur took command of large US forces.

    However, the Army was being held in reserve for the attack on the Japanese home islands, a campaign for which about a 1,000,000 casualties were budgeted.

    Fortunately for the US Army, though not, perhaps for McArthur’s undying fame, the A-bombs short-curcuited this rather Wagnerian denouement.

    Fifteen million US men were in uniform in WWII. The loss of 5000 of them in some dank jungle schemozzle is unfortunate, but hardly catastrophic.

    The US lost more than this practising for D-Day.

  57. Bob the Builder says:

    Didn’t Enemy Combatant go very quiet after the flogging from Jack Strocchi.
    Leftoid brain strain no doubt, usually happens when you whack them with a few facts.
    “Blustering like an exposed charlaten” – brilliant!
    Well done Jack.

  58. Christine Keeler says:

    All this arguing and name-calling. Why can’t people just love each other?

  59. Enemy Combatant says:

    Yeah, Bob, I always cut up real bad when “Kid” Strocchi demolishes me with his erudition. Big Jack facts me out every time. He’s the only one around here who can make me feel cheap.

    So, you’re a builder are you, Bob? So hard to get a good builder these days. Especially one who sports a cerebral six-pack. Are your constructions as well-assembled as your cranial equipment?

  60. Sir Henry Casingbroke says:

    Gee you’ve knocked off early, Bob. I thought there was a building boom going on. Don’t forget the hat tomorrow. Sunstroke is an everpresent danger.

  61. Ken Scott on 23 April 2007 at 11:47 pm

    Nobody has disagreed with your schoolboy discovery that Curtin turned to the US for assistance. Grandstanding on this obvious historical fact does not make you a card-carrying member of the intelligentsia.

    True, there should be no kudos in pointing out the bleeding obvious. But how much worse are Larva Prodders and camp followers who ignore the bleeding obvious? And ostrich-heading themselves when their error was delicately pointed out deserved all the contempt I could muster.

    Ken Scott says:

    Get off your high horse Jack. Enough of this puerile, uptight moralistic pendantry. Say something interesting.

    I did, at least this time. This comment provided historical evidence that Curtin was excesively deferential to Macarthur. An interesting fact underlined later by Old Digger.

    This is a fact worth noting if we are going to sanctify Curtin. It also helps to know this if we when we have to endure the umpteenth attempt to demonise Howard for his disgraceful poodling.

    It should go without saying that I agree with the former and think the latter is a the sort of “puerile, uptight moralistic pedantry” that some Larva Prodders seem compelled to indulge in.

  62. OldDigger says:

    Christine, apart from the fact I still lust after the black and white vision I have of you astride a bentwood chair I have to take exception to your comment “Other than the gratuitous slags at teh left” regarding my post – if my comment is “a gratuitous slags at teh left” then referring to Alexander Downer as “dolly” is petulant (primary) schoolyard insolence.

    You either refer to people like Downer with some modicum of respect or you reinforce my view of you and your ilk as ignorant juvenile hypocrites.

  63. thomasrhall says:

    What are the differences between America under FDR vs. GWB?

    You mean apart from competence?

    By competence, I’m assuming you must mean the efficient manner in which Japanese-Americans were rounded up and placed in internment camps following the attack on Pearl Harbor. Perhaps it’s the economic depression that lingered until WW2 arrived.

  64. OldDigger on 24 April 2007 at 9:19 pm

    You either refer to people like Downer with some modicum of respect or you reinforce my view of you and your ilk as ignorant juvenile hypocrites.

    The schoolyard tone is appropriate for a school yard level of intellectual competence.

    The Cultural Left have had a decade to nurse their petty grievances into grand crusades. Now, with Howard on the ropes they sense blood in the water and are licking their chops at the prospect of payback time. (TM)

    During this time they appear to have learned nothing about the socio-biological foundations of human culture in general, or the dynamics of Australian history in particular. A truly remarkable non-achievement given the google facility and the past decade’s monumental progress in the life sciences and revisions of revisionism.

    One could have cut them some slack for the intellectual degradation and ideological deformations of the eighties and nineties. Folly of youth that sort of thing. It is human to err. But it is stupid and pathetic to not acknowledge mistakes (I mean look at the mess made of Aboriginal welfare, for a start.)

    The Left’s thick-headed rank-closing regarding its cultural stuff-ups is on a par with the Right’s stubborn stupidity regarding his martial stuff-ups. An intellectual error un-corrected is a moral failure.

    I visit this website now and again to try to knock some sense in to them. This is a sort of a one-man-band harm minimisation policy in anticpation of a Rudd victory. (A prospect I will fight for with all my mite.) Its seems like a fruitless task but at least they cant say they werent told if they choose to repeat history, once again as farce.

  65. Sir Henry Casingbroke says:

    Old,Digger, Old China,

    The days of genuflecting before authority are long past. People have to earn respect, even a modicum of one. Indeed, most people blogging here furnish others with a respect capital, I have found, until they willfully prove otherwise they they do not deserve it.

    We have known the individual and observed closely the antics/behaviour/public persona of Alex Downer since 28 February 1985. He has not improved any. He deserves no respect.

    We have watched him with dismay as our foreign minister and cringed in abject embarrasment and even shame. And then we saw him stand over (literally and figuratively) and bully East Timor’s Ali Alkatiri and chisel that wretched country out of oil revenue royalties.

    This is no rush to judgment OldDiger. And incidentally, I don’t know how old you really are, or indeed if are a digger at all. But if are an Old Digger you would surely be appalled by the treatment Alexander Downer meted out to the people who gave their lives to save diggers in World War II. Perhaps you have forgotten.

    We have watched and listened to Downer and we have drawn the conclusion that he is a pratt, a spoiled rich boy playing with other people’s lives, a dickhead, a fool, a fop, a professional liar without an ounce of dignity nor human decency, a media tart, a self-deluding wanker, a individual consistently displaying poor judgement, a laughing stock, a spiv, a malicious and vindictive prick, a conman, a grub, a mug, a bear of very little brain – but unlike Winnie the Pooh without the insouciant
    charm. All in all, a worthless, extremely irritating pissant.

    So there you have it. And politics has nothing to do with it.

  66. Sir Henry Casingbroke says:

    All your mite? Now I know why you make itch, Giacomo.

  67. OldDigger says:

    I’m old enough and yes a ‘digger’, or an ex digger if you will dear poor non-genuflecting Henry…

    “he is a pratt, a spoiled rich boy playing with other people’s lives, a dickhead, a fool, a fop, a professional liar without an ounce of dignity nor human decency, a media tart, a self-deluding wanker, a individual consistently displaying poor judgement, a laughing stock, a spiv, a malicious and vindictive prick, a conman, a grub, a mug, a bear of very little brain – but unlike Winnie the Pooh without the insouciant
    charm. All in all, a worthless, extremely irritating pissant.�

    Ha ah … I didn’t know that when you refer to Dolly you are referring to Rudd, my apologies – in his case I entirely agree with your disapproval of the `man’…

    Downer on the other hand is one of Australia’s most respected and longest serving Foreign Ministers. He is a member of Australia’s most successful reformist governments led by our greatest Prime Minister – I’m extremely proud of him and his achievements and look forward to his re-election later this year and subsequently a most deserved retirement.

    I shall remember his firm hand on the tiller for many years as a golden period in our history unlike the panicked mal administration of Curtin.

  68. Christine Keeler says:

    By competence, I’m assuming you must mean the efficient manner in which Japanese-Americans were rounded up and placed in internment camps following the attack on Pearl Harbor.

    No. I rather had in mind successfully waging a global war on two fronts and converting an essentially un-militarised economy into fairly efficient war production in a matter of 18 months or so. Not forgetting the frequently overlooked and central part played by the Soviet Union of course.

    And don’t take it to heart OD, it was but a mere quibble which really didn’t detract from your argument.

  69. Gaz says:

    “(A prospect I will fight for with all my mite.) Its seems like a fruitless task but at least they cant say they werent told if they choose to repeat history, once again as farce.”

    Jack me old China,your a regular crusader aint ya? Now hear this all you dumb shit heads in Larvatus Prodeo land, the wise one has spoken,the pseudo intellectual is going to save you all from yourselves.My God Jack you do have tickets on your self, it is not enough that half the shite you pass off here is unintelligible schlock, you are now issuing warnings of impending doom.

  70. Lefty E says:

    Interesting Old Dig.

    Me, I see Downer hiding under a mid-Victorian oak table in 1942. Just the vibe I get off him. Weak as piss in a genuine crisis; big talker when it doesnt count.

    Still, to each his own!

  71. OldDigger says:

    Me, I see Downer hiding under a mid-Victorian oak table in 1942.

    Lefty, haven’t you visited old Parliament House – no Victorian furniture there – more Art Deco and mostly veneer as I recall.

  72. OldDigger says:

    Christine – do you still have the chair?

  73. Gaz says:

    “Ha ah … I didn’t know that when you refer to Dolly you are referring to Rudd, my apologies – in his case I entirely agree with your disapproval of the `man’…”

    Hey digs, if your getting Dolly and Rudd mixed up ,you must be suffering a bit of shell shock.Rudd is the intelligent one,Dolly is the?

  74. Christine Keeler says:

    The schoolyard tone is appropriate for a school yard level of intellectual competence.

    Oh. You probably wouldn’t be interested in the conversation over at Surfdom then http://www.roadtosurfdom.com/2007/04/24/coalitions-new-slogan/

  75. Megan says:

    Yes well Old Digger – all the piss and wind Downer has kicked up about presiding over the Iraq war AND the AWB scandal has really got me in mind of respecting his firm Golden Age hand on the tiller too! Err NOT! His dismissal of objectors to the Iraq war as ‘appeasers’ will forever be ringing in my ears as a decided reminder of how not to fight the Third World War as if it is still the Second.

  76. Enemy Combatant says:

    “Downer on the other hand is one of Australia’s most respected and longest serving Foreign Ministers.”

    Come in spinner. And have a good Anzac Day, OldDigger. I disagree with all you proffer politically, yet salute your stand. You have integrity and courage and are of more value to our country than a Division of Downers.

  77. Megan says:

    Yes and the pre-emptive invasion was something that Hitler used to do, so let’s not forget that with the Iraq war we are talking a little bit more subsidence in moral boundaries here.

  78. Sir Henry Casingbroke on 24 April 2007 at 10:23 pm

    All your mite? Now I know why you make itch, Giacomo.

    The mite I wield has only one thing in common with your awful pun: nuisance value.

  79. A REAL OLD DIGGER. says:

    “Come in spinner. And have a good Anzac Day,”

    I will I am going to the dawn service,or is that to service Dawn.I can’t remember.

  80. Nabakov says:

    Dunno why some here are bagging Curtin for hooking up with US over defence matters. He’s only doing what Howard is now with China with energy matters, pragmatically snuggling up to the biggest gorilla on the block.

    ( A fun side note here. Spielberg and Hanks’ new HBO series ‘Pacific’ (ie: ‘Band Of Brothers’ goes tropical) will be filmed mainly in Melbourne with with the brass pointing at maps scenes shot on location in the old war room at the Victoria Barracks. (And guess who’s playing MacArthur? No, it’s not Alec Baldwin.)

    The Cultural Left

    Ask Jack to provide an empirical definition of this “cultural left” and you’ll get treated to a fine display of handwaving and general vapourware. Aside from the rarefied circles in which one can toss off terms like “the socio-biological foundations of human culture”, most Australians couldn’t give a shit about some looming legion of pomo lesbian lecturers and inner city ABC programmers coming to take away their good things and happy thoughts.

    Look at the short unhappy political career of Pauline Hansen for starters. If she had really tapped into a genuine widespread current of discontent instead of being a media beatup for a couple of years, she should now be holding the balance of power in the Senate now instead of appearing on ‘Dancing With The Stars’.

    In fact, as I recall “the intellectual degradation and ideological deformations of the eighties and nineties”, it was all about economic rationalism, yuppies, the expansion of ‘lifestyle media’ and “fuck you mate I’m going places with my Vector charge card”. I certainly don’t recall a populace cowed by the PC police. Of course there were some real wankers lurking in the academy but when has that ever not been the case? And the academy has never been less influential in the public arena that it it is now.

    You’d have to be some kind of monomanical nerd with serious and misfocussed grudges to think Australian society was at any kind of risk from sinking into some kind of pomo PC swamp over the last few decades.

    I visit this website now and again to try to knock some sense in to them.

    And Graeme Bird thinks he’s the ultimate think tank. Well, whatever makes you happy and keeps you off the street and not scaring the horses too Jack.

    most successful reformist governments

    After over ten years, what exactly have they reformed beyound some tinkering with taxes and IR laws?

    I shall remember his firm hand on the tiller for many years as a golden period in our history unlike the panicked mal administration of Curtin.

    OK, at this point I now realise you’re pulling off a piece of blog performance art up there with the late great and sadly missed Nostrodamus on Back Pages.

  81. Sir Henry Casingbroke says:

    Conscription of 1966-1972. While ordinary boys like us registered and shipped off to Vung Tau (1LSG) Alex Downer hid in London. He claimed not to be an Australian resident. How did he get away with it, Old Dig? Daddy’s connections? How do you feel about that as old digger, Old Dig?

  82. Nabakov says:

    The mite I wield has only one thing in common with your awful pun: nuisance value.

    And Jack, not a good idea to link to a parable to make a point if you don’t get its original point.

  83. OldDigger says:

    No Gaz, Rudd is the myopic coiffured opportunist, Downer is the long serving internationally respected Australian Foreign Minister.

    And Christine – shame on you, linking to gutter language and spivs with ill-mannered slurs – wake up girl – I’m much better company.

    I didn’t want to bring it up, but you have a tawdry history of relationships with poor quality people.

    Have you forgotten your first love – the shop sweeper in whose flat you lost your virginity.

    I know you expressed ‘I can’t say I was stimulated by the experience’, but you showed equally poor judgement when you began to consort with `GIs’ from Laleham Air Force base.

    I can only assume your attempt at aborting the resultant child – reportedly a “bungled and bloody affairâ€?, has hurt you deeply and caused you to slide further into degradation until you finally reached the bottom of the barrel at `the road to surfdom’.

    I can help – I have a soft focus camera, a bentwood chair and I’m quite proficient with Photoshop so we can re-live your sunniest days.

    XXXXX OOOOO `Dig’

  84. Christine Keeler says:

    I didn’t want to bring it up, but you have a tawdry history of relationships with poor quality people.

    Tell me about it.

  85. Lefty E says:

    Well said, Nabs

    Ive been drinking some very cheeky shiraz, so allow me my cups…

    Y’know… my old grandad was on that convoy back from the Middle East, dammit, and I salute Curtin for preventing him landing in Burma on some pointless exercise in defending the soon to to be defunct South Asian Empah.

    He was a labour man himself – but my other Grandad was a UAP/ Menzies man. But even he said Curtin was the greatest PM in his long life of 92 years.

    So, bipartisan support from those who know something of the time, but no, that irrelevant Adelaide private school pipsqueak, who couldnt go two rounds with a revolving door,decided he just couldnt bear the historical fact of the ALP providing the PM that saw Australia through its only genuine crisis.

    While it cheers me greatly that this shits the Tories no end, I still feel the man’s very existence is in poor taste. What will he be remembered for? Funding Saddam? His risible stint as opp leader? His petulant tantrums? His snivelling performance when the Emporer visited our ‘umble parliament? Buggered if I know. He’ll hardly trouble the scorers when the Howard era is remembered.

  86. Gaz on 24 April 2007 at 10:59 pm

    Jack me old China,your a regular crusader aint ya? Now hear this all you dumb shit heads in Larvatus Prodeo land, the wise one has spoken,the pseudo intellectual is going to save you all from yourselves.My God Jack you do have tickets on your self, it is not enough that half the shite you pass off here is unintelligible schlock, you are now issuing warnings of impending doom.

    I wouldn’t be so unkind to say that you are “not even wrong”. But, so far, you get things exactly the opposite of the truth. Useful in a way, like a compass with reversed polarities. Or someone with their head stuck up their arse.

    “Unintellibible schlock” sounds like something just up your street, you half-educated oaf. You are not exactly a peerless stylist yourself, sunshine.

    Whilst you are dragging your knuckles home you might find the time to get your thick head around the basic idea, if coming to grips with plain English is beyond your grasp. I have spent much of my time on this site spelling out the grisly details of the “Decline of Wets”. Far from “warning of impending doom” this is gloating over a foregone victory.

    It is considered bad taste to make public shopping lists of ones personal virtues and vices. But since you, with unerring instinct, broached the tacky subject, allow me to close it. Those “with tickets on themselves” do not, as I am at pains to, make testable predictions or engage in error detection and correction. The factual record is not something an inflated ego is keen to address. Not that hard facts would make much of an impression on an ignorance as invincible as yours.

    If I sometimes come accross as a condescending prick it is not because I think myself an intellectual giant. It is more that I am constantly finding myself “knee deep in dwarves“.

    Nighty-night “Dopey”.

  87. Nabakov says:

    Rudd is the myopic coiffured opportunist

    Umm… what pollie isn’t?

    Downer is the long serving internationally respected Australian Foreign Minister.

    Rilly? By whom? Points will be deducted for referencing Condi Rice, who makes Kissinger or Vance look like Metternich, Dulles or Joe Chamberlain.

  88. Nabakov says:

    I have spent much of my time on this site spelling out the grisly details of the “Decline of Wetsâ€?

    You still haven’t even been able to coherently define ‘The Wets” and their apparently pernicious influence. Just long windy rants with all the subtle soliphistic sophistry of a jilted teenager.

    It is considered bad taste to make public shopping lists of ones personal virtues and vices.

    Never stopped you before. Why not embrace the fact your bile has burnt out your taste buds?

    Those “with tickets on themselvesâ€? do not, as I am at pains to, make testable predictions or engage in error detection and correction.

    Spot the category mistake there folks.

    The factual record is not something an inflated ego is keen to address.

    But you claim to address it all the time yet when it comes to your monomania about the “cultural wets”, any empirical data is conspicious by its absence.

    I’ll leave others to podulate on the irony of Jack castigating his intelocuters for having an inflated ego.

  89. jo says:

    Really old digger? – you must be one of the most sprite-liest ‘old diggers’ on the blogsphere…the very youngest you could be is 80..that is, if you enlisted underage at 17, and didn’t even see action until ’45!

    Most WW2 diggers are now dead or dying, living in nursing homes, and if still kicking around in good health – then in bed by this hour, and definitely not online on some lefty blog site, blindly defending ratty and dolly and flirting with Ms Keeler……do you wanna try out Korea or Vietnam?

    “Battle of the Coral Sea” is what my ‘old digger’ dad says in response to any discussion of the ANZUS alliance.

    Australia’s war efforts in WW2, in comparison to the UK, USA, USSR and the Axis powers etc – are just so modest, as Katz has pointed out – particular Oz battles might be extremely well executed or have top strategic value or are horrible disasters, or are heroic/tragic/encounters – but in the overall scheme of things……we are minnows swimming with whales….

    As for the “no Australian government would have so completely surrendered control of its forces in its own territory to a British commander and staff”…….like Australians were so unused to taking orders from British Generals.

  90. OldDigger says:

    Nabakov – I’m too much in my cups to remember anything much at the moment except to say thank you to you and your fellow `dim and delusionals’ for several hours of good fun.

    I’m very pleased it’s been conducted with wit and humour.

    I’ve got to get up early in the morning to meet my friends and wander down to the Cenotaph so it’s time to slide sideways on the couch for a while.

    After the dawn service I expect to have a nap before we ‘band of misfits who tolerate each other’ gather again to cook a great communal curry before sitting down to reminisce and sit silently at the mention of friends past.

    Out.

  91. Nabakov says:

    I suspect that both Lefty E and Old Digger seem to have confused me with someone who made a substantial contribution to the original post topic.

    I’m very pleased it’s been conducted with wit and humour.

    Yes, you started off a bit snarky at first but soon got into the groove and resisted the temptation to respond in kind to some of the more sledgehammer rejoinders.

    Still laughing at the Downer golden years remark too. You one funny guy.

  92. Gaz says:

    Thanks Jack,I will take my victory with good grace.That I have hit apon a nerve in your air of superiority warms me all over. You are a waffler of the highest order probably only slightly inferior to the Dolly himself.But please keep posting, your schlock is funnier than my favourite writer next to you,”Spike Milligan”

  93. OldDigger says:

    jo – so what’s the problem, am I too lucid for you?

    Perhaps an admission to using an incontinence nappy or a colostomy bag or dribbling spittle down my quivering chin would give me more credibility?

    Has the term `digger’ been redefined to apply only to WW2 veterans?

    I think you’ll find that private soldiers in Iraq, Afghanistan, East Timor and elsewhere are still referred to by NCOs and officers as `diggers’.

    Are soldiers who have served in Somalia, Rwanda, Cambodia, Cyprus, Sinai, Iraq, Kurdistan, East Timor, Afghanistan, The Solomons and Bougainville prohibited from being described as `diggers’.

    Your father is correct in referring to the battle of the Coral Sea as a defining moment in the defence of Australia.

    Without the decisive action of the US Navy our position in New Guinea would have been untenable and our militia forces deployed there would have been destroyed, Port Moresby occupied and the mainland exposed.

    However the yanks (and some of our ships) stood up, fought a close and difficult battle and prevailed.

    The RAAF followed up with exceptionally effective strikes on Japanese transports at sea and their beach head at Milne Bay – the defence of which MacArthur and Curtin belittled, though history shows was as pivotal as the Coral Sea action.

    You may consider the efforts of Australian forces as the action of `minnows’, but if it were not for our defence of Greece in 1941, reminiscence of the `300’ at Thermopylae, combined with our pivotal performance on Crete and at Tobruk the war in Europe might have had a different complexion.

    The `39ths’ extraordinary fighting withdrawal along the ridges of the New Guinea Highlands followed by the successful defence of Milne Bay and bloody attacks along the northern coast of New guinea created a war winning culture amongst previously cowed leaders.

    Our volunteers went on to secure the defence of Seoul by their actions at Kapyong, protected the nascent democratic government of Malaysia, stopped Suharto’s’ expansionist lust for Borneo, destroyed a significant portion of the NVA troops fleeing from their unsuccessful Tet Offensive on Saigon, whilst denying a province or two to the Vietcong in South Vietnam.

    The Australian Defence Forces went on to provide famine relief in Somalia, protect refugees in Rwanda, supervise elections in Cambodia and monitor cease fire lines in the Sinai and Cyprus.

    They helped to evict Saddam from Kuwait, assisted in protecting and feeding the Kurds in Northern Iraq, contributed significantly to the defeat of Saddam’s armies and the crushing of his dictatorship in 2003, helped to eviscerate the Taliban, continues to train and re-build a new Iraqi Army whilst dragging East Timor, Bougainville and the Solomons from anarchy.

    So as minnows we’ve got pretty big teeth and resolute governance.

    I’m proud of Australia’s foreign policy and prouder still of our defence forces’ professional responses to every challenge thrown at them.

    As for your lame comment “like Australians were so unused to taking orders from British Generalsâ€? – read a bit more, try Les Carlyon’s `Gallipoli’ and `The Great War’ and of course `A Bastard of a Place’.

    The `waste’ made tears run uncontrollably down my cheeks.

    XXX Old Faithful.

  94. Gaz says:

    “No Gaz, Rudd is the myopic coiffured opportunist, Downer is the long serving internationally respected Australian Foreign Minister.”

    Hey old Dig,I agree with the first bit ,but the second should read”Downer is the long serving internationally famous circus performer, Dolly the bearded lady.

    As one lucid Digger to another.

  95. thomasrhall says:

    No. I rather had in mind successfully waging a global war on two fronts and converting an essentially un-militarised economy into fairly efficient war production in a matter of 18 months or so. Not forgetting the frequently overlooked and central part played by the Soviet Union of course.

    Let me make something clear, it’s not my intention to diminish or deride the accomplishments of FDR. What I find interesting is the glossing over of the far more primitive methods employed at the time. Much of what FDR (and the WW2 generation) accomplished would be quite difficult to replicate today. Every move would be scrutinized to the point of paralysis.

  96. Nabakov says:

    I hafta to say that I generally agree with old digger’s last comment (aside from the suggestion of being proud of Australia’s current foreign policy, especially when counting unhatched chickens in Iraq and Afghanistan. And Crete? That was a fiasco and the Kiwis took the brunt there.)

    But certainly in WW1 and WW2, Korea and Konfrontation, Australia’s volunteer and citizen armies played key roles at some crucial moments. And while we had our Thomas Blameys we also had our John Monashs too.

  97. Nabakov says:

    And I forgot to add. If any third party armed force is gonna tryand keep stability in the Pacific’s arc of instablity, I’d much rather it was the Aussies and Kiwis acting semi-unilaterally than what would inevitably be a half-arsed and completed cocked up attempt by the Yanks, Frogs, Brits or the UN.

  98. OldDigger says:

    And I forgot to add. If any third party armed force is gonna tryand keep stability in the Pacific’s arc of instablity, I’d much rather it was the Aussies and Kiwis acting semi-unilaterally than what would inevitably be a half-arsed and completed cocked up attempt by the Yanks, Frogs, Brits or the UN.

    Amen …

  99. Nabakov says:

    and converting an essentially un-militarised economy into fairly efficient war production in a matter of 18 months or so.

    Yes, even by today’s JIT and online-enable TDL industry standards, the sheer speed and scale of how the US moved to a wartime footing in WW2 is still a jawdropping industrial achievement. Like FDR calling for 50,000 planes in 1940 when total production back then didn’t break 4 figures. Yet by 1945, they built 300,000, with just about all models designed from stratch too.

    No wonder Truman and all his successors wanted to keep that industrial base, employing tens of millions, up online post VJ Day. Billions of dollars were set in motion and that’s not something you can or want to brake easily.

  100. jo says:

    Way, way too lucid (and IT savvy) digger – it wasn’t the ‘digger’ epithet btw ….it was the “old digger” moniker which as you know, has been used pretty much exclusively in relation to WW1 and WW2 soldiers for quite a few decades. but if you’re still going with the least “normal brain function loss from ageingâ€? affected old digger on the blogsphere…that’s fine.

    Thanks for the potted Oz military success stories – but surely, you’ve forgotten some key battles with the Germans on the western front in ww2 (you know the ones)…..& I always wonder why the Brits and Yanks even bother turning up!

    I don’t enough about the talks/deal to know what transpired and whether Curtin needed to hand over control to MacArthur in the way he did – but what he didn’t do – is lose our sovereignty in a destructive and terrible way to the enemy – by being complacent in the first instance – and by getting the Yanks down here quick smart and Oz troops home, he did ensure the overall safety of the nation – and this is most salient point of the Curtin story, surely? But enuff about this stuff….

    have a top Anzac day, Digger – sounds like it’s already started.

  101. Katz says:

    If OldDigger is indeed an old digger, then judging from his whole mode of address, his outfit may have been the 2nd/2nd Mounted Bumboys.

    This unit, raised from Adelaidean private school boys, was a headquarters unit tasked with confidential missions generally categorised under “Morale. For the raising of.”

    It is rumoured that Dolly Downer tried, but failed, to join this unit in the period immediately before the Tet Offensive. (It is said he failed the physical.)

    This may explain why OldDigger has such a tender spot for Dolly.

    I believe it would be possible to sell tickets to witness the ANZAC Day reunions of the 2nd/2nd Mounted Bumboys.

  102. Gaz says:

    “If OldDigger is indeed an old digger, ” Indeed Katz. I hear the R.S.L. wants impersonators jailed.As an x digger myself,what a good idea.

    I worked out he had a vivid imagination on his comments about TET,granted it was a military failure for the N.V.A. but it was the turning point in public opinion that was instrumental in the U.S. extricating itself from an un-winnable fiasco. approx 58000 U.S. servicmen and 500 Australians lost their lives in Viet Nam for five fifths of five eigths of Fuck All.

    Armchair Generals make me wanna puke.

  103. Peter Kemp says:

    read a bit more

    Seem to have heard that phrase before, along with a person known for master googling on l’affairs militaire?

    Could it be that “old digger” had to resist a well known signoff?

    ie OldDigger
    Canberra

  104. jdef75 says:

    The flaw in Old Digger’s arguments, if I may presume to suggest such a thing, is that he is writing from a position of almost total ignorance, difficult to attain, but in this case admirably achieved. It is unusual to find such nonsense combined together in a malaise of bad judgment, ludicrous posturing and faulty reasoning.

    Old Digger suggests that it was an outrage that Curtin “surrendered Australian sovereignty and control of Australian forcesâ€?, however it was not Curtin alone that decided this, the idea of a general commander of the Pacific theatre was one that dated to Wavell’s assumption of a command that encompassed this area (“ABDAâ€?, incidentally the Americans put aside national sentiment to subordinate their forces to a British Commander) in 1942. In this case Wavell controlled and coordinated all allied forces (Dutch, US, Australian etc), this was not based on some insane idea to subordinate the sovereignty of others, but the sound military principle (necessitated by the dire situation) of unified command under an experienced leader. Macarthur’s control of Australia forces simply followed in this vein after the division of the Asia-Pacific theatre into manageable combat commands. That an American General assumed command simply resulted from the heavy lifting that the US were doing (especially with respect to landing craft and other resources) and the need for someone experienced.

    Again Old Digger shows his xenophobia by suggesting that Macarthur fled from the Philippines, instead he was ordered out (by Roosevelt) after organizing a successful retreat after initial early errors. This retreat, given the paucity of his forces was especially successful when compared to the debacles in Malaysia and Singapore. Incidentally, no reputable biography of Macarthur, whether critical or not, has suggested that he was a coward or ‘fled’ the Philippines, however it is the nature of a Xenophobe to resort to slanders and character assassination when critiquing a foreigner (i.e. the foreigner must be a ‘coward’, never respected).

    Almost unbelievably, Old Digger shows his sublime ignorance of the military when he suggests that Macarthur
    “never ventured beyond Port Moresby, and never took the trouble to familiarise himself with either the terrain or the enemy’s defensesâ€? or “into repeating the errors made in the early part of WW1 by attacking across open groundâ€?.
    Macarthur was a four then five star General, an army group commander, this position required several things, overall strategic planning of the campaign, management of Allies and general administration of the Army group. To argue that Macarthur was involved in planning the assault of a Battalion, Regiment or Division is the height of stupidity, the officers to blame in these cases would be those Australian and American Officers at the Battalion, Regiment or Divisional levels.
    I note that Old Digger makes no mention of Gordon Bennett, an Australian General, whose gross incompetence paved the way for the debacle at Singapore and who could be genuinely accused of having ‘fled’ Singapore. However this would not fit the derivative narrative of ‘Australia Good’ ‘US Bad’ that Old Digger tries to ineptly deliver.
    Macarthur had his faults, however he was undeniably an experienced Commander (former Chief of Staff), with considerable pull politically in the US and his ability to coordinate air, ground and naval forces was considered by most military historians to be outstanding. The British CIGS, Lord Alanbrooke, considered Macarthur to be the best allied general during the Second World War in a combat command (probably affected by his contact with the European theater) and no better example can be found of Macarthur’s ‘pull’ than that contained within Alanbrooke’s war diaries where he makes repeated reference to Macarthur’s attempts to keep the focus on the Pacific and consequently Japan, by this manner, Macarthur proved a good servant of Australia.

  105. Gaz on 25 April 2007 at 7:50 am

    I worked out he had a vivid imagination on his comments about TET,granted it was a military failure for the N.V.A. but it was the turning point in public opinion that was instrumental in the U.S. extricating itself from an un-winnable fiasco. approx 58000 U.S. servicmen and 500 Australians lost their lives in Viet Nam for five fifths of five eigths of Fuck All

    Not quite. The VN War was a mistake from the pov of the major contending parties. In the long run the natural organic growth of the country shows that the North would have got a unified foreign-rule free nation and the South would not have had to put up with Soveit-backed communism. So the war aims of both sides would have been achieved without so much waste of blood and treasure if only they had held their fire.

    But Australia had no war aim in VN apart from consolidation of the US alliance. That mission was accomplished, certainly in the eyes of most diggers who served there.

  106. Gaz says:

    “But Australia had no war aim in VN apart from consolidation of the US alliance. That mission was accomplished, certainly in the eyes of most diggers who served there.”

    Jesus Jack,somthin we can agree on hang out the flag.However you didn’t tell the whole story,Australia was threatened with trade barriers at the time,it was more than the alliance,it is this “Alliance” that enables Australia to punch above its weight in the world.The man of steel does nothing unless it is sanctioned by Washington end of story.

  107. Slightly older than Tuesday Digger says:

    Back from town, re-aligned the bloody broadband satellite dish (again) – let’s see what the kiddies been up to…

    jo writes – “Way, way too lucid (and IT savvy) diggerâ€?

    What’s the problem jo – the reference to Photoshop?

    My mother, who is 90 years old this year, routinely uses Photoshop to crop and re-size digital photographs she takes of friends and family so she can email them to relatives in Canada, Germany and the UK.

    It’s `ageist’ of you to believe the use of IT is strictly a pervue of the `young’. My father who is older still completed a degree in computer science as an adult in the early 60s, though now in his decline he wonders where the punch cards go.

    And I’m sorry if I’m `lucid’…

    Main Entry: lu•cid
    Pronunciation: ‘lü-s&d
    Function: adjective
    Etymology: Latin lucidus, from lucEre
    1 a : suffused with light : LUMINOUS b : TRANSLUCENT
    2 : having full use of one’s faculties : SANE
    3 : clear to the understanding : INTELLIGIBLE

    I like that though – suffused with light …. reminds me of that `sunlies’ cartoon of Tin Tin with the sun shining out of his arse.

    jo continued: “the “old diggerâ€? moniker which as you know, has been used pretty much exclusively in relation to WW1 and WW2 soldiers for quite a few decadesâ€?.

    Amongst my peer group it has a different meaning – “G’day old digger, how’s the war wound?â€? – it’s a term of endearment I’ve worn for years – however I admit it probably was not an endearment from all those who’ve hurled it in my direction, for example: “who the fuck are you, some reeking old digger?â€?

    But, thank you I had a pretty good ANZAC Day – I couldn’t travel to my reunion this year, but went into town and watched the local parade and ate a sausage or two.

    Scrolling down – Katz writes: “his outfit may have been the 2nd/2nd Mounted Bumboysâ€? – infantile felcher, you must have really burnt up your brain cells coming up with that shattering slight.

    Gaz writes: “I worked out he had a vivid imagination on his comments about TET,granted it was a military failure for the N.V.A. but it was the turning point in public opinion that was instrumental in the U.S. extricating itself from an un-winnable fiasco.â€?…

    Did I mention the treasonous flatulence of Walter “the war is lostâ€? Cronkite or did I merely mention obliquely Coral and Balmoral?

    You agree with me that Tet and the Mini Tet were absolute disasters for Giap – some estimates put the North’s casualties as high as 50,000 KIA and a similar number wounded, but go on to make to make the unsustainable claim that Vietnam was “an un-winnable fiascoâ€? – you know, armchair Generals make me want to puke!

  108. Slightly older than Tuesday Digger says:

    jdef75 writes …. no can’t read the post seems to be unintelligible gibberish … better check the sat dish again…..

    Dish is fine, must be the post…

    Lets see – jdef75 writes: “he is writing from a position of almost total ignorance, difficult to attain, but in this case admirably achieved. It is unusual to find such nonsense combined together in a malaise of bad judgment, ludicrous posturing and faulty reasoning.â€?

    Ah, a teenager writer full of piss and wind – no facts, just poor English cobbled together to pad out even more poorly formed ideas.

    jdef75 goes on to misunderstand the genesis and role of ABDACOM, the organisation that Wavell commanded. The US Combined Chiefs of Staff and the British General Staff negotiated to form the first joint HQ of the War after Churchill and Roosevelt had agreed to the idea put to them by US Army planners at the ARCADIA conference.

    Wavell was appointed supreme commander as a compromise – the US wanted a British commander, but the British wanted a US commander hoping a US officer would have greater influence in Washington.

    Wavell’s authority was limited to “effective coordination of forcesâ€? and he reported to, and received detailed orders from the Combined Chiefs of Staff (US & UK), the US did not “subordinate their forces to a British Commanderâ€? as Curtin did to MacArthur. US forces allocated to ABDACOM were directly under command of US formation commanders and representatives on Wavell’s staff.

    ABDACOM was dissolved at the request of Wavell before it did much more than initial planning as the rapid Japanese advances in the region overran all but a few of the areas it was to defend.

    Whilst the defence of the Malay Barrier was crumbling under Japanese attacks the US Joint Chiefs and the British General Staff recognised they had no choice but to reinforce their lines of communications across the Pacific and hastily dispatched several divisions and hundreds of aircraft previously earmarked for Europe to Hawaii, Australia and several Pacific Islands, notably Tonga Tapu, Noumea and Fiji. This occurred well before MacArthur left the Phillipines.

    The newly created `ANZAC’ area (Pacific Islands, Australia, New Zealand PNG etc) was commanded by US General Brett (under similar arrangements to the failed ABDACOM) whose appointment was supported by both the Aust & NZ General Staffs, Brett was to report to the Combined Chiefs rather than the US Chiefs.

    When MacArthur arrived in Aust, Brett was instructed by Gen Marshall to inform Curtin that MacArthur was to be supreme commander SW Pacific, a position promised to him earlier by the US President and publicly announced before Curtin was informed.

    MacArthur’s appointment had nothing to do with “heavy liftingâ€? or landing craft, it was a political decision made by the US President because, in part, of the distrust Nimitz had of MacArthur and the US Chiefs’ lack of confidence in his abilities.

    Despite the fact the Australian Government hadn’t been involved in MacArthur’s appointment Curtin famously notified all Australian commanders that any orders from MacArthur were to be considered “as emanating from the Commonwealth”.

    Curtin therefore “surrendered Australian sovereignty and control of Australian forcesâ€? to a newly arrived General, who although the bulk of his ready forces were Australian had not included any Australians on his staff.

    As for the silly xenophobia references, many commentators consider MacArthur should have stayed with his command instead of leaving on a PT Boat with his family at the behest of Roosevelt. MacArthur commanded over 90,000 troops in the Philippines and his two forward divisions so battered the inexperienced Japanese forces attacking them the Japanese commander remarked that “we were so exhausted the Americans could have walked through us to Manila and we would have been powerless to stop themâ€?.

    I might add, quite like yanks and have served with US personnel in the US, Australia and other overseas places. And I’m particularly happy with the current US Administration.

    The comments regarding MacArthur’s elevation to the pantheon of military gods because of his star clustered collars is as ludicrous as is mention of MacArthur commanding `an Army Group’ – he didn’t. He repeatedly went out side of the chain of command and signalled brigade commanders directly urging them to “attack across regimental fronts instead of with platoons or companiesâ€?. This on a coast with a very narrow strip of swamp, Coconut Palms and Kunai grass sandwiched between a few metres of sandy beach and steeply rearing impenetrable jungle slopes.

    He did this because of his ignorance of the conditions in New Guinea and when Australian commanders pointed out this shortcoming several were sacked by a compliant Curtin and Blamey.

    A competent commander at any level appreciates the ground and other conditions before planning operations and issuing orders – MacArthur did not and as a result of his obsession with his ‘return’ wasted US and Australian lives in unnecessary operations without proper planning, logistics or the understanding of enemy forces in the theatre.

    MacArthur was distrusted by Nimitz, the US Chiefs and Australian commanders – he certainly was not considered competent in the use of naval forces.

    Bennet had little to do with the defence of Singapore, he commanded the 8th Division on the Malay peninsula – Singapore’s defences were the responsibility of Percival. Curtin publicly praised Bennet and promoted him when he returned to Australia. After the War Blamey convened an inquiry into Bennett’s actions, it found he had disobeyed Percival’s order to surrender, interestingly his `diggers’ protested against the finding and remained loyal to him.

    Bennet was no more, nor less competent than his peers.

    So when we scrape out jdef75’s excremental adjectives what do we find – nothing, nothing more than inept delivery and sublime ignorance…

    Oh and a footnote about MacArthur …

    “In interviews published posthumously, MacArthur said he had a plan that would have won the [Korean] war in 10 days: “I would have dropped 30 or so atomic bombs . . . strung across the neck of Manchuria.” Then he would have introduced half a million Chinese Nationalist troops at the Yalu and then “spread behind us — from the Sea of Japan to the Yellow Sea — a belt of radioactive cobalt . . . For at least 60 years there could have been no land invasion of Korea from the North.” He was certain that the Russians would have done nothing about this extreme strategy: “My plan was a cinch.”

    He was sacked …

  109. Katz says:

    – Katz writes: “his outfit may have been the 2nd/2nd Mounted Bumboysâ€? – infantile felcher, you must have really burnt up your brain cells coming up with that shattering slight.

    Nope. Brain cells in perfect working order, thank you.

  110. Slightly older than Tuesday Digger says:

    “Nope. Brain cells in perfect working order, thank you.”

    Both of them?

  111. Christine Keeler says:

    Excellent post Slightly older than Tuesday Digger. Worth mentioning also that Roosevelt, possibly in a rush of blood to the head, wanted him court-martialed after he thoughtfully left the B-17s on the ground to be chopped-up by the Japanese hours after he was notified they were on the move.

    But that’s just a minor quibble in a fairly controversial career. Apart from anything else he had something of a problem following orders from Washington. Little wonder, really, since he hadn’t actually lived in the United States for some 20 years prior to the war.

    But point well taken. Macarthur’s hold over Curtin and the government I can understand. The retention of the bloated, incompetent, egomaniacal Blamey – at the expense of the careers of much better officers and soldiers lives – is unforgivable.

  112. Gaz says:

    “but go on to make to make the unsustainable claim that Vietnam was “an un-winnable fiascoâ€? – you know, armchair Generals make me want to puke!”

    Hey Dig,I think you read to many war comics.Viet Nam was lost ol buddy ol bean, and that’s just the facts man,so spare me your diatribe.The Nationalists to use a Bushism, “Stayed the course”.The rest as they say is history,but if you want to re-write it that’s fine,but it will be lost on this blog.To pull out individual battles and events in the prosecution of a war to prove a victory is bollicks,Cronkite indeed! Nixon “Im not a crook”.I could go on,peddle your shite on the conspiracy blogs you will fit like a bum in a bucket.

  113. Slightly older than Tuesday Digger says:

    Christine wrote: “The retention of the bloated, incompetent, egomaniacal Blamey – at the expense of the careers of much better officers and soldiers lives – is unforgivable.”

    His most unforgivable acts involved the slur on the 39th Battalion and the 21st Brigade – “Remember, .. it is not the man with the gun that gets shot; it’s the rabbit that is running away.â€?’ and his sacking of Potts, Rowell and Allen.

    He failed to back some of his most experienced and able commanders in order to protect his miserable political hide and stacked his staff with people whose only qualification for command was that they were `Blamey men’.

    Mind you he wasn’t Robinson Crusoe, there were plenty of others seemingly only interested in their careers rather than fighting a war.

    Gaz scrawled “go on, peddle your shite on the conspiracy blogs you will fit like a bum in a bucketâ€? – what a pathetic ignorant little person you are, filled with venomous self righteousness and revisionist history.

    However, I thought you’d appreciate the reference to your fellow weak bladdered traveller Walter Cronkite. He reminds me of that ideological comrade of yours, Wilfred Burchett, another so called `journalist’ with malice filled treason dripping from his maw.

    Bet you believe John Pilger is an expert on the Middle East as well ha ha ha ha ha …

  114. Ken Scott says:

    I do think you are a fair dinkum digger. You are too vehement. Genuine ones don’t have to prove a thing. The closest you’ve come to a .303 is on your national service in 1953.

  115. Gaz says:

    “Bet you believe John Pilger is an expert on the Middle East as well ha ha ha ha ha …”

    Jesus Dig you can’t get nothing right. Pilger is good,but if I want the real scoop Fisk is my man.Now listen you supercillious cracker jack,along side you I am a veritable genius, but unlike you, my thoughts are off the cuff,yours are trawled and pillaged from war comics and other sourses like the Dandy and Beano. I assume you occasionally visit Wikipedia because you(and I don’t know how)seem to get the right General in the right war.

    You Digger are a would be if you could be,and your only association to the term digger,would be from digging latrines.To civilians like you that refers to toilets, a place I usually discharge the equivalent of your bullshit.

  116. Slightly older than Tuesday Digger says:

    Ken Scott wrote: “I do think you are a fair dinkum digger.” Thanks.

    “You are too vehement. Genuine ones don’t have to prove a thing. ” – cods wallop, its called ‘escalation’.

    I started with a reasonable `note’ containing reasons why I don’t believe the neo-worship of Curtin is entirely justified and instead of responding in kind all the likes of Gaz, Katz, jdef75 and now you, Ken Scott, can offer in reply is slack-jawed infantile insults and slurs.

    And no, I was not a National Serviceman – I volunteered, but because of my size was pre-destined to carry a mortar barrel, base plate or machine gun tripod instead of a rifle.

  117. Katz says:

    Along with his ability to count, OD appears to have lost the capacity for high levels of reasoning.

    1. Sensible persons see no cause for disputing OD’s observations about the less than perfect record of Douglas MacArthur.

    2. Sensible persons see no cause for disputing the filthy office politics that resulted in MacArthur’s appointment as Supreme Commander of Allied Forces in the Southwest Pacific Area (SWPA).

    3. Sensible persons, however, would criticise OD’s parlaying of Gavin Long’s “notable surrender of sovereignty” into an implied “complete surrender of sovereignty”. Yes, indeed, Curtin did surrender control of Australian armed forces to MacArthur. But even an old digger must recognise that there are many aspects to sovereignty beyond the merely military. For example, Australian forces could be kept in the field only so long as they were funded by appropriations. Surely OD isn’t suggesting that the Commonwealth parliament’s sovereign right to do this was surrendered to Douglas MacArthur. Thus we glimpse some evidence of OD’s military monomania.

    4. Then OD utterly loses it when he accuses Walter Cronkite of treason. This is a very serious charge. Surely, this charge doesn’t arise from a brain explosion inside OD’s cranium. Presumably, he can make out a case that would not be immediately thrown out of court. Here is the section of the Constitution on Treason:

    Article III. Section. 3.

    Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort. No Person shall be convicted of Treason unless on the Testimony of two Witnesses to the same overt Act, or on Confession in open Court.

    Go to it OD.

    5. Was OD still a serving digger when Australians were being withdrawn from Vietnam? If so, what did he do to attempt to convince the powers that be that withdrawal was defeatism and tantamount to treason? Or did he silently heave a sigh of relief and survive to talk a good fight for the rest of his embittered years as an Old Digger?

  118. Ken Scott says:

    OK dig, you got into this thread to defend the Howard government, specifically, the egregious Alexander Downer. To add weight to your argument you represented yourself as a returned serviceman (on the eve of Anzac Day). To prove your bona fides, kindly answer the following:

    1. Your date of birth
    2. Where you joined up
    3. What unit you served with
    4. What theatre you served in
    5. Where and when you were demobbed
    6. What service medals you have

    All these are simple questions for a serving digger.

  119. Friday Lunchtime Digger says:

    Katz you started off so well but then dropped to the bottom of the class with the silly monomania reference – sigh… I agree with your appreciation of Parliament’s powers, but do you really think the Australian Government would have ceased funding the war – it’s irrelevant.

    You then wrote: “Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort…â€?

    Well here is part of the famous interview of Bui Tin conducted by Stephen Young.

    Bui Tin served on the general staff of North Vietnam’s army and received the unconditional surrender of South Vietnam on April 30, 1975. He later became editor of the People’s Daily, the official newspaper of Vietnam. He now lives in Paris, where he immigrated after becoming disillusioned with the fruits of Vietnamese communism.

    Q: Was the American antiwar movement important to Hanoi’s victory?
    A: It was essential to our strategy. Support of the war from our rear was completely secure while the American rear was vulnerable. Every day our leadership would listen to world news over the radio at 9 a.m. to follow the growth of the American antiwar movement. Visits to Hanoi by people like Jane Fonda, and former Attorney General Ramsey Clark and ministers gave us confidence that we should hold on in the face of battlefield reverses. We were elated when Jane Fonda, wearing a red Vietnamese dress, said at a press conference that she was ashamed of American actions in the war and that she would struggle along with us.

    Q: Did the Politburo pay attention to these visits?
    A: Keenly.

    Q: What about the results? [of the Tet Offensive]
    A: Our losses were staggering and a complete surprise;. Giap later told me that Tet had been a military defeat, though we had gained the planned political advantages when Johnson agreed to negotiate and did not run for re-election. The second and third waves in May and September were, in retrospect, mistakes. Our forces in the South were nearly wiped out by all the fighting in 1968. It took us until 1971 to re-establish our presence, but we had to use North Vietnamese troops as local guerrillas. If the American forces had not begun to withdraw under Nixon in 1969, they could have punished us severely. We suffered badly in 1969 and 1970 as it was.

    Q: How could the Americans have won the war? A: Cut the Ho Chi Minh trail inside Laos. If Johnson had granted [Gen. William] Westmoreland’s requests to enter Laos and block the Ho Chi Minh trail, Hanoi could not have won the war.

    So the Vietnam War was far from “an un-winnable fiascoâ€? – Cronkite’s infamous broadcast “the war is lostâ€? was a lie, Cronkite refused to remedy his `mistake’ even when proof of the North Vietnamese Tet disaster became known to him. His propaganda supported the North’s military objectives “giving them Aid and Comfortâ€?.

    And Ken I didn’t join this execrable blog “to defend the Howard Governmentâ€? that is the product of your fevered imagination. I just re-read my original post and my argument was quite clearly with the lionizing of Curtin the Frail.

    Should I provide the sort of personal information you’ve presumptuously demanded it’ll prove what? That I could `lift’ a plausible biography from the War Memorial website?

    I refer to this blog’s founder Mark Bahnisch:

    “The title of the blog is inspired by Rene Descartes:
    Maritain explains: “In the juvenilia of Descartes we find the phrase Larvatus prodeo. ‘Like an actor wearing a mask, I come forward, masked, on the stage of the world.’ […] It will be for the masked philosopher to unmask the sciences and to make their continuity and their unity appear with their beautyâ€? …â€?

    So I, like you, choose to remain masked…

    However, for your information I’ve used OldDigger as a tag on blogs since I first became interested in them during the late nineties.

    Your suggestion that “to add weight to [my] argument represented [myself] as a returned serviceman (on the eve of Anzac Day).â€? is false and typical of your breed – you’re incapable of stringing together a coherent argument yourself so when a contributor pops up who has some grasp of the subject under discussion, you can only cower behind insults and smears that are the hallmarks of the spittle flecked invective that passes for discussion by the left.

    Out …

  120. Strategos Leinadistokles says:

    I’m a veteran of Marathon, Salamis and Syrakos you twits, and even I can tell MacArthur was a wanker and Tet was an utter PR disaster…

  121. Christine Keeler says:

    Good god. I appear to have become stranded in No Man’s Land.

  122. Ken Scott says:

    Okay, omit the day of your birth, ridgy-didge dig. Give us just the month and year, that will do. That cannot identify you personally. (I have no such fears – this is still a free country.) So what’s the problem, dig?

    If you carried a tripod for a machine gun, I take that to mean for a Vickers MMG. That is some useful information. The mortar barrel and base plate would be for a three-inch mortar as the two-inch was light enough to carry plus your rifle. That’s good intelligence too.

    I am skeptic. And you must admit that much of your post is special pleading and reference to authority on the basis solely on who you claim to be.

  123. Katz says:

    Oh Dear, OD. how did you fail to learn that sovereignty has nothing to do with what may or may not be politic, and everything to do with what may or may not be legal?

    You really must stop trying to move the goal posts, or at least get a bit sneakier at it.

    And you sincerely believe you have the treasonable “goods” on Walter Cronkite? Yet you object to the term “monomaniac”.

    Hmm.

    Have you, by any chance, aired your opinions about Walter Cronkite elsewhere?

    If so, was that the first time you encountered the term “monomaniac” used in relation to you?

    OD begins to be explicable…

  124. Sir Henry Casingbroke says:

    The OD is a goddam forgazi, fuggeddabout it.

  125. Peter Kemp says:

    If you carried a tripod for a machine gun, I take that to mean for a Vickers MMG.

    Which gun OD in component parts and complete the sentence “piston barrel butt “x” and “y”

  126. John Greenfield says:

    Yaaaaaiirrssss. Curtin, baby-boomer Leftists and History Wars. Perhaps Keating’s lowest salvo in his Prime Ministerial turn as History Warrior in Chief was his tragic attempt to replace Gallipoli with Kokoda.

    The fact is, the Kokoda campaign was quite minimal in significance.

    Keating’s lack of formal education made him a sucker for luvvies. First he was Treasury’s bitch and then he became Henry Reynolds and Lyndall Ryan’s bitch. He fucked up big time.

  127. Sir Henry Casingbroke says:

    Nice one Peter, but that is just way way too easy, unless he is a complete and untter Liberal party stooge and a fraud.

  128. Gaz says:

    Dig,apart from never firing a shot in anger in your life, what part of the Viet Nam war was lost, dont you understand? The strategy to prosecute a war can be debated until the cows come home,what the fuck has that got to do with the end result?.

    All of your protestations about communists in relation to the Viet Nam conflict, is arrant nonsense.This was a Nationalist conflict pure and simple,hey! the Vietnamese wanted their country back,what part of that dont you understand.What did you expect the Chinese who were obviously arming them to do, back the U.S.?

    In your estimation after Dien Bien Phu the French won the war ha ha.

    Im on to you this aint about who won what battle and which General was fucking who,this is about ideology.You just can’t handle the fact the left,and in this case that’s me, have not only a different opinion,but a different perception.And you Sir have the unmitigated gall to accuse me of treason.

    It is as well that I am a calm caring fellow,or I may just take offence at such a comment,but at near on sixty yrs myself I have seen right wing toads come and go.They all use the same M.O. lies,damn lies,and NO statistics.And of course it is common knowledge that most of the blowhards on the right, avoided combat like the plague.

  129. Gaz on 27 April 2007 at 10:14 pm

    All of your protestations about communists in relation to the Viet Nam conflict, is arrant nonsense.This was a Nationalist conflict pure and simple,hey! the Vietnamese wanted their country back,what part of that dont you understand.What did you expect the Chinese who were obviously arming them to do, back the U.S.?

    Only half true. THere was right and wrong on both sides of the VN war. The tragedy of NV was the conflation of the two great ideological issues: communism v capitalism and nationalism v imperialism in the same conflict.

    The North was nationalistic and wanted to rid the region of US “imperialists” from the region. They had a good case in this respect.

    But the North was also communistic and wanted to rid the south of “capitalists” ie people who did not want Bolshevik control of their personal and professional lives. and who can blame the Southerners given the way Bolsheviks run countries eg Cambodia.

    Southerners were also not thrilled at the prospect of great foreign powers such a the USSR and PRC having a big say in the conduct of their affairs.

    The North won because communism is a peerless philosophy of social organization if you are prosecuting a long war requiring total mobilization. In fact that is the only thing communism had going for it in the competition between social systems: military prevalence through universal and perpetual conscription of every resource to the party cadres.

  130. Sir Henry Casingbroke says:

    A few of us are sitting here watching Bulldogs getting a shellacking from the Tigers, but at the same time, we’re multitasking: parsing and deconstructing the ancient digger.

    We notice he is a bit coy. He won’t come out tell us which war he fought in. He wants us to guess. First he says he’s carried a Vickers tripod and a mortar barrel. We know that the Vickers was last used by the diggers in Korea, 1953, tops. Then he leads us on with the “Has the term `digger’ been redefined to apply only to WW2 veterans?” Fair enough. But he overeggs the omelet with the apparently irrelevant, to him, reference to “Somalia, Rwanda, Cambodia, Cyprus, Sinai, Iraq, Kurdistan, East Timor, Afghanistan, The Solomons and Bougainville”. Did the diggers in those theatres lug tripods for Vickers machine guns? Of course not. To quote his and the Strochher’s favourite word, it is just too “lame”.

    Someone on the sofa said, that it was the Stroccher, pretending to be the old soldier, but I disagreed – the diggy’s English seems to be his first language.

    Then the drunk on the sofa mounted a persuasive case: Dig=Stroccher. Look at the style of the anti-left ranting, so seamlessly strung together: “…false and typical of your breed… hallmarks of the spittle flecked invective that passes for discussion by the left… ignorant juvenile hypocrites… full of piss and wind – no facts, just poor English cobbled together to pad out even more poorly formed ideas…”

    The bit about poor English would be a bit cheeky, John Anthony said. He made the excellent point that the concept of “leftist” has only recently come into conversational gambit vogue (since the end of Communism in the USSR, at any rate) and is a mantra of self-identifying conservatives and Tory backroom boys. A real digger would have used “commo”.

    Fiona suggested that the pompous, pedagogic tone was trademark Jack S. To test this, we dug some up:

    “It is considered bad taste to make public shopping lists of ones personal virtues and vices. But since you, with unerring instinct, broached the tacky subject, allow me to close it. Those ‘with tickets on themselves’ do not, as I am at pains to, make testable predictions or engage in error detection and correction. The factual record is not something an inflated ego is keen to address. Not that hard facts would make much of an impression on an ignorance as invincible as yours.”

    Right.

    And here’s a lecture from the OD by way of comparison:

    “Katz you started off so well but then dropped to the bottom of the class with the silly monomania reference…”

    Gee, the tone is so familiar! You can just hear the swish of the birch through the air.

    Perhaps the uniform sameness is because that is what they teach them at Liberal Party HQ before they send the ambitious junior-level operatives out to infest “leftist” blogs?

    Finally, the dig gives us a hint how such posts are created. He actually comes up with it as a ploy, with a nice twist of feigned incredulity:

    “That I could `lift’ a plausible biography from the War Memorial website?”

  131. For what it’s worth (and that’s very little) The Collected Annals of Troll Digger. Seems to me, we’re way off topic here though.

  132. Christine Keeler says:

    Hmm. I have to get one of those Fisher CZ 70 Pro with 10.5″ coils http://www.thunting.com/geotech/forums/showthread.php?s=bf59c5c5f3389b81e4421579218ad861&t=12757

  133. More on olddiggers here.

  134. Gaz says:

    “The North was nationalistic and wanted to rid the region of US “imperialistsâ€? from the region. They had a good case in this respect.”

    Exactly Jack,and that’s the point at the end of the day.It was their country, and they wanted the imperialists out end of story.The Chinese and the communist influence, used the Viet Nam conflict to their own ends, and in my opinion was a carry on from Korea by proxy.The causes,events,battles,political machinations can be debated adnauseam,the point is, we lost they won and the rest is history.

    No matter how you carve it up,thousands of men died for what was known at the time as the “Domino Theory” it was a lie then,as much as the lie now about Iraq, is what is popular for the media spin of the day.

  135. Sir Henry Casingbroke says:

    Thanks Gummo. The old dig sure gets around:

    ABC Forum 26/03/2003 10:02:11 PM
    Subject: re: Aussie troops to be rotated
    post id: 1242
    “However I’m not an idiot, I’m educated and have experience of the world, even some of the Middle East having spent a short time in detention in Qatar and I’ve even climbed the Cheops pyramid (1966).”

    Posted by: OldDigger on Dec 21, 04 | 12:10 am Tim Blair Blog
    “In Adelaide, at an occasion during the mid seventies, I stood in a neat row with SLR at my side whilst Brig Phillip Greville, my commander, dedicated a modest timber cross to the men of the Royal Australian Regiment (of which I was a member) who had served Australia in war.”

    Starting as a MMG tripod carrier in the Korean War, or the Pacific War of WW2, and intimating he is in his 80s in an earlier post here, the OD is revealed to be the oldest continuously serving soldier in the history of the Australian Army. An educated man of the world, OD remains in the ranks in the mid-70s as a 50-year-old.

  136. Careful, Sir Henry – don’t overlook the possibility that the nickname is a family heirloom!

  137. Katz says:

    Based on Sir Hank’s researches, OldDigger may well be a Time Warrior

    But that raises the knotty philosophical question: how did OldDigger ever get to be old?

    Surely, even Time Warriors don’t die. They just redeploy themselves to another time-space continuum.

    No, I think I was closer to the truth when I hypothesised that OldDigger is a proud veteran of the 2nd/2nd Mounted Bumboys.

  138. OD says:

    Ha ha ha ha … you lot still going, what a hoot.

    It’s like watching a `Chinese whispers’ game –or one of Gaz’s `bum in the bucket’ conspiracy theories in the making.

    Ken – Many machine guns can be fitted to tripods; .30, M60, MAG even a Bren, your Vickers assumption has rather amusingly been picked up by other posters and caused untold confusion.

    Katz – my opinion of Cronkite is shared by many others, particularly in the US. Yes your use of the term ‘monomania’ is the first time I’m aware it’s been used in relation to me – perhaps I shouldn’t concentrate so intently on the subject of a thread, but just ramble on about the weather, football or another poster’s personal history like Peter Kemp.

    Though PK has a thing about Vickers MGs as well as Ken.

    Gaz, as far as I can see the word `communist/s’ has been used three times in this thread and only once by me in reference to the wharfies in WW2. It’s you who seem fixated about the `communists’ in relation to the Vietnam conflict.

    I might add I have not accused you of treason – “this is about ideologyâ€? you wrote, dam right – I wrote; “He reminds me of that ideological comrade of yours, Wilfred Burchettâ€? Wilf is of the left and celebrated by the left and you’ve proudly proclaimed “you just can’t handle the fact the left, and in this case that’s meâ€? – the shoe fits sport…

    Poor SHC – “First he says he’s carried a Vickers tripod and a mortar barrel.â€? – don’t you read the posts you comment on? See above re Ken.

    A real digger would have used “commoâ€? – you mean I can’t use `leftist’ – like whatEver… that is soooo not cool.

    I’ve never been a member of any political party, the only mob desperate enough to try to sign me up me was the ALP. The `recruiter’ seemed to think that as I was a new member of his union I would obviously share his ideology. Amusing at the time as I was in a workplace liberally covered with `no ticket, no start’ posters.

    Gummo the cleverly assembled `collected annuals’ are quite entertaining, though I’d hoped to keep my hobby as a Nordic Rock and Roll collector a bit closer to my chest, on the other hand my `live journal’ entries show I appear to have a consummate command of Russian and a penchant for soft toys.

    And back to poor old SHC, your imaginations been running rampant. First you read Ken’s inquiring post regarding which machine gun tripod I might have been cursed with and then author a complete biography for me, fantastic, but very flattering.

    However, 80 is a bit over the top and “OD remains in the ranks in the mid-70s as a 50-year-oldâ€? is still a bit off. Though you’ve reminded me that another `guest’ at that particular ceremony in Adelaide was Gaz’s mate Wilf with an ABC crew in tow looking for a confrontation with Greville who happily obliged.

    Sadly it probably cost him his job.

    Here is a contemporary definition from the `urban dictionary’:

    Olddigger
    A male that pursues, engages and dates rich, old ladies in order to enhance his lifesyle. By pretending to be attracted to and interested in them publicly while being paraded around her circle of hags, he benefits from fine-dining, parties, concerts, plays, drives her luxury auto, lives in her big home, plus he gets gifts, toys and pocket money.

    Dam, is that what I’ve been doing, though `hags’ is a bit harsh…

  139. Digger’s now in moderation folks, so please don’t waste time responding to that last comment.

    Let’s leave him to move off and get his cheap thrills elsewhere.

    So, who fancies Dolly for Treasurer then?

  140. Peter Kemp says:

    Dolly for treasurer?

    Nah, in view of his limited experience in foreign affairs, I think Rudd should appoint him as cultural ambassador to Kahzakstan provided he attends the comprehensive one year “Sir Leslie Patterson”
    training course.

    (After that he may be fit enough to make commercials for laundry detergent.)

    Even better, special envoy to Hezbollah. Free uniform provided with a series of red circles front and back overlaid on a picture of an ambulance with two missile holes in the roof, captioned “It’s a propagandist lie” —in Arabic.

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