Saturday, June 18, 2011

Winning Friends

Well, I doubt this will win me any friends, however...

It is extremely unlikely I will get killed at work. There is a slim chance, but my workplace is not known to be too unsafe. Should I get killed at work, my family and friends will come to my funeral. The Prime Minister will not.

Yet, if I joined the army, and I was killed in my workplace, the Prime Minister will come to my funeral.

Isn't being in the army inherently dangerous? If the bastardisation doesn't get you, or a sexual assault, or being forced to exercise until you die, a sniper in Afghanistan may well get you.

"The brave soldier killed by a sniper in the service of his country".

No, he or she may be brave or perhaps a coward. Just because they died does not make them brave.

In service for their country? That is exactly what I do. I am in service for the people of Melbourne, Australia and people from all over the world. Mine is a paid job and so is the soldier's. I may not be fighting for Queen and country as a soldier may be, but is that what he or she thought upon joining the armed services?

I am fine with an armed service person's death being significantly reported as it is a measure of our foolishness being involved in foreign wars and the toll does need to be noted. But that the Prime Minister and or all sorts of official types see the need to attend every soldier's funeral seems overkill to me.

I suppose the way things are going in Afghanistan means my issue will sort itself out. There will be too many funerals for the PM to attend and still govern the country.

Partner's of police often think of the dreaded knock at the door, as partner's of soldiers fear the same. Yet it is less of a shock for them if the worst happened than if someone knocked at my door to tell my partner of my death in a workplace accident.

Did the west really think they could succeed in Afghanistan when the Soviet Union failed?


  1. These politicians are locked in now; just like they are locked into these potentially endless wars.

    They don't know how to extricate themselves. How many deaths is too many for them to continue attending funerals? Whose will be the first that they fail to attend or that they send a subordinate representative to? Will they bear any criticism of them when that point is reached?

    How quickly they rush into these things, mostly in support of some other country's policy and self interest, without any clear object or realistic goals.

  2. John Howard started this. I wonder how many veterens will turn up for his funeral.

  3. I can imagine the outcry from the people wondering why "their" brave soldier son isn't considered worthy of a politician attending his funeral, because they've stopped going to them. As far as I'm concerened they never should have attended in the first place.

  4. Too true Victor. I suppose Mr Rabbit attends each too. Meddling in other people's business, I'd call it.

    Jah Teh, Howard certainly left a legacy, but not many he can be proud of.

    Agree River. It was a bad precedent to set.

  5. I guess people are supposed to think "Yes, it's sad that my husband (or whatever) has died. But isn't it great that the Prime Minister is here. How kind of them to show up."

    I agree with you. Dying in a war isn't necessarily brave. Often it's about being in the wrong place at the wrong time.

  6. An astute and incisive post, mate.

  7. Quite so Dina. Given how many US personal have been killed, lucky that your presidents have not committed to going to their funerals.

    Thank you LS. It is all such a farce, as you know.

  8. This issue, like most of this governments 'policies' is ill-thought out and inconsistent. But we're supposed to equate 'attendance' with 'caring'. I suspect attendance will stop when the polls show it's doing more damage than good.

  9. Red, as an avowed communist, I don't care for either party, but I think the attendance at funeral thing began under Howard. We only did peace keeping after Lord Gough until Howard came along.