RSL has a funny way of showing respect

Not for the first time has the RSL stirred controversy. Indeed, it seems an established pattern for the organisation whenever its relevance appears to slide. But picking a fight with returned service personnel’s families seems an exercise in futility.

A body called the ANZAC Day Combined Parade Committee (bet there are some big-noters on that one!) reckons servicemen are being lost in the ‘crowds’ of relatives marching in the Brisbane parade. So, everyone but a nominated carer gets the bum’s rush to the back of the line where they can appear like an appendix kept in a jar.

An organising stalwart (who should remain anonymous because he’s too fatuous to deserve naming) says the bottom line is duty of care to the diggers. ‘We want the march to focus on them,’ he harrumphed in the best traditions of an old sergeant-major who can no longer bend over to untie his bootlaces.

The RSL distanced itself – by a millimetre – from the decision saying the Committee was not an RSL entity. But the RSL Queensland CEO does endorse the decision. His view: ‘We want to be able to see them as they march past, rather than have them surrounded by 60 to 70 other people.’ Frankly, pal, you’re a dickhead. You just haven’t realised it yet.

If the tradition of the ANZACs means anything it is surely an expression of the gratitude of those who got to stay behind and who wish to demonstrate our deep appreciation for the sacrifices made on our behalf. Treating the families and loved ones of diggers as second-class citizens is hardly what those who fought had in mind for their nation. Thank god those honourable men and women knew what kind of a society they wanted to protect. Can you imagine what a poll of their attitudes might reveal?

And as for you wankers on the Combined Parade Committee: bugger off, eh?