Review: “The One Day Of The Year” – Australian Anzac Day Jingoism Hides Genocidal War Crimes


The One Day Of  The Year is an iconic play by Alan Seymour about Anzac Day, the Australian and New Zealand war dead remembrance day held on the anniversary of the unsuccessful invasion of Turkey at Gallipoli by the Australia and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC) on 25 April 1915. Anti-war sentiment expressed on or about Anzac Day has elicited ferocious responses over the years ranging from death threats to blanket media censorship that hides Australia’s appalling history of  UK- and US-linked war crimes and genocides.

one-day-of-yearAustralia today is an ostensibly  rich, egalitarian, educated, peaceful and democratic society  but has an entrenched culture of censorship, self-censorship, lying by commission and lying by omission that promotes this myth and hides the ugliness of Australian society just as Anzac Day jingoism hides Australia’s secret genocide history and its continuing, war criminal  involvement in racist and genocidal wars. As explored below, “The One Day of the Year” is a great play and an iconic and ostensibly anti-war play, but it utterly fails to mention the most horrendous aspect of modern wars, the collateral suffering and death of huge numbers of civilians.

  1. “The One Day of the Year” – the play

“The One Day of the Year” [1] was written by Alan Seymour in 1958. It was accepted by a panel of judges for the Adelaide Arts Festival in 1960 but the decision was overturned by the Adelaide Festival Board of Governors on the basis that it was insensitive  to returned soldiers (veterans) and would offend the powerful Returned Services League (RSL). The play was first performed by an amateur theatrical group in Adelaide, South Australia in 1960. The play was first professionally performed on 26 April 1961 at the Palais Theatre in Sydney, the performance having been delayed by 1 day due to bomb threats, was subsequently performed for television in 1962 and has become an iconic Australian play  [2, 3].

The play is set in the lounge, kitchen and a bedroom of a working class cottage in Sydney in circa 1960. The  Australian characters of the play are presented with great accuracy and comprise Alf Cook (40-ish WW2 veteran and lift operator in a business building in the city), his long-suffering wife Dot Cook (40-ish wife of Alf), Wacka Dawson (60-ish quintessential Aussie larrikan friend of Alf and Dot and a veteran of both WW1 and WW2, for which he put his age up and down, respectively), Hughie Cook (20-ish university student son of Alf and Dot) and Jan Castle (20-ish university student from the upper class North Shore of Sydney and Hughie’s girl friend).

Act 1 commences with an angry Alf aggrieved that he has fought for his country but has missed out on education and opportunity, and is reduced as a wounded veteran to being a humble lift driver for rich passengers. Alf complains about an English (Pommy) lift passenger “I’m a bloody Australian and I’ll always stand up for bloody Australia. That’s what I felt like sayin’ to him, bloody Pommy… ‘E says “Seven”. I says: “Wotcher say?” ‘E looks me up and down as if I’m a lumpa dirt” [page 8, [1]).  Alf’s minor vice is  to drink beer (“the old amber”) with his mate Wacka  but Dot is judgemental “Are you on it again?… How much ‘ve you had?” [pages 9, [1]. Alf complains likewise about Dot’s playing Euchre for money: “ Bloody gambling. Still puttin’ the kid through Uni, ‘aven’t got two bob to rub together and she’s bloody gambling” [page 11, [1]). Alf justifies getting drunk on Anzac Day: “England? Bugger England. I’m a bloody Australian , mate, and its because I’m a bloody Australian that I’m getting’ on the grog. It’s Anzac day this week, that’s my day, that’s the old digger’s day –.”(page 13, [1]).

Hughie and his rich girl friend Jan arrive.  Hughie is conscious of his working class circumstances which he defends with sarcasm. Upper class Jan is patronising while trying not to be. Hughie and Jan are planning an Anzac Day article for the University newspaper to be illustrated by Hughie’s photography and exposing Anzac Day as a day of public veteran drunkenness.   In a long conversation with his girl friend,  Hughie declares:“I can’t stand waste. Waste of lives, waste of men. That whole thing- Anzac – Gallipoli – was a waste. Certainly not to glorify. God, there’s been another war since then! Dozens of wars everywhere, thousands of lousy little victories and defeats to forget. But they go on and on about this one year after year, as though it really was something’”  (page 20, [1]). In relation to the Anzac Day Dawn Service and the Anzac Day March, Hughie declares:  “This time last year, all the week before, I watched him [Alf] getting worse and worse. I thought I won’t go. I won’t observe it any more. But I did. When it came to the point I did. Well, that was the last time . This time I’m going to celebrate Anzac day my way, with my feelings, my photos from my camera, on paper, in print. Even if it rubbishes absolutely and completely all I’ve been brought up on, that’s what I’m going to do (page 21, [1])… All that old eyewash about national character’s a thing of the past. Australians are this, Australians are that, Australians make the greatest soldiers, the best fighters, it’s all rubbish… The Europeans here [New Australian migrants] force us to see that all people are pretty much the same, and that’s the best thing that ever happened to this country, maybe the next generations won’t be so one-eyed””. [page 27, [1]).

Act 2 commences just before dawn on Anzac day. Alf is off to the Dawn Service but Hughie declares that he is not going. Alf angrily declares: “Well you know what day this is. This day used to mean someth’n’ once. … Don’t shut me up,  I’m not ashamed of it. I’m proud to be a bloody Australian . If it wasn’t for men like my old man [who died in WW1] this country’d never bin heard of. They put Australia on the map they did, the Anzacs did. An’ bloody died doin’ it. Well, even a snotty-nosed little kid oughta be proud of that. What’s happened to him? Why isn’t he?” Dot observes: “Don’t you go using this as an excuse for one of your – [binges]” (page 55, [1]). Alf leaves for the Dawn Service but Wacka turns up and has decided to watch the proceedings on television. Jan turns up and they all see Alf marching in the Anzac Day March. Jan chills the proceedings by saying: “I thought he [Hughie] hated Anzac Day… Well, all it stands for … The same old clichés in the newspapers year after year. All the public hoo-ha – it’s so damned –  I mean – I’m sorry – but – to us, the people coming on, there’s something  quite – offensive in the way you all cling to it. Not Mr Dawson [Wacka], it really happened to him, he knows what he feels today and why, it’s not just because it’s expected. But with so many people it’s … well, isn’t it all rather phoney?” (pages 66-67, [1]).

On Anzac Day evening Dot and Wacka are waiting for Alf to return. Dot comments on Alf’s lost dreams of being an engineer. Wacka is persuaded to talk of the first Anzac Day, concluding “Soon we was all dug in, up and down them hills. We stayed there in the stinkin’ heat with the stinkin’ flies ‘n’ the bully beef ‘n’ dysentery and sometimes the Turk trenches not ten yards away – we stayed there nine months. Then we pulled out, the whole bang lot of us… When we went in there we was nobody. When we come out we was famous. Anzacs, Ballyhoo. Photos in the papers. Famous. Not worth a crumpet. Sorry, Dot,. Didn’t mean t’bash yr ear. Gettin’ like Alf” (page 73, [1]). Hughie turns up and explains how he has been taking photos of drunken veterans : “Every where you look – every suburb you go through – and we went through them today – every pub, every street – all over this damned country today men got rotten. This is THE day.  [In the manner of a pompous Australian  jingoist] “When Awstrylia first reached maturity as a nation””. To this  Wacka gently protests “That’s not all it is… Can’t you let then enjoy it? You don’t have to agree. But they’ve got a right tot their feelings”. Hughie responds: “” Wacka – you’ve been brought up on the speeches. They say what it’s officially meant to be. I’ve been looking at what it is. As far as I’m concerned , that ‘s all it is, A great big meaningless booze-up. Nothing more”. Dot snaps: “Well, y’r wrong” (page 78, [1])..

Alf eventually turns up drunk and drunkenly recounts his day of boozing with his mates, Hughie launches into him over Alf’s drunken expostulations: “You’ve just proved something … Oh,  frig the old diggers… Do you know what you’re celebrating today? Do you [Dot]? Do you even know what it all meant?… How do I know? Didn’t you shove it down my throat? It’s here. Encyclopaedia for Australian kids. You gave it to me yourself. Used to make me read the Anzac chapter every year. Well, I read it. The official  history, all very glowing and patriotic. I read it … enough times to start seeing through  it. Do you know what the Gallipoli campaign meant? Bugger all … A face-saving device. An expensive shambles. It was the biggest fiasco of the  war … the British, Dad, the bloody Poms. THEY pushed those men up those cliffs that April morning, knowing,  KNOWING it was suicide… Why is a drunk man so funny? Funny,? Drunk or sober, you’re not funny. You disgust me, You – disgust – me”  (pages 81-86, [1]).Dot says: “Hughie! Hughie, listen to me. Hughie!..I want you to know one thing. You going to publish that article?… Because if you are and your father sees it, it’s the finish, Hughie. You can pack your bags and leave. I mean it. Right?” (page 86, [1]).

Act 3 is early evening several days later in the lounge with Dot present and Alf passing through. Hughie walks in, shows a newspaper to Dot and throws it on the table. . He has had a row with Jan over the newspaper article. Dot persuades Hughie and Alf to make up. However Alf then notices the newspaper, picks it up and is enraged by the Anzac Day article about drunken veterans. Alf and Hughie argue, but when Hughie declares “You’ve got to know, you’d better know once and for all how I feel. That’s your famous old diggers to me. Great, stupid, drunken …” Alf back-hands Hughie across the face (page  95, [1]).Dot joins in the argument: “Didn’t cost yr old man to go out in a blaze of glory. It’s the ones like Wacka who come back knocked up and get nothin’, just nothin’ and go on without a word the resta their lives, there the ones who give their all” (p96, [1]).

Jan turns up and precipitates an argument about the newspaper article. Alf declares “And if that little jumped-up snob can put a story like that in a newspaper there’s someth’n’ the matter with this country” to which Jan responds: “Why? We all have to agree with you before we can get into print?… I’ll upset who I like … My father went to he war too – but he doesn’t go on and on about it … You’re nothing special, Mr Cook. You’re not the only hero on earth. You’re just an ordinary little man … I just told you , Mr. Cook, but you never listen. They [the “upper crust” scorned by Alf] haven’t done any more than you – but they haven’t done any less either” (pages 96-97, [1]).

Hughie reveals that he has stuck up for Alf in an argument with Jan, has had misgivings about publishing the article   but in the end went ahead and published the story. Hughie apologizes to his father again but  Alf bitterly reveals that he has been rejected for an executive job for being too old: “But it’s more than  jobs. It’s… Boys I’ve known all me life. Went through the Depression with me, then the War. They’re nothin’ much either. Nothin’ much… But for one day they’re someth’n’” (pages 99-100, [1]).

Hughie is moved by his father’s circumstances, argues with Jan and finally explodes : “Who CARES about Anzac Day? I’ve got that off my chest. You see, it wasn’t just that, it never was” to which Jan replies “I know, It was him [Alf]”. Hughie confesses: “I can’t BREATHE in this house … It’s just that they’re so – Australian”. Hughie rejects Jan’s offer of help : “All right, you’ll help me. And patronize my family without meaning to … until you get sick of the whole thing and drift back to the Yacht Club … You’ll be able to laugh and tell them about your proletarian phase”. Jan is deeply insulted by Hughie and leaves, saying “Hughie, don’t. Can’t you …? Can’t you see I …?” but can’t get it out.  Hughie suggests that he might leave University and confesses to his father “I want you to know how we stand. I don’t respect what you all do on that day. I never will. And I don’t respect what it stands for. But now I respect the way you feel about it” (pages 106-107, [1]).   Alf wants Hughie to have the education he didn’t have and Dot concurs. . Wacka says: “Your boy’s growing up. You’ve got to face that. He’s got the right  to think and say what he likes. Any fightin’ we ever did, you’n’ me, in any wars, it was to give him that right. And if we don’t agree with what he thinks – well, it’s his world. We’ve had it. He’s got it all ahead of him” (page 107, [1]).

Alf has the last word: “I seen these jumped-up cows come and go, come and go, they don’t mean a bloody thing, what did they ever do for the country, they never did nothing. It’s the little man, he’s the one goes out and gets slaughtered, we’re the ones they get when the time comes, we’re the ones, mugs, the lot of us, mugs. He [Hughie] said that. He said it. Did my son say that? Did he say that about me and my mates? That’s good men he’s talking about, men who give their all, that’s decent men. I’ll show the little cow. Someone’s gotta show these kids. I’ll show him, I know what he thinks, I’m nothin’, but I’ll show him, I’ll show the lot of ’em. I’m a bloody Australian and I’ll always … “. Hughie charges to the front door and is about to rush out but something holds him … and he slowly comes back into the lounge and sits down (pages 107-108, [1].).

  1. “The One Day of the Year”, freedom of speech and telling the truth.

The play, its characters and their language are all authentically Australian with a realism matching that of later iconic Australian playwright David Williamson.  Alf Cook is a working class Australian who has lived through Depression, served in the army in WW2, been denied  education  and opportunity, and reduced to operating a lift. Alf’s self-esteem derives significantly from his family, his  war service and his mates and this all comes together  with Anzac Day, the One Day of the Year,  from the Dawn Service and March to drinking with his mates. Alf remains enraged to the end of the play by criticism of his traditional Australian ethos, Dot Cook’s nagging over his drinking, Hughie and Wacka not attending the Dawn Service, Hughie’s “book learning”-based exposure of the horrible realities of the Gallipoli campaign, Jan’s debunking of his “special” status as a working class WW2 veteran,  and by Hughie and Jan diminishing the sanctity of the day by  exposing veteran drunkenness in an illustrated  newspaper. Alf’s core assertion “I’m a bloody Australian and I’ll always stand up for bloody Australia”  begins and ends the play and lives on today with the flag-waving right wing populists and pro-war jingoists, the racist neo-Nazis demonstrating xenophobic hatred (as in the anti-Muslim Cronulla Riot), the mass chanting of “Aussie, Aussie , Aussie, oi, oi, oi” at international sporting events, and the stupid, ignorant, racist, xenophopbic , anti-Asian, anti-Aboriginal and anti-Muslim One Nation Party (that has 10% electoral support today and whose leader famously responded to the charge of xenophobia by saying in Strine (Australian English): “Please expline”.

Hughie and Jan as young, educated, more universalist  Australians object to the blind nationalism of the older generation’s Anzac Day observance and use newspaper exposure of widespread veteran drunkenness as a convenient way of doing this. However while Jan is naturally happy with her privileged  and sophisticated existence as the child of a wealthy family on Sydney’s posh North Shore, Hughie is oppressed by the poverty and simplicity of his working class family. By Act 3  Hughie confesses that his argument with his father wasn’t really about Anzac Day but his about his family’s culture and Jan immediately states that she knows.  Hughie ultimately apologizes to his father – he still holds the same views but understand that he should respect the way Alf feels about it. Ultimately Hughie breaks with Jan for cultural difference reasons, and rather than storming out of the house, returns and sits down in the lounge.

Dot Cook and Wacka Dawson represent the wise, non-ideological, pragmatic centre of this cultural confrontation. Dot stands by her husband and pins on his medals but criticizes Alf’s drinking and demands that both father and son make up and end the argument. Dot threatens  to throw Hughie out of the house if he shows the offending article  to his father and concurs with Alf that Hughie should  complete  his university education. Wacka is the iconic working class Australian who does what he perceives as his duty by volunteering for both  WW1 and WW2  but is well aware of the awful realities of war for the soldiers. Wacka also accepts Hughie’s “right to think and say what he likes.”

The author Alan Seymour was unhappy about his development of Jan in the play   (page, [1]) , wrote a revised version and indeed published a novel entitled  “The One Day of the Year” [4]. However Jan is accurately drawn as an educated, well-intentioned and honorable  young Australian woman from a prosperous home.

Crucially, from my perspective as a humanitarian scientist, the play is about freedom of expression and telling the truth. Telling the truth is vital for science-based rational risk management that is crucial  for societal safety and successively involves (a) accurate reportage, (b) science-based analysis, this involving the critical testing of potentially falsifiable hypotheses, and (c) informed systemic change to minimize risk. However, such science-based risk management is typically perverted by (a) lying by omission, lying by commission, censorship intimidation and self-censoirship, (b) anti-science, spin-based analysis  involving  the selective use of asserted facts to support a partisan position, and (c) spin-based, knee-jerk, blame and shame  responses that curtail vital reportage and with war being the most  evil outcome [5-12].

The various characters have their say on freedom of expression and telling the truth. Thus Alf declares “And if that little jumped-up snob can put a story like that in a newspaper there’s someth’n’ the matter with this country”.  Jan tells Alf: “”Why? We all have to agree with you before we can get into print?… I’ll upset who I like” (pages 96-97, [1]). However at the end Jan is unable to tell the truth to Hughie about what we suppose is her love for him.

Dot doesn’t like the Anzac Day drinking but vehemently tells her son “Hughie! Hughie, listen to me. Hughie!… I want you to know one thing. You going to publish that article?… Because if you are and your father sees it, it’s the finish, Hughie. You can pack your bags and leave. I mean it. Right?” (page 86, [1]).However  Wacka tells the awful truth about the first Anzac Day  and its successors and defends Hughie’s right to freedom of expression: “Your boy’s growing up. You’ve got to face that. He’s got the right  to think and say what he likes. Any fightin’ we ever did, you’n’ me, in any wars, it was to give him that right. And if we don’t agree with what he thinks – well, it’s his world. We’ve had it. He’s got it all ahead of him” (Page 107, [1]). Despite his misgivings about offending his parents, Hughie publishes what he believes to be true.

“The One Day of the Year” is a great play about different cultural perceptions, Thus Hughie’s passionate  “I can’t BREATHE in this house … “ brings to mind  Hamlet’s perception that Denmark is a prison and his famous rejoinder to Rosenkranz’s denial: “Why, then, ’tis none to you, for there is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so. To me it is a prison” [13]. The play is crucially about saying what you think and having the freedom to do so. However the play, while rightly condemning war , its impact on participants and its glorification-cum-commemoration on Anzac Day, fails to mention the Elephant-in-the-Room  matter of civilian casualties of war that were utterly  horrendous in the 20th  century (when the play was written)  and have also been horrendous in the 21st century. Instead the play –  notwithstanding its incurring condemnation, censorship and death threats from nationalist jingoists –  plays for safety and devolves about changing values, class warfare, intergenerational conflict and drunkenness. Indeed in my personal experience excessive student boozing was entrenched in  university life in the 1960s (as it is today), and accordingly for university students Hughie and Jan to moralize about the drunkenness of returned soldiers  on the  One Day of the Year is astonishing hypocrisy!

  1. Anzac Day ignores serial invader Australia’s complicity in horrendous war crimes and climate crimes.

This is the Awful Truth that  “The One Day of the Year”,  Australia’s Anzac Day observance and Australian Mainstream journalist, politician and academic presstitutes utterly ignore – mostly as UK lackeys or US lackeys, Australians have invaded 85 out of 203 present-day countries (195 UN-recognized nations and 8 non-UN-recognized self-governing countries) as compared to the British 193, the French 80,  the US 72 (52 after WW2), Germany 39, Japan 30, Russia 25, Canada 25,  Apartheid Israel 12 and China 2   [14-21].  About 30 of these invasions were genocidal. While a “holocaust” involves the death of a large number of people, “genocide” is defied by Article 2 of the UN Genocide Convention as “acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnic, racial or religious group” [22]. “Intent” is rarely confessed by national genocide perpetrators (indeed Turkey has made it a criminal offense to talk of the 1915-1923 Armenian Genocide) but intent is substantiated by remorseless conduct in full knowledge of the horrendous consequences. This appalling catalogue of genocidal war crimes is summarized below with dates and some estimates of deaths from violence or deprivation in brackets [21, 23, 24]:

(1) Australian Aboriginal Genocide (1788 – present; 2 million), (2) Tasmanian Aboriginal Genocide (1803-1876; 10,000), (3) British Indian Genocide, Indian Holocaust (1757-1947, 1,800 million), (4) European Chinese Genocide (18th – 20th century; 100 million);  (5) Maori Genocide (19th century; 160,000),  (6) African Genocide (15th century-20th century; 40 million),  (7) Sudanese War (1881-1898; 10,000), (8) Pacific Islands Genocide, Melanesian Genocide (19th- 20th century; 100,000), (9) Fijian Holocaust, Fijian Genocide (19th century; 40,000), (10) Boer (Afrikaaner) Genocide (1899-1902, 30,000); (11) Armenian Genocide (1915-1923, 1.5 million); (12) WW2 Bengali Genocide, Bengali Holocaust, Indian Holocaust, Bengal Famine (1942-1945; 7 million), (13) WW2 Chinese Holocaust (1937-1945; 40 million), (14) British post-1950 Third World Genocide (1950-present; 727 million),  (15) US post-1950 Third World Genocide (1950-present; 82 million), (16) Australian Colonial Genocide (1950-1975; 2 million).

The following Australia-complicit, atrocities are ongoing in the 21st century because the World has not told the US Alliance or US-allied, racist White Australia to stop:

(17) 20th and 21st century  Aboriginal Genocide and Aboriginal Ethnocide (1900 – present; 1 million), (18) Palestinian Genocide (1917-present; 2 million), (19) Iraqi Holocaust and Iraqi Genocide (1914 – present;  9 million), (20) Afghan Genocide and Afghan Holocaust (1919- present; 22 million since 1950), (21) Somali Holocaust and Somali Genocide (1992-present; 2 million), (22) Libyan Holocaust and Libya Genocide (2011- present; 0.2 million),  (23) Syrian Holocaust and  Syrian Genocide (1917-present; 1 million),  (24) Yemeni Holocaust and Yemeni Genocide (2015- present; 20,000), (25) US drone war in Pakistan (2004- present; 0.9 million annual avoidable deaths from deprivation),  (26) Muslim Holocaust and Muslim Genocide (1990 – present; 32 million since 2001) [25], (27) Korean Holocaust Korean Genocide (1950-1953; 5 million), (28) Indo-China War (1954-1975; 23 million), (29) Post-1950 US Asian wars (1950 – present; 40 million),   (30) Air pollution deaths (7 million annually including 75,000 from pollutants from burning Australian coal) [26- 28], {31) Global avoidable deaths from deprivation (17 million annually; Australia is one of the world’s richest countries) [21], (32) Climate Genocide (more than 0.4 million deaths annually; Australia is one of the world’s worst greenhouse gas polluters) [29-33], (33) Global opiate drug-related deaths due to US Alliance restoration of the Taliban-destroyed Afghan opium industry (1.2 million as of 2015 including 280,000 Americans, 256,000 Indonesians, 68,000 Iranians, 25,000 British, 14,000 Canadians, 10,000 Germans, and 5,000 Australians) [34].

The extraordinarily comprehensive Australian Silence about this carnage and in particular that associated with the ongoing, Australia-complicit,  US War on Muslims (aka the US War on Terror)  – 32 million Muslims deaths from violence, 5 million, or deprivation, 27 million, in 20 countries invaded by the US Alliance since the US Government’s 9-11 false flag atrocity [25, 35]. In contrast, despite zero (0) Australians having been killed in Australia by Muslim –origin terrorists before 2014 and only three (3) since then, Australia is gripped with US- and Zionist -promoted terror hysteria, has introduced draconian, civil rights-violating anti-terrorism laws,   and each year commits about $10 billion in present and long-term accrual cost to the US War on Terror [36-39].

Despite the official Anzac Day hype by the US lackey, pro-Zionist, pro-war,  jingoist Australian Lib-Labs (Liberal Party-National Party Government and Labor Party Opposition) , successive Lib-Lab Governments have followed the US example in treating veterans rather shabbily.  Thus in the US an average of about 20 veterans have been committing suicide each day  since 2001 [40 -42], this carnage amounting to about 116,000 veteran suicides since the US Government’s 9-11 false flag atrocity that killed about 3,000 people, mostly Americans [35, 41]. It is not clear how many Australian veterans have suicide or died prematurely due to war-derived mental trauma but it is  estimated that about 85,000 Australians die preventably each year i.e. 1.4 million have died thus since 9-11, this being inescapably linked to the fiscal perversion and depraved indifference  of successive jingoist but Australian-killing Lib-Lab Governments that have  committed scores of billions of dollars to help the US kill millions of Muslims abroad rather than saving scores of thousands of Australian lives at home [36-39].

As Alf says at the end of “The One Day of the Year”: “It’s the little man, he’s the one goes out and gets slaughtered, we’re the ones they get when the time comes, we’re the ones, mugs, the lot of us, mugs” (pages 107-108, [1].).

  1. Anzac Day censorship in look-the-other-way Australia.

Over the last century successive generations of jingoists have asserted that Australia “became a nation” with the defeat of the Anzacs at Gallipoli. Thus in the play Wacka asserts: “”When we went in there we was nobody. When we come out we was famous” (page 73, [1]). and Hughie parodies the jingoists ’asserting that Anzac Day was  “When Awstrylia first reached maturity as a nation” (page 78, [1]). Over the years the nationalist  jingoists have responded with hysterical outrage and censorship when this absurd proposition was disputed. Yet during WW1 many Irish Catholic Australians objected to  Australia fighting a war for British Imperialism that was brutally suppressing the inhabitants of Catholic Ireland. Indeed an Australian  referendum during WW1 rejected conscription for service in the war. In vain thoughtful Australians point with well-justified pride to  Australia being one of the first countries in the world for free, compulsory, secular public education, free trade unions, the 8-hour-day, parliamentary democracy  and female suffrage.

In 1983 about 300 women marched on Anzac Day in Sydney with a banner stating:  “In memory of all women in all countries raped in all wars”. They were abused and many were arrested. In Australia’s capital city Canberra, women were prevented from laying a wreath at the War Memorial and a special law was passed making it unlawful to give offence to any ACT Anzac Day march participant [43 ].

The Armenian Genocide of 1915 is intimately connected with the ANZAC invasion. Months of Anglo-French bombardment of the Dardanelles (linking the Black Sea and the Mediterranean) eventually precipitated violent Turkish xenophobia on the eve of the actual Allied invasion on 25 April 2015. On 24 April 2015 the Armenian Genocide commenced with the rounding up of Armenian community leaders such as councillors, clergy and professionals and expanded  to mass killings and the forced  expulsion of Armenian  communities in horrendous death marches. An estimated 1.5 million Armenians were killed and one of the regions oldest civilizations was decimated. 24 April is commemorated as Armenian Genocide Remembrance Day by Armenians while 25 April is commemorated as Anzac Day by Australians and New Zealanders. Successive Turkish governments have remorselessly rejected the extent and terminology of the Armenian Genocide [44].

Thus in 2013 the Australian New South Wales (NSW) Parliament reiterated its 1997 recognition of the Armenian Genocide and also acknowledged Turkey’s   Assyrian Genocide and Greek Genocide in the 1920s, but Turkey responded by threatening to block MPs attending the 2015 centenary  Anzac Day events at Gallipoli (one notes that Gladys Berejiklian, the newly-elected  premier of NSW,  is of Armenian-origin) [45]. Conversely the obscenely pragmatic, US lackey Australian Coalition  Federal Government issued a statement via Foreign Minister Julie Bishop stating “As you are aware, the Australian Government is sympathetic to the Armenian people and other communities that suffered such terrible losses during the tragic events at the end of the Ottoman Empire. The Australian Government does not, however, recognize these events as “genocide”[46]. The Australian Coalition Government did not send any representatives to the Armenian Genocide centenary commemorations held in the Armenian capital of Yerevan in 2015. The Armenian Genocide and indeed all of the other genocides referred to above are absent from the authoritative “Cambridge History of Australia” [24]

In 2015, Scott McIntyre, a courageous young sports journalist with Australia’s substantially taxpayer-funded,  multicultural  Special Broadcasting Service (SBS), was sacked after he tweeted a succession of truthful anti-war comments on Anzac Day. Only a few decent Australians –  most notably Guy Rundle (Crikey),  John Pilger (outstanding expatriate Australian journalist), Greg Barnes (a barrister and a spokesman for the Australian Lawyers Alliance.), the NSW Council for Civil Liberties  and myself (rigorously excluded from effective public comment) – came to his defence, and the rest was silence or strong condemnation of McIntyre from politicians , journalists and commentators [47]. Free speech was thus trashed in jingoistic, pro-war , US lackey, endlessly war mongering and human rights-abusing  Australia

On Anzac Day in 2017,  a Muslim, feminist  social advocate and  humanitarian  journalist  Yassmin Abdel-Magied (who works for the ABC, Australia’s equivalent of the UK BBC) posted on her Facebook page: “Lest we forget (Manus, Nauru, Syria, Palestine)”. The phrase “lest we forget” is the mantra of Anzac Day.  Savaged by public outcry for her punishment, dismissal or deportation, Ms Abdel-Magied rapidly deleted the post and apologized [48]. The ABC also apologized and then 1 month later sneakily removed her  “Australia Wide” TV program. A few decent people supported her publicly notably Alex Bainbridge (Green left Weekly), Guy Rundle (Crikey) and of coursed myself (although I have effectively no free speech in neo-fascist, corporatist Australia). Yassmin Abdel-Magied’s post actually said nothing concrete but its implications were correct and her silencing by rabid jingoists is a stain on Australia and an attack on free speech. As succinctly summarized above, US lackey, pro-Zionist Australia that is second only to Trump America as a supporter of nuclear terrorist, genocidally racist Apartheid Israel, has been variously complicit in an ongoing Palestinian Genocide and an ongoing Syrian Genocide since WW1 (for details see [14]).

As WW1 and WW2 veteran Wacka says to Alf about Hughie  in “The One Day of the Year”: “Your boy’s growing up. You’ve got to face that. He’s got the right to think and say what he likes. Any fightin’ we ever did, you’n’ me, in any wars, it was to give him that right” (page 107, [1]).

Anzac Day as presently conducted remembers 100,000 Australians who died overseas supporting US or UK invasion of other countries, but ignores the scores of millions of civilian deaths associated with these “adventures”,  and utterly ignores the 100,000 Indjgenous Australians who died defending Australia from genocidal British invaders. Poor fellow my country.

  1. Final comments.

Because of lying by omission, lying by commission, censorship and self-censorship by generations of Australian Mainstream media, politician and academic presstitutes, Anzac Day more than ever glorifies war and racism. The ultimate expression of racism is invasion and devastation of other countries. As a UK or US lackey Australia has invaded 85 other countries and has participated in all post-1950 US Asian wars (atrocities that have been associated with 40 million Asian deaths from violence or war-imposed deprivation [14, 18, 21]). Exceptionalist and racist White Australia is presently militarily occupying Afghanistan, is bombing Iraq in its 8th Iraq War in 100 years, is bombing Syria in its 3rd Syrian War in a century, and through the joint US-Australia electronic spying facility at Pine Gap in Central Australia is targetting US drone strikes in Libya, starving Somalia, starving Yemen, Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan. Who’s next? Warmongering heavies from Trump America are visiting Australia and suggesting that Australia join the US in threatening China in the South China Sea (lunatic warmongering against Australia’s biggest trading partner) and that Australia soon join  the US in military adventures in South East Asia (as if the Indo-China Genocide were not enough [21]).

There are about 3,000 million Asians and 1,500 million Muslims between Australia and Mother England and, basic humanity aside, reason should compel the view that Australia (population 24 million) should be as nice as possible to them instead of continuing to make genocidal war on them with serial war criminal  America. Niceness includes telling the truth and currently economically burgeoning India should be  an interesting test case. Thus Australia and India share   British democracy, British law, the “official” English language and love of cricket. However India arguably has more Muslims than any other country and US lackey Australia is slavishly locked into the genocidal US War on Muslims. India contributed 2.4 million soldiers to the Allied cause in WW2  but Australia resolutely ignores the WW2 Indian Holocaust (Bengali Holocaust, the 1942-1945 Bengal Famine) in which Britain with Australian complicity deliberately starved 6-7 million Indians to death for strategic reasons. Australia was complicit in this atrocity by withholding wheat from its huge wartime grain stores from starving India [12, 18, 21].   Well may have those courageous Australian women protested rape in war on Anzac Day in 1983 [43] because the Bengali Holocaust was associated with large-scale civilian and military sexual abuse of as many as 300,000 starving Indian women and girls, mass rape on a scale commensurate with the “comfort women” abuses of the Japanese Imperial Army [12, 18, 49, 50].

Of course we should honor those who have served their nation in harm’s way but the best way we can do this is to tell the truth about the genesis, conduct, and devastation of wars, and the civilian as well as military deaths associated with war. Such truth-telling is required to prevent war and punish the  warmongers and should be conducted on every day of the year but especially in Australia on Anzac Day, surely “The One Day of the Year” when  truth-telling about the evil of war should occur widely. Nuclear weapons, poverty and climate change are the 3 most serious existential threats to mankind [51].  I would suggest an annual, internationally-observed   2-day truth telling that encompasses Armenian Genocide Remembrance Day (24 April) and Anzac Day (25 April) – “The Two Days of the Year” when Humanity must most urgently demand peace,  collectively resolve to abjure violence, and do everything it can to ban nuclear weapons, end poverty and reverse climate change ASAP.


[1]. Alan Seymour, “The One Day of the Year, Angus and Robertson, Sydney, 1962. .

[2]. “The One Day of the Year”, Wikipedia”

[3]. Anne Pender, “”The One Day of the Year”, Readings: .

[4]. Alan Seymour, “The One Day of the Year”, Souvenir Press, London, 1967.

[5]. Gideon Polya: .

[6]. “Mainstream media censorship”:  .

[7]. “Mainstream media lying”:  .

[8]. Gideon Polya, “Australian ABC and UK BBC fake news through lying by omission”, Countercurrents, 2 May 2017: .

[9]. Gideon Polya, “Mainstream media:  fake news through lying by omission”, Global Research, 2 April 2017:

[10]. “Lying by omission is worse than lying by commission because at least the latter permits refutation and public debate”, Mainstream media lying: .

[11]. “Censorship by the BBC”: .

[12]. Gideon Polya (1998), “Jane Austen and the Black Hole of British History. Colonial rapacity, holocaust denial and the crisis in biological sustainability”, G.M. Polya, Melbourne, 1998, 2008 that  is now available for free perusal on the web:  .

[13]. William Shakespeare, “Hamlet”, Act 2, Scene 2.

[14]. Gideon Polya, “As UK Lackeys Or US Lackeys Australians Have Invaded 85 Countries (British 193, French 80, US 70)”, Countercurrents, 9 February, 2015:

[15]. Gideon Polya, “The US Has Invaded 70 Nations Since 1776 – Make 4 July Independence From America Day”, Countercurrents, 5 July, 2013:

[16].  Gideon Polya, “British Have Invaded 193 Countries:  Make  26 January ( Australia Day, Invasion Day) British Invasion Day”, Countercurrents, 23 January, 2015:

[17]. Gideon Polya, “President Hollande And French Invasion Of Privacy Versus French Invasion Of 80 Countries Since 800 AD”, Countercurrents, 15 January, 2014: .

[18]. Gideon Polya (2011), “Australia And Britain Killed 6-7 Million Indians In WW2 Bengal Famine”,  Countercurrents, 29 September, 2011:  .

[19]. “Stop state terrorism”: .

[20]. “State crime and non-state terrorism”:  .

[21]. Gideon Polya, “Body Count. Global avoidable mortality since 1950”, that includes a succinct history  of every country and is now available for free perusal on the web:  .

[22]. UN Genocide Convention: .

[23]. Gideon Polya, “One Anzac Day Australia ignores its complicity in horrendous war crimes & climate crimes”, Countercurrents, 24 April 2017: .

[24]. Gideon Polya, “Review: “The Cambridge History Of Australia” Ignores  Australian Involvement In 30 Genocides”, Countercurrents, 14 October, 2013: .

[25]. Gideon Polya, “Paris Atrocity Context: 27 Million Muslim Avoidable  Deaths From Imposed Deprivation In 20 Countries Violated By US Alliance Since 9-11”, Countercurrents, 22 November, 2015: .

[26].World Health Organization (WHO), “7 million premature deaths annually linked to air pollution”: ).

[27].Stop air pollution deaths: .

[28]. (Aaron J Cohen, Michael Brauer et al., “Estimates and 25-year trends of the global burden of disease attributable to ambient air pollution: an analysis of data from the Global Burden of Diseases Study 2015”, The Lancet, 10 April 2017: ).

[29]. Gideon Polya, “Revised Annual Per Capita Greenhouse Gas Pollution For All Countries – What Is Your Country Doing?”, Countercurrents, 6 January, 2016: .

[30]. Gideon Polya, “Exposing And Thence Punishing Worst Polluter Nations Via Weighted Annual Per Capita Greenhouse Gas Pollution Scores”, Countercurrents, 19 March, 2016: .

[31]. Gideon Polya, “Australia commitment to unlimited natural gas exploitation threatens planet & invites  global blowback”, Countercurrents, 8 April 2017: .

[32]. Gideon Polya, “Latest Lancet Data Imply Adani Australian Coal Project Will  Kill 1.4 Million Indians”, Countercurrents, 21 April 2017: .

[33]. “Climate Genocide”: .

[34]. “Afghan Holocaust, Afghan Genocide”: .

[35]. “Experts: US did 9-11”:  .

[36]. Gideon Polya, “Terror Hysteria –  Draconian New Australian Anti-Terrorism Laws Target Journalists,  Muslims And Human Rights”,  Countercurrents, 8 October, 2014: .

[37]. Gideon Polya, “Australian State Terrorism –  Zero Australian Terrorism Deaths, 1 Million Preventable Australian Deaths & 10 Million Muslims Killed By US Alliance Since 9-11”, Countercurrents, 23 September, 2014: .

[38]. Gideon Polya, “Coalition Climate Crimes & 200 Reasons Why Australia Must Dump Pro-coal, Pro-war Coalition PM Malcolm Turnbull”, Countercurrents , 1 November, 2015: .

[39]. Gideon Polya, “Horrendous Cost For Australia Of US War On Terror”,  Countercurrents, 14 October, 2012: .

[40]. Gideon Polya, American Holocaust, Millions Of Untimely American Deaths And $40 Trillion Cost Of Israel To Americans”,  Countercurrents, 27 August, 2013: .

[41]. Dr Janet Kemp and Dr Robert Bossarte, “Suicide data report, 2012”, Department of Veterans Affairs, Mental Health Services, Suicide Prevention Program, especially Figure 3: .

[42]. Gideon Polya, “West Ignores 11 Million Muslim War Deaths & 23 Million Preventable American Deaths Since US Government’s False-flag 9-11 Atrocity”, Countercurrents, 9 September, 2015: .

[43]. Anne Summers, “Lest we forget … the women who marched against war rape”, Sydney Morning Herald, 1 May 2015:–the-women-who-marched-against-war-rape-20150430-1mxaxu.html .

[44]. Gideon Polya, “Armenian Genocide And Anglo-French & ANZAC Gallipoli Invasion Centenary – Genocide Ignored Yields Genocide Repeated”, Countercurrents, 23 April, 2015: .

[45]. Nikki Marczak, “Armenian Genocide forgotten in ANZAC commemorations”, The Interpreter, 1 April 2015:

[46]. “20-12-2024 – DFAT releases internal communications on the event in 1915”, Australian Turkish Advocacy Alliance (ATA-A),  20 December 2014:

[47]. Gideon Polya, “Australia trashes free speech – SBS sacks journalist Scott McIntyre over anti-war tweets.”, Countercurrents, 4 April 2015: .

[48]. Gideon Polya, “Yassmin Abdel-Magied censored on Anzac Day – jingoists trash Australian free speech”, Countercurrents, 28 April 2017: .

[49]. Gideon Polya, “WW2 Bengali Holocaust: “Churchill’s Secret War” By Madhusree Mukerjee”, Countercurrents,  13 June, 2011: .

[50]. “Bengali Holocaust (WW2 Bengal Famine) writings of Gideon Polya”: .

[51]. “Nuclear weapons ban, end poverty and reverse climate change”: .

Dr Gideon Polya taught science students at a major Australian university for 4 decades. He published some 130 works in a 5 decade scientific career, most recently a huge pharmacological reference text “Biochemical Targets of Plant Bioactive Compounds” (CRC Press/Taylor & Francis, New York & London , 2003). He has published “Body Count. Global avoidable mortality since 1950” (G.M. Polya, Melbourne, 2007: ); see also his contributions “Australian complicity in Iraq mass mortality” in “Lies, Deep Fries & Statistics” (edited by Robyn Williams, ABC Books, Sydney, 2007:

) and “Ongoing Palestinian Genocide” in “The Plight of the Palestinians (edited by William Cook, Palgrave Macmillan, London, 2010: ). He has published a revised and updated 2008 version of his 1998 book “Jane Austen and the Black Hole of British History” (see:  ) as biofuel-, globalization- and climate-driven global food price increases threaten a greater famine catastrophe than the man-made famine in British-ruled India that killed 6-7 million Indians in the “forgotten” World War 2 Bengal Famine (see recent BBC broadcast involving Dr Polya, Economics Nobel Laureate Professor Amartya Sen and others:  ;  Gideon Polya:  ; Gideon Polya Writing: ; Gideon Polya, Wikipedia: ) . When words fail one can say it in pictures – for images of Gideon Polya’s huge paintings for the Planet, Peace, Mother and Child see: and .


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