Anzac Day’s evolution as a national obsession has been cleverly manipulated by politicians, companies, organizations and clubs all trading on the lucrative Anzac brand.
In recent years Prime Ministers of both persuasions have seen political gain in the Anzac legend.
Prime Ministers from Hawke to Howard and beyond have seen political gain in promoting the Anzac myth. An exception was Keating, who rejected the obsession with Gallipoli and turned his attention to Kokoda.
With the heavy pall of the Brereton report’s disturbing revelations of gross misconduct by our elite force in Afghanistan, commemorations should return to quiet reflection; not the noisy spectacles with jingoistic overtones at a time when serious soul searching, beyond the easy clichés, is needed.