Opinion – Our Sentries Have Failed Us

The good news in regards the cursed virus is that its destructive impact has reminded us of many serious national flaws, which are blinking red at a rapid rate. They range from national security to increasing incidents of poor social discipline. Without sound leadership, unity, discipline and respect for our laws, our nation would, in a short time forfeit its treasured way of life, and become a very soft target for far less pleasant forms of government. The signs are already there.

I am sure recent events have reminded us of our mortality and that we face serious challenges ranging from loss of sovereignty through to the base of our foundation; the family, yours and mine. 

History records that our people have confronted immense challenges and hardships, before and since nationhood. Such as the great depression, WW1, WW2, the mass exodus to our country from Europe early post WW2, and so many harsh and cruel tantrums by nature. We have survived such challenges and always have emerged, often scarred yet always triumphant.  What we now face are further tests of survival. WE CAN DO IT.

Our strengths so often demonstrated have included endurance, unity, sense of purpose and humour in even the direst of circumstance. National pride, a fair go for all and mateship are always most evident.  Dare I forget our once national trait of voicing strong views when confronted with arrogant government officials and thoughtless policy still lingers. There is also huge potential within our vast continent embracing rich soil, minerals and other valuable resources. Nor should we shy from the vision of harnessing the tantrums of mother-nature for our future. Given science, technology combined with toil, sweat and willpower, it is far from being an impossible dream.

The guard rooms located in Canberra and in each of our States are occupied by politicians, both government and opposition. They are the sentries in many ways for our security, welfare and a precious way of life. Disappointingly, our sentries have been asleep while on duty. They have been addicted with sleeping potions laced with ego, covered with bed sheets of appeasement, and dreams of popularity by relenting to the noisy few. 

It is time to revisit the rules as sworn under oath by our politicians. If they are in doubt, or question their responsibilities to protect our way of life, then send them to our National War Memorial and other such sacred sites scattered throughout the nation which are dedicated to our fallen. The visits would surely remind them of the terrible price we pay for apathy and the looming perils ignited when ignoring lessons from history. Equally is the need for leadership with both vison and action to ensure we remain a strong happy and unified nation. Failing that, send them on a compulsory tour of a Military Correction Centre run by a stern and feared no-nonsense Regimental Sergeant Major, so eager to give guidance to those once trusted guards found guilty of failing to honour their sworn oath by sleeping while on sentry duty.

PS. It is so disappointing to read that our trusted and budding Prime Minister has just given special dispensation during this growing COVID19 crisis for some in our community to gather for a special religious gathering. It is a flawed decision and which contradicts past directives which were obeyed by the general community at large . The edict no doubt will now add further confusion within our community to the rules of isolation. Cannot Canberra get the message that it is not THEM AND US but ALL AS ONE.  National emergencies such as COVID 19 are a time to demonstrate unity not fragmentation.

George Mansford  August 2020

         In Peace or War, Sentries Never Sleep

All get ready for tough times ahead
Gone will be the days of long lunches, wine and a king size bed
No guarantee Uncle Sam will guard our northern gate
Time to plan our tomorrows before it’s too late

No more showering gold coins to calm a noisy few
We need every single dollar for what we must do
Forget about marathon talks, broken promises and lazy sleep
Or turning a blind eye and placing heads in the sand so deep

We must rediscover essential teachings and social discipline in our schools
Stop the sly conversion of our young into placard waving fools
Oh, if only to hear youth recite Henry, Banjo and Dorothy of what used to be
To learn and understand past rights and wrongs without distortion of history

To have gold in our treasury by ending a forced marriage to wind and sun
Going forward with pride for our past, and marching into tomorrow as one
To carry our flag high and for it to be seen far and wide
You and me with sleeves rolled up and no bloody free rides

Put empty- headed mobs defying our laws in busy streets to a reality test  
Say hooroo to forked tongues, and leaders not knowing east from west
A hungry fiery dragon is on the prowl to our north
While Down Under, we bicker, yawn, scratch and stray back and forth

Wake up Canberra, and press the rusty GO button to show a green light 
Less red tape and endless delay before dozers and shovels get it right                                   
Nor depend on other nations in times of need, be it in peace or war
To truly honour those before us for their deeds at home and foreign shores

Shoulders to the wheel and all with the same purpose, be it day or night
Sweat, blood and tears; time and time again if we must, to get it right
To use our weapons including beliefs, faith, courage, purpose and unity
Our Ramparts built of science, education, dams, cheap energy and industry  
Always the need for discipline, unity, and love of a way of life to keep 
Never again, must we ignore history, and allow our sentries to sleep

George Mansford © August 2020

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