The tweets made by SBS reporter Scott McIntyre the day before Anzac Day stirred up a huge controversy. They were heavily criticised by Liberal politicians such as Malcolm Turnbull and led to his dismissal by SBS.
Although the tweets were basic in content they exposed the government’s hypocritical support for freedom of speech and the myth that surrounds Anzac Day.
The 100-year anniversary of the Gallipoli landings coincides with a downturn in the Australian economy. The Liberals are using the myth of the Anzacs to bolster nationalism and divert people’s attention away from Australia’s economic problems and the real reasons behind Australia’s participation in wars.
In reality the Gallipoli landings were an invasion of Turkey and a military failure. Huge anti-war and anti-conscription movements developed in Australia during World War One. Creating the myth of the Anzac spirit has allowed the government to gloss over the truth and demonise any attempts to critically analyse the motives behind imperialist wars and the nature of capitalism.
The establishment cynically claims that the Anzacs fought for “freedom and democracy”. When it comes to criticising imperialist wars however it seems this ‘freedom’ is not afforded to Australian journalists.
By Emma Linacre