Defence at war with our democracy

The Australian Defence Force will be unlawfully marching in the Mardi Gras again this year. In doing so, it will also undermine our democracy and show very clearly that the push for ‘marriage equality’ is far more dangerous than most think.

Let me walk you through it.

The Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras (SGLMG) website makes it very simple. All participants in the Mardi Gras parade must contribute to the political goals of the parade.

There is simply no denying this. It is spelt out in the section titled ‘What SGLMG expects from Entrants’:

The Parade is a protest and a celebration that is world renowned and belongs to a creative and vibrant community. All entrants are expected not just to take part, but to contribute to the artistic and political goals of SGLMG and help create an event that is world standard.

And there is also no denying the political goals of the SGLMG. They are spelt out loud and proud on page 8 of the 2017 Mardi Gras Festival Guide which details the theme for this year’s parade:

2017 is the perfect time to celebrate the progress that has been achieved in creating equality. But with the spotlight clearly focused on marriage equality, now is the time for us to work together to eliminate prejudice and discrimination in all its forms.

All parade participants are signing up to ‘marriage equality’. That’s all well and good if it’s just a bunch of private citizens exercising their democratic rights.

But it’s not. Numerous taxpayer-funded state and federal bureaucracies participate to show their support for a radical political agenda that ordinary Australians aren’t even allowed to vote on. With them will be the Australian Defence Force. It will be marching again this year, as detailed in the message below:

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The Australian Defence Force will be marching in uniform, a potent symbol of military power. It sends a very clear message: the Australian Defence Force is prepared to join a protest on the streets against the law of the land and the government of the day. It also sends a very powerful and disturbing message to those Australians who might just happen to support this law: the Australian Defence Force is marching against you too.

This might sound dramatic. It is dramatic. But it’s also the truth.

Australia has had a long history in which the Australian Defence Force respected its legal requirement to refrain from interference in domestic politics. Those days are over.

Domestic politics is now very much a concern of the Chief of Defence Force. He has given himself the power to determine what political activity his soldiers can support and in uniform.

This is the wording of Defence’s new policy on political activity (found on page 349 of the document linked here):

1.9 In any political activity, unless permitted by the Chief of the Defence Force, Defence members are not to:

1. take a leading or publicly prominent position or part in the affairs of a political organisation or party where that role would identify any part of Defence with a political activity and/or impair their ability to adequately fulfil their obligations to Defence

2. take part in activities of a political nature on Defence premises unless all of the following applies:

(1) the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet has issued relevant Caretaker Conventions

(2) Defence has issued specific guidance

(3) the area has been set aside as a polling place on polling days in accordance with section 80 of the Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918.

3. use any information gained by, or conveyed to them through their connection with Defence

4. allow such activity to interfere with the functioning of Defence in the performance of its roles, or prejudice performance of their duties as Defence members

5. engage in conduct in such a manner as to identify Defence with a political activity, position or perspective

6. use their rank when identifying, describing, or referring to themselves

7. wear their uniform

8. publish pictures of themselves or other Defence members in uniform

9. wear party ribbons or emblems or other political badges while on duty or in uniform.

Needless to say, there is no lawful power or legal basis that permits the Chief of Defence Force to determine the political activity that can be carried out in uniform. This policy is itself unlawful. It was only changed recently in a desperate attempt to hide the fact that the former and current Chief of Defence Force knew that it was a service offence to march at the Mardi Gras in uniform.

Unfortunately, the government of the day has turned a blind eye to this. In effect, it is condoning military interference in domestic political activity and letting a very dangerous genie out of its bottle in order to avoid a rainbow backlash.

And it is also empowering a clique of officers who are utilising the Defence Force to pursue their own political goals. This clique is called DEFGLIS. It is so brazen in its disregard for the law that it is providing directions, uniforms and ‘orders’ to Defence members on its own non-government website.

This should come as no surprise. Once a military force engages in direct political activity against the government that controls it, it logically follows that a separate and unlawful command structure will also be established.

DEFGLIS also seeks to purge out Defence members who are brave enough to question its unlawful authority. I have the emails where it used its network in the hierarchy to do exactly that to me.

This is a very serious situation. The government must reassert its authority over the Defence Force and end its interference in domestic political activity. Unfortunately, there can be no confidence at all that the Defence Minister, Marise Payne, will do this.

And that means Australia will continue drifting towards a very dangerous place. The rainbow on the road was crossed in 2013. And for the last four years the current and former Chief of Defence Force have allowed the military to go increasingly rogue.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying that there will be a coup. But I am saying that today the Australian Defence Force is knowingly interfering in domestic political matters.

Both are on the broad spectrum of military threats to democracy.

I’m also saying that we should be under no illusions about where ‘marriage equality’ is headed. It’s much more than a slogan and a rainbow. Behind it is the unapologetic expectation that political, legal, police and military power can be co-opted to ensure the eradication of all dissent.

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As an aside, it is important to note that there are significant tensions within the hierarchy of the Australian Defence Force over participation in the Mardi Gras and other politically-correct nonsense.

Not everyone has signed up.

For instance, the former RSM of the Army, Dave Ashley, proudly marched in the 2015 Mardi Gras. He has also informed Defence members that he did not care that it was political.

The current RSM of the Army, Don Spinks, would have been under enormous pressure to follow in his predecessor’s footsteps. However, he has not marched down Oxford Street at all.

Consequently, Warrant Officer Don Spinks deserves a great deal of respect for doing what is right, rather than what is popular. If only we could say the same about the generals he works for…

Author: Bernard Gaynor

Bernard Gaynor is a married father of eight children. He has a background in military intelligence, Arabic language and culture and is an outspoken advocate of conservative and family values.

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