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28 February 2017

9:09 PM

28 February 2017

9:09 PM

He’s become the gift which keeps giving, though, like a spinster aunt’s annual Christmas socks and hankies, it’s a gift which remains a perpetual embarrassment.

David “The Whacky Guy” Morrison’s latest contribution to the national debate is to suggest an event similar to Anzac Day for domestic violence victims.

Dave was the opening guy at the National Family Violence Summit in Canberra.

In his opening address, he compared the sacrifice made by Australia’s military volunteers with “millions” of lives squandered by senseless domestic violence.

Although domestic violence is an unacceptable curse which affects all sexes, Morrison’s insensitive suggestion will merely further alienate him from the community from whence he came.

“We pause every year, twice a year, on the 25th of April and the 11th of November, as we should, to think about the sacrifice made by soldiers, sailors — those men and women whose names sit on the roll of honour at our Australian War Memorial,” Morrison told the conference.

“That act of remembering their sacrifice makes us who we are today, and we need to pause, I think, at least on one day of the year to think about millions of Australians who have had almost no say, whose potential, whose aspirations, have been squandered as a result of domestic violence.

“I’m merely saying that their sacrifice, the potential that was cut short for them, also now affects millions of our fellow Australians here today”, said Morrison, who ruthlessly cut short the potential and aspirations of many subordinates who stood in the way of his personal ambitions.

They were given no say either; demonstrating violence against individuals has many forms.

Professional bullying is probably even more prevalent than domestic violence, as Morrison knows but continually denies, as those who served with him only too willingly attest.

Although Dave claimed not to be “diminishing the extraordinary work done by the members of the Australian Defence Force” it is unlikely that community will interpret his suggestions that way.

It is just the latest embarrassment from the guy whose own dismal, spluttering performance as Australian of the Year trailed in the brilliant wake of his predecessor, domestic violence victim Rosie Batty.

Her legacy is that of a courageous survivor who shone a light on a serious issue.

Morrison’s dull legacy both as army chief and Australian of the Year is now simply that of a figure of ridicule.

Ross Eastgate is a military historian, writer and columnist with The Townsville Bulletin. He is a graduate of the Royal Military College Duntroon and was speechwriter to 2001 Australian of the Year, General Peter Cosgrove.

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