New Lest We Forget flags and ANZAC military and poppy propaganda have sprung up around Lambton Quay and Courtenay Place for this year’s ANZAC campaigns.

I think we should change the “L” in Lest to a “B” in that old slogan: make it Best We Forget. Not because we shouldn’t remember World War One – on the contrary – but because I think it is a more appropriate slogan for the histories the state endorses, along with all its ANZAC marketing and displays of false regret.

As in,

Remember how world war one was not fought for democracy and freedom, but fought between racist European empires competing over colonies, killing indigenous people and stealing land across the globe whilst spewing propaganda at home?
Best we forget.

Remember Te Puea Herangi?
Best we forget.

Remember Rua Kenana?
Best we forget.

Remember Archibald Baxter?
Best we forget.

Remember the New Zealand Wars that preceded world war one? Te Papa tells us that “we” just “woke up” one day in 1914 “and found ourselves at war”. That’s certainly not true for Maori, they’d been defending themselves against European empire for a century already.
Best we forget.

Remember how the first action New Zealand took was to invade Samoa?
Best we forget.

Remember how we had a racially segregated military, where the brown troops, by a sort of “gentleman’s agreement”, weren’t supposed to shoot at the white soldiers?
Best we forget.

Remember what a “joy division” is?
Best we forget.

Remember how ISIL was formed as a consequence of the British and French division of the Middle East between them, in world war one, and how they terrorise the region with the support of American war profiteers?
Best we forget.

Remember the state returned servicemen were in on their return home, and how they were treated by the state then?
Best we forget.

Remember how we are still brainwashing and sending boys off to fight unjust, imperial wars today?
Best we forget.

Remember how we just sold the democracy that we are now meant to celebrate having fought and killed for in war, by signing the TPPA on February 4?
Best we forget.
Best we forget.
Best we forget.

1BOBBY RANDALL

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