Here is PoliticsHome feeding back from the daily Downing Street “Presidential briefing”:
Miller slammed over WW1 plans
Downing Street has slapped down allies of Michael Gove for criticising government plans to mark ANZAC sacrifices in the First World War.
Sources close to the Education Secretary branded Culture Secretary Maria Miller, who has responsibility for the commemorations of the centenary of the outbreak of the war, “out of her depth” and an “idiot”.
The sources said Ms Miller had ignored the role played by Australians and New Zealanders in the fighting.
“This is awful – the idiot Maria Miller is doing nothing to involve the rest of the Empire, who sent vast numbers of people to help us,” one source said.
However, the Prime Minister’s spokesman this morning defended the Government’s plans, and said the focus should be on the “very important commemoration” rather than the briefing against Ms Miller.
“The idea that the plans we have in place are not going to commemorate the sacrifice that was made by the 150,000 ANZAC troops who died alongside British and other Commonwealth soldiers, and that’s not going to be a very important part, is completely wrong,” the spokesman said.
Got that? — Sources close to the Education Secretary. As close as the tongue is to the teeth, perhaps.
And now the personal bit
The Pert Young Piece (i.e #3 daughter) had a few days holiday due. She signed up to join the Antipodean ANZAC pilgrimage to Gallipoli. This was an excursion wholly applauded by her aged parents, for it gave them a prime opportunity to fly out to Istanbul for a few days, see the previously-unseen sights and sites, and meet her there.
Pert Young Piece was suitably moved by the overnight experience and dawn at ANZAC Cove — and not just because it was “dry”, not a common experience when young Australians gather. The Turkish input, too, seemed very positive: the emphasis was on shared suffering and attrition.
What got to her was the general assumption around her that this had been exclusively an Australian and New Zealander operation. It seems to be taught back home as the moment when these ex-colonies “came of age”. Not so, she was able to say: “My great-great Uncle Nev was here, and I have his DCM and Karageorgiou Star, and the mentions in dispatches, to prove it.”