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Here, in order from oldest to most recent are the not-exactly-numerous posts that have appeared on the other site in the past two and a half...

Friday, 7 June 2019

Another D-Day reflection

I always get melancholic with the D-Day commemorations. I was born in 1964, 20 years after D-Day when the people who fought in Normandy were still quite young, in their 40s/50s. It gets to me every year, watching the ‘greatest generation’ fade away. Especially given what this country’s becoming.  Now, I am sure that many of the stuck records on Twitter are just lining up to say that they were overwhelmingly, racist, homophobic and with a sprinkling of antisemitism. That is doubtless true and the ‘that’s how it was then’ response is never entirely satisfactory. But the bigger point is this. The bulk of these people had been conscripted. The majority had no education worth the name; many had left school at 14. But they had picked up nevertheless that this was *not* just another national war against the ‘Jerries’ or a war of self-defence; that it had become something bigger: ‘the Great Crusade’ (and, no, we’d not use the word now) for a better world. So in 1945 they voted in a landslide for the Labour Party, the NHS, the Welfare State, free education - all the things their children and grandchildren have wanted to dismantle out of petty-minded self-interest and short-term profit. I think that, had the progressive ideas developed now, or even such as there were then, been available, and education been better, that, yes, they would have seen that their Great Crusade went beyond even the sweeping reforms of 1945+ and included more people - that this was implicit in the whole ‘never again’ agenda. (Also [obviously] it was a war *for*, not *against* Europe.) What really saddens and worries me, apart from the dismantling of the ‘land fit for heroes’ (and the hideous appropriation of the war and their sacrifice by the Brexiters) is the propagation of the very ideologies they fought against, ironically under an absurdist but seemingly effective smokescreen that the notions of equality and fairness for which the overwhelming majority were fighting by ‘44 represent an authoritarian stifling of free speech. Even now I have a perhaps naïve faith in people to - like the Greatest Generation - ‘do the right thing’ when push comes to shove, but I am terrified that we are sliding back into a situation like the 1930s where push *is* coming to shove. Because the capacity for world destruction that would be unleashed if push comes to shove again, is far, far greater than it was even in 1944-45. Act now, people, before it’s too late.

Don’t forget that the best way you can act to change the way this country is going is by getting out there and voting while you have the chance. Vote against Brexit, Farage, Tommy Robinson and the rest.

Thanks for reading.