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Normandy 1944 – and after

June 22, 2014

Seventy years ago today my late father landed at Arromanches in Normandy.

In the months that followed he took part in some of the biggest fights of World War Two. Hill 112, Caen, the Falaise Gap. Then through the rest of France, Belgium, Holland, finishing the war at Luneberg Heide in Germany.

If you look at the regimental diary there was scarce a day of those following months that they were not in contact with the enemy. He was lucky to survive.

A generation earlier my grandfather came back from the trenches of the First World War to face unemployment. Having done their bit the soldiers of the Great War were written off.

The soldiers returning from World War Two were determined that it wouldn’t happen after their conflict.

They returned Clem Attlee’s government – the greatest administration in British history – which gave us the NHS, the Welfare State, nationalised the utilities and railways, created National Parks and legislation to protect the countryside etc. etc. etc.

Successive governments have now chipped away at these gifts. The Welfare State has been demolished, those who rely on it presented as scroungers, even though the majority  of claimants are actually in work and trying to survive on pathetic wages, the pension age is increasing with the elderly being told to work until they drop.

A third of Britons are living in poverty. Multi-national energy companies are making vast profits while people freeze to death each winter. People are standing in line at food banks, countryside and national park protection has gone through the window. Disabled and blind people are being attacked in the streets because they have been stigmatised by near-Hitler polticians, the NHS is being sold off to spivs and speculators. Children are going to bed hungry. Many young people are being written off educationally and can no longer afford to go to university.

A hundred very rich people in Britain have more personal wealth than one-third of the population.

The legacy of generations of social reform has been thrown away.

So, if in the future, some politician in Britain comes along and asks you to fight for your country, say to them: “Why the hell should I?”

I am not a member of any political party. The leaders of all of them are completely out of touch with the hopes and aspirations of real people.

I am glad that my father played a part in defeating Hitler. It was, perhaps, the one necessary war in history.

It gave the people of Europe a chance to move on.

But we need a much fairer society if we are to avoid the mistakes of the past.

Don’t succumb to the bloody lies of the politicians and political propagandists.

For your own sake, as well as the sakes of others, let us all fight to restore the values and fairness that my generation was allowed to grow up with.

4 Comments leave one →
  1. June 22, 2014 8:17 am

    I’ve a feeling that the current generations would say ‘Why the hell should I?’ anyway. Mind you, when you see the pointless ‘wars’ they’re sent to fight in nowadays, trying to intermediate between people who just want to fight and just wish to live in anarchies (Middle East et al), you wonder why anyone would join up nowadays…

  2. June 22, 2014 5:11 pm

    I don’t think we can police the world anymore. I think countries have to evolve at their own rate.

    • June 22, 2014 9:33 pm

      Well said – I just wish our politicians (and European/American ones) would see that!

  3. June 24, 2014 6:58 pm

    Yes! So many things wrong with the world today, unfortunately made wrong by us! I think most people have lost the sense of connection to the earth, our only spaceship!

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