12. Nov, 2017

11.11.17...ARMISTICE DAY 2017


I have experienced many an Armistice Day and always with the same three feelings about the First World War.

Firstly I have the deepest respect for those who went and did not come back; those who went and did come back and those who refused to go in the first place- Conscientious Objectors who showed equal courage albeit of the moral kind.

Secondly there is deep anger when I reflect on the causes of that monumental human tragedy and the hypocrisy that surrounds it.

Assuming the morality of the common thief, ("He's got it. I want it), the British acquired the biggest empire the world has ever seen. Unlimited natural resources, the industrial capacity to exploit and then sell manufactured articles on a captive market enabled enormous wealth to trickle not downwards but UPwards into the pockets of the already rich and powerful.
Needless to say, this had not escaped their German counterparts, who adopting the same moral code, determined to acquire what the British already had. Conflict was inevitable yet after four years of killing each other the largely citizen armies of Britain, Germany, France et al., returned to the
same squalor and poverty they had left behind before the war. The rich and powerful international set for whom they had unknowingly fought, swanned on untouchable.

My third concern is the nature of remembrance itself. Attend the war memorial to show your respect, listen to the clergy mumble their time-worn cliches, indulge in the sentimentality and go home feeling warm inside.

Get over it. It is time to get down to the hard graft of finding out who started the war. why and what they got out of it. In doing so you will have gone a long way to preventing such calamities from happening again. THAT is a true memorial to those who perished.