Sunday, November 08, 2009



Paddy Briggs said...

Please see: "Is it time to rethink Remembrance Day?":

True Belle said...

'Channel Firing'

Thomas Hardy

That night your great guns, unawares,
Shook all our coffins as we lay,
And broke the chancel window-squares,
We thought it was the Judgement-day

And sat upright. While drearisome
Arose the howl of wakened hounds:
The mouse let fall the altar-crumb,
The worm drew back into the mounds,

The glebe cow drooled. Till God cried, "No;
It's gunnery practice out at sea
Just as before you went below;
The world is as it used to be:

"All nations striving strong to make
Red war yet redder. Mad as hatters
They do no more for Christ├ęs sake
Than you who are helpless in such matters.

"That this is not the judgment-hour
For some of them's a blessed thing,
For if it were they'd have to scour
Hell's floor for so much threatening. . . .

"Ha, ha. It will be warmer when
I blow the trumpet (if indeed
I ever do; for you are men,
And rest eternal sorely need)."

So down we lay again. "I wonder,
Will the world ever saner be,"
Said one, "than when He sent us under
In our indifferent century!"

And many a skeleton shook his head.
"Instead of preaching forty year,"
My neighbour Parson Thirdly said,
"I wish I had stuck to pipes and beer."

Again the guns disturbed the hour,
Roaring their readiness to avenge,
As far inland as Stourton Tower,
And Camelot, and starlit Stonehenge.

FireForce said...

I have not bought a poppy for some years now, I get it crammed down my throat "They died for your freedom"

Pray tell me what those freedoms are?
I can not go pistol shooting, rifle shooting, I am governed by so many petty petty laws that make life a bind, a bind so strong that those in prison have more rights than we the free!

I Squiggle said...

I’m afraid I disagree with you Paddy Briggs. And I question why you feel it is appropriate to use someone else’s blog to advertise your agenda.

I therefore apologise for using Iain’s blog to refute the argument. Today, as in many previous years, I collected an old soldier and took him to the local war memorial to lay a wreath at the ceremony (a ceremony, incidentally, that is amazingly well attended for a South London location – over 50 wreaths are laid from a diverse community. That’s a true multi race/creed community in action, together for a single cultural event). He was born during the First World War, to a father who did not return from the trenches. He served his country in the Second World War. It matters not that those who survived the battles of the First have now passed on, a great many people survive today who have an absolute connection to those times. In any case, if we have to have one day, one moment in which to reflect, then the eleventh hour of that day would seem to be the most poignant, and the families of those who now give that same sacrifice can have the very same connection.

I’m quite proud of the way this country recognises Armistice Day. We don’t go in for mass displays of military power (France, anyone?) but for a rather more sombre, reflective display, solely remembering those that die in the horrors of war. So I like the idea that we call Remembrance Sunday.

Whatever the conflict, whatever the vainglorious justification our politicians give us, as a former soldier, that is what I do today.

Unsworth said...

Moving to watch HM and all the others laying wreaths, bowing in front of the memorial or saluting, in obvious acknowledgement.

Curiously, Brown, having placed his wreath, simply stood in front of the Cenotaph without bowing his head. Is this because of his brass neck?

thespecialone said...

Met a fella today, army chap who was shot at Lichfield station by scum IRA/Sinn Fein. Lost 2 friends in the Falklands. Son-in-Law is a Bootneck who has served in Afghanistan and he lost friends. Young men are dying now in service of their country...NOT POLITICIANS. Servicemen/women serve the Head of State. NOT POLITICIANS. Margaret T cried when she realised she was sending men to their death in 1982. I know she is a woman and thank god for that. But she really cared. Im not sure if any lefty in the government really does care.


tapestry said...

Interesting Hague mentioned that Labour cut £1.5 billion from the helicopter budget in 2004, on Marr today, saying it was bad mistake.

How could they do that, after going into Iraq?

Many a life would still be with us. Much ground would not have been lost, were Labour willing to spend just a little money on their military interventions.

Better not to bother if you are not willing to be fully committed.

Thank God this time it looks as if they will lose the election. Our soldiers can feel more sure of their country's support, once Blair and Brown are politically buried.

Charlotte Corday said...

Unsworth, several commentators on the BBC's Points of View Messageboard have noted that Gordon Brown failed to bow his head afterwards.

Some of the more charitable have suggested that his sight problems might mean that he has to be careful bowing his head. Others just see it as downright rude.

Pogo said...

“When You Go Home,
Tell Them Of Us And Say,
For Their Tomorrow,
We Gave Our Today”

The Kohima Memorial.

Grump to Inspire said...

I squiggle, very well said.

Pogo said...

@FireForce I have not bought a poppy for some years now, I get it crammed down my throat "They died for your freedom"

Pray tell me what those freedoms are?
I can not go pistol shooting, rifle shooting, I am governed by so many petty petty laws that make life a bind, a bind so strong that those in prison have more rights than we the free!

That's not the fault of those to whom we pay our respects... It's the fault of me, you, and all the others who've shown themselves to be so spineless in the face of creeping socialist totalinarianism.

Stepney said...

Read this and weep.

Our glorious leader does it again.

Unsworth said...

@ Charlotte Corday

I'm sure you're right about the BBC board. But I cannot bring myself to look at anything the BBC does these days.

Brown simply has no idea of civilised behaviour. At least Cameron and the others did the proper thing. If Brown could not bow because of some physiological ailment perhaps he should make that clear. Similarly if he cannot run the country because of some mental deficiency perhaps he ought to resign. I look forward to the official Downing Street response to the public criticism.

FireForce said...

Pogo, 08/11/09/.7:14 P.M.

I did write a reply to this but it sems to have disappeared in the ether?
POGO I do understand your frustation to my problem,
The last time I attended a memorial service was I think13/11/1977
at a place called Gatooma,, Rhodesia.
but I have lost most of my life to a liberal elite whom do not know what is going on..

javelin said...

Afganistan is first and foremost an immigration failure and failure in human rights.

Stand above the racist gibes. Loll at the strategic issues.

Afganistan and the Banking crisis are the same DISASTER strategically.

What are we defending?

Stopping young men of Pakistani origin going to training camps and blowing up the tube stations by the banks. Thereby causing a collapse in capitalism.

What caused the banking crisis. RETAIL Banks and left wing politicians having the same behaviour for different reasons. The mortgage salesmen wanted their bonuses and the left wing politicians wanted people to have mortgages who didn't deserve them.

Whether it's the left wing letting people in from countries who would be at war with us, or left wing letting banks give too many risky mortgages away. Both actions lead to the destruction of the banks our economy relies on.

The left wing is the real strategic threat to our country. By trying to appease they have brought us to the brink of destruction.

The right offers hard work without strategic threats. The left offers cotton wool and appeasement and strategic disaster.

Paddy Briggs said...

For crassnes on Remembrance Day my old employer Shell takes some beating:-