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Wednesday, May 10, 2006
The Government Fell Today
Today is the 66th anniversary of the fall of Neville Chamberlain's government and the 65th anniversary of the destruction of the House of Commons by a German bomb. I shall resist the temptation to attempt to draw analogies to today's government, but it makes you think. I was born in 1962 and throughout my entire childhood, the war was always in the background. And yet for people of my age we can't quite comprehend - even nowadays - what the previous generation endured. It was a long time ago - and yet it wasn't. That may sound odd, but I can't think of any other way of expressing it.
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You raise an interesting point, sir. I'm an American soldier, and I often think to myself that, while we in America spend an awful lot of time waging war, we've never TRULY known it upon our own soil. We've never had air raids, or witnessed dogfights in the skies above our own homes. We've never had tanks roll through our hometown streets. And I wonder then: How can we as Americans truly understand war if it's never really afflicted us?
Strikes me as hypocrisy on our own part.
One of the consequences of the 2nd world war was the indefinite postponement of general elections. If we became embroiled in Iran the same thing could happen again. Blair's 'full term' could be as long as it takes to extricate ourselves (or 'finish the job' in Blairspeak). Blair reafffirmed his intentions on Monday: "I don't intend to fight another election" he said. Make of it what you will.
I was born in the same year as you Iain and I have always been incredibly struck by what my parents' generation endured compared to the relatively stress-free existence I have enjoyed. My mother's family lived in North London and spent two years hiding under the stairs at various intervals as the bombs rained down overhead before being evacuated to Bournemouth for the remainder of the war. Yet they seemed to take it all in their stride. At the risk of sounding like Victor Meldrew, things are different now. People complain about the slightest thing and the country is reduced to a state of national emergency every time there are more than a couple of inches of snow!
Just as a matter of interest, Chamberlain's government WON the vote of no confidence with, however, a severely reduced majority. Chamberlain viewed that victory as not sufficient for him to continue a wartime administration and resigned accordingly - like the honourable man he was. As a contrast, I cannot imagine today's government resigning under any circumstances except a defeat at such a motion. And even then . . . .
Well, we can't say that we didn't bring it upon ourselves - at least in 1945 the people voted in a squeaky-clean Labour government to try and forget the past - for better or worse.
Will the elctorate try and forget tony Blair, the monster that they they created? Time will tell...
F***** germans , never there when you need them.
Mind you as we have spc. freedman here, a member of the US forces ,perhaps we could ask him to launch a missile at outer mongolia and with any luck, considering the usual precision of american bombing, it may fall on parliament.
Harley i hate to point this out, but you seem to be a Tory Robin Cook.
Get a job or study instead of surfing the internet you feckless student.
david cameron mp, you seem to be a bum who also surfs the internet. It takes 60 seconds to look at a decent blog such as this and post a decent comment. Oh God, what a serious interruption of my studies.
You on the other hand probably take 60 seconds to make a worthless comment.
Umbong: Just as a matter of interest, Chamberlain's government WON the vote of no confidence with, however, a severely reduced majority. Chamberlain viewed that victory as not sufficient for him to continue a wartime administration and resigned accordingly - like the honourable man he was.
Well technically it wasn't a motion of confidence at all, but an adjournment debate. In practice it amounted to the same thing.
I'm not sure everyone is agreed that the government fell because of the reduced majority though. Nick Smart's "The National Government, 1931-40" has an interesting take on this.
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