I should say that I was born in 1938 - which explains why I have only recently become a blog reader! My attention was drawn to them by all the Damien McBride furore and since then I have been an avid reader of yours, Guido's and various others. Fascinating and great stuff!
By way of a change from our MP's expenses, I wonder what you think of The Queen's shameful substitution by GB at the 65th D day anniversary? Heffer seems to think that it's all down to a subtle plot by the French to cosy up with Obama with only a nonentity present. I don't think so. I seem to remember some months ago that our government let it be known that they weren't 'doing' 65th anniversaries. It was only the violent reaction of the remaining Normandy 'Old sweats' that got some sort of grudging agreement to do something. This was purely home grown but must have influenced all the parties involved including the French and Americans.
Bearing in mind the obvious delight shown by the Sarkosy and Obama families during their respective meetings with the Queen I cannot believe that they would have been against her being present.
On Newsnight last night there was an American historian, whose name escapes me, who expressed a very strong view that it was shameful that the Queen would not be present. He pointed out (an American!) that of all the relevant Heads of State the Queen was the only one alive in 1944, her father was Head of State in 1944 and (my addition) Princess Elizabeth was in the WRAC at the time and appeared in uniform at the subsequent Victory ceremony. There was a nice confirmation of this in the film 'The Queen' when Helen Mirren correctly diagnosed a broken drive shaft on her ditched Land Rover!
Apologies this is becoming a rant, but against a background of phantom mortages, duck houses and 'servants quarters', I get very incensed when I see real character, honour and nobility put down by a miserable bunch of uneducated (as far as the Second World War is concerned) politicians.
I wonder what you think!
We were told yesterday that the French regarded the commemorations (no, they are not 'celebrations') as "primarily a French/American affair." Excuse me? If that is true, it is shameful for a country, which, without the bravery of thousands of British soldiers, sailors and airmen who laid down their lives so that the French might be liberated.
I don't know what went on here, and we will probably never find out the truth. It is clear that Buckingham Palace is none too pleased. I really don't think Gordon Brown has pulled rank over the Queen, but I don't think I am alone in thinking that even at this late stage he ought to find a way for the Queen to represent our country in Normandy.