Clinging on to Ancient Glories!
Posted on May 3, 2020
A friend of mine was telling me the other day that when he was a kid, he asked his father why Italy and Rome had become so insignificant. This was the reply he got from his father, who was an ex RAF sergeant.
“A nation that dwells on past glories, goes into a decline it can’t free itself from!”
It appears that he is right. We are still trapped in World War II, 75 years after it ended. We are so traumatised by it; we cannot leave it alone. We celebrate it with increasing fervour as each year passes.
I watched an excellent drama on Netflix recently, called ‘Unorthodox’. It is based on a true story about a New York based Jewish girl. She escapes extreme Jewish orthodoxy by running away to a liberal and welcoming city in mainland Europe. Berlin, Germany.
Who would have thought that in 75 years, a city that was at the centre of the holocaust had transformed to such a level, it would be a place of refuge for an orthodox Jew?
Germany is now one of the most progressive and forward-thinking societies in the world. It has learnt from the horrors of war. It has put in a place a health and education system that ensures its children and their children, will never be drawn into such a miserable ideology again.
Back in Blighty
Back in blighty we just go on and on and on about the war as if it were a football match or something? It was fantastic that Britain and its allies somehow resisted fascism, but why do we have to long for its return as if though it was a golden era?
My dad lived through it. It was frightening, not glorious. The years leading up to it were deeply disturbing for normal folk. The Royal family were all up for a bit of fascism as was Lord Halifax. It was entrenched in the aristocracy and appeasing Hitler meant they would lose none of their vast wealth.
We have Churchill’s mad and drunken lust for one big victory after a series of calamities, to thank. That, along with creativity in extreme adversity and huge dollops of fortune proving that against all odds, the sun somehow breaks through to shine on the righteous. The Royal family had nothing to do with it.
After the War
The exhausted years after the war were beset with national debt, rationing and poverty. It was hard going but worth it, because Europe was united at last. Battered but not beaten, Britain was yearning for change. At last, it no longer had a common enemy within Europe. We were a major and respected player in a union that would secure peace and prosperity for the generations ahead.
Now we have messed it all up, and for what?
To wave our little flags at spitfires and have a nice cup of tea and a cake as NHS staff die. For a tin pot embarrassment of a self-serving government that is lying its way through the biggest health crisis in 100 years?
Still, at least we beat the dastardly Hun…all on our own apparently. If anything, Friday should be called ‘Europe Unification Day’. Instead, we have created enemies that don’t exist…well, at least not yet, anyway.
Maybe there will be another war in Europe? The difference being that this time we get to be the fascists, fooling the masses with Goebbels style propaganda.
Sing “We’ll Meet Again” on our doorsteps?
I shall decline that invitation.