Tag Archives: London

Remembrance Day: A Time to Remember . . . and Learn!

As I once again watched the Remembrance Day Service at the Cenotaph, for the first time in six and a half decades a part of me felt a violent sense of anger that truly shocked me. As I sought answers to why this emotion had emerged with such force it became clear that, whilst the very act of remembering pays an essential tribute to the many, often young men and women who gave up their lives for our future . . . little has changed.

We have remembered but not learned!

As I look back over my own life, on many occasions I am reminded of the mistakes I have made and the pain and suffering I have caused to those I have loved, as well as to acquaintances and even complete strangers. I am sure I, like many, am not proud of these episodes. Whilst the guilt is sometimes difficult to deal with, I take reassurance and courage from the fact that I have learned from these lessons and consciously try hard not to repeat them again, often with success.

It is here that I recognise the source of the anger I experienced today. In the last two world wars some 70 million people have given their lives, either voluntarily or as victims of the aggression (Encyclopaedia of Death & Dying). That’s more people than the entire population of Britain in 2013! The entire population wiped out . . . for what? What have we learned? Or, more importantly what have our leaders learned?!

All I hear to that last question is a deafening silence, made more obscene by the words of the hymn always sung before the march past:

Oh God our help in ages past

Our hope for years to come”

It was only a few years ago that our brave men and women were sent to put their lives at risk, yet again, but this time for political reasons that we were subsequently told were backed up by misinformation designed to boost the careers of those in charge.

Not only has this elephantine loss of life taught nothing to those in charge but has demonstrated unequivocally that human life has been relegated to a tool of war which can provide hundreds of billions in profits to those who not only aid its enactment but also the rebuilding works carried out as a result of that death and destruction.

Remembrance Day, to me, should certainly be a time when we show great respect for those who have fallen and which we do superbly. It should also be a time of joy and relief that we have learned from their sacrifice by what we have achieved since they laid down their lives.

Sadly I cannot see any trace of effective and growing global bodies of governance and education that are uniting us as a species and relegating uncontrolled human aggression to a thing of the past. We know that in managing our fallibilities we grow as human beings. It is obvious however that our growth as a species is being held back by outdated thinking, driven by personal gain.

Perhaps Remembrance Day 2014 should be reflected upon, as we move into an election year, helping us to bring focus to the need for New VISIONARY Leaders capable of the changes so essential now to our future survival.

We deserve better and we should expect better, for the sake of those who thought they were fighting for a brighter future!

Until the next time

 

Thinking from his Book: Global Magna Carta. Returning Power To The 99% . . . If They Want It!           By J T Coombes

Water Cannons in London . . . The Ultimate Contempt for Democracy

Water cannon

By Vitaly Kuzmin (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0) or GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html)], via Wikimedia Commons

When the headlines rang out in the morning papers that Boris Johnson had bought water cannon to maintain the safety of London streets the contempt he and other senior politicians have for the electorate became glaringly obvious.

That the need for this intense level of crowd control had never been proven on mainland Britain speaks volumes about the manner in which we handle freedom of speech and peaceful protest. In protests last year the police introduced the tactic of “Kettling” the demonstrators without the need for forceful assaults of the kind these horrendous weapons can inflict.

Indeed some police forces are showing real concern at this new development in crowd control as, rightly so, they believe it will change dramatically the relationship between police and the public. It is accepted that there are aggressive elements at demonstrations who simply like to disrupt and be aggressive, but they are not the majority. Water cannon go beyond the line of democratic action in a country that is the home of free speech and will introduce greater aggression by protesters as their frustration to make a point is further diminished.

The timing could also not be worse, as people continue their anger at the increasing surveillance society our own GCHQ seem to be spearheading across the globe. If water cannon are the ultimate contempt for democracy then surveillance has to be the ultimate hypocrisy, as it is obvious government can hand out being spied upon but can’t take it themselves!

But there is a more sinister theme running beneath the surface and that is the mind-set of government ministers who seem to have little or no respect for the people that elected them to power. This is forcefully demonstrated by Boris Johnson’s actions over these water cannon. It appears, from press reports, that it was the ability to buy them on the cheap that motivated him, overriding concerns about the already poor relationship politicians have with the electorate and our history as responsible peaceful protestors. If this isn’t seemingly rubbing our noses in it with a vicious crowd control machine bought as a ‘job lot’ to score political points over Theresa May, I don’t know what is!

 

This is arrogant contempt of the most vile, offering a vivid insight into political thinking these days. I accept we are in an era of ‘career’ politicians and so any form of vision in directing this country is at a premium, but holding onto power at any price is now increasingly becoming the norm, of which this is a gesture of the most extreme.

 

All of this shortly after having to listen to Michael Gove pushing “British Values”, without having the first clue as to what he was talking about, something that became very evident after the launch of this latest sound bite. Well Messrs Johnson and Gove, let me tell you that “British Values” are about playing fairly with the people who put you and your mates into power, and there is an election next year.

I for one will be pushing for the electorate to only vote for minority parties and not the three main parties, whose time must now be coming to a close, as it becomes increasingly obvious how out of touch they are with the electorate. The country will not come to a grinding halt, as the Civil Service will continue their splendid job of running the administration of this country. Of course another election will have to be called to find a majority party but a powerful people generated kick up the backside will have been delivered to Parliament that MAY get you all thinking about the best interests of the electors, instead of politicians and their corporate sponsors.

Until the next time