A Britain fit for heroes

21 11 2009

The Daily Mail are ‘covering’ a book compiling 150 letters received by Nicholas Pringle in a title called “The Unknown Warriors”.  Those of us blessed to have known our direct amcestors may remember their tales of “better days” (and scary days) where you sat in disbelief.  The row of houses where family after family knew eachother and helped eachother and was generally a more gentle place to live.  Then the war happened and everyone pulled together (althoug a few bad apples persisted) to fight for Our Freedoms, seeing brothers-in-arms fall never to get up again.  Then we would always get the moan of how much more corrupted society is becoming and we would dismiss it, saying we have our big screen TVs, our Holidays abroad and a welfare state so good, people flock from around the globe to abuse use it.

Well, the idiot box is only good for PC & Gaming due to the fact TV is now nothing more than sick pschyological programming propaganda machines.  Trips abroad is becoming just as expensive as internal British rail travel.  And the welfare state?  Maybe that is the only industry that is expanding in Britain at the moment so either a success for the employees but a failure for the unemployed.

‘This isn’t the Britain we fought for,’ say the ‘unknown warriors’ of WWII

Sarah Robinson was just a teenager when World War II broke out.

As soon as she turned 18, she joined the Royal Navy to do her bit for the war effort.

Nearly 400,000 Britons died. Millions more were scarred by the experience, physically and mentally.

But was it worth it? Her answer – and the answer of many of her contemporaries, now in their 80s and 90s – is a resounding No.

Could have told you that.  All my Nan does it moan at me, love her for it though.  And most times agree with it (or deserve it).

They despise what has become of the Britain they once fought to save. It’s not our country any more, they say, in sorrow and anger.

Of “A Country fit for Heroes” was the slogan for lifting moral.  Fit for liars, cheats and thieves (and War Criminals of course) more like.

Sarah harks back to the days when ‘people kept the laws and were polite and courteous. We didn’t have much money, but we were contented and happy.

Even when I was a boy there was still a little residue of manners left, yet sadly no more, NuGov has finally destroyed that.

‘People whistled and sang. There was still the United Kingdom, our country, which we had fought for, our freedom, democracy. But where is it now?!’

Never a more honest question, one which no Polichicken will dare answer, for there is no answer that doesn’t involve treachery, deceit or old-fashioned incompetence.

The feelings of Sarah and others from this most selfless generation about the modern world have been recorded by a Tyneside writer, 33-year-old Nicholas Pringle.

Curious about his grandmother’s generation and what they did in the war, he decided three years ago to send letters to local newspapers across the country asking for those who lived through the war to write to him with their experiences.

He rounded off his request with this question: ‘Are you happy with how your country has turned out? What do you think your fallen comrades would have made of life in 21st-century Britain?’

What is extraordinary about the 150 replies he received, which he has now published as a book, is their vehement insistence that those who made the ultimate sacrifice in the war would now be turning in their graves.

There is the occasional bright spot – one veteran describes Britain as ‘still the best country in the world’ – but the overall tone is one of profound disillusionment.

So 1 out of 150?

‘I sing no song for the once-proud country that spawned me,’ wrote a sailor who fought the Japanese in the Far East, ‘and I wonder why I ever tried.’

‘My patriotism has gone out of the window,’ said another ex-serviceman.

The Country they fought for has been given away, all my family elders say the same thing.

In the Mail this week, Gordon Brown wrote about ‘our debt of dignity to the war generation’.

But the truth that emerges from these letters is that the survivors of that war generation have nothing but contempt for his government.

Leaving only the Labour apparatchiks, controllers and deluded loving McDoom, so enough to fill a minivan.

They feel, in a word that leaps out time and time again, ‘betrayed’.

As more Britons are feeling everyday.

New Labour, said one ex-commando who took part in the disastrous Dieppe raid in which 4,000 men were lost, was ‘more of a shambles than some of the actions I was in during the war, and that’s saying something!’

He added: ‘Those comrades of mine who never made it back would be appalled if they could see the world as it is today.

‘They would wonder what happened to the Brave New World they fought so damned hard for.’

The Bravest of the Brave who rose up in Britain’s time of need have even more right to be pissed off at what has become of this Nation as it was their generation that made all this possible.

Nor can David Cameron take any comfort from the elderly.

His ‘hug a hoodie’ advice was scorned by a generation of brave men and women now too scared, they say, to leave their homes at night.

Immigration tops the list of complaints.

‘People come here, get everything they ask, for free, laughing at our expense,’ was a typical observation.

‘We old people struggle on pensions, not knowing how to make ends meet. If I had my time again, would we fight as before? Need you ask?’

Many writers are bewildered and overwhelmed by a multicultural Britain that, they say bitterly, they were never consulted about nor feel comfortable with.

‘Our country has been given away to foreigners while we, the generation who fought for freedom, are having to sell our homes for care and are being refused medical services because incomers come first.’

Her words may be offensive to many – and rightly so but Sarah Robinson defiantly states: ‘We are affronted by the appearance of Muslim and Sikh costumes on our streets.’

Offensive to whom?  Did the Political Class ever consider the possible offence caused by pushing the multicultural agenda on an unwilling population?  NUJ guidelines kicking in once again I think.

But then political correctness is another thing they take strong issue with, along with politicians generally – ‘liars, incompetents and self-aggrandizing charlatans’ (with the revealing exception of Enoch Powell).

The loss of British sovereignty to the European Union caused almost as much distress. ‘Nearly all veterans want Britain to leave the EU,’ wrote one.

Frank, a merchant navy sailor, thought of those who gave their lives ‘for King and country’, only for Britain to become ‘an offshore island of a Europe where France and Germany hold sway. Ironic, isn’t it?’

As a group, they feel furious at not being able to speak their minds.

They see the lack of debate and the damning of dissenters as racists or Little Englanders as deeply upsetting affronts to freedom of speech.

‘Our British culture is draining away at an ever increasing pace,’ wrote an ex-Durham Light Infantryman, ‘and we are almost forbidden to make any comment.’

A widow from Solihull blamed the Thatcher years ‘when we started to lose all our industry and profit became the only aim in life’.

Her husband, a veteran of Dunkirk and Burma, died a disappointed man, believing that his seven years in the Army were wasted.

‘It is 18 years since I lost him and as I look around parts of Birmingham today you would never know you were in England,’ she wrote.

‘He would have hated it. He also disliked the immoral way things are going. I don’t think people are really happy now, for all the modern, easy-living conveniences.

‘I disagree with same-sex marriages, schoolgirl mothers, rubbish TV programmes, so-called celebrities and, most of all, unlimited immigration.

‘I am very unhappy about the way this country is being transformed. I go nowhere after dark. I don’t even answer my doorbell then.’

A Desert Rat who battled his way through El Alamein, Sicily, Italy and Greece was in despair.

‘This is not the country I fought for. Political correctness, lack of discipline, compensation madness, uncontrolled immigration – the “do-gooders” have a lot to answer for.

‘If you see youngsters doing something they shouldn’t and you say anything, you just get a mouthful of foul language.’

Undoubtedly, some of the complaints are ‘grumpy old man’ gripes, as the veterans themselves recognise – from chewing gum on pavements and motorists using mobile phones to the march of computerisation (‘why can’t I just go to the station and buy a railway ticket?’) and the dearth of pop music tunes you can hum.

But it is the fundamental change in society’s values which they find hardest to come to terms with.

Bring back birching and hanging, the sanctions they grew up with, they say. Put more bobbies back on the beat.

‘We were rigidly taught good manners and respect for older people,’ said a wartime WAAF, ‘but the nanny state has ruined all that. Television programmes are full of violence and obscene language.

This Land of Hope and Glory is in reality a land of yobs, drug addicts, drunkard youths and teenage mothers who think they are owed all for nothing.’

Aged 85, she has little wish to go on living.

So a general dislike for what Our Society has become.  Fabians, Communists, Marxists, Stooges, Tim-nice-but-Dim characters and power-hungry egomaniacs all played their part in this kerfuffle.

For others, the strength of character that got them through the war is still helping them to survive the disappointments of peacetime.

A crofter’s son from Scotland who served on the Arctic convoys taking supplies to Russia found the immediate post-war years hard.

‘In those days we had no welfare support from any source. It was as though we had served our country to the full and were then forgotten.

‘However, we were very resilient and determined to make a go of it, and many of us, including myself, succeeded.

‘How times have changed now, with the countless many clamouring to get welfare benefits for the asking.’

A medic who made it through Dunkirk and D-Day thought the fallen would be appalled by the lack of manners in modern life and the worship of celebrities, plus ‘the patent dishonesty of politicians’.

Another common issue was their bemusement at the idea anyone could live in constant debt.

‘We were brought up to believe that if you hadn’t the money, you waited till you had!’ one wrote.

However, this particular man was unusual among the 150 respondents in believing that there were many pluses to modern life.

Bet it is the same 1 out of the 150.  Probably has dementia.

He even had a good word to say about the European Union and felt it would appeal to the fallen ‘if only for maintaining the peace in Europe over the past 60 years or so’.

He praised the breaking down of class barriers in Britain compared with the years when he was young and ‘infinitely’ increased prosperity.

‘More clothes, cars, holidays abroad, home ownership. As a young teacher in the Fifties I had one suit (Army issue) and the luxury of a sports jacket and flannels at the weekend.

‘Education has made vast progress. In my early days I taught classes of 50. Only five per cent of children went on to further education compared with over 40 per cent today.

‘The emancipation of women has also been a huge plus, with the introduction of the Pill a large contributor. Before the war, women teachers were dismissed as soon as they married.’

The ‘promotion piece’ continues and moves into the breakdown of morality and the certain improvements along the way made with technology and science.  If the NUJ didn’t have a poke at Sarah Robinson, I would’ve dugg’d Tony Rennell’s article but alas, I don’t care for the “only following orders” crap.

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