Remembrance

Earlier this week I placed a small cross with a poppy for Wokingham in the Parliamentary garden of remembrance. Today I will lay wreaths at two local Memorial services. It is right that we remember all those who gave their lives in the two great world wars of the last century, and in other recent conflicts.

Born like most people alive today after the  wars, I recall how  they did shape the lives of every family in the land. My two grandfathers fought as very young men in the trenches of Northern France and Belgium in the first war. My mother and father met through their naval duties in the second war. Both generations had years dominated by death, injury and deprivation all around them.  They lost friends and comrades, worried about the bombing of their family  homes and accepted the obligations of rationing and black outs.

I felt very privileged to be born into a UK  at last at peace, free of ration books  and visibly getting more prosperous as the bomb damage was replaced with new shops and homes. I  wished to work to keep it that way. I feel a great debt of gratitude that the lives of more recent generations including my own has been spared living under a foreign imposed tyranny of the kind Hitler and Nazi Germany  imposed on much of Europe at the peak of his powers.

It is right that we keep a silence and say a thank you to all those who gave their today that we might enjoy a better tomorrow.

 

124 Comments

  1. Peter
    November 12, 2023

    “ It is right that we keep a silence and say a thank you to all those who gave their today that we might enjoy a better tomorrow.”

    True. I also feel privileged and very lucky to be born at a time when we ‘never had it so good’.

    I do wonder what those prior generations would think of the country today though.

  2. Cliff..Wokingham.
    November 12, 2023

    Good morning Sir John.
    Very well said.
    Watching yesterday’s coverage of the events in London, I contemplated what my grandfather’s would have felt if they could have seen back then, what their country would be like today.
    I grew up in East London just after the war. I remember playing in the debris of bombed out homes. You would see a row of homes and then a gap where a bomb had exploded
    The rubble would have been cleared, and the remaining walls shored up with huge oak beams. It fascinated me to see the wall paper and paint of the bombed homes still on the shored up walls.
    Our area around Custom House, Canning Town, Poplar and Plaistow really suffered as Hitler tried to destroy the docks.
    Even when we moved to Berkshire in 1968, there were still many debris in our road.

    I am grateful for the generations who heeded the call to arms for a nation and will remember those who willingly made the ultimate sacrifice so we could be free. I hope we can make them feel it was worth it.

    Times have changed but, I can’t stop wondering if today’s generation would heed the call if it ever came.

    1. Everhopeful
      November 12, 2023

      We lived in Plaistow in the late 70s.
      The terrace of houses ended rather abruptly with ours. Next door had possibly been bombed away.
      You could see though that Plaistow had previously been thriving.
      Several accessible hospitals, an amazing library, schools, safe parks, GPS and dentists.
      There was also an air of faded gentility, derelict “Hot Baths” and abandoned factories ( Jeyes was one, I think) and landmarks of happier times.
      It was of course in the process of being cleared out for newcomers.
      The destruction and obliteration of the East End.

    2. paul cuthbertson
      November 12, 2023

      Cliff – Re your final paragraph. As a nation we are far too soft in ALL walks of life and this has been orchestrated and deliberately introduced over the decades.
      Most of our problems stem from the lack of discipline and the introduction and promotion of leniency everywhere. Government, judiciary, police, prisons, home, schools, work environemnt etc. In addition justice??? as such is meted out disproportionately.

  3. David Peddy
    November 12, 2023

    I agree.
    My grandfathers were occupied by the Great War : one on the hospital trains as an RAMC orderly .The other in the Glasgow shipyards. A Great Uncle was a despatch rider in norhtern France
    My parents met in the RAF at Little Rissington in 1945
    I can remember ration books, bomb sites , horse drawn milk drays

  4. Mark B
    November 12, 2023

    Good morning.

    We will remember them. As all good and decent people will.

    1. MFD
      November 12, 2023

      Amen!

  5. Everhopeful
    November 12, 2023

    The “better tomorrow” was squandered by politicians.
    But then, those heroes, my grandfathers, my father…it was like covid..they were doing as they had been told. They didn’t WANT to go to war!
    How dare the establishment allow/cause the furore we have witnessed on these few sacred days of remembrance?
    Foment and then use for further draconian laws? Abolish Remembrance altogether…to keep us safe?

    Bringing a ready made conflict into the U.K. is a bit different from hitching up your kit bag and going off to fight.

    1. Timaction
      November 12, 2023

      Indeed. We witnesses how successive legacies mass immigration policies played out yesterday on the streets of our capital. Importing 3rd world cultures, values and beliefs do not mix with our own. Who would have thought that except every man, woman and English child. The legacies have a lot to answer for. Out ancestors would be ashamed.

      1. Everhopeful
        November 12, 2023

        +++
        Agree 100%

    2. jerry
      November 12, 2023

      @EH; “The “better tomorrow” was squandered by politicians.”

      No, squandered by the voters, a country gets the politicians they elect!

      Bringing a ready made conflict into the U.K. is a bit different from hitching up your kit bag and going off to fight.

      Cough. Are you seriously suggesting we should not have declared war on 3rd Sept 1939, with the known risks of aerial bombing etc, after all the UK could have left Poland, even France to their fate, as a few wanted, Great Britain being then a self-sufficient Empire.

      The great thing about Great Britain though, whatever the crisis, we tend to step-up and do the correct thing, not the populist thing, whatever the cost (as you say, no one wants war), be it 119 years ago now, 84 years, 72 years 22 years ago, or more recent. And remember, those who died were not just fighting for others to be free, but for the Britain to carry on having freedom of speech and protest.

      As the saying goes;
      “I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it”.

      Remembrance Day is about remembering those who ‘did the right thing’, at home and abroad, many of who paid the ultimate price and became the ‘Glorious Dead’.

      My father and my grandfathers all went to war, all the male lines in my immediate family served in either WW1 or WW2, some both, if not in the forces then in the active civilian services, no need for details, they do not matter, except to say many of my fathers school mates never came back, many of his own regiment never came back, as indeed he almost didn’t, like his own father before him. I remember them all.

      1. Everhopeful
        November 12, 2023

        I think we are in total agreement.
        Try reading what my comment properly before taking me to task.

        1. jerry
          November 13, 2023

          @EH; “Try reading what my comment properly before taking me to task.”

          I read the words you wrote, and the context in which they were made. Your comments were either incorrect or *you* need to write with more clarity, the reader can only ever read our printed words, not our mind! 😉

  6. Cheshire Girl
    November 12, 2023

    I was born in 1939, and grew up in the days of rationing, and quite hard times. As A child, I did not realise the sacrifice of the generation before me. . As an adult, I do.

    I do not have much to say, on this sad and solemn day, except to wonder what those who sacrificed so much, would think if they saw this Country today. So many people who live here do not understand, or appreciate, the enormous price that was paid for their freedom to live in peace.

    ‘ At the going down of the sun, and in the morning, we will remember them’.

  7. DOM
    November 12, 2023

    Our brave, valiant forces shed their blood to defeat the barbarity of fascism and communism only for their sacrifices to be squandered and exposed to ridicule and contempt by the political and cultural establishment that now controls this god forsaken island.

    UK Jews now hide in fear as they once did in Hitler’s Germany and Stalin’s SU. This is our nation TODAY where our fellow citizens are graded according to identity by the now captured MET.

    The last month has revealed something sick at the heart of this nation and that sickness runs deep through the veins of those who pass our laws and control our institutions.

    1. Mike Wilson
      November 12, 2023

      defeat the barbarity of fascism and communism

      The ‘communists’ were allies. Without Russia and the Eastern Front most military historians believe we would have lost.

      1. Mickey Taking
        November 12, 2023

        Because Hitler wanted to rule Russia and the Eastern countries too. British convoys were attacked taking supplies to Russia.

      2. Everhopeful
        November 12, 2023

        “Holding hands with the devil”

        1. Lynn Atkinson
          November 12, 2023

          Better by far than being destroyed by fascism! You also need to comprehend and process that the USSR is no more. Christian Russia has re-emerged, and it like Israel knows how to keep its own people and lands safe.
          I think we in Britain are jealous of both those governments.

  8. Javelin
    November 12, 2023

    My father volunteered for the RAF and flew three tours of duty from 1939-43 and won the DFM. My mother’s father literally fought the genocidal advocating Nazi speakers in Hyde Park as a “socialist” and was later killed by a German submarine in a frigate.

    It now appears to be that the genocidal advocating side have moved to the left and those resisting it are called far right thugs.

    I know with absolute certainty who is being unethical in this situation and who in the Government is gas lighting the public, in a way that ensures peace on a day to day basis, but ultimately are leading us into a war like my father and grandfather were led.

  9. Everhopeful
    November 12, 2023

    I remember the “blackout” curtains which were donated to my “dressing up box”.
    Local people were transformed into “wardens” to check up and reprimand for chinks of light.
    Local shops were changed from places of commerce into places of supplication and cold charity.
    Shopkeepers withheld their goods and in exchange received monopoly.
    Govt’s bedtime reading?

  10. Sakara Gold
    November 12, 2023

    Well said.

    Sadly, many of the Cross of Valour Great War memorials in Berkshire villages, which record the names of their fallen, have disappeared as councils have withdrawn funding for their upkeep. Shame on them.

    1. Mike Wilson
      November 12, 2023

      Sadly, many of the Cross of Valour Great War memorials in Berkshire villages, which record the names of their fallen, have disappeared as councils have withdrawn funding for their upkeep. Shame on them.

      Have they? The memorial in Finchampstead is still there and in good order. If any are in disrepair you’d think the British Legion would maintain them.

      1. Hoof Hearted
        November 12, 2023

        How about the local population looking after them. It’s the least they can do for those who made the ultimate sacrifice.

      2. Everhopeful
        November 12, 2023

        Councils too busy spending on diverse goodies.
        Anyway…whatever the source ( taxes, charity) of the money for upkeep ultimately it comes from our pockets.
        And I have my doubts now about the motives of charities …and the final resting place of donations.

        Up until I think the mid 1800s there was actually a law obliging people to remember the gunpowder plot.
        Supposing Remembrance was celebrated with mindless noise and explosions no doubt the ghastly councils would save up all year for it and definitely keep the memorials in good condition.
        All these things only come from govt. initiated terror…of Catholicism, fascism, communism, virusism…and always for the state’s own ends.

    2. Dave Andrews
      November 12, 2023

      Councils have to divert every last penny to the impossible burden of statutory adult services.

      1. Peter
        November 12, 2023

        DA,
        In London lots of very good firework displays were cancelled due to lack of council support and punitive health and safety and policing demands. These include Blackheath & Kingston, amongst others.

        Yesterday was also The Lord Mayor’s Show. No protests about that. I remember watching it one year from an office near St. Paul’s Tube station. I could see the whole length of Cheapside and it was raining. City police also used the office around Christmas time to spy on likely pickpockets. St.Pauls was free entry, once again, for the day and the streets as far as New Oxford Street were mercifully free of traffic. Around five o clock there were fireworks on the Thames.

    3. MFD
      November 12, 2023

      What was to stop you and the locals doing the maintenance, we do in the village close by!

    4. Lemming
      November 12, 2023

      None has disappeared. Not one. You are getting angry about something that only happens inside your own head. You have closed the door on the real world. Sadly, the same is true of a lot of commenters on this site. Brexit was your perfect cause – an answer to a problem that exists only in your own heads, and is a disaster in the real world

      1. Lynn Atkinson
        November 12, 2023

        It’s a disaster for the EU. Salvation at the last minute (again) for the British. One day we shall delay one minute too long …

  11. David Andrews
    November 12, 2023

    Agreed. We also remember the many Commonwealth servicemen who came to fight to defend this country at great personal cost.

    I am old enough to remember the lead up to the war. We were asked to billet a foreman working to build a new airfield, Harwell, which later became the glider training base. We were fortunate not to be bombed out of house and home, unlike my wife’s family and so many of my aunts, uncles and cousins. It was a world of make do and mend on the home front, a habit for us that persists to this day in many ways – to the bemusement of our family.

  12. Wanderer
    November 12, 2023

    Thinking of my father and mother (both ww2 veterans, in RAF/Chindits and the SOE respectively). They were both freedom-lovers and loathed authoritarianism. They were suspicious of government and the establishment.

    I think they would be horrified at our descent into tyranny. The establishment they so suspected has turned against the people.

    So I remember them, and wonder what they would say about it all. Their sacrifice bought them freedom from tyranny during the remainder of their lives. Perhaps they’d be ashamed we aren’t pushing back against tyranny now
    .

    1. Donna
      November 12, 2023

      +1
      The Establishment and the people “it allows us” to vote into Parliament are authoritarians who are imposing tyrannical policies on us with no real mandate. The biggest lie they tell us is that this country is a democracy and everything else they are doing to control us starts with that lie.

    2. MFD
      November 12, 2023

      Well said Wanderer

  13. Donna
    November 12, 2023

    “It is right that we keep a silence and say a thank you to all those who gave their today that we might enjoy a better tomorrow.”

    Absolutely, and I do. But I refuse to watch the official Cenotaph Commemoration and the line up of politicians, past and present, who have done so much to wreck the future which the war generations fought, suffered and many died for.

    1. Timaction
      November 12, 2023

      I watched that line up just before 11am and thought with the exception of Truss how the others had all sold us out to foreign powers or Nations in various ways and means. Not in my name. Enough is enough of these second raters.

      1. Mickey Taking
        November 12, 2023

        We looked at that line-up of ex-PMs including the wild haired vagrant looking blonde, and we thought who in their right mind would want any of them back running a shop let alone a country.

  14. Javelin
    November 12, 2023

    George Orwell’s genius was to explain that all ideologies result in extremist Governments.

    Socialism leads to fascism.
    Behaviourism leads to communism.
    Environmentalism leads to nihilism.

    The proper pursuit of law makers must be to eliminate ideological law in favour of natural law to allow individuals to self-calibrate society.

    1. Lynn Atkinson
      November 12, 2023

      What about Democratic Enterprise Capitalism? Is that an ideology? Because that leads to prosperity and freedom.

  15. Mick
    November 12, 2023

    I felt very privileged to be born into a UK at last at peace, free of ration books and visibly getting more prosperous as the bomb damage was replaced with new shops and homes.
    I agree I grew up in the early 50s but how this tolerant country as changed in the last 40-50 years for the worst with all this net zero and woke crap, and who’s to blame that’s right the politicians with there drip drip of political correctness rubbish and stupid laws the politicians need a bloody big kick up the backside and put this once great country back to being Great again

  16. Old Albion
    November 12, 2023

    Yesterday was the first time in my life that Armistice day was desecrated. As our nation changes from an essentially white English/British people to multi national/religion disconnected patchwork, it will happen again. Eventually it will be called racist and will end.

    1. Martyn G
      November 12, 2023

      The ‘disconnected patchwork’ as you call it is rather more serious in my view, because all the signs of a terrible, organised breakdown in many areas of social cohesion are now clear. This arises not so much from racialism but as a war between different faiths and ways of life, with fanatics on one side setting themselves against all other faiths. There also appears to be with few exceptions in our politicos and police forces, a tendency of appeasement, which has not and will not ever work.

      1. Lynn Atkinson
        November 12, 2023

        +1

  17. Everhopeful
    November 12, 2023

    We apparently “won” two world wars.
    OK Paris looks a tad slummy now but has any other country desecrated its capital city as London has been?
    Where the ancient and beautiful buildings have been overshadowed by modern monstrosities.

    1. Lynn Atkinson
      November 12, 2023

      Was ‘Paris’ on the winning side?

  18. Mickey Taking
    November 12, 2023

    I lost one grandfather stretcher-bearing only 50 days from the end of WW1. His widow got his MM. The other I lost to the ‘flu’ in the early 20s. My father served through the WW2 part of the force landing directly after D-Day and occupying Germany after defeat. My Father-in-Law served in N.Africa and then Italy.
    This background fills me with sadness and respect on this day.

  19. Sir Joe Soap
    November 12, 2023

    The current situation will require somebody to take sides, just as happened in 1914 and 1939.
    We’ve ended up here after the establishment and successive governments together decided that multi-culturism was the answer to conflict. This week’s activities alone prove it isn’t, other creeds and cultures deliberately provoking our indigenous commemorations with a show of strength on the same day. This can’t be coincidental. It’s part of a pattern where the underdog has wormed its way into power across the spectrum over the past 40 years. The Net Zero and Covid pretence schemes, together with the police being directed/brainwashed into being all things to all people are just part of a plan to subjugate and make poorer.
    We seem to be in danger of having to fight again for our homeland. The only question is how far this takeover goes before the worm turns?

    1. Timaction
      November 12, 2023

      The left of centre selection processes in our emergency services, health and all other public services/quangos leads to the biased decision-making and policy making we are all seeing and witnessing. Two tiered policing, positive action, so called (in)Equality legislation, E SG, debanking, Internet legislation. All to silence us and make us comply with their woke/PC agenda. Enough is Enough. We need REFORM.

  20. beresford
    November 12, 2023

    I always remember our servicemen and women and have visited many of the cemeteries in Europe, but there is a certain amount of humbug surrounding Remembrance Day. The First World War was fought over a conflict in Serbia, and a number of young men oblivious to the nature of modern warfare rushed off to sign up for what they thought was a glorious wide game. There is no evidence that Adolf harboured ill intent towards Britain or her Empire, but there was a more indirect threat that an expanded Germany would dominate Europe and influence us that way. Bliar’s war in Iraq was ‘not in my name’ and about oil, as the Americans have freely admitted. There is something unedifying about the politicians who sent these people to die parading around with wreathes.

    Reply Surely you condemn the holocaust and the pain and misery inflicted on many countries by the Nazis?

    1. Lynn Atkinson
      November 12, 2023

      The was no evidence that Adolf Hitler harboured ill intent towards the USSR’, indeed he signed an accord and treaty with Stalin. Nevertheless 26.6 million citizens died.
      You think that Hitler would have allowed Britain with he Dominions and Empire to thrive? His blueprint for roads across Europe alone shows that he intended to subdue Britain.

      ( I have deleted references to various Germans who went on to shape the EU after the war as not all of those mentioned were Nazis and the EU blueprint was clearly different to Hitler’s plans for a unified Europe under German military control.)

      1. formula57
        November 12, 2023

        @ Lynn Atkinson – there is ample evidence of Hitler’s true intentions towards Russia, starting in his prison memoir in the mid-1920’s. Similarly, evidence of his lack of intent against Britain is a matter of record, as may have been the Hess mission to end hostilities in 1941.

        1. Lynn Atkinson
          November 12, 2023

          Obviously Hitler did not want to fight the British Empire, The USSR and Europe – 3 fronts at once. We were a maritime power, we have never been a land power, like the USA our ‘off-spring’.
          Hitler was cunning, a psychopath, a narcissist and therefore skilled and ‘turning on the charm’. His apparent ‘generosity’ to Britain was just a matter of timing.
          We took that option from Hitler and forced him to fight us all simultaneously, and it took all of us, fighting on three fronts to subdue the 3rd Reich. Remember that.
          Russia lost 26.6 million people! They have a wound that may never heal.

      2. Mickey Taking
        November 12, 2023

        We were given the sheet of German paper waved at the homecoming airport – a lot of good that did us!

      3. paul cuthbertson
        November 12, 2023

        Lyn – do not forget Operation Paperclip.

        1. Lynn Atkinson
          November 12, 2023

          The leading Nazis I named that JR chose not to print were leagues above the paperclip chaps. The fulcrum of the 3rd Reich and then of the EU. That’s why we have the resurgence of the old problem again.

    2. JOHN MCDONALD
      November 12, 2023

      https://balfourproject.org/
      Perhaps all MP’s in Parliament should be aware of this project and take account of both Jewish and Palestinian suffering which has lead to where we are at present.
      The UK was responsible for Palestine at one time and the current war did not start on 7th September 2023.

      1. Lynn Atkinson
        November 12, 2023

        You think that when the General Motors Company bought that land now known as Liberia so that ex-slaves and their descendants could return to Africa to a country of their own (Liberia was given to them) – that those already on that land should throw the ex-slaves out?
        Interestingly very few ex-slaves or their descendants to advantage of the offer to return to Africa.
        Why should the Jew, who always were in occupation of ‘palestine’ be evicted?
        You understand that the ‘two state solution’ has been rejected by those who now call themselves ‘Palestinians’, repeatedly.

        1. Mitchel
          November 13, 2023

          The Jews ceased to be “in occupation of Palestine”(then Judaea) around 60 AD.Jerusalem was raised to the ground by the Romans(Emperor Titus, I think)following a revolt and all its moveable wealth transported to Rome.Emperor Hadrian rebuilt it around 70 years later as a Roman colonia-Jews were forbidden to live in its environs and Judaea was renamed Syria Palaestina (hence today’s Palestine);the Jews became a diaspora as a result.

          1. Lynn Atkinson
            November 13, 2023

            You will find that there were always Jews in Palestine.

      2. Timaction
        November 12, 2023

        It goes back before Balfour, in fact Centuries. Plenty of source material on YouTube for those interested in facts as opposed to msm fiction.

        1. paul cuthbertson
          November 12, 2023

          Timeaction – Yes centuries and it is an area that we as westerners will never understanand. We are of different culture, we do not live theire and western logic is totally different. The Israelis and the Arabs will eventually sort out their differences one way or another
          I have witnessed diiferent societies logic having lived in West Africa and Latin America .
          We as westerners have a totally diiferent way of thinking.

        2. Lynn Atkinson
          November 12, 2023

          Actually, millennia. Read the Bible, it’s the story of the Jews.

    3. Wanderer
      November 12, 2023

      Reply to reply
      Yes, I condemn it. But I think many of our leaders at the time would have turned a blind eye to all that, as long as British interests weren’t affected. Look at our leaders now: hardly a harsh word about Saudi Arabia (“someone” dismembered a critic of theirs in one of their embassies recently) but Putin is called out regularly as a monster.

    4. beresford
      November 12, 2023

      Reply to reply: We went to war because of an alliance with Poland. The Holocaust came about later and few soldiers would have been aware of it. All of this is terrible but it is not why we fought at the time.

      1. Mickey Taking
        November 12, 2023

        there was widespread removal of Jews from authority in all manner of office during 1934 -39. Gradually the ‘brownshirts’ became violent and murders were committed prior to the ‘holocaust’. During the earlier period there were what we call concentration camps built.

      2. Lynn Atkinson
        November 12, 2023

        You think the Poles were not slaughtered? Actually by the ‘Ukrainians’ who were allied with the 3rd Reich. Stepan Bandera Day is celebrated in Ukraine every year. It’s worth looking him up.

  21. wes
    November 12, 2023

    I also grew up in the late forties early fifties, a time when ration books were still used for some items (sweets for one), a time also for children to shut up and behave themselves being polite and considerate, I remember playing on the bomb sites and facing the daily bath scrubbing for doing so, I also remember the local bobby giving instant corrective. clip around the ears. Times were tough but FUN.

    Oh what a good time to be alive. It’s a shame the politicians are blind to the destructive forces their policies create.

    1. IanT
      November 12, 2023

      We ran the moment that copper came around the corner, whether we’d been up to something or not! 🙂

    2. Margaret
      November 12, 2023

      We need to make a bigger show of Britishness.At one time King Charles tried to encourage people to swear allegiance to our country but the small minded lacked foresight , understanding of motives and were embarrassed ,yet other cultures cuckoo like, have grown in their own way and we feel we have to respect their odd way of life and deny ourselves.
      I still have ration books and memorabilia from my father’s service years . These are always a reminder of how the service men have allowed GB to live in relative peace, despite those who try and disrupt our society.

  22. Berkshire Alan
    November 12, 2023

    We will remember them, yes we will, and so we should, because we owe them an enormous debt, but times and values have changed since those times, and in many cases sadly not for the good.

  23. glen cullen
    November 12, 2023

    Good words SirJ thank you

    1. formula57
      November 12, 2023

      + 1

    2. Kayla Tomlinson
      November 12, 2023

      Absolutely!

  24. Kenneth
    November 12, 2023

    Very good words, Sir John.

    Let’s also remember that the vast majority of UK Muslims were NOT marching anywhere yesterday but getting through the day like the rest of us.

    1. Lynn Atkinson
      November 12, 2023

      Most of the British were not counter-protesting yesterday in London, but it does not mean we were not cheering them on!

      1. glen cullen
        November 12, 2023

        +1

    2. Dave Andrews
      November 12, 2023

      Probably the majority of Muslims in Palestine do not go along with what Hamas are doing, but Hamas aggression has cowered them into submission. The same thing will happen in this country if the authorities don’t get a grip.

  25. agricola
    November 12, 2023

    Something is drastically wrong with this site. I have posted twice and my contribution has disappeared.

    1. agricola
      November 12, 2023

      Ees

  26. Bloke
    November 12, 2023

    Those who separate to march with conflicting opinions are free to do so, peacefully. They should also respect why they are free, and not carelessly besmirch the days of solemn remembrance of those who struggled and gave their lives to allow them.

  27. Lynn Atkinson
    November 12, 2023

    Here’s to all the ‘far-right thugs’ who gave their lives and health to save Britain. All those who downed-tools in the Dominions – where they could have sat in the sun to see who won, who rushed to defend at all costs the principles and the ancient island-people who made us.
    What would they make of what we have, displayed in all its glory yesterday? What would they make of a King of England wearing a black poppy – differentiating between black and all the other colours who died in the great wars?
    We have lived as a subservient state for 50 years JR, with our Monarch reduced to being a Suzerain. Britain as not existed for most of your and my life. Is that peace? Where our ‘Parliament’ is compelled to enact laws to attack its own citizens? Etc ed
    I don’t believe that we have lived in peaceful times. We are about to reap what we have sowed. Etc ed
    Please God those that came before will not now view us with contempt – those that we allow to be called ‘far-right thugs’ who defended Britain and their blood today still prepared to so do.

    1. Mickey Taking
      November 12, 2023

      The red poppy a symbol of the blood lost in those flowering fields.

  28. The Prangwizard
    November 12, 2023

    We must support and defend our past but tragically our government tries too hard to be on both sides in todays attacks on our society.

    That must change. We do have enemies on our soil, those who wish to destroy us. It must be admitted and stopped.

    I will be going down to the church shortly.

    As for my family’s history, my father did not get called up, he had a business as a livestock haulier. His work was protected so he stayed at home.

  29. Ralph Corderoy
    November 12, 2023

    ‘…we might enjoy a better tomorrow’

    A sound money is also key to a better tomorrow. Savers then have a store of value. Instead, would-be savers have to ‘monetise’ assets like the FTSE 250 through tracker funds. Or inflate the price of bricks and mortar through buy-to-let investment. These are all investments with risk when what the majority of would-be savers want is a store of value with low risk: a sound money.

    Low interest rates harm savers but only because it doesn’t offset the Government’s monetary inflation. Rishi Sunak made clear price inflation is a tax on the poorest and he’d welcome the its return to 2%. Why not zero? Or even mild price deflation, the natural way of progress and innovation. With sound money and mild price deflation, the poorest savers, who have only cash and no assets, would see their wealth slowly increase.

  30. Ian B
    November 12, 2023

    Sir John
    Thank you. We must never let those that went before us and the memories of their sacrifice fade.
    As @Mark B says “We will remember them. As all good and decent people will.”

  31. MFD
    November 12, 2023

    Correct ! Sir , I wish there were a majority like you in Westminster ! But sadly not .

    1. Timaction
      November 12, 2023

      +1

  32. George Sheard
    November 12, 2023

    Hi sir John
    RIP to all those that gave the final sacrifice
    To make our country a safe and peace country to live in.
    May it stay that way .

  33. miami.mode
    November 12, 2023

    You would have thought that King Charles’s Warrant Officer would have had a word with him about getting his hair trimmed when in uniform.

    1. Everhopeful
      November 12, 2023

      +++
      Snap!
      Exactly what I thought.

  34. XY
    November 12, 2023

    Amen to that.

    I also have family still alive who lived through WWII and its deprivations, losing loved ones to the war, to disease and to famine.

    I look at the entitled youth of recent times, with their ridiculous wokery, irreverence and lack of respect for experience and I see a country in decline. The words “empires crumble from within” often spring to mind – not in the sense of the British Empire, but in the wider sense of the empire of the free world which our forefathers fought to maintain.

    It is now being diluted by the influx of other cultures who have no intention to be “British” in terms of values and by the deliberate, systematic indoctrination of our young, leading them into a sub-culture that destroys us from within. All of this, we now understand, due to a deliberate policy of cultural vandalism in Russia which has waged a new form of hybrid warfare on us for years via trolls on social media etc, rewriting history and creating what Lenin called “useful (Burgeois) idiots” of many of our own people.

    Those decent MPs who are left must ask themselves how they can use their remaining time to reverse this process.

    1. Wanderer
      November 12, 2023

      +1. But there’s probably only a couple of dozen decent MPs, if that.

      1. paul cuthbertson
        November 12, 2023

        Wanderer -You beat me to it. I was going to ask – Can you name them????

    2. Mitchel
      November 13, 2023

      “empire of the free world” is a contradiction in terms.

  35. mancunius
    November 12, 2023

    Actually there was still some rationing that continued until several years after the end of WW2, even during your (b. 1951) early childhood. Meat and dairy rationing formally ended in 1954, but shortages remained, and there was a barely concealed black market economy. Cheese production remained tightly restricted by the Milk Marketing Board. There was sugar rationing until late 1953, also chocolate and confectionery remained rationed until 1953, and even then genuine full chocolate/cocoa remained unknown to most families until later. Hence the curious national taste for ‘dairy milk’ chocolate.
    Coal rationing ended only in 1958. This meant poorer households had to keep heating to a minimum in winter.

    Curiously, it was the sugar rationing that affected people most. Some families were not on speaking terms for years later.

  36. miami.mode
    November 12, 2023

    It may sound a bit counter-productive but it almost seems better to not buy a poppy from a seller but to donate online as the Royal British Legion can then claim Gift Aid of 25% for those that pay tax. Gift Aid is not allowable against a single donation from multiple sources.

    1. miami.mode
      November 12, 2023

      I must confess that I used to be rather dismissive of the ‘cheapskates’ that purchased a permanent poppy thus avoiding the necessity of buying one every year but subsequently realised that by doing this and donating online annually it maximises the charity’s income plus it avoids the dearth of sellers.

      As an aside, it may be his natural gait but the SNP chappie looked as though he couldn’t care less and a bit like a recalcitrant teenager – shades of Harry Enfield’s Kevin.

      1. Bloke
        November 12, 2023

        I agree, in having noticed that Stephen Flynn’s gait appeared ill-suited to the occasion, as if he was having to do something against his will. His manner was conspicuous; obtrusively different from that of others. Some found carrying a wreath, bending down to place it and then stepping backwards somewhat difficult, but managed with reverence and care.

      2. Mickey Taking
        November 12, 2023

        I was rather more blunt about what we all saw – so Sir John felt unable to publish.

  37. Ed M
    November 12, 2023

    What are Parliamentarians going to do with the buildings of The Houses of Parliament?!

    At the moment, this is message Parliamentarians are sending us:

    1) We’re not able to make difficult decisions! Instead, we’ll sit in The House of Parliament, with rain falling into buckets, going over the past, like Dickens’ Miss Haversham!
    2) We’re more focused on preserving something that represents the values of our Empire of 150 years ago than something that represents the values of a modern, dynamic, entrepreneurial Britain.
    3) We’re more focused on spending money on buildings that were largely built in the 19th century than investing money in our High Tech industry to help grow our economy with lots of high quality, highly-paid jobs and exporting high quality brands abroad.

    Sure, let’s keep as of The Houses of Parliament as possible (1 To stay in contact with our past 2. For aesthetic reasons): 1) The Medieval Part (of course) 2) Big Ben (Of course) 3. The front looking on to the river (that can be kept whilst a new building built behind it – if possible). And 4) The Victoria Tower (if possible – might not be – might be sinking the rest of the Parliament – don’t know). And if possible, knock the rest, rebuild in the same colour stone etc (and add the towers lost – to these). As long as this can be done at a greatly reduced cost to refurbishing the building and that the re-building wouldn’t take 76 years or something – but more like 3 or 4. And then add some features such as 1) Museum 2) Restaurant 3) Cafe 4) Conference Centre – to make MONEY out of in the spirit of entrepreneurship this sends to the rest of the country.

    But at moment Parliamentarians are sending a poor message to the country about Parliament. Sure, in an ideal world it would be great to keep The Houses of Parl as they are. But our world is not ideal. And we have to be practical and entrepreneurial in how we keep the best in terms of tradition and aesthetics whilst also creating something new – of new interest and benefit to the country – and sending an important message for the kind of Britain we want for the future!

    1. Ed M
      November 12, 2023

      Just to be clear, I’m saying to keep: the medieval part, Big Ben and if possible the front part looking onto the Thames and the Victoria Tower. But not keep all of the Houses of Parl – if considerably cheaper and easier to rebuild instead of refurbish and to create new buildings with a commercial side to it (i.e. business conference centre, VIP club area, museum, restaurant, cafe – high quality shops such as jewellery, clothes, shoes, cars etc).

      1. Lynn Atkinson
        November 12, 2023

        The Palace of Westminster cannot be valued. To the British it is beyond value. It must be maintained even if it is the last building standing in the country.

        1. Ed M
          November 13, 2023

          That’s idolatry – putting state before God (and madness putting a Parliament before the value and importance of hospitals to keep people alive).
          And also why are you so in love with the interior of an 19th century building? That you’d spend endless amount of money and time on it? How come that interior is the soul of our country? Please explain? Who are you being loyal to – an intimate object? What does it mean to be British. To put the interior of a 19th century before everything else in your life? Seems to me you’ve just been overly-seduced by an architect.
          It’s also unhealthy nationalism as opposed to healthy patriotism.
          Wonderful as our nation and national buildings are, a church such as Westminster Cathedral comes first.
          But putting religion aside, so many people today (and non-religious) aren’t even patriots. They’d be quite happy to see Westminster Parl demolished – and for MPs to be sent up to Birmingham.
          Lastly, not only is my option keeping / respecting Tradition and Aesthetics, it’s also celebrating Britain today (dynamic and entrepreneurial) as well as celebrating Winston Churchill.

        2. Ed M
          November 13, 2023

          Also, 99% of the population would probably disagree with you. 99% of the population aren’t in love with the interior of that building as you are (although most in love with the outside of the building). Most Conservatives are patriots but many of them are Christians too and would abhor your idolatry (and nationalism instead of patriotism) putting nation before God. And of the rest who aren’t religious, they’d still abhor your desire to spend billions and billions on a building at the cost of the economy (I mean if there is no god, then most atheists aren’t going to be overly in love with anything in this world, let-alone the inside of a 19th century building). So your views here are Harry Potter.

        3. Ed M
          November 13, 2023

          Lastly, Mrs Thatcher, Bill Cash, Edward Leigh, Jacob Rees-Mogg and others would all agree with me. They were / are all Christians – and would have known and understood well the danger of idolatry (putting nation before God).
          (And Sir Winston Churchill wasn’t so enamoured with the old system of the titles of The House of Lords by seeking a knighthood instead – and I’m sure he would have been sympathetic about not spending an inordinate amount of money on preserving the interior of a 19th century building, not forgetting that part of his genius was to be CREATIVE / progressive – not just traditionalist in the best sense of the word.
          I’m not saying we have to lose the interior of the building. But with the way we pay for things in this country (with estimates of restoring the building ranging at the beginning from £5 Billion to now £50 Billion and that could take years and years – up to 76) we need to be realistic and send a positive, dynamic, entrepreneurial-like message to the nation).

        4. Ed M
          November 13, 2023

          Also, your idolatry (putting the interior of a 19th century building – if it had to be pulled down – before God as represented by one of God’s churches such as Westminster Abbey) goes against the very long-standing tradition of Parliament of putting God first – part of oath of allegiance that goes back to King Edgar and that we see at Magna Carta and later). So you’re wrong at every level.

          That’s it’s actually unparliamentary (and by long tradition) to put anyone or their views before God and God’s teaching about idolatry.

          So God first. Then nation. And may God please bless our great nation.

    2. Ed M
      November 12, 2023

      Another, cheaper option might be to just gut the whole of the inside of The House of Parliament and rebuild (so leaving the exterior walls where possible – except of course to leave the medieval part and Big Ben alone.

      I don’t know. I’m not a structural engineer or anything like that. But Parliamentarians need to be asking these questions NOW instead of kicking to touch.

      Also, for 99% of people in the UK, the inside of The Houses of Parl mean nothing to them (except the chambers etc – the most famous parts). For 99% of people, The Houses of Parl are the medieval part, Big Ben, the front on the river and maybe Victoria Tower. And same for tourism (not forgetting, the exterior of the Houses of Parl are iconic worldwide).

      Sure, I know same lovely interior stuff would get removed. But can we pay to keep that. I mean at moment it looks like to refurbish would cost AT LEAST £20 Billion. Bur probably a lot more. And it wouldn’t be completed for 15 years, more like 20 – if not 25. Just not worth it.

      Not forgetting how poorly laid out it is inside – with miles of nooks and crannies etc. Too expensive to refurbish. And why? We need something more efficient.

      So it’s about a sensible compromise (to keep the best of the 1. Tradition 2. Aesthetics). And not forgetting the opportunity to also add a stamp regarding the type of Britain we want to be going forwards (nimble / dynamic / entrepreneurial – not some behemoth from the time of the Empire – and looking back with to that period with nostalgia and laurels instead of looking forwards).

  38. Ed M
    November 12, 2023

    Also, to get rid of The unelected House of Lords. And instead replace with an elected House of Knights (easier to say than ‘Baronet’). With people being formally called ‘Sir’ like ‘Sir John Smith’ or ‘Dame’ – I think ‘Lady’ too old-fashioned now). Therefore still keeping something of the old tradition.
    I think Sir Winston Churchill would agree. 1) His family were Dukes. 2) He rejected a dukedom (and Knight of the Garter) in favour of being honoured a knight. And I don’t see why anyone from the past or present should be given a title now in Parliament higher than Sir Winston Churchill (whether people want to use grander titles outside the Houses of Parliament is their choice – and good luck to them!).

    1. Ed M
      November 12, 2023

      (And a person with ‘knight’ can still sit in The H. of C. but without using that title – so the title reserved for people in The House of Knights – or outside Parliament – so as to differentiate between the two Houses).

    2. Lynn Atkinson
      November 12, 2023

      I fully expect to be addressed as ‘Ladies and Gentlemen’; we do NOT want a second elected chamber. It would mean we needed a third to break the deadlock!
      Either restore the real Lords to their House (we know their names) or abolish the second chamber altogether and allow the Common to feel the full weight of responsibility that they carry.

      1. Ed M
        November 13, 2023

        I knew an impoverished lord well (now deceased) who used to go to The House of Lords just to receive an income (and was only moderately intelligent and his own experience in life was small-time farming)!
        That’s just madness to want to restore that. Like Harry Potter.
        I agree there are problems with elected second chamber. But better than filled with elected lords.
        And it’s also Harry Potter to think MPs will have a free hand at wanting to spend as much money as they want on refurbishing Westminster Parl (I’d fight hard for most of the exterior of the building to be kept – and to a degree the interior – but if the interior is going to cost billions and billions. Madness. It’s like a kind of reverse form of over-spending, self-indulgent socialism). If they think that, then power has gone to their heads and they’ve lost the plot (that’s not me thinking that – but all of Labour and Lib Dems and lots if not most Conservative voters who want don’t want to over-spend on a lavish building but would rather that extra money invested to improve our economy).
        things such as investing in our economy).

  39. Frances
    November 12, 2023

    I dont understand why the marches were permitted at all on this sacred weekend. That they were has enraged a lot of people across the country. The answer surely was to say yes you can in a park , NOT in stations and NOT on the streets. In fact all the stop oil people could also be unchained and moved to a damp and muddy park so that normal people could carry on.

    1. paul cuthbertson
      November 12, 2023

      Frances – Fully agree. The March could have been stopped if WANTED!!!!!!!!
      There is a phrase, Lions led by Donkeys which is ALL to familiar in all walks of life in this day and age.

    2. Lynn Atkinson
      November 12, 2023

      Freedom to demonstrate must be allowed ONLY to British people with no second citizenship! The whole world does NOT have the right to bring our country to a halt no matter how keenly they feel about the issues that pertain in their far-off homelands.
      All sorts of things – like British justice, benefits, pensions, right to remain etc must be restricted to the same people – i.e exclusively to the British people.

      1. Frances
        November 13, 2023

        No one has a right to bring the country to a halt. Iran and Russia were pushing Hamas narrative on social media. THAT needs to be confronted or stopped. The marches were about a conflict which is nothing to do with us pushed by malign foreign govts.

  40. Everhopeful
    November 12, 2023

    Unlike most things the “Westminster Bubble” is a reality.
    The govt. really has no clue.
    They think that the EDL still exists!!
    What a clanger.
    They really do make it up as they go along.

    And there was no one to advise…to save the PM’s blushes??
    No…cos NOBODY knew!
    Except possibly the cat.

  41. forthurst
    November 12, 2023

    We should remember all those who gave their service in two world wars and in subsequent conflicts and especially the many who were killed or maimed. That does not mean we should look kindly on those politicians who took us into wars and lied to the people every time on the reasons for doing so.

  42. Lindsay+McDougall
    November 12, 2023

    My ancestors had different experiences. My maternal grandfather was a mining engineer and a heavy smoker and he died of lung disease before the outbreak of WW2. My paternal grandfather served in Mesopotamia as a sergeant during WW1. Being ambitious, he applied for a commission. His CO summoned him and said “Don’t be a fool McDougall. If you persist, they will make you a sub lieutenant and send you to the Somme, where you will be dead within three weeks.” It is probable that I owe my existence to the withdrawal of that application. My father served as a captain and doctor close to the front during WW2. They were desperate for doctors then and rushed his qualification in four years against the modern six years.

    My own experience included taking the bus from Maghull into Liverpool during the 50s and 60s and seeing all the bombed out sites alongside Scotland Road. More bizarre was my experience of working in South Africa in the early 80s during the Falklands war. Morning after morning the Afrikaner dominated State radio declared what a pity it was that two anti-communist powers were fighting each other. The Afrikaners were under the illusion that Apartheid was OK because it was “anti-communist”. In practice, Apartheid was an economic nonsense and English speaking South Africans wrecked the system by hiring black gardeners and construction workers.

    Wars are supposed to be beneficial in settling disputes. Sometimes it’s true. Look for Western Armenia on a world atlas and you won’t find it unless your atlas is more than 100 years old. The American Red Indians and the Australian Aboriginals were more or less annihilated by more advanced people. But in Northern Ireland, the result has been the Good Friday Agreement, which may not be stable in the long term. Then think of the country that we know as Poland. It has been fought over and moved around for centuries, at one time disappearing entirely. As recently as the end of WW2, Poland shifted westwards, gaining Katowice from Germany and losing Lvov / Lviv to Ukraine.

    If Israel defeats Hamas, who knows what the outcome will be. Will the Palestinians lie down defeated? I doubt it in the long term. Palestinians want a State of their own but what should be its territory? It cannot be Gaza plus the West Bank because that would destroy Israel. I favour the Gaza strip being extended southwards into the western Negev plus a chunk of land in north east Sinai. That would be the Palestinian State. Jewish settlements in the West Bank would continue until there was a Jewish majority there. Displaced Palestinians would be allocated places in the new Palestinian State. These changes could take place peacefully over a generation – there is no hurry. The process would benefit from foreign aid to get the new Palestinian State up and running, with massive investment in the development of water resources – desalination plants, deep wells, canals.

    1. Lynn Atkinson
      November 12, 2023

      You completely misunderstand Apartheid. Afrikaaners also employed Africans who had to have a ‘pass’. During the Falklands war, Afrikaans South Africa refused the U.K. the right to use the military harbour (which we had built!) Simonstown, which was the closest to the Falklands. They also announced on the front pages, jubulently and happily erroneously, the HMS Hermes had been sunk.
      Israel is not allowed to win a war! Even Putin, who ‘paused’ for the Minsk accords and regretted it when Holland and Merkle admitted fooling him to buy time to strengthen Ukraine, demand that Israel desist. (Some? Ed) Palestinian leaders don’t want a state, they want the destruction of `Israel and the annihilation of the Jews – hence ‘from the Jordan River to the sea’.

      1. Mitchel
        November 13, 2023

        Russia and China both support the Palestinian cause.They can see the future-those entities dependent on continuous US support are very vulnerable as the US declines.Plus the Islamic world is only going to get more powerful.

  43. Ed M
    November 13, 2023

    Taking Shape (New Houses of Parliament)

    1. Knock down all of Houses of Parliament (except 1. Medieval Part 2. Big Ben 3. Eastern Front 4. River Front 5. Western Front 6. Victoria Tower), including knocking Northern Front (where Cromwell is). And rebuild new.
    2. To aim if possible for a budget of at least half the cost of refurbishment and at least twice as quick to build. I don’t know. Parliament needs to hire experts on this.
    3. The new build would be modern and efficient and much cheaper to run
    4. The new North Front would be about projecting an image of modern, dynamic, entrepreneurial Britain (but not modern design necessarily) and also incorporating Winston Churchill – dedicating to him. Incorporating him in the new build. And with a big, large doorway to give a proper front entrance to the building.
    5. The new build (saving on money, quicker design and design reflecting modern, dynamic, entrepreneurial Britain as opposed to just the Empire – which we’re already going to keep much of anyway for posterity) helps to send a strong message to politicians, the people of this country and people we want to do business around the world with that we’re properly open to business and that we’re a smart, dynamic, entrepreneurial nation that also treasures its past too
    6. The new build should incorporate corporate features to help run the costs of the future Parliament (so to include a smart restaurant – and that looks out onto the river etc – , cafe, smart shops, business conference centre, museum and more). This along with the new way Parl is built would save millions each year on running costs – also sending a powerful message to people around the country about saving money where necessary!
    7. New elected ‘House of Lords’ now to be filled with baronets instead of Lords and above (baronets or knights less grand – more modern – like ‘Sir’ Winston Churchill).

    There is no other alternative? Surely? To refurbish would costs billions and billions (and the costs would just go up and up as they so often do with public building projects) and the design of the building is antiquated anyway. And we want to mix old values with new ones through the design of the new build – not just be stuck in the nostalgic past. Also, to build new would be much quicker (refurbishing could go on for years and years) than refurbish (and there is the danger of people losing contact with / interest their Parl and politics if MPs have to leave the place for years.

    More I look at it, more it looks like we’re going to have rebuild much of the Parliaments of Westminster whilst keeping as much as the old parts as we can. What’s the alternative? Also, God forbid, the old building is vulnerable to various natural disasters as well. Another reason why we can’t wait around indefinitely waiting for politicians to make up their minds.

    Reply This will not happen, nor would it be a cheap solution. The Victorian Palace is rightly a listed building of great importance.

    1. Ed M
      November 13, 2023

      I’m NOT saying the Victorian Palace is NOT a listed building of great importance (of course it is) – nor am I saying the outside should be pulled down (except maybe the north part). But the interior part MAY have to be. Why? ‘Cause the country can’t afford to spend from £20 Billion to £50 Billion on saving the 19th century interior of the building and that could take years to refurbish (with Parliamentarians out of Parliament around at least 15 years). Not only would voters refuse to pay this. So would entrepreneurial / business-minded Conservatives (like millions around the country) who would rather that money spent on investing in our economy overall including the high tech industry, science and technology, curbing immigration, the armed forces and so on.

      Parliament ultimately is NOT the 19th century interior part of the building. Parliament is ultimately an elected group of people (plus The House of Lords) – not a building (the could sit in a tent and still be valid). Although the historical building itself is of course still important – above all the medieval part but also other parts that reflect something wonderful of the past and aesthetically-pleasing too (Big Ben, the east, south and west fronts, Victoria Tower as well and so on).

      Reply There is no need to carry out the hugely expensive modernisation which I will vote against.

  44. Bloke
    November 13, 2023

    Camilla Tominey’s velvet tones in GB News’ coverage of the Remembrance Ceremony reached a quality standard few others have ever matched.

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