There have been many dangerous times throughout human history. We are currently commemorating the centenary of one such murderous event. We survived, a chastened people, but initially determined not to allow a repeat; yet twenty one years later we were at it again, this time defending ourselves against a pernicious, barbaric, pitiless political ideology that cast its pall over Europe and well beyond. We survived and again resolved to behave better. One idea was to found the precursor of today’s European Union.
Even during the dark days of the Cold War, when nuclear obliteration seemed a daily possibility, I somehow knew it would not happen. I instinctively felt that the innate genius, curiosity and adventurous spirit we humans possessed would see us through. While the stockpiles of destruction were regularly improved the two superpowers chose a race to the Moon as the proving ground for their power. It was exciting, any bloodshed was accidental and the contest spurred on science and technology. It challenged us as a species and briefly gave us something of which we could be proud and view in unity. But after Neil Armstrong’s small step enthralled the world a period of drift, questioning and uncertainty set in. The Vietnam War scarred and divided the USA and politicians tarnished that country’s image.
In 1989 I remember watching, captivated, as events unfolded in Eastern Europe; the Berlin Wall came down and the communist nations gained their freedom. Alongside the emotional reaction I realised this watershed moment would have a sting in the tail. There was much talk of the peace dividend; the USSR disintegrated and the USA, with an understandable belief that it had been proven right, became the sole superpower. The role of its allies in achieving this was acknowledged but downplayed. The old rivalry that had sustained and defined the post-WW2 era had gone – but to be replaced by what, exactly? And therein lay the problem. America’s well-honed political-military-industrial complex had no enemy to combat but it still had an itchy trigger finger. The devil made work for idle hands.
We are again at one of those points in our history which, if unchecked, will cause a serious threat to, and deterioration of, the civilization we have striven to create and preserve. The existence of large groups of people with a medieval, strident, inflexible mindset, interpreting their religion as a pernicious, barbaric, pitiless variant poses a direct challenge to all that we believe to be right. It has grown because of the timidity on the part of Western leaders who, like those who sought to appease Hitler, are anxious to display tolerance towards a way of thinking and acting which, put at its simplest, is unBritish.
I applaud Nigel Farage’s party website piece, entitled, “Strip Islamic State Jihadists of British Citizenship” but I would like to see moderate Muslim leaders and representatives express similar opinions. Are things now so bad in this country that, were they to express such an opinion, they would fear for their safety? I think it important we hear what they have to say on the subject and seek their support in defending our country.
Our country is under threat from without and, more worryingly, from within. This government’s view of protecting us seems to be by cutting the armed forces to the bone and spending £50,000,000,000 on a high-speed rail line between London and Birmingham.
Nature abhors a vacuum. The same is true for affairs of state when weak, dithering leaders are constrained by political correctness or the need to consult numerous others, many of whom have no business meddling in our governance. It’s high time and long overdue that we take back control of all aspects of our country’s affairs.