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Lest We Forget

By ATWadmin On November 12th, 2006 at 9:53 pm

I went to London for the weekend.  Usually I travel to the capital for the shopping.  This time it was to watch today’s Remembrance Sunday march-past.  It was the first time I had ever attended this event in the capital and I have to say it was a very moving experience.  I watched the Queen lay the principal wreath, followed by various politicians who, having remembered the sacrifice of the older generations on this particular day, spend the next 364 treating them like dirt.


My grandfathers both fought in World War 2 and my paternal great grandfather was in the 36th Ulster Division.  I have known many who have served their country and it is especially moving on this day to see a sense of shared duty with soldiers from across the Commonwealth.  Numerous High Commissioners were present to lay their respective wreaths at the Cenotaph.  For anyone who cares deeply about the role our boys have played defending democracy across the globe – not least in our own country, I highly recommend attendance at next year’s event.


Seeing all those different countries pay their respects with the poppies, I am reminded once again of the annual display of Irish republican petulance surrounding the acts of Remembrance.  Whilst decent folks in the Irish Republic honour those who fought alongside the Allied Forces in various battles, you still have the over-inflated voices of those who wouldn’t even enjoy the freedom to cast aspersions on our act of remembrance, nor be free to write their ignorant and ill-conceived perspectives on alleged analogies between the imperialism of the Kaiser and the British Empire.


Doubtless there will be many in the rat-holes of republican ‘Oireland’ who would never consider wearing a poppy.  All I can say is ‘lucky old poppy!’  The symbol is too noble an emblem to be worn by those who would not recognise the true principles of valour, camaraderie and soldiering if they collectively defecated on their tainted consciences.

On This Day…

By ATWadmin On November 12th, 2006 at 9:40 pm

1660 – In Britain, author John Bunyan is arrested for preaching without a licence. Refusing to give up preaching, he remains in prison for 12 years.

1847 – First use of chloroform as an anaesthetic during surgery.

1927 – Britain’s first automatic telephone exchange opens in London.

1931 – Sir Edward Elgar opens the Abbey Road recording studios in London – later to made famous as the recording studio used by The Beatles.

1948 – Japan’s former premier Hideki Tojo, and several other Japanese criminals from World War II are sentenced to death.

1997 – Judges in Brazil reject Britain’s application for Great Train Robber Ronnie Biggs to be extradited to serve the rest of his prison sentence.

never depend on ‘clay’ foundations!

By ATWadmin On November 12th, 2006 at 1:05 pm

Read the posts on ATW regarding the outcome of the Mid-terms in America, the comments from Syria and Iran (surprisingly, they like the outcome) and I feel that the electorate in America has been misjudged. If you, as I do, receive regular updates of American newspapers for both news and comment, you might have been certain of the result, but might not have been as sure of the reasons why such a rout as has occurred!

The vote in the last election was centred on that quaint idea of American Moral Values, and the religious, conservative right-wing of the Republican party delivered for George W. Bush. They came out in their swarms, they filled the buses from the churches and headed for the polling stations, and they brought him back to the White House; because they reckoned they were electing the leader of a Party whose ideals mirrored their own!

So do you blame the majority in, say, Montana, a state which delivered for Bush only two years ago, when they swivel 180 degrees, and kick their long-serving Republican Senator out, and elect a Democratic Party Senator? Do you blame the news of further death in Iraq, of a bungled Occupation after a triumphant Invasion? Or do you blame the drip-drip-drip of corruption stories; of Jack Abramoff, he of the $82 million bribes from Indian Casino operatives; or of the paedophilic Republican Mark Foley, who pursued young Congress Pages, and was helped by a colleague cover-up? Do you blame the long procession of ‘religious zealots’ who preach one thing, and screw another, such as the smiling Rev. Ted Haggard, leader of a 30-million strong Evangelical movement, and also of the New Life Church, a long-time advisor to the White House, who preached against homosexuals of all types, but found time to pay a male prostitute, while sniffing ‘crystal meth’ at the same time!

The Republicans might get back their majority, but not until they are seen to clean-up their act, get rid of the clowns, and get back to a position where they can be seen to have earned that Trust!

A few thoughts on Remembrance Sunday

By ATWadmin On November 12th, 2006 at 10:20 am

I can sometimes be rather a "cold fish" when it comes to taking part in, and expressing myself in a public way on these "national days" set aside for either remembrance or celebration. I am very grateful to all the brave soldiers who fought, many of whom died or suffered physical and/or mental wounds, in order to defeat aggressors and safeguard our liberty. Their sacrifice does mean something to me, and I do spend time thinking about it, and I may touch upon the subject in conversations with those I know. But that’s as far as I want to take it (except, obviously, for posting about it here) – there is something in my personality that feels no need to make an outward show to the world at large. I respect and commend people for wearing the poppy, but I don’t wear one myself, because to me it would be superfluous and unnecessary. I know what my own thoughts are, and I hope that the absence of a poppy on my lapel today does not make any passer-by think that I therefore lack the underlying sentiments – I don’t, I just prefer to keep them largely to myself. (though as I say, I feel comfortable sharing a few thoughts on ATW, as I think I’m amongst friends here). I just….I think that for me, celebration is something best enjoyed en-masse, whereas the sombre occasion of remembrance (as well as charitable giving, for example) has something distinctly private about it.

The official remembrance ceremonies are certainly dignified, but I think that now and then, the media needs to tone down its overall approach a bit, and be careful not to try and induce any kind of dumbed-down hysteria. This is an example of what I mean here. Comments from the county council such as "The person or persons that did it are just the scum of the earth […] They should be drummed out of Worthing, drummed out of the country" to me, oversimplify and beat a hysterical and hypocritical drum about an act of stupid, essentially ignorant youth vandalism. It’s an odd point I’m trying to make here, and I hope readers do not take me the wrong way on this. Of course I think that it is shameful and wrong of those brain-dead chavs to deface a war memorial. But it’s not the crime of the century compared to other news reports this week, (such as the vile yob who stabbed a young man to death on a train merely for looking at him the wrong way – a yob with a string of convictions behind him, who should have been, and in an earlier era WOULD have been behind bars) and indeed I think that it is the fault of our modern society on so many fronts (lack of school discipline, outlawing of parental discipline, the virtual castration of the police force) that produces these thugs who know that they can get away with such offences in the first place. What I’m trying to get at is, is this the Britain those soldiers died to preserve?

This is my central point – Britain today is sadly not the sort of society our forefathers fought to preserve during their time in fierce battle. As I remarked to a friend in the pub last night, if those soldiers had been able to look into the future and see the Great Britain they were fighting for, reduced to what it is now….I wonder if half of them would have said to themselves "S*d this, lads, this is not going to turn out to be a country worth fighting for. Let’s go home, our sacrifice will eventually be all for nothing". 

 

Perhaps you may feel that today is not the most appropriate day for me to make such comments, best remember the dead today and leave the ills of modern Britain for another post. But personally I can’t separate the past from the present and leave it at that. Those soldiers did not give their lives for an annual remembrance day of pomp and ceremony – they gave their lives for the future – for us. Past and present are connected, they have a relationship in my mind. I don’t believe in ceremony purely for the sake of ceremony – it must keep its link with the here and now, otherwise it becomes nothing more than blind ritual.

Remembrance Day is especially sad and poignant to me, because "we" (and I admit I’m not quite sure what or whom I mean by "we" – politicians to an extent, civilians to an extent, it’s everything – the whole gradual breakdown of civil/religious/social order since the 1960’s) – "we" as a nation have defaced and dishonoured the sacrifice of those soldiers in a far deeper way than some thug defacing a stone memorial. Every scumbag sentenced to a mere six years for rape, every dangerous offender released early on the say-so of our marshmallow-brained judiciary, every paedophile let loose to live in the community, every juvenile offender rewarded with the pathetic, ineffectual "badge" of an ASBO, every former terrorist welcomed to become part of our Union’s government, and every judge or politician responsible for this state of affairs, is a grave affront to the memory of those who gave their lives for this country in decades past. 

I feel grateful, for sure. Yet I also feel ashamed.

THE BITCH IS BACK…

By ATWadmin On November 12th, 2006 at 10:14 am

795151-546664-thumbnail.jpgI like Elton John’s music, I think he is a very talented song-writer and I believe that he and Bernie Taupin have produced several memorable classics. In fact, Elton John was one of the first pop concerts I ever went to.  But Elton is almost beyond parody when he gets on his "Gay Rights uber alles" soapbox.

Comes the news today wants religion banned completely – because it promotes hatred of gays. He also reckons that religion lacks compassion and turns people into "hateful lemmings". Read the rest of this interview to grasp the sheer narrowness of his vision. It goes without saying that his comments lack all substance but it goes a tad deeper than that.

Imagine if I, as a Christian, said that homosexuality should be banned since it is depraved and turns those who indulge in it into hateful lemmings. I would be accused of being intolerant – and rightly so. But when Sir Elton makes a vicious anti-Religion claim – well, he gets a pass. Frankly, sorry seems to be the only word that Elton is not asked to say when it comes to his poisonous attacks on those of us who quietly follow our faith. Only a lemming would follow Sir Elton’s warblings…..

‘saved for the nation?’

By ATWadmin On November 12th, 2006 at 10:12 am

Listened to Winston Spencer Churchill (grandson of The Man) making an appeal (Radio 4 ) on behalf of the War Memorials Trust, an organisation which helps protect and rehabilitate the War Memorials of Great Britain which are threatened with either demolition, defacement or destruction; and very eloquent he was! He asked for donations to this worthy cause, and especially now at this time of Remembrance, it was perhaps apposite to do so!

Just one niggling twitch in the back of my mind, though! Isn’t this the same Churchill whose family benefited to the tune of some twelve-odd million pounds when the papers of his grandfather were put up for sale, with an only slightly-concealed threat that unless the cash was forthcoming very quickly, the Papers would summarily be sold overseas? Isn’t this the same Churchill whose family continues to benefit hugely from the royalties paid by scholars, and whose family’s fortunes were bolstered by a six million pound inheritance?

I have always been in favour of the old saying ‘put your money where your mouth is’, and while I ascribe nothing but good intentions to the young(ish) Mr. Churchill, I wonder how much he has actually forked out to support his own cause? I have also similarly wondered about the fact that so many ‘celebs’ lend their names to various charity appeals, but are perhaps less open about how much of their own cash has been placed towards the afore-mentioned ‘good cause’?

Just call me ‘Old Cynical’!

SIMPLE SIMON…

By ATWadmin On November 12th, 2006 at 9:43 am

I always enjoy reading Simon Jenkins in The Times since I know he is likely to get every issue he comments on wrong. He is a liberal moonbat of the highest order – and I give you a taste of what he thinks of the outcome of the US elections…

The world believes that a new America was born last week. At the flick of a democratic switch out went the wild, warmongering, fundamentalist neocons. Out went the xenophobic fanatics who believe that allies are wimps, that Arabs should be tortured and that dinosaurs inhabited the Ark. European is no longer an American term of abuse and vice versa. Liberals walk free down Fifth Avenue and eat french fries. In short, the great American polity is sane again.

 

I have no doubt that had he been commenting at the time, Simon would have lamented the fall from grace of Neville Chamberlain in favour of the "War-Monger" Winston Churchill! He is an natural born appeaser, typical of a large section of the UK MSM, and I believe he is reading these US elections quite erroneously.

America has NOT turned away from the values of conservatism – it has turned away from a directionless inept GOP led by Bush. That is NOT the same thing as America embracing the values of moonbattery. Jenkins and the rest of liberal Britannia can dance up and down, clapping their hands with joy at the Democrats victory. But UNDERESTIMATING the integrity of the American electorate can lead to big problems  as team Bush just found out. I hope in two years time that Jenkins and the mob of moonbats that fly with him are taught the same lesson. 

LOOK-A-LIKES….

By ATWadmin On November 11th, 2006 at 8:17 pm

borat_stalin.jpg

Sir,

There seems to be an uncanny resemblance between the controversial Kazakh investigative journalist, known and loved in the UK as Borat, and a cheery young Georgian chap, known for cunning pranks in youth (and mass murder in his mature years) and nicknamed “Koba”…

SIAN GLAESSNER

 

From Private Eye – gave me a laugh! They DO look-a-like!

PUTTING A FOX IN CHARGE OF THE CHICKEN COOP!

By ATWadmin On November 11th, 2006 at 7:57 pm

The very WORST thing that Dr Ian Paisley could do is to swap a meaningless Sinn Fein/IRA pledge that his Party will support the PSNI (Police Service of Northern Ireland) for a …ahem…provisional agreement to enter a devolved government with the IRA’s political henchmen. The Republicans are trying to ensure that should they lower themselves to accept our neutered stateless and useless Police service, then a firm date for the establishment of a Department for Justice & Policing will be agreed.

Gaining this Ministerial position will be the key objective for the IRA’s proxies. At that point, those who have murdered hundreds of police officers and injured thousands will have their frontmen assuming CONTROL of policing and all the myriad aspects that come with it. It will be a catastrophic defeat for decent people across Northern Ireland. The foxes will then have the run of the chicken coop – and you KNOW what the consequence of that will be.

Surely the DUP will not be so reckless, so power-hungry – that they will oblige the IRA’s proxies in this regard? 

DEATH OF A WAR HERO…

By ATWadmin On November 11th, 2006 at 2:25 pm

795151-546024-thumbnail.jpgSorry to read that Jack Palance had died – aged 88. He had a good innings.

Palance came from a different ERA of Hollywood star.

World War Two led to a call to action, Jack joined the US Navy as a pilot He was sent to the UK where he participated in bombing runs throughout the European theater. In 1943, his B-17 crashed in England on its way home from a mission. Palance was not seriously injured, but he suffered several broken bones in his face. Reconstructive surgery was positive, but it left Palance with a rather distinctive mug (and, in some reports, his gravelly baritone), though at the time Palance didn’t know what advantages this would incur.

 

His heroism, his patriotism, his clear sense of right and wrong are admirable and contrast with the selfish, egomaniacal, self loathing of latter day Hollywoodenheads such as Sean Penn and Danny Glover.

Palance came from a breed now largely missing, and he will be missed.