Bletchley

They seemed like a group of WI or some nursing home had a day out … but it was very different. 

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These men and women were gathered to remember the outbreak of war in 1939. They all worked at Bletchley Park during the second world war and were part of a highly secretive group who were there to intercept the German communications and break codes that the enemy was using to keep their movements and plans secret.

To others they are heroes, a term quickly dismissed by some of the group who were in this reunion, which, to me, strengthens my belief that these people are unique and should be celebrated. They didn’t see that their work was in part bringing an end to the mass killing of millions of people. They didn’t need medals or adulation, they were simply doing their job.

The UK and the world would be a very different place had Hitler and the Nazi’s succeeded in their quest for dominance. I have the utmost respect and honour for these people and proud of the work that they did in breaking Germany’s secrets. In a time of uncertainty and ‘rumours of war’ I feel we can declare these people ‘heroes’.

Another Attack – London

When I woke this morning, I was filled with horror to realize that not only had there been another terrorist attack on our country, but my close friends were in London on holiday.

It was reassuring to know that they had posted on social media that they were safe. Then thoughts turn to the people who were killed and injured, someone’s family will be waiting again to hear from a loved one. Not knowing if they lie in a hospital somewhere or are in a place where they are supposed to be located.

Yet people I have seen will go to the uneducated and idiotic response. We have seen a world leader make statements about how all 1.6 billion of the Muslim religion should be banned from his country. How does this actually help the situation? How does that stop the terrorists carrying out such atrocious acts? It doesn’t. Simply it panders to the fear and ignorance.

Whether you like it or not these people are determined to carry out these acts and the majority of the time they are radicalized within their own country. This can be carried out on social media and the internet. Do we call for the banning of the net? No. Because we make the distinction that there is a very small minority carrying out terrorist attacks and not all people using information networks do so.

We understand these are a few people are fuckwits. Nothing else; they have no religion. They have an ideology, they don’t have religion. Greater education is needed of religion and it’s not enough to explain that this is a Christian country. It isn’t. But has been explored and understood.

Church and the Second World War

I have been reading again in the past few days peoples comments about how people responded to the terrorist attack in Manchester. It was again a stark reminder of the way that some people use this atrocious incident for their own political gain.

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“We didn’t light candles and put on pop concerts” is the summing up of some. But we DID back then. It was carried out with the same dignity and decency, as we have seen in our towns and cities, in the churches and cathedrals around the country. The difference is now is we have brought grief to the streets. Primarily because this is not a nation (whether we like it or not) that does not adhere to Christianity as it once did.

Church attendance in the UK at the moment stands around 750k each week. A huge decline since the Second World War. This decline isn’t unique to the Church of England but to all established Christian denominations.

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The above graph is taken from The Church Society’s website. Further information is available on it.

A decline in church attendance doesn’t mean though that some people aren’t spiritual. When harrowing life events take place, a majority will still hold onto the belief in an afterlife. Some won’t necessarily equate it to Christianity or any other religious belief but a spiritual understanding of the world. Lighting candles and laying flowers is part of this.

When mum died I sat and talked to her in the care home. I sat for at least an hour telling her how much I thought of her and loved her. I told her that despite ‘her leaving’ that she would forever be in my heart. This is for me a non-religious way of coping with her death. A way of me acknowledging her passing.

People naturally will want a way of coping with such a shock. It isn’t wrong for some to lay flowers or light candles for people that they have never known or met. It is a way of showing solidarity and love for a nation in mourning.

100 Battle of the Somme

I don’t remember doing any work on World War I at school when I was young. I think we did some on the Second World War I might be wrong. I certainly think that it is important that we teach not just young people about war but also everyone who is living today. A respect for the past and its atrocities is needed for a better future.

The Battle of the Somme started on the morning of July 1st exactly a hundred years ago today. It has been said that it was one of the bloodiest battles in the history of World War I. It is estimated that there were least 60 thousand casualties by the end of the first day and around 20 thousand of those men lost their lives.

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The horrors of the war are just unimaginable. People thought that it would be over by Christmas but seeing the wounded come and with horrific injuries, it must have been a sharp realisation to those in the front that it was going to take more effort and sacrifice than first thought.

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Some of the men were teenagers. A word that wasn’t used a hundred years ago once you got to the age at which you could work which was around fourteen you were considered an adult and joined others at work each day. Young men who signed up for the army before conscription was brought in were trained and sent to the trenches. Many never to return home to their loved ones.

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I think it’s more poignant to remember their sacrifice of their own lives for the freedom we have today. Those who have greed and hatred in their hearts aren’t welcome. Commemorating their loss is something that we all should do and take time out of our arguments and squabbles, however trivial some of them seem to be, to realise the events of 1916.

Peace and War

You wake up in the morning to see a plane being blown out of the sky. People speculating whether or not it is the work of terrorists. The appalling incidents that took place on 13th November in Paris reminded us again how the nature of a warped mind can cause such carnage and destruction. All in the name of a religion. Their distorted views have deadly consequences.

There are continuing events occurring as we speak about trying to trace those people who have been involved in organising such heinous of crimes. Trying to blame it on one religion is naive and stupid. Looking at the atrocities that occurred in the 70s and 80s where terrorists groups in the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland were trying gain their own political agenda by using violence and in the name of religion.

What people need to understand that the true core of these religions is peace, love, acceptance and forgiveness. The people who practice these religions know that they are a million miles away from the terrorist ideology.

 

Syria

As I am listening to parliament debating the situation in Syria. I am open person always ready to listen to both sides of the argument. I saw people from “Stop the War” coalition on the news protesting against any potential action against the Assad regime. I had a look on their website to see what their view point was. I am a bit concerned that all they seem to say is “don’t do it”. To me that isn’t a solution to the worsening situation.

To say to another country “what you are doing to your people is wrong please stop” isn’t a solution either. Our proportions always seem to be wrong in this country. We call for the death penalty to be reintroduced when a single person is tragically murdered but if we hear that thousand have been killed is a mass killing we say that we should negotiate with that country to almost metaphorically give them a telling off.

I have never been a violent person. But if I saw another person attacking someone else I wouldn’t stand by at let it happy. Or politely tell them to stop.