There are many strange things that one encounters in today’s ‘Blighty’ and there was me sometime around wednesday morning indulging in Costa’s free copy of the ‘Daily Mail’ and being told that the Germans are angry because the British are building a war memorial to bomber command. Now, if the Germans are coming out with that old “Dresden was a war crime” argument then the tendency might be to counter by saying that Dr Josef Goebbels did declare the total war in the Berliner Sportpalast on the 18th of February 1943 after they themselves had already bombed civilian populations from Stalingrad to Sheffield, ravaged Europe and were in the process of trying to exterminate the whole of European Jewry. That, however, is not the point.
For one thing, while there might be isolated voices against this monument in Germany, there is to my knowledge no real campaign against it there. Most Germans probably don’t care if such a monument is built and if anything are actually slightly amused at the need to build another war memorial some seventy years after the event. However, this has little to do with the second world war and, indeed, very little to do with Germany. It is another case of turning people away from the real problems and the real mess that ‘HMS Blighty’ finds itself in anno 2010. Yes, divert their attentions and they won’t even begin to chew the cud on the fact that only two years ago we were all aware of the fact that it was fictive capital that got us into the fine mess that we find ourselves in and, while a cabinet of public schoolboys goes ahead and dismantles the public sector, we have another piece of jingoistic nonsense to accompany the dead “heroes” from the “war on terror” and the once horny handed sons of toil, now reduced to reduced benefits, might, to quote, Adolf Hitler be made painfully aware of the fact that “wer nicht für uns ist gegen uns” (“whoever isn’t for us, is against us”).
Of course, we can only hope that the people of Britain, who are about to see their public services decimated, will not fall for this crap and they might want to remind themselves of the fact that very few upper class twits of the Cameron and Clegg ilk actually die, or have ever died, for their country. In German they say “die “Hoffnung stirbt zuletzt”, which, although we might translate as “hope is the last thing to die” might be understood figuratively as “where there is life, there is hope”. Yes, we can only hope that the realisation is that the battles are not to be fought over something that happened over sixty years ago above the skies of Britain or by those working class “heroes” who are lying and dying in modern imperial wars, but rather on the streets of Britain today and for a system which offers a genuine alternative to that one which has failed miserably and which now tries to attribute its failure to some mythical avarice on the part of its victims.