A Poignant Memory

Jeremy Corbyn states that he is not a pacifist yet his rhetoric and policies would seem to lend a lie to that statement. 

This is a man who willingly sits down with known terrorists. Men and women, all of whom wish harm on the people of this great country of ours. The IRA, Hamas, to name but two. His excuse, he would call it reasoning, is that in order to stop terrorism you have to have a dialogue with the alleged terrorist.

One could be forgiven for accepting his reasoning but for two important points.

  1. You must only negotiate with terrorists from a position of strength. What they want to take by force you must never give away over the negotiating table. This is not negotiating but capitulating!
  2.  Mr Corbyn’s political CV so far has shown a paucity of support for either. His extreme, far left, socialist views which put the State before all should be anathema to all right thinking people of Britain. As leader of a Sovereign nation you must always put your Sovereign and the nation before anything else. To act otherwise is an act of treason!

He also stated that he wants to reduce the capacity of Great Britain’s armed forces and ban the use of nuclear weapons. Lets face it, this is not a man whom the people of this country can trust with their or their children’s welfare. History has taught us that you simply cannot talk your way out of every fight. Sometimes you have to stand up and be counted and I would argue that it is better to stand and fight before you lose the argument than after.

He would do well to remember that, above all else, the views and principles that he holds dear are allowed him only because good men fought and died for his Right to express them.

It could be argued that the First World War was a major catalyst in the formation of the Labour Party. Ruling Classes in denial, millions of valiant soldiers returning home to find that they had no jobs, valiant miners who worked double shifts for the “war effort”, Valiant women who left service to work on the land and in munitions factories, all under a foetid blanket of “what was it all for?”  All this courage for what? People asked and the answer was, for very little. Except, that is, what if the result had gone in the German’s favour? What would life have been like under the German jackboot? Would people, however downtrodden by their Masters and Peers, have had the freedom to protest, to demand a better way of life? Would the new Teutonic Masters have allowed a new political Party to rise from the ashes of the Great War? I think it is clear that the answer to that would have to be a resounding no!

The reasons for the First World war are many and complex, major points of which are still being argued about today. That said, Mr Corbyn has a lot to thank the British soldier for, life might not have been any better when “Tommy Atkins” got home but at least he had the freedom to protest and the Right to do something about it. Hard fought Rights, won on the battlefields of Belgium and France. Won by young men, most of whom were ignorant as to why they were fighting or, what they were fighting for. They did however, have something that very few people have today, PRIDE. Pride in themselves,  pride in their country and a profound sense of duty.

The eleventh hour of the eleventh month of this year, 2017, will mark the ninety ninth anniversary of the end of World War One. I would remind Mr Corbyn and all those who follow and agree with him that their “sense of duty” should lie first with the country and second with the people of the country whom were gracious enough to give them their lofty positions. Not with the Labour Party and some misguided belief in an unobtainable Utopia where milk and honey is supplied by the State!

I hope that my poem will remind them that talk is, indeed, cheap and that actions, no matter the cost, always speak louder than words!

The poppy, nourished by valiant souls
A bitter memory of mud and foxholes
Where men and boys stood side by side
Stripped of everything but their pride.

Did Peter know Otto when he pointed his gun?
Did Günter know Simon when he shot his son?
The answers are written in blood on mud
But the question is lost, lost for good!

Their fate was taken out of their hands
As soon as they embarked on foreign lands
Decisions were taken on far away lawns
About how to deploy these sorry pawns

Generals would sit at the dining table
Handing favours, as they were able
Condemning men in the same breath
Sending thousands of soldiers to their death.

War games played by the ruling classes
Affecting the lives of the subdued masses
Still, with courage and determination
Man and boy fought for the Nation

Ninety nine years and the guns are gone
From Ypres, Passchendaele and the Somme
Replaced by row upon endless row
Of graves where soul nourished poppies grow.
©Phil Bottomley