All of this has historical reasons. The UK was not occupied in WW2. It considers itself as the winner of WW2. It does not realise that there is no such thing as a winner in a war.

Meanwhile I grew up in family with a nan who told me about being bombed out of her home by allied forces, her parents getting trapped in their cellar for days.

About marching for food and milk to feed her small children; she had to witness German soldiers drink the milk she had marched 40 miles for.

And about the 14-year old German soldiers she found in her garden crying for their mothers. As for my grandad: he fought at the Grebbeberg, ended up in a German factory, and suffered nightmares for his entire life.


The continental European stories about WW2 are rather different to the British ones In the continental stories, there are no winners. Only misery, at both ends. That’s why most of us realise we in Europe need to closely cooperate, why we need to unify, no matter how forced, flawed, or complicated that union is, it’s always better than no union whatsoever.

It’s also why many of us on the continent feel betrayed by Brexit. My grandad used to organise victory parades, hosting the veteran Scots Guards who liberated our city.

I discussed with them at length about how far we’ve come, in a united Europe. I’m pretty sure these veterans too would be disgusted about Brexit. It is perhaps fortunate that only a few of them live today to bear witness of this mess.

The phrase “United States of Europe” is like a red rag to a bull for pink-faced Empire-reminiscing, Blitz spirit-invoking members of the older generation, but many younger people would shrug their shoulders and say what’s so bad about being able to travel around Europe as easily as travelling around the USA? Or phoning for a plumber and, horror of horrors, a Polish man shows up?

Or an “EU army” that is actually run by grown-ups who would decline to participate in the USA’s next ill-advised invasion of a Middle Eastern country?

With more young people reaching voting age and those who still despise “Jerry” leaving this mortal coil, this is quite possibly the last chance for Brexit to take place.

1 Comment

  1. The only thing we should be surprised about that list, is that we’re surprised by it.

    The truly disappointing thing is that so many relatively intelligent people are taken in by such nonsense. OK, the thick as mince East End of London market porter, who hasn’t got two brain cells to bang against each other (and they do exist. I’m not making that up as a slur) isn’t really to blame for being so easily taken in. You have to know the East End to understand how easy it is to stir ‘patriotic’ fervour up to ludicrous levels very quickly.

    But not everybody falls into that category – of “Fertile Ground” – for such headlines. And that’s what is so disappointing. There are a lot of relatively intelligent, discerning individuals who are capable of rational thought and who, in any other circumstances, treat headlines that make such transparently suspicious claims with skepticism.

    But we’re talking about Europe here, and if there is one thing that more than any other is ingrained deeply in a large part of the British psyche, is a centuries old dislike of anybody from continental Europe.

    When they say they have nothing against Europe, they’re telling the truth. They do indeed have no objection to Europe – the continental landmass – it’s Europeans, the different culture of Europeans, the fact that they see fit to speak something that isn’t English and even that they’ve taken the sports we invented and kick our arses at them now, that is so despised by the Little Englanders.

    When I was on a skiing holiday in Garmisch Partenkirchen some years ago, when I heard another Brit ski holidaymaker say to his friend “This place’d be brilliant if it wasn’t for the fu**ing Germans”, he wasn’t joking. He was a guest in their country, taking advantage of the resort for his holiday and no doubt availing himself of every benefit the place had to offer. He no doubt loved the resort and probably thought Bavaria was one of the most beautiful places on Earth. And yet, he had nothing but contempt for his hosts who couldn’t have been more friendly and likeable people if they tried.

    It is this loathsome mentality that makes it so easy for these toilet roll tabloids to print ridiculous lies in the knowledge that there is such eager, ready acceptance of them even by people who possess the intellectual capability to see through them and dismiss them out of hand for the rubbish they are.

    But we don’t dismiss them. Because we’re British. And we won the war, dontcha know.

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