At the eleventh hour of the eleventh day

Just got back from the Cenotaph and I find myself consumed with a fierce rage.

We were of course there to remember those who have died in the defence of this country. It is, as many do, arguable whether all of the events, the wars, the causes, in which those men and women died would be regarded as just by the moral and political standards of today. But that\’s an irrelevance: those who served, those who fought and died, were doing what they thought was right by their standards, by their lights. For that alone we should and do remember them.

The result of their sacrifices was that this country remained free.

Until recently that is. Standing where I was, on the corner of Whitehall and Parliament Square, I was in the same place as I was last Wednesday when this took place. I could also see where Milan Rai and Maya Evans were arrested simply for reading out the names of the dead. And, of course, Brian Haw.

How did we get here? That the things which our forefathers fought and died for, the freedom and liberty of themselves and their descendants, are tricked away from us as if we are children too naive to be able to handle the rights and responsibilities of being a free people?

Forgive me that rage perhaps but do please understand it.

22 thoughts on “At the eleventh hour of the eleventh day”

  1. “That the things which our forefathers fought and died for, the freedom and liberty of themselves and their descendants”

    Harry Patch and his comrades fought for plucky little Belgium to keep it free of the Hun.

    The people who fought for freedom in Britain were the suffragettes (until their kind mutated into the likes of Harriet Harman), the trade unionists (until their kind mutated into the likes of Arthur Scargill), the IRA (until their kind mutated from freedom fighters into terrorists).

    Looking at the sweep of history, particularly from an Irish perspective, one can see that the Labour Party in power is merely forced into the mould of all British governments: essentially authoritarian with a vicious streak of unfairness. The acts of this Government are not far, philosophically, from Lord Liverpool and his hussars cutting down women and children at St. Peter’s Fields in Manchester, or Asquith’s Defence Of the Realm Act, or Ted Heath’s internment laws.

  2. Pingback: Libertarian Alliance Remembrance Post 6: what ought Libertarians to plan for, and discuss, regarding what’s worth defending, and why ought we to defend anything at all? « The Libertarian Alliance: BLOG

  3. I too share your rage, our freedoms were indeed dearly won. And now look at us, scared of every so called policeman , every jobsworth and every politician, because they are out to criminalise all of us. All this time of course they live high on the hog, whilst stealing our money to do it.

  4. “The blood of the martyrs is the seed of the Church” – and not just in Ormskirk.
    (cf “All’s fair in love and war, as we say in Yorkshire”.)

  5. War is the health of the state.

    That’s how it hapened. Be it actual war, or the pseudo wars against drugs and terror. The state uses war to expand its power and to repress liberty.

  6. It would be amusing if the constumed protesters were accompanied by a woman in a burqua, complete with face veil. Would she be searched?

  7. “the IRA (until their kind mutated from freedom fighters into terrorists)”: what an intolerably stupid remark.

  8. “what an intolerably stupid remark.”

    Go and read up on the history of how Ireland was ruled. You never know, you might learn something.

  9. Kay Tie @ #1 wins Comment Of The Year.

    And I’m hoping Dearieme is misinterpreting the comment as all-Provo-ish, rather than seriously contending that the pre-1922 IRA was t3h 3vilz.

  10. “How did we get here?”

    Easy, Tim. You vote for parties (or even shill for extremist nationalist parties) which continue to claim that there’s no reason to have a written constitution that limits the powers of Parliament.

    And the rest is history. Bloody history.

  11. Agreed with John B and Kay Tie. The problem is that the original IRA had sufficiently good cause that it gave a generations of psychotic scumbags in the PIRA respectability. My neighbour for example can’t seem to distinguish in his support (!) between the guys that fought the black and tans and the ones that go around kneecapping people with impunity.

    On Tim’s point, I wonder if it would be worth just going and protesting en masse. A blog-organised event perhaps. They can’t arrest us all and to try and do so would only highlight the very point we sought to raisee. If we were calm and sensible it would just highlight how oppressive this restriction against protest is and how so many people of different political persuasions are opposed to it. I mean more than Holborn’s V idea (which was great). I mean come right out and say, “This is at odds with everything this country is supposed to be about. I’m mad as hell, and I’m not going to take this anymore!” We’d just be saying what we always say here, just where it needs to be said.

  12. “Perhaps the wrong side won”

    Yep, because when the Tories were in power they never abused it in any way, noooooo…..and when the Liberal were in charge they didn’t either.

    What would be the point of protesting such a narrow point – nobody gives a shit about freedom of speech since it isn’t intrinsic to the British way of life – it irritates the Lords and Masters too much when its used against them. That’s why the American Founding Fathers made it the First Amendment to the Constitution to prevent Congress from promulgating laws against freedom of speech like the British Parliament. They knew better.

    So what about it, Tim? Are you actually going to argue to rein in the powers of Parliament or just whinge about foreigners imposing laws upon you in yet another vainglorious display of cognitive dissonance and psychological misprojection?

  13. Brit in Aussie, notice the word “amendment”, they originally scripted the Constitution without the bill of rights and debated pretty furiously whether they should define and so limit such rights. Also note that such rights were only limits to federal government not to state governance, which they allowed to repress people as they saw fit.

    And yes, you’re right, single-issue protest never wins, it’s only vague generalised discontent that wins through. It’s why we see so few pressure-groups these days.

  14. So Much For Subtlety

    Kay Tie – “The people who fought for freedom in Britain were the suffragettes (until their kind mutated into the likes of Harriet Harman), the trade unionists (until their kind mutated into the likes of Arthur Scargill), the IRA (until their kind mutated from freedom fighters into terrorists).”

    Except the Feminists did not fight for freedom. Freedom they had or were acquiring. They fought for the vote.

    There is a massive difference between freedom and voting. Illiberal democracy? Thy name is Britain.

    Nor did the Trades Unions fight for freedom. Rather they fought from the start to restrict the freedom of others. The freedom to strike your own bargain. That was inherent from the very beginning. Scargill was a good son of the Union tradition.

    And whatever wrongs the Irish suffered, by the time the IRA came along, the Irish were free. In many ways their fight was the fight to impose the closest Europe has come to a Theocracy on the Irish people. Whether that is freedom or not is a complex question.

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