THE clock is ticking and you’d like to think that a nation’s thoughts and thanks are slowly crystallising.
What poignant coincidence that on the centenary of Europe’s guns falling silent in 1918, Remembrance Sunday should fall on November 11.
I wandered up to the Batley war memorial this week. Herbert Lockwood’s name is there, my grandad Harry’s elder brother, reportedly killed by a sniper in Flanders in February 2016, just before the Somme offensive.
Our family story has it that Herbert was just 15 when he signed up.
He lied about his youthful age like so many of the hundreds of thousands who sacrificed their lives to ensure that, 100 years on, Cambridge University students can ban the poppy and throw a hissy fit about the “glorification” of war.
Glorification? These pampered, ignorant and disrespectful brats really do not comprehend how privileged they are, do they?
Still, I suppose there’s half a chance those spoiled children will grow up. Right now Britain’s more immediate threat is at the heart of those very armed forces supposedly bearing the legacy of our fallen heroes.
I was invited onto BBC Newsnight again last Thursday, this time to discuss the Tommy Robinson phenomenon.
The harder the state tries to shut Robinson up, the more millions – literally – bypass the BBC and national press, to listen to him directly.
Newsnight wondered if he could be the catalyst for a mainstream UK far-right party, as seen across Europe (and given that Robinson considers himself a typical working class bloke with liberal views on women’s and gay rights, who just happens to have a problem with extreme forms of Islam, that’s quite ironic).
I said I couldn’t see a mainstream ‘far-right’ party. I really don’t think we mostly moderate Brits have that extremist tendency but ye gods, it’s not for the lack of the state trying to push ordinary people to extremes.
Coincidentally the BBC film about Robinson, which I commented upon alongside a Guardian journalist, aired shortly after a ‘scandal’ rocked the British army.
At a motorway service station, a bunch of Yorkshire Regiment recruits bumped into Tommy Robinson and had photos taken with him.
Cue, quite literally, a purge of those young soldiers with one reportedly thrown out of the army.
I searched in vain for coverage of the story on BBC, ITV and Sky. Do you know where I found a grown-up debate about it? On Russia Today’s news programme. Really.
In the ensuing fall-out, one soldier secretly recorded an officer alleged to be Major Simon Farley of the Yorkshire Regiment screaming vile abuse about what he – and the army – would do to any squaddies following Robinson on Facebook or ‘liking’ his posts.
Because as the officer said with a complete lack of irony, the army fights for the Queen against people who suppress free speech all over the world, which he says “this c***, that is exactly what he does”.
He then tells his troops he will search Facebook for Robinson fans, find out “who the f*** you are” and adding “you won’t be in this f****** camp for much longer”.
So much for freedom of speech and thought, eh? It would be hilarious if it wasn’t so perilously dangerous.
The ire of Major Farley and Chief of General Staff Mark Carleton-Smith is understandable – because that ‘secret’ recording has been heard 318,000 times, while a social media campaign to support the persecuted ‘Soldier X’ sparked a petition signed nearly 200,000 times the last I looked.
Veteran servicemen are returning medals awarded for valour, in disgust; around the world, soldiers are supporting patriotic comrades who have been threatened and purged – all for having a selfie taken with a bloke who speaks out against rape gangs and people who blow up children at pop concerts, or drive vehicles into crowds of tourists.
Newsnight is over in minutes, so we never got to compare the words of Home Secretary Sajid Javid at the Conservative Party conference about rape and grooming gangs, with what Robinson says (perhaps a little less articulately) outside courtrooms.
Quite simply, they are exactly the same sentiments, but with polar opposite establishment reactions. I see no evidence that the mainstream media understands how blind-eyed it generally is.
Fair play to Newsnight, which at least acknowledged the acres of coverage it has given to terrorist mastermind Anjem Choudary before he was locked up – he’s due out right now – while previously not even daring to explore who or what Robinson claims to stand for.
Sad to say, even after Thursday night’s show, the BBC meekly posted an explanation defending its coverage as the fascist left’s social media hate ranted and raved. Auntie Beeb needs to grow a pair, if you ask me.
Not that Robinson cares much, I dare say, when his own videos speak directly to millions of people.
These are very much changing days and maybe the BBC is finally waking up to it, even if the British Army appears to be infected by political correctness.
BLUE Peter, bless it, was 60 years old this week – older even than Coronation Street.
I suspect however that both will be consigned to history by the time the Brexit BS finally stops stinking up every media orifice.
I’d back Hilda Ogden – and especially Rovers Return landlady Annie Walker – to make a better fist of Brexit than the unequivocal disaster that is Theresa May.
John Noakes would be an improvement on that woman (and poor old Noaskesy’s ashes were blasted skyward in a firework 12 months ago). Heck, Shep the Blue Peter dog couldn’t do worse.
I’ve said it before and will say it again – the EU want us to either reverse the vote, or be kept on our knees, paying fortunes for the privilege of being told when we can and can’t go to the toilet.
And that, unthinkably, is May’s preference! If you didn’t know better you’d think she’s deliberately trying to either sabotage Brexit or start a civil war. Or both.
Actually, I tell a lie. Michel Barnier (perhaps mistakenly) offered a Canada-style free trade deal in August.
May should have bitten his hand off then, and still should.
Sadly the blithering idiot is so lost in her own desperate fantasies she couldn’t find her own backside with both hands and a miner’s lamp.
She needs putting out of our misery, because every time the EU drags the pantomime out even further, they delight at the damage they’re doing to the fabric of British society.
The Tories need to act.
ACCORDING to our critics, you can’t believe what you read in The Press. I think that says more about the critics than the paper, but then again I would.
The police were not present when a young woman and her child were preyed upon in Dewsbury town centre last Friday.
Despite the accounts of eyewitnesses who said the four people went for the pram with the child in it, police insisted it was “a handbag snatch” and nothing more.
Oh, so that’s okay then? Only a handbag, carry on as you were!
I’ll refer to when my late mum was watching TV in her upstairs flat and a man broke in, walked past her into the kitchen and took her purse. She glimpsed him as he escaped. It doesn’t bear thinking about ‘what if’ she’d gotten between the scrote and the stairs.
I was there when a police officer came. “You don’t want us to make this public, do you Mrs Lockwood? Don’t want to unnecessarily alarm people?”
“What about warning people to lock their doors, or informing them there’s dangerous criminals in the neighbourhood?” said my eminently sensible mum.
No answer had he.
That was 10 or so years ago, and the ‘pretend there’s no crime’ mantra of Kirklees Police was budding nicely. It’s now in full bloom. Proper coppers must struggle to sleep at night.