We’ve become a nation of apologists
Letter of the Week: ‘Heckmondwike Hector’
It’s an epic film showing some of the most climatic scenes in cinema history and gives audience to one of the most daring and audacious raids ever undertaken during the Second World War.
On May 16 1943, 19 modified Lancaster Bombers took off from RAF Scampton, Lincolnshire. Their mission, to breach three German dams – the Mohne, Sorpe, and the Eder, each of which spanned between the hills of the Ruhr valley.
The resulting torrent would flood the factories downstream and bring the Reich’s war machine to a grinding halt. It was called ‘Operation Chastise.’
The Dam Busters, filmed in black and white in 1955, enthralled those sat in the stalls and balconies of the old picture houses and won the affection of the nation; an affection that endures to this day.
Of the millions of people who have seen it, who could ever forget the moment when the Lancasters swoop over the water at a near-suicidal height of 60 feet and the voice over the intercom; “down ... down ... steady ... hold it ... bomb gone.”
Hence the epic moment when each of the planes release a genius of invention, a revolving cylindrical barrel packed with explosives which bounces and skims across the surface of the water in a direct line towards the dam wall.
Then the cinema would vibrate with the noise of the plane’s engines as the pilots struggle to clear the treetops at the other side.
Thousands of gallons of water blasts though the dam, creating a ‘tsunami’ that would engulf a major industrial centre of Nazi Germany. Such scenes as this swelled the pride of British audiences as good triumphed over evil.
Now fast-forward to the age when British pride has become victim to left-wing dogma; to a land where universities ferment self-loathing towards every British historical achievement and education system that denounces the very things that secured our position in the world.
It’s an age which suffers the post-Blair legacy of legal proceedings against the veterans of Northern Ireland whilst it exonerates the terrorists who were out to kill them and many innocent civilians.
These are days when the likes of Corbyn, the Labour Party’s Marxist Messiah, acts as cheerleader for terrorists and despots around the world and embraces a mind-set that champions the case of Shamima Begum, who despises everything about our country but wants to return.
It’s an age where Anglican church hierarchy prostates itself for every perceived historical misdeed, whilst cowardly overlooking the present-day persecution of Christians in other countries in order to avoid giving offence. Today we have become the world’s leading exponents of apologism.
In such a political climate it was only a matter of time before the Dam Busters would fall victim to hand-wringing revisionists, some who are all too keen to denigrate the
The latest book by Max Hastings, ‘Chastise – The Story of the Dam Busters’ highlights the sad truth that thousands of slave labourers in the Ruhr valley along with German civilians, fell victim to the deluge.
Whilst it is right that such facts must never be airbrushed out of history, it always seems to be us who are eager to delve into our own shortcomings.
Interestingly, with a re-analysis of the event, it was also only a matter of time before the leftie BBC launched its Radio Two ‘air force supremo’ Jeremy Vine to use his phone-in programme to cast a shadow over what was in fact a great British wartime achievement. Self-incrimination has become a modern British disease!
The measured evaluation by Max Hastings is fair, and with all due respect to the Vine phone-in I doubt that Germany’s radio stations will ever challenge their listeners as to why their country put those slave labourers there in the first place.
A time sadly rife with crime
From: Tim Wood, Mirfield
I have been connected to the Royal British Legion Poppy Appeal in some way for quite some time, and I must admit that I thought I would never see the day when individual outlets decline to accept a collection box and tray of Remembrance poppies.
This was done on the grounds that it may encourage burglars to ransack their premises in an attempt to steal the box during closing hours.
Last year, I had five stolen in Mirfield. The crime was committed by the same person, so I am told. Police were quick to respond and arrested the person, who was in ‘halfway house’ accommodation after being released from prison.
This year, several outlets have politely declined to take a collection box. I have offered some advice to some outlets who were concerned about the attractions charity boxes have to those who prefer thieving to working for a living.
My advice was to place a notice on the boxes, i.e. “box kept in safe overnight”.
Although one shop keeper did say: “What if the would-be burglar can’t read the Queen’s English?” I had no answer to that one.
A different type of crime always appears this time of year. Numerous websites crop up selling Royal British Legion-branded goods, jewellery, trinkets and other finery. They pretend to be us, but they are not.
If in doubt about the tempting items, google the RBL’s various outlets and then you can be assured that your kind generosity is going to its intended destination.
In Mirfield and Ravensthorpe we will count over 200 boxes this year. The generosity of those that give always amazes me and all the other RBL members I speak to from various districts echo the same sentiment.
Thank you for your generosity each year.
Wooden move is the right one
From: Mrs J Walker, Thornhill
I would like to applaud Dewsbury & District Hospital’s Ridings Cafe for changing their plastic cutlery to wood.
Well done, let’s hope other food outlets take note.
An insult to the UK people
From: Mr G Dennis, Birstall
This is duly sent with a total sense of frustration and an ironic sense of humour.
I am acutely aware I have consistently campaigned for the Leave campaign regarding Brexit over the numerous months, but I am now beginning to think it was all a dream, or possibly an ongoing nightmare.
A nightmare including 50s, 60s, 70s TV programmes and maybe more up-to-date transmissions, namely ‘Corbyn, Sooty & Sweep’ for the Labour Party, ‘The Krankies’ for the SNP, ‘Sergeant Bilko’ the self-opinionated and patronising Commons Speaker, Sid James of ‘Bless This House’ as the Father Of The House.
Sorry, but our current parliament is a total disgrace and an absolute insult to the genuine people of the UK!
From: Anthony Doyle
What planet is Paula Sherriff on? Following the alleged fire bombing of a Dewsbury councillor she comes out with the quote of the week: “I have never known such hostility toward politicians”.
Now pardon me, if Parliament had been on this planet for the last few months she may have picked up on the expectation of the electorate of having their will championed and Brexit delivered.
I read a book recently about there being a parallel universe, I am convinced now there is one and our politicians live in this one and we in ours.
They may as well be on another planet for the effectiveness of this Parliament. The PM has it right, this Parliament is a spent force, totally ineffective, impotent.
I hope the PM finds a way to work with the Brexit Party, deliver a majority government and rid us of these tin-pot parties who have destroyed any credibility the UK has on the world stage.
Make your mind up time?
From: Colin Walshaw, Scholes
So now we know, or do we?
The election on December 12 is even more important than the referendum of June 23 2016, it is a vote for a proper people’s democracy, a vote for change, a vote for flushing out our duplicitous MPs and replacing them with real persons of the people.
Boris’s (love him or hate him) ‘deal’, is even worse than staying in the EU, it is NOT a deal, it is a treaty.
A treaty for further negotiation, and NOT Brexit.
Imagine staying in the EU for at least a further three years, at a cost of at least £65 billion (i.e. not £39 billion). Having no MEPs and no say in any legislation, including any still to be installed.
Still open borders, imprisoned under EU rules with no way out, trapped in the EU customs union with no new trade deals allowed. Ruled under the EU Court of Justice, and signed up to EU military plans.
No promise of a future sovereign state, no freedom to make deals with the world and the Commonwealth at large, no control of our own fishing industry and security, and no freedom to spend our money, taxation and VAT without permission of a foreign entity.
If you trust the Tories to deliver Brexit, question your degree of judgement. If you trust Jeremy Corbyn question your sanity, if you trust the Lib Dems question your grip on reality. If you are Green or vegan, keep the faith! If you voted Leave at the referendum you MUST vote again.
Both Kirklees and Calderdale have the opportunity to change the course of history on December 12, 2019.
Spoil your vote if confused, but make sure your vote is counted. Many disenfranchised people around the world envy you this privilege.
Details of St Pat’s wanted
From: Peter Moreland, Heckmondwike
I am researching St Patrick’s School, which was in Darley Street, Heckmondwike.
It was built in 1872 and closed in 1968. I would like any information readers may have and also photos which I could use.
Until 1914 the school was also used as a place of worship for the Catholic community and mass, baptism and weddings would have been held there. If anyone can help, please contact me on 01924 501774 or email email@example.com.