Wednesday, November 16, 2011

On Remembrance Day 2011

Thoughts from an expatriate - an expatriate who feels ignored and shelved by the Government of Britain on this most important day when all elderly Britons remember the homeland of their youth.

Yes, I watched the remembrance parade pass the Cenotaph.  Yes, I watched it from eight hundred miles away.  Television brings  Britain to my salle de séjour  in France, as it brings it the millions of expatriates across the world.  What then does Remembrance Day mean to me? 
I remember when I was eight and  Hitler’s bombs dropped around me and on me.  We lived in those early years of  World War II in a small terraced house that had a view of one of the main arterial roads from Kent into London.  I remember in the days before the Blitz, my mother talking to me as she and I sat close to the bedroom window which looked upon the road., ‘What” she said to me “shall we do if the Germans come?”  “They can’t all be bad. They’re all some mother’s sons” she said, as she touched me.   Later they came not in person, but overhead in planes and they dropped their bombs. Thirty terraced houses were destroyed and the view from the shattered window became panoramic.


I remember my brother leaving the next day to join, under age, the RAF, and then serving in  Cyprus and Italy.  He now sleeps and breathes in a home for the mentally sick in Northfleet.
The parade brings silence to myself and my wife.  The remembrance of young lives lost.   There is also a sense of  pride that Britain stood for a time alone against a small minded tyrant who dragooned the young men in Germany against the rest of Europe. 
Throughout Europe and indeed the World at this time on November 11th at the 11th hour, there are still British people yearning for the cause of British Pride.  But these British people are at the very least, ignored, and at worst scorned, by the insular minded politicians and I can add the insular minded civil servants who advise them, those who manage the British Nation.
The feeling of  despair which comes upon me when I sense the lack of understanding by the politicians, of the British Character which brought us through the War and have since upheld what have been called ‘British Values’ throughout the world, brings to my mind the words of the hymn.
When wilt thou save the people?
O God of mercy, when?
The people, Lord, the people,
Not thrones and crowns, but men!

The politicians speak of the needs of Britain.  But Britain does not exist – outside of its citizens, the people.  The people of Britain are spread across the world. These expatriates are ambassadors of the values of British civilisation.  That is their role, their job! These citizens of Britain should be heard.  Their voices should not be silenced, but listened to and respected, by the politicians  in London.
Give us a voice, and we can continue the job! www.votes-for-expat-brits.com