First, the facts. VE Day in 1945 marked the moment when Britain and its Allies formally accept Nazi Germany’s unconditional surrender. A momentous day and a moment for National celebration. (Yes, the Japanese fought on and it wasn’t until August 15th 1945 that they accepted that they too had lost, formally surrendering 2nd September). Crowds took to the streets across Britain on that May morning in ’45 with an outpouring of relief, joy, grief over fallen comrades. But it was VICTORY. The UK had held the line, the UK had helped save Europe from the grotesque evil of Hitler.
So, today we celebrate. But it is VERY different. We cannot hold street parties, we cannot join with our neighbours in toasting that glorious moment in our Island history. Why? Covid 19.
Our Government has responded to the China Virus by putting us under de facto if not de jure house arrest. This is for our own good, we are endlessly told. It’s the only way to keep us safe from the invisible enemy. Hide behind your door, do not risk getting infected. Do not make human contact with your fellow man (or woman) – stay isolated for your own good. (NB This does not seem to apply to the chief architect of the policy, Professor Neil Ferguson)
But is this “new normal” what the generation who brought us VE Day in 1945 really fought for? Did they realise that 75 years later we could not gather to recognise their achievements for fear of a nasty virus? Have we any real liberty at all in 2020? If Government can “permit” us to go out once a day; if Government can instruct us to stay 2m apart from every other human being apart from immediate family under our own roof; if this can be done with our compliance if not subservience, what have we become?
Life is full of risk. In WW2 death can come in the form of a bomb falling from the sky. On the frontline, death could come in the form of a bullet, or a shell. But we knew what we were fighting for and so the risk was taken and we stood up to the tyranny. In 2020, the Government has created such fear – using modern TV advertising relentlessly to pound the message in to the heads of those who watch – that we think we can avoid risk. Can we? Huddled behind our front doors, cowering from a virus which as a matter of statistical FACT overwhelmingly only attacks those with weakened immune systems and underlying co-morbidities, we seem to have decided that if we obey what we are told, and imprison ourselves, this is liberty. It’s not. We beat the Nazis – can we beat the control Nazis?
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