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70 Years on... #dday70

2 min read

It's been 70 years since the D-day landings, and the turn in the tide of the war against the fascists.

Politicians and TV networks, this side of the pond at least, have already begun to cash in on our nostalgia - land of hope and glory, trotting out various veterans for various embarrassing "what was the world like in your day granddad" interviews, cut to pretty blonde and a microphone taking VoxPops.

My dad once quipped, when asked to speculate on what the world would have been like had the allies lost the war, that the only difference to us now would be that our national airline would be Lufthansa, and that Margaret Thatcher would be remembered as a liberal reformer.

He was joking of course, since had the Nazis won, neither of us would be here today - our ancestors either worked to death or sent to the gas chambers long ago.

However, consider where we are today; we are, all of us, every man woman and child, under constant surveillance, with a file on us being kept by the secret police (and this is done far more efficiently than it ever could in WW2 Germany). In the UK, we have secret courts, and "Terrorism" has been defined as essentially disagreeing with the government of the day, and trying to do something about it. America has a global network of concentration camps, and a nasty habit of conducting extra-judicial killings. Sections of the population - Muslims, the poor, foreigners - are being singled out and blamed for every economic and social ill that befalls the country, and fascist groups are on the rise everywhere across Europe and the UK.

I'm not trying to make a direct comparison here, that would be silly. But, it would also be silly to say that the brutality that befell the world all those years ago couldn't possibly happen now, just because we have iPhones and can watch Eastenders.

Freedom and liberty are tangible things, which are hard won, but easily lost, and paid for with blood. So today, remember why so many fought and died so you could have these precious gifts. Consider what you are doing to preserve their legacy, and consider that while history doesn't repeat... sometimes it rhymes...