After the end of World War 1, as countries across the globe took stock of the calamity that had befallen them, nation after nation made a commitment to honour the dream that so many serving soldiers, sailors and airmen had given their lives for.
As the reasons for the conflict became clearer to ordinary people the phrase ‘Lest we forget’ came to signify not only the millions of lives cut short but also the motivations and political ambitions of those who brought them to war in the first place. Nationalistic pride, a belief in our own mythical, almost mystical superiority and contempt for ‘Johnny foreigner’ bred an arrogance that was at once both isolationist and entitled.
Coupled with the unbridled political ambition of a few key players both in and out of government, the stage was (is) set for a conflict of gargantuan, of epic proportions.
Such was the situation in the run up to August 1914.
How did Adolf Hitler and his small band of National Socialists manage to take a sophisticated, developed and educated nation and turn it into a fascist state ready to march roughshod over the rights, the lives and even the existence of others?
This short film aims to answer that question, not only from a historical perspective but from a current affairs point of view too.
For over a decade now I’ve been speaking to anyone who’s prepared to listen about the path we’re on in modern UK – and not just here – across the developed world.
This isn’t about Godwin’s law, the internet trope that claims every disagreement ends with the loser accusing everyone else of Nazism. There are Nazis in UK but they’re pretty few and far between.
This is about the way that ordinary people, people who are far from Nazi are being duped by cynical provocateurs, rabble rousers and even politicians into accepting Nazi principles without even realising it.
It’s an expose – not an accusation. It’s a heartfelt plea to the millions of decent people in my beloved United Kingdom to stop for a moment, to take stock and to see where we’re headed.
If you have to lie to make your point, your point isn’t worth making!
It’s late October and the next seasonal slight against British Muslims is making the rounds again. Year after year, from Facebook to Breitbart the same old crap is posited in Memes and articles. And year after year those of us with more than a handful of cranial axons to work with find ourselves responding.
Like Canute before the ocean we strive to hold back the growing Tsunami of deceit and discrimination as wave after wave of far right bollocks finds its way into our ‘news’ feeds. This is no mere paddling pool of right wing bollocks – this is a full blown flood complete with alt-right lies that really ought to be easy for even the least well-informed citizen to disprove. Unless, of course, they want it to be true.
The Royal British Legion is gearing up its annual poppy appeal, a yearly fundraising drive that will reach its zenith at cenotaphs across the nation at the striking of the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month. A moment of reflection when we remember and feel gratitude for the sacrifices of so many who gave their lives first in the Great war and then 20 years later in the struggle against totalitarian fascism. It’s the moment when we recall the great price paid by men and women of every race and creed to safeguard our democracy, our liberty and our right to survive.
And as we remember that sacrifice we owe it to those brave heroes to remember that diversity. In particular, given the toxic lies currently circulating on social media, we need to remember the many Muslim martyrs who lost their lives defending our freedom, our liberal democracy. They gave their lives so that we might be free.
So remember – when your auntie Mabel shares a meme claiming that Muslims are offended by the poppy or the flag to put her right. When some bloke at the social club holds court about ungrateful Muzzies not liking to be reminded of the proud Brits who fought for this country, when the loudmouthed dickhead Gammon in the beer garden makes speeches about deporting unpatriotic Moose limbs who disrespect our war dead let them know loud and clear.
Many of the war dead they revere so much were themselves Muslims. Indeed, without Muslim and Indian sepoys we might well have lost – twice! Many British Muslim families will be remembering their own British war dead this November. So make sure you speak out and let the Gammony bigots know just how ridiculous they sound when they claim that Muslims are offended by the Poppy.