Sunday, 3 February 2013

Remember the Children of Oradour-sur-Glane

I do not normally watch the “topical debate” TV which is on on a Sunday morning but this morning for some strange reason I did.  Tony Blair was on the programme, the former Labour Prime Minister of the UK.  While not a massive fan of the man due to his Iraq  policies and various other reasons he is probably the Labour Prime Minister that I have had the most time for during my life time and when the interview came round to the topic of the European Union I found myself agreeing  with everything he said.

As I have said before many in the UK unfortunately are reluctant Europeans and we have suffered for it in the past and unless we change our attitude toward The Union I fear we will suffer for it in the future. There does seem to be in the UK very little stomach for the European project with the general feeling “what’s in it for us”.

I would have thought that one very quick look at history might at the very least give a hint as to what use the EU has been to the people of Europe.  Just cursory look through the pages of wars in Europe ( ) would show that post 1945, particularly Western Europe, has been relatively conflict free.  From its nascent beginnings at the post war 1948 Hague Conference surely this co-operation between the nations of Europe has contributed to this long period of relative peace.

Europe the continent has produced some amazing achievements, but the blight of the continent has been conflict and war. Throughout the various European countries towns like Pisa, Arras, Exeter, Swansea, Coventry, Dresden and Berlin, among others,  have paid a terrible price not just in the precious lives of their inhabitants but also in the destruction of culture, history and the ethereal soul of those communities that many are still struggling to recover from.

While it is true that  towns on the UK mainland such as Coventry, Plymouth and London experienced extensive bombing and human misery but many towns and cities of mainland Europe experienced the sheer trauma of occupation and often the accompanying atrocities. If in any doubt just think what happened in Oradour-sur-Glane and that was just one town in one war.  The history of European war is unfortunately littered with such stories.

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