Ummm … I’ve been watching the Lockerbie debacle, like many others. In Britain (Scotland is a part of Britain) we do let terminally ill people out of prison in a form of compassion. I believe they do it elsewhere even if not in the US. That aside, and I am undecided about how I feel on the issue as my thoughts are still clouded by anger, I found one aspect on the news very worrying.
The newsreader and the special reporter discussed how letting this man go home might increase the job & trade opportunities for Britain with Lybia. That stopped me in my tracks. I cannot imagine trading jobs for lives. I cannot imagine saying it’s OK to let this man die at home in order that we get job and trade opportunities with his country. Does everything nowadays come down to money? Is this what “negotiation” and “compromise” are all about? If so, I want none of it.
I also watched the ancient (and very good) film “Battle of Britain” last night. It’s about that period in WWII, very dark, when we almost lost it. Very near the beginning of the film the German ambassador visits the British ambassador in Switzerland. It’s wryly amusing at first, they know each other of course. Then the German makes offers of peace with Britain as long as we leave the Germans alone to overrun Europe – which they’ve basically already done, and are now preparing to cross the channel and invade Britain (which they very nearly did!).
After some dialogue, the Brit loses his rag in a very cold/hot manner. He says no to the offers and tells the German that they must wait until they’re actually marching up Whitehall and adds, “… and even then we won’t listen!”. Would we listen now? Would we do a deal? Would we sacrifice others for our own comfort?
The Battle of Britain pilots were all young men, around 20 yrs old, if that. The average practice hours before they fought would be around 10 … a mere 10 hours experience on the plane and you were up there fighting it. we had not time, no pilots, and only a very slim chance of winning. Everyone knew that, including these young men, and everyone did what they could – or most people did. And there was always this “You just don’t do that!” feeling about what Hitler was doing that was non-negotiable, no compromise.
My father and my father-in-law were both in that war, along with many friends. There was a saying then, “You and who’s army?!” which has even lasted to current times. We thought like that then. The idea of trading “jobs for lives” would not have entered most people’s minds. You just didn’t do that … not then. You just didn’t let people do things like that. Do we do that now? Do we care more for ourselves, our comfort, our money, jobs, trade, than we do for how people are being treated?
Has all that caring attitude changed? Is everything now up for grabs, hit me with a deal, what’s in it for me? Is compromise and negotiation the only thing we can see now? I hope not.
The kids in the picture are looking upwards, they want to see who’s winning, where our fighters are, if “Jerry” gets hit. These are ordinary London kids and their Mums, sheltering as best they can from the Blitz. both Paul and I know people who did this, who were those kids. They fought too, they cared for what we were all fighting for. Would this happen now? I hope so …