The Festive Season – Blog No. 16.


This is just to wish all, who read this, time for a pause for thought as the world closes down on 2014 and opens up to 2015.

truce11 1914

Exactly one hundred years ago, as the nations of Western Europe were tearing each other apart at the behest of their political leaders, the common man in the trenches attempted a rebellion against the folly that was dooming him and the world that he knew. The spontaneous and unofficial Christmas truce between the infantry battalions on opposite sides of no-man’s-land has become a recognised symbol of hope for humanity in its continuing dilemma.

Sadly, the light shone by the truce flickered only briefly before ‘common sense’ prevailed and ‘order’ was restored to the ranks of those instructed to kill each other.

As a young man, throughout the 1960s, I had the fortune to serve in one of those tribal British infantry regiments that could trace their family history back through the centuries. Among the ten million military and over six million civilian deaths during the course of the Great War, there were 11,400 who died wearing the cap-badge of the Sherwood Foresters.

The moral I draw from the story of the failed Christmas truce, is that if men, women and their children wish to avoid having ultimately to abandon the open street in favour of underground bunkers, they should insist on their political leaders refusing to indulge in activities that could bring harm to other peoples.

Despite the clear lessons from the past, our political leaders are still prepared to enter into aggressive military alliances, to attempt the ruination of other nations by imposing economic sanctions, to profiteer from the manufacture and development of ever more lethal weaponry and to intervene militarily in the affairs of other societies. These aggressive follies are greeted by the vast majority of their electorates with such apathy that it hardly merits their raising their heads from the pasture.

By doing nothing, we condone.





“Daddy, what did you do in the great peace?”

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