Thursday, May 19, 2016

The Lads in their Hundreds

When my father had his stroke he would wonder why I couldn't smell the pine oil being extracted from the trees at Holly Barn, his childhood home. We would talk about his father's visit on leave from the Great War and how his older brother had run away rather than face saying goodbye. For him it had happened just the other day.  I try to imagine what it must have been like to have to return to the trenches after a brief spell at home.

There was no home leave in my father's war, he sailed from Glasgow in the Queen Mary to eventually arrive in Egypt and on to Italy. He didn't make it back until 1946. Before he left his grandfather, who lost three sons in the Great War, had shook his hand and said they'd likely not meet again.

There was no great European war for my generation and for that we are asked to thank the EU and show our gratitude by voting to remain inside the community. I'm not so sure. How do the people of Serbia or Libya or the Donbas feel about that? Why do so few see the dangers of war with Russia, provoked in part by the EU and especially by what might be termed its military wing - Nato?

I voted to leave in 1975 and will do so again. This means sharing a bed with Empire loyalists, British nationalists, 1950s nostalgists etc. but so what. Look at the company the decent folk on the pro side have to keep, the warmongers and neoliberal elites, it's a wonder the stench doesn't overpower them.

Of course Plaid Cymru think that they can reform the EU from inside, well good luck with that. I believe that there is a very faint chance of the Welsh nation surviving outside the EU and none at all within, although this may be moot given the West's eagerness for confrontation with the East.