Brexit and "The Bloody Germans"
|Since this cartoon was made she has decided to parachute from the plane (or she has been pushed).|
I listened to BBC radio programme last week which did some predictable and inevitable analysis regarding the relative success of the Brexit party in the European Parliament elections.
One woman (a High Tory from the Shires?) voiced her anti-German sentiments as a reason for voting BREXIT.
She stated (in tones which suggested a quotation from some kind of Holy Writ) "As my grandfather always said, you can bolt the front door to the Germans, but they'll always get in by the back door".
Despite this my brother Martyn tells me that anti-German sentiment is not a strong factor for the Brexiteers.
What is true is that the European Union (which is not a Union!) is more than heavy handed in its bureaucratic impulses, regulations and rulings.
Above and beyond that, there is a widespread belief in the ranks of the working classes that the E.U. has not delivered for them. (c.f the election of Donald J. Trump).
The frustration of the working classes is real, but their plight has more to do with the miserable austerity programmes of successive Tory Governments than with the Eurocrats.
The Brexiteers: right wing Tory opportunists, and the newly formed Brexit Party (led by the odious Nigel Farage) have seized the Brexit Day.
And nearly seventy five years on there has been a puerile and whiny British unofficial plea to the E.U. "we stood alone and delivered Europe from cruel tyranny, therefore you owe us a break"
Britain certainly had some breathing space between 1940 and 1944
There was the amazing evacuation of the British Expeditionary force and others from Dunkirk in May 1940 by which 338,000 British and French soldiers were transported in boats large and small to England. (Why did the Fuehrer order his troops to pause their advance?)
The so-called Battle of Britain provided more breathing space. In truth it was a draw- but it caused the German High Command to revise their aerial combat strategy
What is little known even to this day it was the skill of Polish pilots flying at first with the RAF and later as part of the RAF which enabled that "victory". (For a while the success of Polish airmen was hidden by the censors from the British public, until the leaders of the RAF protested. They recognised the skill of the Polish.
Commander-in-Chief of Fighter Command, Air Chief Marshal Sir Hugh Dowding, who once was so reluctant to allow Polish pilots into battle, summarised their contribution in probably the most telling way: 'Had it not been for the magnificent work of the Polish squadrons and their unsurpassed gallantry, I hesitate to say that the outcome of battle would have been the same'.
Standing alone? Well at best creating a breathing space until the entry of the U.S.A. into the War; and of course, by providing a bridge-head for the D-Day invasion.
Of course the E.U. does not owe Britain a favour because of the liberation of Europe, That's romanticism, not the hard hearted reality of international agreements.
Nevertheless the Brexiteers tie themselves to the Churchillian myth that "this was their finest hour". The Polish airmen too?
See this from the London Observer/Guardian
The Brexiters ask us to “believe in Britain” but not the real Britain, with its flaws and contradictions and a history full of inglorious chapters as well as achievement. The Britain we must believe in is an unreal land of distorted memories and colonial amnesia. The Britain that was simultaneously the biggest empire on Earth and the tiny underdog that “stood alone” in 1940, going on to defeat the Nazis with only bit-part assistance from the US and USSR.
This week’s D-day commemorations will, I fear, help reinforce the idea that it was we “wot won it”, further marginalising the history of the Russians on the Eastern Front, who faced the bulk of Hitler’s forces; that fantasy that Britain built an empire yet showed nothing but paternal care to the people whose lands it invaded and bodies it harvested. And by dint of that history, they suggest, we are a demonstrably exceptional people, not subject to the political and economic realities that limit the options of other, more ordinary, nations.
And see this