1940s >> 1945 >> no-485-january-1945

Wartime Reflections

The attitude of the Greeks is ungrateful and depressing. Why should they be free to mind their own business while the rest of the world is sacrificing the cream of its glorious youth minding other people’s business? Surely it is absurd to suggest that Britain is actuated by other than noble and elevating ideas! It is true that in the sordid and regrettable past perfidious Albion stained the pages of its history with bloody fingers, but all is changed now: we have made progress in philosophy and culture. The Boers, the Kaffirs, the Basutos and all the other peoples of the lands we painted red in our triumphal march extracting wealth from subject people and subtracting liberty may well decay in their unmarked graves; they were the unwitting instruments of our elevation and ennoblement. In the much to be regretted days gone by our rude forefathers just marched in and grabbed the territory they coveted, dealing death and destruction on the way. How different it is nowadays. Operations are preceded by philosophical and political discourses couched in courteous language, pointing out the supreme advantage of being fleeced by a nation of our cultural standing. If the ignorant recipients of the olive branch should realise that an impatient block-buster is waiting overhead in tremulous anticipation, that surely has no bearing on the good intentions of the message!


It is curious to reflect on the various attempts to forecast the appearance of post-war Europe by anxious and hopeful people. At the present rate of progress it should not be a matter on which there is doubt. It will be a gigantic and festering graveyard.


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We are pleased to notice the stern attitude of the Church towards the clergyman who was alleged to have imbibed too much of the spirit of forgetfulness. The prominence of the case in question is an excellent comment on the ennobling influence of a creed whose principal advocates instil in our minds for five precious minutes on the radio every morning those prime virtues of resignation and patience. It is a great pity that bombed-out people living in wintry conditions in dug-outs and hovels, without the necessary sanitary and cooking amenities of decent life, are precluded by lack of a radio from hearing these sweet and soothing words. It might change their attitude towards a venerable Church which blesses with such unction what they hold to be the unavoidable slaughter of brother by brother. Is it not more important that a priest should not tipple than that the earth should not be converted into a morgue?