“People are comfortable being told what to think.”
– Paul Beatty
An article* in the Financial Times – which you have to subscribe to in order to read – suggests that the Brexiters were nostalgic for the time when the evil Hun, Hitler, had been beaten on the beaches and in the Battle of Britain, and ‘we’ brave Londoners (and the folk who lived in the industrial cities in the Midlands) had withstood the Blitz.
But anyone who remembers that time will be in their 80s now and “fought the war for the likes of us”, They are unlikely to pine for the horrors they experienced. I’d suggest too that because the European Union / Common Market was established to avoid future wars in Europe, at least among its members, then octogenarians are more likely to have voted to remain.
So the nostalgia can only be for the cosiness of post war England. On the radio there was Listen With Mother whose “signature tune evokes the warmth and tenderness of childhood security.”
Quarter to two, quarter to two … ding … ding … ding
Mums had Housewives’ Choice (audio) while Dad had Worker’s Playtime which was originally intended as a morale-booster for industrial workers in Britain during World War II, and was broadcast from a factory canteen “somewhere in Britain”.
Note: Strict rules were applied: predominantly familiar pieces, nothing lethargic, consistent volume, avoidance of overloud drumming (which could sound like gunfire), and generally cheerful programmes to which workers could whistle or sing. Jazz was discouraged as, by its very nature, it often deviates from the melody, which had to be clear at all times.
The postwar workers were returning servicemen who replaced the women who had (wo)manned the machines while Dad was fighting the Huns. There wasn’t much choice when it came to radio programmes, so housewives probably also did the chores with Music While You Work (audio) keeping her cheerful.
And we children helped Mummy with her shopping ….
… after which she cooked Daddy’s dinner …
Yep, those days were all white … erm … all right?
Not quite; we had Lawal in our house, but in other parts of our fair city there were signs of bigotry.
Yet it was the Irish who rebuilt the city in the post war years … and the motorways.
The ‘coloureds’ also faced a colour bar, even though most of them came from former colonies.
And so we come to the present day, and the conclusion that the case of Stojan Jankovic suggests that many, but hopefully not all, Brexiters, and Prime Minister May’s regime have something in common with Hitler and his allies.
Serbs expelled from their homes in the Independent State of Croatia
‘Stoly’ fled the war in Serbia 26 years ago in fear for his life, and he came to the UK seeking asylum fifteen years ago which was refused on the grounds that the war there was finished. Every month, in good faith, he has reported to the Immigration office, Yet on 30th March, last Thursday, he was suddenly arrested with no notice, and taken to a detention centre in Dorset, many miles from his home in Kentish Town, north London.
Today’s Serbia is not the country he knew and he will certainly be homeless there. His home is in the UK where he has, worked hard, has paid tax and national insurance, and enjoys the support of “a community who respect, love, and hold him dear.“
As I post this, I have no information about his current status. Will he be deported tomorrow? If he is, then May’s government will be as guilty of ethnic cleansing as Hitler and his allies.
*This article makes uncomfortable reading about the generation gap.