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No Easy Day in June

It’s the 7th June and I wanted to post an iconic photo of ‘Easy Company,’ the paratrooper heroes made famous in the series, ‘Band of Brothers,’ standing together, in the square of Sainte-Marie-du-Mont, June 7, 1944, the day after D-Day.

Quite extraordinary , brave men at an extraordinary time in our history. Ahead of them still lay the snow of the Ardennes, Holland and finally, Hitler's own abandoned headquarters, Berchtesgaden.

Tomorrow, Britain decides with yet another General Election. Other than voting like everyone else, I have another job and that’s flying, with my colleagues, the Labour Party’s aerial campaign across marginal seats in the Midlands, the North-east and the North-west. Given the weather forecast for Thursday, I’m doubtful whether any of the aircraft with their big sheet banners will get into the air but you never know, we may get lucky. The English summer is such an unpredictable thing.

Watching the news on TV, I would love to be able to ask some of the people who are interviewed by journalists for the many ‘Vox Pops,” why they are voting for any particular Party. Why they really 'believe,' what they believe, is in anyway true or simply a misplaced and perhaps outdated statement of tribal loyalty to a political class or culture?

Come Friday though, like June of last year, the decision of the people will come across loud and clear, although I’m not convinced that many of them really understand what the implications of their decisions might be; much like the referendum of June 23rd last year. When as a minor local politician, I had media training, I was told that 78% of the general population don’t listen to or watch the news, their views are in part, formed by popular TV programmes such as Coronation Street, Brookside and East-enders and so, like this weblog, you are reading this because you are in the 12% of those who share an interest in news, politics and technology.

Ultimately, the worry is less about the result of our General Election and more about the consequences and conditions of BREXIT. Nobody has a clue what the future and our economy will look like in five years and all next week’s Government can do is hope to make a very hard landing a little less painful than the economists expect it to be.

What we do know now or at least those of us who follow such matters, is that without printing more money (Quantitative Easing) and consequently devaluing our currency and driving inflation, the cash simply doesn’t exist to fulfill the promises and plans of any of the main political Parties.

There will however, be one result of this General Election, regardless who comes to power and that will be the strengthening of the surveillance State beyond anything we might have imagined at the turn of this century. I’m suddenly reminded of the words of A.J.P. Taylor:

"Until August 1914, an Englishman could pass through life and hardly notice the existence of the State...."

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