Truly Scandalous

Shameful Treatment Of Disabled Workers ..
For 70 years, since the end of World War Two, Britain has led the world in providing supported employment to disabled people, mainly through a company called Remploy.. But in July 2012, the Conservative Government announced that 27 Remploy factories will close by the end of the year, which will make around 1,700 disabled workers unemployed.

Fat-Cats Must Be Forced To Share The Cream ..
Everyone accepts those at the top will be paid more, but the gap is widening into an unacceptable chasm, all the more revolting as millions of workers are struggling to get by.
We want an economy operating for the millions, not just the millionaires, and that means raising living standards at the bottom while curbing boardroom excesses.
In any company every person on the payroll contributes to the success of that enterprise and their contributions cry out for a fairer link between earnings at the top and the bottom.. Fat-cats must be forced to share the cream rather than lapping most of it up themselves.
( Daily mirror, 26.08.2017 )

The Tories Are Trying To Con The North Again ..
The day Transport Secretary Chris Grayling announced the cost and new route for HS2 from London, the Institute of Fiscal Studies reported the growing inequality between North and South.. Southerners now have average incomes 25% higher than northerners.. Talk about Mind The Gap !.. But like Thomas the Tank Engine, Failing Grayling chuffed away with gusto.. He thought HS2 was “good news for everyone” and was “proud that it would be built and operated by the private sector, at a cost of £55billion and in over two decades”.. I recall a previous Tory Transport Secretary in 1996 said the same about HS1 – the High Speed Channel Tunnel Rail Link from London to the tunnel in Kent.. They promised this Eurostar service would go to Scotland.. They even bought the sleeper train for it.. Yet within 12 months, the private company said it was going bust and demanded £2billion more of taxpayers’ support because it failed to estimate passenger growth and future costs.. It was my job as Transport Secretary in 1997 to sort out the mess.. I told them they could go whistle for the money and instead took HS1 into public ownership.. I reorganised its governance and finances without its extra demand for public subsidy.. We got it delivered on time and on budget without extra taxpayer money.. It became so profitable that Cameron’s Government privatised it.. But the route never extended to the North and we had to flog the unused sleeper trains to Canada !
Now the Tories are trying to con the North again.
( John Prescott, 23.07.2017 )

Brexit Is A Withdrawal From The World ..
To half the country, and most outsiders, Brexit is a withdrawal from the world, a retreat back to some mythical golden age.. A shrivelling into our shell which has shrunk the pound and economic growth and diminished our clout as a global power.
Since the Tories took power, big city councils have seen their budgets slashed by 50%, meaning fewer libraries and sports centres, dirtier streets, worse care for the elderly and more unfixed potholes, while citizens pay more council tax.
Talking of pay, it’s currently shrinking quicker than a man’s todger after a December dip in the sea off Blackpool.. Unless you’re the one doing the shrinking.. In the mid-1970s the average British CEO earned 20 times what his average employee did.. Today the average FTSE chief executive earns 386 times more than a worker on the National Living Wage, pocketing an average of £5.3million a year.
( Brian Reade, 29.07.2017 )

The Worst Education Secretary On Record ..
Just wondering if Michael Gove, lover of free schools, as well as the worst Education Secretary on record (just ask a teacher), has read about the fortunes of pupils attending Route 39 Academy, a free school based in Devon ?.. It’s just been placed in special measures after failing to enter ANY year 11 pupils for their GCSEs.
Truly scandalous.
( Fiona Phillips, 29.07.2017 )

Rape And Sexual Grooming In Care Homes ..
The most perverted individuals prey on the most vulnerable as yet another horrific story of abuse has confirmed.. According to confidential police documents, concerns were raised over the suspected rape of an autistic man as well as ‘sexual grooming’ of residents at three homes run by Hillgreen Care, which apparently specialises in the ‘care’ of young adults.. The documents also highlight incidents of staff having sex while on duty.. The deputy manager of one home was a convicted sex offender.. The Care Quality Commission, which has powers to prosecute, kept the information to themselves and has failed to act.. I, for once, am lost for words.
( Fiona Phillips, 29.07.2017 )

A Scam To Make City Investors Richer ..
The reaction from Tory politicians whenever British Gas massively hikes its tariffs is priceless.. They take to the airwaves to urge hard-hit customers to embrace capitalism by playing the markets, switching provider and hitting the exploiters where it hurts.. Funny how that kind of advice was never in the brochures when Thatcher privatised gas in 1986 by urging us : “If you see Sid, tell him.”.
There was no warning that flogging off a publicly-owned utility was just a scam to make City investors richer.
( Brian Reade, 05.08.2017 )

Taxpayers’ Money Used To Subsidise The Profits Of Fat-Cats ..
When Ted Heath was Prime Minister in 1973 he coined the phrase, “The unacceptable and ugly face of capitalism.”.. He used it to describe the UK mining company Lonrho, for trading with apartheid Rhodesia, which became Zimbabwe.. Prime Minister Thatcher’s response was to privatise energy, railways, buses, steelmaking, telecommunications and shipbuilding.. She encouraged private companies to run care homes, education and health.. Now, after two decades of privatisation, we see our services in crisis, the state subsidising the profits of these private companies and higher prices.. British Gas is to increase bills by 12.5% as the wholesale price of gas falls and parent company Centrica earns half year profits of £639million.. Its chief executive Ian Conn pulls in more than £4million a year.. We subsidise their greed.. The Government gave £6billion of tax breaks to BP and Shell to boost declining North Sea production.. Theresa May is happy to let capitalism get uglier by the day.. She scrapped her election pledge to cap energy prices as soon as she won and axed rail electrification across the North.. The market has failed Britain.. Housebuilding is down to its lowest rate in almost 100 years.. It’s time the Government got back to meeting the public interest by building the homes, supplying the energy and running the trains.. Instead of subsidising the profits of fat-cats with a licence to print money – OUR money.
( John Prescott, 06.08.2017 )

Nearly Four Million Children Are Living In Poverty In The UK ..
Buttle UK, an anti-poverty charity, published a report which stated : “The plight of the most disadvantaged and vulnerable children is deteriorating – more are living in poverty than at any time in the last 10 years – 3.9million children across the UK living below the breadline.”.. The CEO, Gerry McAndrew estimates around 400,000 children have no beds.. No beds !.. The Institute of Fiscal Studies expects one million more kids to be living in poverty by 2020.
Nine out of the 10 most impoverished regions in northern Europe are in the UK.
How can anyone be proud of a nation that fails so many ?
( Yasmin Alibhai-Brown, 20.08.2017 )

It’s no coincidence that there are over 70 Tory MPs who are private landlords and the Conservative Party, including Mrs May, voted AGAINST a proposed Bill by Labour to force private landlords to make their properties ‘Fit for human habitation’.
( R.S. Hutchison, January 2016 )

Another Scandal By One Of Our So-Called Leaders ..
UK Chancellor Philip Hammond took a personal stake in a food technology company just months before it won a share of a £560,000 Government grant and he became Chancellor.. Mr Hammond, when he was Foreign Secretary, took the 15% stake in Cambridgeshire-based Hydramach in October 2015, according to records at Companies House.. Months later – in April 2016 – Hydramach was one of eight companies which won the grant to develop low fat and low sugar soups, ready meals and sauces from Innovate UK, a tech start up quango run by the Department for Business.. The fact that Mr Hammond took a direct stake in a company when he was a Cabinet minister with the possibility of receiving advance knowledge of Government plans for start-up companies is scandalous.
( Reported in The Telegraph, January 11, 2017 )

Life Behind Bars

The New, Purpose-Built House Of Correction ..
Bodmin Jail was built by prisoners of war and remains notorious for the many tales of woe and dramatic executions both inside and beyond its imposing granite walls.. Despite the dreadful conditions, the purpose-built house of correction, completed in the Cornish town of Bodmin in 1779, was a state of the art prison and was designed on principles propagated by the great prison reformer John Howard.. In keeping with his views, it housed 100 inmates in individual, light and airy cells.. Males and females were segregated, different areas were established for felons, misdemeanants and debtors, and the building boasted a chapel, an infirmary and even hot water.. In subsequent decades it required rebuilding and expansion to cope with peaks in demand, such as the increased level of committals after the end of the Napoleonic Wars.. Work began on a new 220-cell jail in 1856 after the original building, struggling to meet the demands for confinement set out by new prison legislation, was inspected and declared unfit for purpose.
When the Debtor’s Act of 1869 abolished imprisonment for debt, the buildings housing the Debtor’s Prison and the under-populated Women’s Prison were given to the Admiralty and in 1887 an HM Naval Prison was established.
Before the doors of Bodmin’s civil and naval prisons were closed for the last time and the jail’s buildings were sold off in 1929, one of Britain’s finest treasures was temporarily housed within its walls.. The Domesday Book was among more than 19,000 items relocated from the Public Record Office to Bodmin Jail for safekeeping during the First World War.
Some areas of the former prison would eventually enjoy new leases of life after the closure of the prison, including the former Administration block which witnessed happier times as a club and casino in later decades.. In 2004 the building was bought for development and is now managed as a tourist attraction.
( Extract from an article by Claire Saul, October 2015 )

Life Behind Bars Inside Bodmin Jail ..
Early prisoners worked inside Bodmin Jail, men occupied with activities such as shoemaking or cutting and polishing stone and slate, while women would knit, weave and spin, all producing goods that would be sold for profit.. The early 19th century philosophy that unproductive labour would be more of a deterrent against reoffending, saw the arrival of two treadwheel and other hard-labour machines at Bodmin.. In later decades picking oakum was also introduced, requiring prisoners to spend hours unraveling the strands of old pieces of rope down to their individual fibres, which would then be sold to ship builders for use in the caulking of wooden craft.. A return to earlier prison labour philosophy came in 1898 when the Prisons Act decreed that work should have a constructive purpose.
Daily rations of bread were handed out to Bodmin’s early inmates, with those attending divine service on a Saturday being allocated an additional half pound of meat made into broth for their Sunday dinner.. The Gaol Act of 1823 aimed to improve prison diets with the addition of items such as cheese and suet although this initiative was ignored for most of the next decade, as it was in many prisons.
From the mid 1870s, food was allocated according to the length of sentence.
Those incarcerated for less than two weeks had a daily ration of bread and gruel while men and women committed to hard labour for over six months were given additional portions of meat, soup and potatoes.. More variety would not be added to the diet for almost another 40 years.
( Claire Saul, October 2015 )

Lowry, The Matchstick Man ..
Lowry was a highly trained artist, and well-informed about art and artists.
Born in 1887, he was a goose at school but by the age of 15 he was at art school, and by 18 he took evening classes. He studied in the Manchester Academy of Fine Art and at Salford Royal Technical College right through until 1925. Lowry worked hard at Life Drawing classes well in to the 1920s. “Long years of drawing the figure is the only thing that matters’ he said. While studying at night he was influenced by many painters but he wanted to develop his own style and work in his own settings – paintings places like Station Road in Pendlebury where he was brought up after leaving the plusher Manchester suburbs.
He saw the beauty in the mills and chimneys.
From 1910 he worked as a rent collector for the Pall Mall Property Company (he stayed there until he was 65 in 1952) walking all over Manchester and always observing (and often sketching) the everyday scenes that adorn his paintings.
Lowry’s first exhibition was in 1919 when he had two paintings at the Annual Manchester Academy of Fine Arts exhibition. In 1934 he was elected as a member of the Academy (he became a Royal Academician in 1962). After that he exhibited regularly despite poor critical acclaim and after two years sold his first artwork, a pastel called The Lodging House. When people think of Lowry they often have his Coming From the Mill in mind. He painted this in the early 1930s.
During the war he was a fire-watcher and official war artist. Afterwards he moved to Mottram in Cheshire and he began to paint land and seascapes. He painted some of these at Berwick on Tweed, others at Seaburn near Sunderland. By the 1960s Lowry’s time had come. He was an acknowledged and successful artist.
Lowry died of pneumonia in 1976. He’s buried in Manchester, next to his parents.
( An extract from an article by Steve Windsor, February 2016 )

Was Holodomor Genocide ?

Armenia, 1915 ..
 The Young Turks, part of the Dönmeh, a group of crypto-Jews that ‘converted’ to Islam, were responsible for the genocide of 1.5 million Christians.. The majority of those killed were Armenian, but the death toll also included Assyrians and Greeks.. These Christians were starved to death, grotesquely tortured and murdered.. Crucifixion was just one method of torture and death.

Russia, 1921-22 ..
The first of three Holodomors perpetrated by the Bolsheviks, the vast majority of whom were Jewish, including Trotsky and Lenin..  Angered by the resistance to collectivisation, Lenin ordered grain seizures to be increased.. While stealing the only food people had, the Jewish Cheka, an acronym for ‘Special Commission for Fighting Counter-Revolution’, as well as a Yiddish expression for ani­mal slaughter, also committed unspeakable atrocities.. Children were shot if they were found eating, some people were crucified or scalped, and others had their stomach cut open and part of their intestine pulled out and nailed to a tree or telegraph pole, around which the victim was forced to run until the entire intestine had come out.. The death toll for this first Holodomor, death by starvation, was up to five million ethnic Europeans, the majority of whom were Christians.. When asked to help with the famine, Trotsky responded, “You are starving ?.. This is not famine yet.. When your women start eating their children then you may come and say we are starving.”

Ukraine, 1932-33 ..
The second, most widely known Holodomor resulted in death by starvation of 7.5-10 million Ukrainians.. Again, mainly Christians.. The Jews at the helm of implementing Stalin’s first Five-Year-Plan were Lazar Kaganovich, Genrikh Yagoda and Nikolai Yezhov.. This Holodomor was also accompanied by similarly horrific atrocities, tortures and murders.. And, as Trotsky predicted, parents did eat their children.. Despite the unspeakable horrors and high death toll in this relatively short period of time, Ukraine’s Chief Rabbi, Yakov Dov Bleich, was quoted in the Baltimore Jewish Times on November 14, 2007 as saying, “We can’t equate the Holocaust of the Jews in Germany with the Holodomor in Ukraine.. Ukrainian Jewish leaders do not support recognising the Holodomor as genocide.”

Ukraine, 1946-47 ..
The third Holodomor resulted in, approximately, one million deaths by starvation.. Thus, 13.5-16 million ethnic Europeans, mainly Christians, died in these three genocides, combined.

Soviet Union, 1917-57 ..
Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn stated that 66 million people, most of whom were Christian, were killed by the Bolsheviks and Stalin combined.. This figure includes the three Holodomors, above.. In ‘Two Hundred Years Together’, Solzhenitsyn’s last book, he writes, “Without Jews there would never have been Bolshevism.. For a Jew nothing is more insulting than the truth.. The bloodthirsty Jewish terrorists have murdered sixty-six million in Russia from 1918 to 1957.”

The following Trotsky quote from 1917 clearly shows that the driving motivation of the Jewish Bolsheviks had nothing to do with liberating the workers and peasants, but everything to do with imposing tyrannical rule upon the Russian people :
“We must turn Russia into a desert populated by white negroes upon whom we shall impose a tyranny such as the most terrible Eastern despots never dreamt of.. The only difference is that this will be a left-wing tyranny, not a right-wing tyranny.. It will be a red tyranny and not a white one.. We mean the word ‘red’ literally, because we shall shed such floods of blood as will make all the human losses suffered in the capitalist wars pale by comparison.. The biggest bankers across the ocean will work in the closest possible contact with us.. If we win the revolution, we shall establish the power of Zionism upon the wreckage of the revolution’s funeral, and we shall became a power before which the whole world will sink to its knees.. We shall show what real power is.. By means of terror and bloodbaths, we shall reduce the Russian intelligentsia to a state of complete stupefaction and idiocy and to an animal existence.. At the moment, our young men in their leather jackets, who are the sons of watchmakers from Odessa, Orsha, Gomel and Vinnitsa, know how to hate everything Russian.. What pleasure they take in physically destroying the Russian intelligentsia, officers, academics and writers.”

The above is from the ‘Memoirs’ of Aron Simanovich, quoted in ‘The Nature of Zionism’ by Vladimir Stepin, Moscow, 1993, and translated from Russian into English by Clive Lindhurst.

British-Jewish History ..
The Jewish people have been an integral part of British history ever since the day William the Conqueror invaded England in 1066, his conquest directly financed by Jews who had been expelled from Spain.
The 2,600 Jews who followed in the wake of the invasion grew to 16,000 by the year 1290, at which point Edward I expelled them, primarily due to their usurious practices.. Two hundred and fifty-seven years later, in 1647, Oliver Cromwell accepted Jewish money to further his Roundhead fight against the Cavaliers.
In return, Cromwell agreed to allow the expelled Jews back into England.
In 1689, William of Orange ascended to the throne as King William III, his invasion fully financed by Jewish money.. He continued to take yet more Jewish money to finance his costly wars with France, resulting in the Jews being given a charter to establish the Bank of England in 1694.. This led to the creation of the national debt, with the resulting interest being paid through the raising of taxes.
The next major step in the illustrious British-Jewish history was when, through deception, following the Battle of Waterloo of 1815, the Rothschilds gained control of the British economy and, ultimately, the Bank of England.. Which, of course, led to their owning or controlling all of the world’s central banks.

The Beginning Of Education

When Children Never Went To School ..
It is hard to imagine a Britain where children never went to school, but until the 1790s the opportunity of learning to read and write was rare for most of the country’s youth.. Learning was mainly the privilege of the aristocracy.. The army, the church, the law or taking over the family estate was the burden of the upper classes and they prepared their offspring accordingly.. Rich fathers hired tutors to ready their sons for running the country before packing them off to Oxford or Cambridge.
North of the border, the Scots were ahead of the times with five universities.
Wealthy wives oversaw the appointment of a governess capable of teaching their daughters how to look pretty, laugh in the right places and bully the servants.
Some elementary knowledge of reading and counting was an advantage but on no account must your daughters appear to be clever.
Wealthy men endowed colleges for the good of their souls, but benefactors apart, it was the Sunday school that introduced the mystery of reading to a wider audience.. Its purpose was to enable the flock simply to read the Bible.. Writing came a poor second and arithmetic was irrelevant.
In 1807, Mr Samuel Whitbread voiced the revolutionary idea that local parishes should be responsible for providing two years’ teaching for children between seven and 14 years of age.. Objections were vociferous.. It would be too expensive, children needed to work on the land and in factories, and anyway they would ‘get ideas above their station’.
Education, of course, was really meant for boys.. The Victorian writer and educator Elizabeth Missing Sewell, a supporter of girls schooling, still reflected the ethos of the time in that ‘boys are sent into the world to govern and direct, girls are to dwell in quiet homes to exercise a noiseless influence’.. Just to make her point clear, she added ‘a woman who is not feminine is a monster in creation’.
In the 19th century, British people were growing restless.. In farming communities new machinery threatened the already pathetic wages and saw agricultural workers turn to violence.. Families moved to the new industrial towns in search of work.. There, in the mills, appalling conditions finally alerted the humanitarians to the need for reform.. If people could read and write and add up, all kinds of new opportunities awaited them.. Many remained unconvinced.
In 1833, the Factory Act included the proposal that children between nine and 13 should have two hours education a day and those under seven should not be employed in the mills.. In that year Mr Roebuck expressed his hope in the Commons that with the ‘slow operation of time, patience and industry’, those in parliament would be won round to seeing that education was a good thing.
It took until 1870, when for the price of 2d a week, all children between five and 13 should go to school.. Poor children’s fees would be paid.
Even then the churches weren’t entirely happy that their sphere of influence was being taken over by the State.
Finally, in 1944, what was known as the Butler Education Act (after Richard ‘Rab’ Butler, the Education Secretary) came into force.. It swept away all previous legislation and guaranteed free non-denominational education for all five to 13-year-olds.. It was intended to promote the spiritual, mental and physical well-being.
( Extract from an article by Janet Toms, September 2015 )

Vivien Leigh ..
When the three year-old Vivian Mary Hartley recited Little Bo Peep to the delight of her mother’s amateur theatre group, it marked the start of a lifelong performing career that would embrace two Academy Awards and a distinguished, 30-year stage career.. As Vivien Leigh she would become one of Britain’s most iconic actresses, the raven-haired beauty who beat hundreds of actresses, including Hollywood heavyweights such as Paulette Goddard and Katherine Hepburn, to the role of Scarlett O’Hara in the 1939 cinematic blockbuster Gone With the Wind.
( Extract from an article by Claire Saul, September 2015 )

The World’s First High Definition Television Service ..
Today there are more than 200 digital channels to choose from.. So it’s hard to recall that there was once a time in Britain when you only had one TV channel to watch.. The grandly-titled BBC Television Service was the world’s first high definition television service.. It launched on the 2nd November 1936 from converted rooms in London’s Alexandra Palace.. From Ally Pally, a diet of quite slow programmes was broadcast to the metropolitan middle-class, and for a long time an exclusively London and south-east audience.. Because of the cost of new transmitters, not to mention television’s suspension during the Second World War, it wasn’t until 1952 that the BBC Television Service was available to around 81% of the population.
( Extract from an article by Andrew White, September 2015 )

Plastic Fantastic ..
During the Second World War, many of Britain’s toy factories were requisitioned for munitions work, and although toy making ceased, this war work indirectly led to a new product which would revolutionise the industry – plastic.. Although plastic was known before the war, various techniques were developed and refined in the factories, where it was used for numerous things including aircraft fittings.
When toy making recommenced, plastic was the obvious choice of material to develop, especially for dolls.. Plastic was light, robust, cheap and easy to mould, and it quickly replaced the traditional composition (plaster mix) or porcelain that was the norm before the war.
( Extract from an article by Susan Brewer, November 2015 )

Greedy Ticket Touts ..
Going to a live music event is one of the great pleasures in life.
It was never cheap but ordinary fans could manage to see their great heroes as a treat.. Not any more.. At least not for most of them.
Ticket prices have gone through the roof, costing hundreds if not thousands of pounds.. It isn’t the artists who are getting that money though.
It is today’s breed of hyper-greedy touts.
They grab huge numbers of tickets off the internet within seconds of them going on sale, then re-sell them at a massive mark-up.. It has become such a big and lucrative business that it makes the ruthless people who run it £1billion a year.
The Government knows what is going on but is doing nothing effective to stop it.
( Sunday Mirror, 29.05.2016 )

The Blond Ambition Chickened Out ..
Boris Johnson waited years for the ball to come loose from the Tory scrum then was too cowardly to pick it up.. The burly loudmouth bottled the biggest game of his life after a tackle by Gove the geek.. In-Justice Secretary traitorous Michael Gove played dirty and kicked his chum hard in the ballots in the hope of winning this leadership match for himself.. But the truth is when push came to shove, the blond ambition chickened out, fearing defeat.. Winning in Europe then losing an election isn’t how he intended to emulate his hero Winston Churchill.. Let us bid good riddance after Johnson’s despicable lies and deceit.. Don’t feel a scintilla of sympathy for a bumbler who isn’t half as clever as he thinks.
( Kevin Maguire, 01.07.2016 )

Isn’t it funny how right-wing papers have stopped printing photos of hordes of migrants trying to get into Britain now we’ve voted to leave Europe ?
( Brian Reade, 09.07.2016 )

Saving The Children

Operation Thursday ..
The aim of Operation Thursday on 5 March, 1944 was to fly a force of 10,000 men, 1,000 mules, equipment and supplies into the heart of Burma.. All sorties were to be flown at night to avoid Japanese aircraft, and gliders would land troops to secure the site.. A second wave would land more troops and American engineers with their equipment to construct an airstrip so that C47 Dakotas could bring in the remaining forces.. Prior to the fly-in, the Japanese air force had been much weakened by raids on their airfields by 1st Air Commando USAAF and the RAF.. Some 78 Japanese aircrafts were destroyed and more damaged.. Brigadier Michael Calvert, commander of 77th Brigade led the first wave of 52 gliders.. Another 28 gliders were in the second wave.. Initial glider landings did not go well.. Aerial photographs failed to show ditches and trees on a landing area and these caused several of the gliders to crash on landing and 30 men were killed, and 28 wounded.
Planes en-route were ordered to return to prevent further casualties.. On the first night 35 gliders managed to land and by dawn 400 men were ready for action.
A runway was cleared and a total of 55 Dakotas flew in, followed by 579 Dakota sorties bringing in 77th Brigade and two battalions from 111th Brigade.
A second airstrip was constructed and by 8 March a force of 1,200 men, 200 mules and their equipment had been flown in.. This was the largest Allied airborne operation ever conducted until the forces under Eisenhower landed in France.
( Best of British magazine, August 2015 )

Saving The Children ..
On 2 December 1938, as the clouds of war gathered over Europe, a ship docked at Harwich bringing 200 Jewish children – immigrants seeking sanctuary, facing an uncertain future.. They would be the first of thousands, brought here by the Kindertransport to save their lives.. These children had been saved by British men and women who cared – men like the late Sir Nicholas Winton and his friends.
They came to Britain on the trains, planes and ships organised by British organisations dedicated to rescuing Jewish children from the Nazis.
They arrived without their parents, coming to a country that would be at war within the year, but at least they would not know the horrors of Auschwitz and the death camps that took their families.
The trigger that sparked the Kindertransport was the night of 9/10 November 1938, when Jewish businesses in Germany were attacked by Nazi mobs – their windows smashed and their businesses vandalised.. It became known as Kristallnacht (the Night of the Broken Glass) and began to confirm to a horrified world just what Hitler’s regime was capable of.. It spurred on organisations like the British Committee for the Jews of Germany and the British based Movement for the Care of Children from Germany.
( Extract from an article by Brian Lynch, August 2015 )

German Missiles Fired At London ..
Towards the end of the Second World War, thousands of V1 and V2 missiles were fired at London and South East England.. The V1 pilotless planes announced their arrival with an ominous drone, followed by silence as their motors stopped and they and their payload of explosives glided downwards along a chillingly unpredictable path.. The V2 rockets delivered instant destruction with a ‘double crack’ – the breaking of the sound barrier, then the explosion.
The most destructive V2 impact was on Woolworth’s in New Cross, South East London.. The store was filled with housewives attracted by rumours of saucepans for sale.. 168 were killed.. The public outcry led the RAF to bomb suspected launch sites in The Hague, but the German crews were long gone.. Instead, 500 Dutch civilians were incinerated, an even greater horror than the New Cross explosion.
Perhaps the most remarkable fact is that more people died making the V-weapons than in the explosions they caused.. Thousands of slave labourers perished underground, working in horrific conditions.. Those who survived to the end were shot, hanged, burned alive or sent to a concentration camp by the Nazis.
In contrast, the German’s top rocket scientist, Werner von Braun, was able to arrange for himself and his team to be captured by friendly Americans.
He swiftly transferred his loyalty from the Third Reich to the US space programme, and in due course was celebrated in a movie called ‘I Aim At The Stars’.
Cynics called it ‘I Aim At The Stars, But Sometimes I Hit London’.
( Originally posted on May 2, 2012 )

Liberating Brussels ..
On 3 September 1944, British Second Army units were on the move.
A long column of vehicles was making its way through the quiet Belgian countryside. German resistance to the Allied forces was weakening.
I was in a Royal Signals truck as part of 30 Corps HQ Signals unit and, as far as we were concerned, it was just another move. But soon rumours were spreading – we were on the way to Brussels. We really began to believe it as people appeared in the outskirts, waving and cheering. It was the prelude to the most exciting and memorable day of my army service. In the city centre, people were lining the streets – laughing, crying and some waving makeshift Union Flags. Women climbed into the slow-moving vehicles, hugging and kissing the overwhelmed soldiery. Trucks were festooned with flowers, and food and drink were thrust into our hands.
Completely surrounded, the convoy halted amid the riotous carnival atmosphere. For the rest of the day, we were on leave, and told to report to camp in the Royal Palace grounds by dusk. With my mates Jack and Percy, I went into a small bar.
The place was crowded, and we were feted and given more food and drink by men who told us how the Germans had scuttled away overnight.
I had my cap snatched as a souvenir and recovered it with some difficulty.
Finally, despite the protestations of the occupants of the bar, we were able to make our unsteady ways back to the truck.
( An extract from an article by Eric Savage, February 2016 )

Bad Times In Malaya, Over 2,000 Civilians Killed ..
The Malayan Emergency, a 12-year guerrilla war which saw Commonwealth forces facing a communist force, the Malayan National Liberation Army (MNLA), up until 1960. British taxes on rubber and tin caused resentment before the Second World War, then the Japanese ran the economy into the ground after they invaded. Unemployment and famine ensued. All this provided fertile ground for communist revolution after the war. It began with strikes, then in 1948 three European plantation managers were killed at Sungai Siput, Perak.
In response the British banned the Malayan Communist Party which began a guerrilla campaign against the tin mines and rubber plantations.
Ironically 400 of the guerrillas were British trained former resistance fighters.
It foreshadowed the Vietnam War in many ways. The rebels hid in the dense jungles of Malaya, there were several atrocities and blanket bombing and defoliation was actively used. Special Constables guarded the plantations before General Sir Harold Briggs developed the Briggs Plan which tried to cut the rebels off from the rest of the population. He would starve them out. British patrols, full of nervous conscript virgin soldiers and uncertain who was friend or foe, sometimes employed brutal and indiscriminate tactics in the isolated villages.
Inaccurate blanket bombing of dense jungle also killed civilians.
The Briggs Plan saw the forced relocation of 500,000 rural Malayans to, effectively, concentration camps, and extra British and Commonwealth troops (including reforming the wartime SAS) placing some 40,000 men under Sir Gerald Templer.
In October 1951 the MNLA killed British High Commissioner, Sir Henry Gurney.
This was a step too far for many of the Malayans but put fear into the Europeans.
An amnesty in September 1955 saw few guerrillas turn themselves in, but the communist leader Chin Peng arranged truce talks.
These led only to an intensification of the conflict (bringing New Zealand into the war) when his demands were ignored.
Malay became independent on 31 August 1957, which effectively ended the emergency by 1958. Chin Peng fled to China, then Thailand, but would return.
Some 6,710 MNLA guerrillas were killed. British and Commonwealth casualties were 519 with 1,345 Malayan troops killed. Compared to this, a staggering 2,478 civilians died.
( An extract from an article by Steve Windsor, February 2016 )