Star comment: We must take Jubilee togetherness forward to face challenges

A sense of perspective is in order. As we celebrate the jubilee, we should also reflect on our democracy and our right to do and say what we like.

The Queen has seen the threat of tyranny at first hand when Britain and its Allies fought the German threat. This weekend also marks the passing of 100 days since the Ukraine war started. It is fighting for its very existence, as we did many years ago. The West is stepping up to help it in that fight and we must continue to support.

We should never allow the war in Ukraine to slip from our thoughts. Brits know just how precious democracy and freedom is and Ukraine has a right to operate free from the threats and aggression of Russia.

As we prepare to party and as we celebrate the unique and historic achievement of Queen Elizabeth, we should remember the millions who have been displaced and the hundreds of thousands who have forcibly been taken to an uncertain future in Russia. Then there are the huge numbers who have died, both innocent civilians and those who have made the ultimate sacrifice.

Functioning democracies face myriad threats and the Queen has lived through such trauma in a long and remarkable life.

It is a time of celebration too, of course, and we should for once congratulate ourselves on the nation’s achievements. For all of the hardship that we continue to face, for the divisiveness of our politics and for the serious hardship that so many face, we remain a prosperous and free country. The sense of community and togetherness that the nation is showing as it comes together is a quality that we must take forward as we overcome other pressing challenges.

Shops, pubs and restaurants are hoping for a boost over the bank holiday weekend as we splash out a little to mark the Jubilee. Money is tight for many, but those who are to treat themselves should do so in our local town and city centres and high streets.

This weekend could be a chance to give our independent businesses a boost as they turn things around following the horrors of the pandemic and the difficulties they’ve faced due to spiralling energy prices and low demand caused by the cost of living crisis. Our economy is in a difficult place and has lost billions due to Brexit. This is a time when our willingness to celebrate and spend what we can afford will help to revive the economy.

It seems like the nation has been up against it for a couple of tough years. Now is the for respite, togetherness and celebration.

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