Mark Andrews on Saturday – can't drivers show more respect for Remembrance?
Read today's column from Mark Andrews.
It was a privilege to attend my local Remembrance Day parade in Dudley at the weekend. While the number of veterans who served in the Second World War gets smaller each year, it is an honour to stand alongside people who have served their country in the many conflicts since. It is also heartwarming to see so many impeccably behaved youngsters turning out to pay their respects, and since I am in such a benevolent mood, I will even grudgingly say something nice about the council, which deserves credit for the work that goes into such an event.
What did make me rather sad, though, was how the immaculately observed two-minutes’ silence was marred slightly by the constant rumble of traffic driving past. This is not to criticise the authorities, which had done everything that could reasonably be expected, but would it have been too much for some of these drivers to have pulled over to the side of the road for a couple of minutes?
Now I realise that some may work in essential occupations, and of course they should go about their business as normal. But the sheer volume of traffic suggests that the majority simply considered whatever they wanted to do on a Sunday morning to be more important.
At this point, many will point out that the fallen gave their lives in the name of freedom, and that should include people’s freedom to spend their Sunday mornings however they wish. And of course that is correct.
But, speaking as someone who does not possess a fraction of the courage of those who served in the two world wars, I would also point out that we owe a huge debt of gratitude to that generation.
And treating the two minutes’ silence as if it were just another day at the shops appears just a little ungrateful.
I’m loving the sound of Corbyn’s green deal, offering free double glazing to cut down on our carbon footprint. As a bit of a petrolhead, I’ve for a while been half-heartedly pondering the prospect of buying a secondhand Ferrari. Trouble is, I can’t really afford it because I need to replace my windows, which are old, rotten and full of filler, and the grown-up in me says that should be the priority.
However, if Mr Corbyn becomes Prime Minister, it should be a case of problem solved. While we still await the precise criteria, hopefully the taxpayer will take care of my window problem, allowing me to indulge my mid-life crisis. I wonder if that was the intention?
Retiring EU boss Donald Tusk has likened Brexit to football, suggesting it is still in the balance after Remain supporters have taken the game into extra time.
"In this match, we had added time, we are already in extra time, perhaps it will even go to penalties?" he said.
Maybe it’s just me. But I would have said a three-and-half year long VAR decision would be a better analogy.