"Cowardice asks the question...is it safe? Expediency asks the question...is it politic? Vanity asks the question...is it popular? But conscience asks the question...is it right? And there comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular but one must take it because it is right." ~Dr. Martin Luther King

Sunday 16 October 2016


I was in my teens when U.K. elections were held after the war. It was halfway through the forties
and there had been not been an election  since halfway through the thirties. 

The government had been a coalition of Conservative and Labour since war was declared. 

I wasn't old enough to vote in the post-war election.

 I had  accepted employment in London with a Jewish family that had left Germany and France a few years previously. 

I wasn't home in coal country Scotland to hear the political discussion but I didn't need to be to know how they would vote. 

Winston Churchill was Prime Minister and Conservative Leader. 

The war was won. He received much of the credit and it was well-deserved.

He never faltered in his support of the armed services. Broadcast speeches had no other purpose 
but to encourage resolve of the people. 

Every opportunity to be where the battle was and apparently much to the aggravation of colleagues in government and commanders at the front , he was there. The  men loved to see him. British Pathe 
and Movietone News left no doubt about that. 

Coveralls  in Air Force blue serge were made to fit his substantial bulk. His head thrust forward on his shoulders resembled nothing more than the British bulldog he came to symbolize. The black cigar 
in his mouth and the sturdy walking stick completed the pugnacious picture. 

Early in the war, he noted and compared the physical condition of the British Tommy and German soldiers. Programs providing free clinics, orange juice, milk and cod liver oil for babies and free milk 
for school children were introduced. 

Labour's leader in the election was Clement Atlee, a small stooped individual with a sharp nose and dark wire-rimmed glasses. Nothing about him is memorable. 

Labour won the election. 

The army vote was the deciding factor. 

After what they had been through ,they were not coming back to what they had left. 

The Conservative Party was not getting another chance to deliver more of the same. 

The opportunity to rebuild a country and a society changed beyond recognition  by six years of death and destruction, was snatched from the hands of the man who brought them through to the bitter end. 

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

This is not a comment for this post but a new one for discussion.

I read in Thursday's Era Banner dated October 13 that Council was to have debated on October 11 (that is correct, a newspaper talking about what was supposed to have happened 2 days previously) train whistle banning.... AGAIN!!

Why do we continue to waste time and money on finding a way to make it less safe on our roads? Transport Canada mandates that a train must blow their whistle/horn when approaching a level crossing. The mandated sounding is a long-short-long. Each engineer has his or her own style of this sounding - stop and listen and you will hear the differences.

As a train approaches a level crossing, it will encounter a small sign with a "W" on it. That is the trigger to make the sounding.

In the newspaper, Mayor Dawe makes a brilliant statement. "There are 5 trains in the morning and 5 trains in the evening. Increasing the GO schedule will mean more trains." (I have paraphrased).

We have GO transit level crossings at Englehard, Wellington and St Johns within the Town. We have had a death before at Englehard. Wellington is our "gateway" to downtown Aurora and the trains are either slowing down or starting out (depending on the direction). St Johns is a major 4 lane road taking a lot of traffic.

I grew up in a railroad town with 24 hour rail traffic. The horns on the old diesels were a lot louder than the new GO equipment. I found it comforting to hear that sound. Even now, I will hear the whistle of the train as it approaches the Bloomington Road crossing just west of Bathurst. It is a reminder of my youth but more importantly it is a safety feature that has been in place for over 100 years.

Let's not screw around with something that will 1. cost the Town money and 2. make it more dangerous to cross the tracks.