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Does the spirit of the blitz live on?

18:37 UK time, Monday, 6 September 2010

It is the 70th anniversary of the blitz. How has the national spirit changed since then?

September marks the 70th anniversary of the onset of the blitz - a German bombing campaign that continued until May 1941.

During WWII the German airforce bombed industrial and civilian centres in London and across the UK and thousands died after weeks of consecutive raids.

Do you or your family members have memories of the blitz? Will you be marking the anniversary? How has the national spirit changed since the blitz?

Rare Blitz footage resurfaces after 70 years

This debate has now closed. Thank you for your comments.

Comments

Page 1 of 4

  • Comment number 1.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 2.

    Under similar adversity I am sure we would respond in a similar way. After all it is in human nature to pull together when under attack. I'm not sure we would survive so well as in 1940/41 because we are individually less resourceful as we have become more dependent on the infrastructure that provides us food, energy, information and transport. The infrastructure itself is very fragile because it is so dependent on interlinking high-tech solutions. Also, as in WW2, there will be those who would take advantage of the situation for their own ends.

    We would have to re-learn old skills and ways of working together. We might even have to get to know our neighbours!

  • Comment number 3.

    The spirit of the blitz depends on who you were - the looting is rarely mentioned. Little has really changed since, the mass are still controlled to the nth degree.

  • Comment number 4.

    No, the population's morals, ethics and general behaviour has deteriorated since the 70's. We no longer care what happens to our neighbours, locked up behind our doors caring only for personal wealth and wellbeing.
    If anything the thin veneer of civilisation has become thinner.
    We are only a stones throw "quite literally sometimes" from a howling mob.

  • Comment number 5.

    I don't think the vast majority of todays generation has the backbone for such an undertaking, bearing in mind the ease with which they allow this country's fundamental beliefs and views to get trampled on, the very thing that was being protected 65 odd years ago.

    I'm afraid this so called modern generation, the internet or facebook generation, whatever they want to be called are just too soft. They look pale and slobby, constantly with their heads down slumped over some mindless mobile phone. They all have opinions formed by left wing education, which pretty much means they'll roll over should a similar event happen again. They simply don't have that inborn toughness that previous generations had, they have no idea how to survive. everything they require comes from supermarkets, is delivered to the door or through the click of a button.


    There are exceptions of course our armed forces can still bite when required, but I believe the recruitment process is more difficult than ever due to a fairly laid back approach to anything that requires movement.

  • Comment number 6.

    All this user's posts have been removed.Why?

  • Comment number 7.

    Oh, everyone knows the world is nothing like it was in the good old days. I'll just insert the words "moral decline", social "etiquette" and "immigration", and just save my rant.

  • Comment number 8.

    When you say "the national spirit", do you mean the ability of the nation's urban poor to demonstrate fortitude in the face of hardship, when all they have ever known is hardship?
    The ethnicity of our inner city populace may have shifted since WWII, but the poverty and social deprivation persist.



  • Comment number 9.

    I somewhat agree with Paul's comment above, people are not like they used to be & it is a sad fact that they don't care as much as they should. I live in Andover Hampshire where we have been struggling with our local council to have the War Memorial put back in our High Street so we can remember what the brave men did for our freedom. Andover Cenotaph has been taken from our High Street & put in the "Graveyard!". Some of our local men that died in both wars are remembered (only if the memorials can be found)in a Church of England churchyard rather that being proudly displayed in our High Street like many other War Memorials across England. In the Roll Call of 1920 it says "1.It was an act of consecration 2. the hallowed associations of the High Street. 3. They were standing on a hallowed and consecrated spot, for it was upon that very ground that an Oxford graduate (John Bodey) in 1583 gave his life for the liberty of conscience. 4. Their sacrifice could never be obliterated in this world or any other (So why did our Council move them into a graveyard?). 5. The foundation of that memorial was built upon the tears of the widow, the pathetic sobs of the orphans, the desolate heart of the mother who had lost her son." It makes me quite sick because instead of a proper Memorial to the 2nd World War men of Andover being a thing of beauty & respect they have etched their names on a few plaques in the graveyard! "COULD HAVE BEEN YOU They fought for their country They died for their town But O people of Andover We've gone & let them down. It could've been your Husband Or worse your only Son But O people of Andover What have you gone & done! It could've been your loving Dad Or even your stupid Brother You could've been just sat there Watching the tears of your Mother! You see, all our ancestors Asked us not to forget For these brave men of past We owe them such a debt. They erected a War Memorial In the High Street, for ALL to see Now it's hidden in the churchyard Surely a form of blasphemy. These men were so courageous Their fears they had to hide So why have we forgotten them And brushed them to one side? Have you really forgotten As if they were never there? Is it out of sight & out of mind And you really don't care? Do you just buy a poppy And that's it for another year Or do we show Test Valley Council, We really do care? So, do we sign a petition For these men so brave And show the same feelings That they obviously gave. It's never too late For us all to save face And ask for the cenotaph Be returned to it's rightful place. We should be able to thank them Each & every day Somewhere in our High Street WHAT DO YOU SAY?? (By Ron Wood)http://www.gopetition.com/petitions/andover-cenotaph.html & Facebook Page under "Andover Cenotaph". Lets see if they really do care enough about our fallen & return "OUR" War Memorial to it's rightful place?
    Initially the Petition we advocate is about the Great War not the 2nd World War in the first instance. But by introducing now at invitation, the 2nd World War in spirit if not in the first instance of the current petition to get the 1st World War memorial back to it’s rightful place, with the following introduction to this added consideration for perhaps a separate memorial for the local fallen of the 2nd World War in our High Street in Andover! So I put forward to the Andover & surrounding populus the proposition in addition with the return of the 1st World War accolade, a second singular monument in the High Street of Andover to commemorate the local fallen of the 2nd World War – Who’s up for it? This is the road to true Altruism! Our campaign now has 4,000 signatures + counting in just 3 weeks so anyone out there that wants to help us please please remember them (Lest We Forget). Our first World War Memorial is the only one in England that has 1914-1920 because our local guys continued fighting in Russia."Memorials adapt the realities of wars to the needs and concerns of the generations that commemorate them". "For centuries we have led the way in devotion to duty, we have suffered much in the wars which we have waged for freedom and our losses have been grievous. It was not surprising, therefore, that in this latest struggle for the emancipation of the world from the domination of a cunning, cruel foe, our roll of the dead should have run into three figures. When all the nations of the world were up in arms, it is incredible that the losses were not heavier”. JAN MORRIS said it with words which I find touching ...........“Forty years ago this week the long history of the British arms reached a noble but valedictory climax in the landing of the Second Army, under the operational command of General Bernard Montgomery, at Gold, Sword and Juno beaches on the coast of Normandy. It was noble because the war against the Nazis, which the British had fought alone without respite from the beginning was a truly and just war could be, and because although historians have often criticized the Second Army’s methods and tactics, so far as I know nobody has ever doubted its courage. And it was valedictory because D-Day was the last spectacular expression of British world power, exerted with the style, the confidence and the authority that had made Britain for more than a century pre-eminent among powers. Of course it was not only a British expedition that fell upon France that day, but perhaps I may be forgiven for treating it as one, for historically it is constituted an experience of an altogether different kind for the Americans and even the Canadians. The naval commander was British, nearly half the troops were from the United Kingdom, and of the 6,833 ships that crossed the channel and choppy seas of June 5/6th 1944, and three quarters flew the British flag. And in the eye of history indeed, not so much British as English. The Germans habitually referred to all H.M’s forces as English, and in a sense they were right; for though, of course, there were hundreds of Irishmen, Scotsmen & Welshmen there, the historical echoes that were stirred that day, the symbolisms created, were essentially those of England, whose fleets and armies had crossed those narrow seas so many times before, and whose relationship with the soil of France had passed through so many permutations of affinity and detestation. In many ways the manner of the British assault, for all its technical brilliance, was astoundingly conservative – even the infantry helmets, it has been pointed out, were recognisably those worn by the English troops at Agincourt. The supporting fleet was headed by ancient battleships from the World War I, ships of the line of truly Nelsonian kind; the armoured regiments were still called Dragoons, hussars and Yeomanry; old-school officers of the infantry battalions still preferred, as if in folk memory to use their Wellingtonian nomenclatures – the 12th of Foot, the 19th Foot. Montgomery himself was a living exemplar of the tradition, trained as he had been for this supreme occasion by service in India, in Egypt in Palestine and in the trenches of the Western Front. The names of their ships (Warspite, Ramillies, Vanquisher), the powerful personalities of their regiments (The Green Howards, the King’s Shropshire Light Infantry, the Lothian and border Horse), the very nature of their regimental system, part class, part history, were all testimony to that immense progression. If it is an inspiring thought in some ways, it is sad in others, for there would never be another such colossal performance on the stage of English history; to the grand themes which, for right or wrong, had swelled out of Victorious England, through the miseries of the Great War, into the fateful resolution of this moment, the landing on D-Day provided, as the clear old ballad had it, a Grand Amen. Behind them stood a nation united. I think it fair to say, as no such nation ever was before – or perhaps ever will be again. The men of the fleets and armies knew already, as Shakespeare’s Henry told his soldiers, that many a poor sod still kipping in England would always, at least in retrospect, envy their presence that morning at Arromanches, Le Hamel or Lion-sur-Mer. For one moment of their lives they were the very heroes of England they had read about in their history books. Members of the amphibian armoured force (‘The Funny Tank’), when they opened their sealed instructions at sea the night before, had found inside them a message slipped in by the WRENS who had helped with their long training mission. ‘The time has come, it is said in schoolgirl verse, to say goodbye to you. We wish you luck and pray that God will bring you safely through. The Wrens.’ It brings the tears to my eyes to record it. Forty years have passed since then, and have made of me a Welsh nationalist, a republican and all but a pacifist. Yet like most of us of a certain age, I suppose, I cannot look back without pride, love and a gratitude upon those images of 1944 – the great ships with their marvelous names, the proud old regiments in their Agincourt helmets on the ground of France once more, and not so far behind, preparing to steam after his armies in his man o’ war, the gentle King of England.”

  • Comment number 10.

    What??? This is a little odd and strange - how can the 'spirit' of the Blitz live on within the collective consciousness of a nation? 70 years ago - so only folk who are at least 75 would have any memory of the Blitz spirit! Any lets face facts, the average citizen of the UK today, has no clue what it actually was to live through the second world war - and few really know what being 'British' actually means either! Today, we are a 'broken'nation of fragmented communities, no sense of 'common purpose' - few can identify with their neighbours and most think our culture can be represented by Corry, Hollyoaks and Eastenders.....Mmmmm

  • Comment number 11.

    All this user's posts have been removed.Why?

  • Comment number 12.

    No chance - we no longer have a national identity (even if the one we had was false). Then for decades politicians have destroyed the sense of community and helping one another preferring the weak to the wall and only the richest survive. Though the rich have always had a privilege position communities helped each other, now the general posiion is self, self self and blow the rest. People have got used to always having or being supported quite generously by the stste and are no longer willing to make sacrifices. If the same happened again I am sure the present load of self-serving politicians would throw in the towel the first time they couldn't have a decent wine with their meal and much of the populace would demand surrender when they could watch the likes of Eastenders of the TV or download music for their i-pods.
    Different times different people.

  • Comment number 13.

    In general it does not. Its every man (sorry person) for themselves grab as much as you can and the devil take the hindmost.
    We stopped teaching manners, consideration and brought up a whole generation on greed is good. My perception was it started with Mrs T, but of course I could easily be wrong and she too was only a symptom of something much worse.

  • Comment number 14.

    We have too many mercenary politicians, professionals, 'yes' people, and so on. If there was another attack on the UK there would be a queue of people prepared to do the dirty work for the enemy, whilst only a few would stand up and sacrifice everything to the fight.

    History says 'the few' almost always win, eventually.

  • Comment number 15.

    All this user's posts have been removed.Why?

  • Comment number 16.

    "No "The so called spirit of the blitz, has long gone, like your local pub, jellied eels, pearly kings and queens, local shops, and your friendly next door neighbour. its all just a part of war-time history,Today every-thing is very different in most parts of the U.K. All new people from other countries with no idea, or could not care-less about our history.

  • Comment number 17.

    My father finished his university studies in May 1940 and was given the choice: Army or Navy. He picked Army as he couldn't swim! Assigned to the Royal Artillery, after training he was posted to an anti-aircraft battery in Southampton, and took great delight in blazing away at those German bombers whose flight path suggested that they were heading for Liverpool where his mother and younger brother lived.

    Then they realised that said university studies had resulted in a first class degree in German, and Gunner Evans was sent for officer training and spent the rest of the war in Intelligence!

  • Comment number 18.

    Very hard to say until such time as britain is under air attack during a war with our european neighbors again. I would like to think the "spirit" would show again but I expect firing squads and martial law would have to be judiciously applied to certain sections of society...which would be no bad thing.

  • Comment number 19.

    Watching the coverage of the blitz on the BBC this morning, I am rather saddened by the lack of mention of a city in the North of England which suffered far more bombing than London or elsewhere in the UK during WWII in terms of area of destruction. That city is Hull.
    Infact the last people to be killed by a German bombing raid in WWII in Britain where in Hull. Holderness Road to be precise, where a cinema once stood. There is a plaque marking the spot should anyone wish to visit.
    As for the blitz spirit that has long since gone as our national identity disappears!

  • Comment number 20.

    You only have to look at the 'me first' attitude of the majority nowadays to know that the spirit of the blitz is well and truly dead. Next stop, social meltdown....

  • Comment number 21.

    Our culture, civilisation, society whatever is well past 12 noon on the way down even though we pretend its getting stronger and "more diverse" Every Empire & civilisation that ever was rose and fell for broadly the same reasons it seems which are pointless to argue here. Mayan, Astec, Egyptian, Roman, Greek. They didn't have the advanage of fair warning from the one before of the consequence as we have. It will make no difference. Fortunately it will last as long as I need. Up drawbridge along with everyone else.

  • Comment number 22.

    I'm not so pessimistic as some contributors here, but it is perfectly true that we all live far more insular lives now than people did then. Why? Well, George Harrison's song, "Piggies" sums it up. "In their stys with all their packing, they don't care what goes on around". In other words today's focus is on building and enjoying a beautiful home with every possible convenience and entertainment.

    That focus of course means that people go out less and therefore know less about the people they live around. My parents have always told me that in the 1940s there was far more "street life" than we have today and consequently far less of a tendency to a bunker mentality with people spending a lot of their leisure time sealed up in their maximally comfy home.

    Having said all of the above, I feel perfectly sure that if (heaven forfend!) some repeat of the Blitz conditions were to occur, people would recover from the initial shock and then start to pull together in the same kind of way. It happens, albeit in a small way, when there are major power outages, floods etc - so the spirit is still there.

    I think we also have to beware the rose tinted view of the Blitz. There WERE people looting, there WERE people profiteering, there WERE people ignoring one another's hardship. However, these aspects were not reported as widely as they would be today because in wartime the media go looking for GOOD news stories to report: In wartime, unlike in peacetime, bad news is not best news.

    Alan T

  • Comment number 23.

    I'm afraid it is long gone. All people care about these days is themselves and how much tax they don't want to pay, instead of others and how their tax can help those in worse situations than themselves.

  • Comment number 24.

    Whatever it was we now in the UK have a culture focussed on "me". This is to the detriment of almost everything else.

    This even extends to the councils and institutions of this country who are more interested in themselves and their staff than in actually serving and doing what the people who pay their wages want.

  • Comment number 25.

    Very hard to say, from what my grandparents told me they were at least able to talk openly about their experiences during the war, but these days open 'debate' is stifled or as we see on the BBC's HYS wholly unnatural. Seems there are plenty of things we’d like to talk about but we’re not ‘freely’ allowed. So I guess the Blitz spirit doesn’t live on, because fascism won out under the guise of liberalism.

  • Comment number 26.

    "4. At 06:56am on 07 Sep 2010, paul wrote:

    No, the population's morals, ethics and general behaviour has deteriorated since the 70's. We no longer care what happens to our neighbours, locked up behind our doors caring only for personal wealth and wellbeing.
    If anything the thin veneer of civilisation has become thinner.
    We are only a stones throw "quite literally sometimes" from a howling mob."

    .............

    BBC why can't I recommend this post? Where's the button that let's me approve it?

    Spot on paul! Agree 100%

  • Comment number 27.

    Sadly, the Labour government strived to make us ashamed of our history and then apologise for all the perceived ills we inflicted upon the World. We have been consistently told that national pride is not good, to the point where displaying the St George's Flag during sporting events has been actively discouraged and banned by over-zealous local councils!!
    The Blitz spirit!! You only have to speak to someone from that generation to appreciate just how much our national pride has fallen into the gutter! I spent 28 years serving my country, all around the world, for what?!! To be told that I shouldn't display a national flag because it may offend some minority group or other. Pathetic!
    Why can other countries be so rightly zealous about their patriotism, yet we are so fiercely anti-patriotic?!!!

  • Comment number 28.

    In the blitz there was something to stand firm for, but not now this country is just a shadow of the great nation that it was. Now there is nothing worth standing firm for and certainly not fighting for. Would I help my neighbour - I don't know them.

  • Comment number 29.

    Yes the spirit of the Blitz still carries on - but now it is the governments incompetance that is bombarding the british people. The list is endless so I will point to the latest. Allegedly millions of us have been paying the wrong tax. Not our fault but the fault of the tax man. We face paying back £100 pounds a month or if we owe more than £2000 we have to pay back in a one lump some. Now, we are in the midst of a recession - people are losing their jobs and christmas is looming. Why does the government not do itself a favour and write it off. I do not believe that this is a mistake in tax I think the government have decided to change the way tax is levied to claw back some money for the treasury coffers.

  • Comment number 30.

    Both my parents are in their 90s. My father still has nightmares from his wartime experiences in the North Atlantic Convoys and Russian Convoys, and my mother's stomach still churns at the sound of an air-raid siren. Both "did their bit" during those dark days and neither talks about it. Sadly, for those who lived along the south-east coast of England, the Blitz did not end in May 1941. Essex, for example, came under constant enemy attack right up until the last day of air activity - 29th March 1945 - when V1 flying bombs were being shot down over Essex and Suffolk.
    Immediately after the war, my mother was not only caring for her younger brother who had been severely wounded during an air raid in 1941, but was also welcoming children from London into her home to give them a welcome holiday by the sea after all the terrible Blitz experiences they had been through.
    Although both are now severely disabled, my parents still have their fighting spirit. Neither complains of their predicament or demands benefits.
    Are younger generations capable of this spirit? We'll never know until we are all put to the test again. Heaven forbid!

  • Comment number 31.

    1. At 06:33am on 07 Sep 2010, Bob wrote:
    The British stiff upper lip is as dead as the United Kingdom - killed off by thieving politicians, bankers, councillors, immigrants and civil servants.

    ----

    Personallty i think the constant whinging and whining, and absolute refusal to accept repsonsibility for their own destiny is what killed the 'blitz spirit'.

    Strongly influenced by a culture of constantly denigrating and running Britain down, ably supported by Britain-hating tabloids such as the Express& Mail.

    The hallmark of the blitz was society's ability to carry on with every day life regardless of the threat of death from the skies.

    Nowadays half the country seems to go into apoplexy if they find out out someone they've never met has been given a house on the social or is entitled to more benefits than them.

    At some point in this country nasty, petty, small minded jelousy seem to have become more fashionable traits than the stoicism and patriotism of the blitz.

  • Comment number 32.

    What national spirit?

  • Comment number 33.

    I am appalled at the almost universal negativity of comments made here since I made my comments early this morning. (Comment 2)

    HYSers have ignored those dreadful events that have occurred in this country since the good old days. (sic) eg. Natural disasters in this country such as floods, violent winds and extreme snow have brought out that same blitz spirit locally. It is not a matter of reduced morals or lack of national pride. It is a matter of human nature. Humans rally round when their immediate and wider community is under threat.

    The comments here have ignored the positive side of human nature. I suspect their agenda is a political one based upon xenophobia and the kind of rosy spectacled conservatism, (Notice the small 'c'.)that despises the young, hates outsiders and above all hates change. I doubt the ability of these people to pull together as well as the young and many immigrants do. Without being stereotypical I would say that immigrant communities often have the community spirit and extended family ties which emulates the spirit if the 1940s. If anything it is sections of the indigenous population, like the people who have commented so negatively here, who have lost the spirit.

  • Comment number 34.

    Does the spirit of the blitz live on?

    LOL

    It is a hard spirit to define in these times, especially when the NEW enemy is the enemy within, namely bankers and financiers, who have effectively caused this nation nearly as much collateral expense as the Nazi German Luftwaffe.

    Then there is this "reward" of the banking system, of appointing Stephen Green as an UNELECTED trade minister, Meddlesom Mandleson was bad enough with Labour government, yet now we have someone from the publicly MOST hated and tarnished profession in yet another serious position of power.

    To me, it does not look very good, 1st Andy Coulson, employed from what I believe to be one of the most biased and terrible newspapers.

    Now, after the world banking crash, we take on a senior banker as an expert in the governments Trade department.

    I honestly believe, that if such a situation as WWII and the blitz was to happen again, there would be a huge groundswell of public spirit which would probably think "WHY BOTHER", especially as so much of which was gained after WWII is now being DISECTED and broken up by this government, namely the NHS,control of UK healthcare is being handed back to doctors.

    Lets NOT forget, that after WWII, there was yet another FIERCE BATTLE, and that was actually against doctors, who so many did the maximum to inhibit the creation of the NHS and who's palms were "filled with gold" as a condition of gaining overal doctor support for NHS.

    Lets also remember that there is a VAST VAST difference between the Blitz spirit and ability of the media to whip up national hysteria on many issues, whether Iraq, or immigrants, or single mums, or the unemployed, which is a skill of Andy Coulsons which was evident from his time at News of the World, in my opinion not exactly a medium of prestige/quality or rational fair thinking.

    Can a bit more of the truth also be fairly mentioned and that is that though a spirit of defiance existed, actually, on the ground, in many areas of the UK, the attrocity of these bombing raids had actually destroyed so much spirit and many many people would simply have just given up, given the choice, which was a VERY big worry of Churchill and government.

  • Comment number 35.

    Without wanting to take anything away from the people of London. It wasn't just London that suffered during the Blitz.

    My Grandfather told me about a double-decker bus being blown onto the 2nd story of the building in Manchester and of course anybody who lived in Liverpool, Coventry, Birmingham and Manchester during the Blitz would have something to say.

    Of course London was hit the most, but it wasn't the only city to suffer. However, in the hours of coverage so far, not a single city outside the Greater London area has been mentioned and I don't imagine it will be.

    Yet more evidence of the "only London matters" focus of the majority of new reports these days.

  • Comment number 36.

    Post 1 is spot on. Everybody is looking after No.1. Greed has taken over our lives, we are not satisfied with what we have, we just want more and more and more. It is no longer a question of what a person might need, the god of entitlement is here to stay. Some people spend their tax credits on overseas holidays.

    But let us not forget there was a strong black market economy which prevailed during WW2, petrol was misappropriated by people with opportunity and farmers may not suffer the rationing that everyone else experienced. How do I know? As children, my parents spent the war in the country on farms, and my grandparents told me that if you wanted petrol, you went to see someone at The Post Office.

  • Comment number 37.

    No, it died along with the millions of people like my mother who lived through the depression and the war.

    Most people won’t even speak to you let alone help you and I am not sure if this is out of selfishness, out of fear or simply not wanting to become involved.

    My late mother never thought of herself or her own safety, if someone was in need she was there and our old house on the A513 at Croxall was often a refuge for those motorists that came to grief on the bad bend there.

    Of course it wasn’t all help others attitudes there were those who exploited the situation for their own means the difference was when they were caught they were harshly dealt with unlike today where victims are now prisoners in their own homes whilst the thugs roam free on some form of community service order!

  • Comment number 38.

    The British stiff upper lip is as dead as the United Kingdom - killed off by thieving politicians, bankers, councillors, immigrants and civil servants.

    --------------
    A large number of these immigrants were European Jews ("Illegal immigrants" in today's Mail Speech)fleeing Nazi oppression.
    Many others after 1948 were British commonwealth citizens who having fought alongside and in thousands of cases died with the British remained to assist in the rebuilding of London after the War and were instrumental in the establishment of the National Health Service amongst other positive contributions. Indeed some 30% of the British Army is still made up of people from the New Commonwealth. They still fight and sometimes die alongside their British born colleagues.

    You can have what opinion you like about bankers, politicians etc but London has always been a melting pot of differing nationalities and would not be the major international commercial and cultural centre it is without.

    Kindly do not add migrants to your list of pet hates!

  • Comment number 39.

    I was 4 years old when the war started.I never saw my Dad, times were ver hard for us. We lived in Kent - bomb ally. My Nan lived in New Cross and was bombed out.
    I heard many horrers on what was happening and will never forget what our men did to save the country.
    Alas the young of today dont even seem to acknowledge the tradgey of what happened. If Hitler had beaten us ...many of these selfish ignorant people would not have been born.
    We didnt start the war..Germany did.

  • Comment number 40.

    "It is the 70th anniversary of the blitz"

    and sometimes it seems more money is spent on the commemoration of these events than on the now -- why are our schools in such poor condition when there's money for Spitfire monuments and whatnot.

  • Comment number 41.

    Completely agree with windblown, was about to say exactly the same thing.

    I was going to use the London bombings in July 7 to illustrate it, but when the heat is on, the Brits do come together and people do smarten up, there are just a few numpties that have believed what they read in the press about the country going to the dogs etc and so the negativity is tangible.

    You can't breed out or in some way coax out a 'spirit' of a nation. the thing is aswell, that spirit is contagious, Britain need not worry, just get rid of the moaners and blamers and we'll be fine.

    They can go set up there own country and moan about it to their hearts content and call it 'Selftopia'

  • Comment number 42.

    Its history and could have been avoided had the British killed the person responsible for the Second World War. They didnt for whatever reason and everyone suffered.It might be useful for the truth to be printed about why we didnt prepare for the war. Im sure all those families who lost relatives would be interested to see who was making money out of Germany allowing them to re-arm and invade.

  • Comment number 43.

    When we talk of the few who fought the Battle of Britain we always talk about the pilots. Whilst I agree that they were Heroes and saved this country, I want to know why there is never any mention of the ground crews who were equally heroic, keeping the planes flying. Without these men and women the spitfires and hurricanes and lancasters would not have got back in the air time after time. Please can we give these people the recognition they deserve.

  • Comment number 44.

    If the push came to the shove, I do believe that the 'Blitz Spirit' is there in every nation. Unfortunately, with the 'Not My Responsibility' culture, 'Me Me Me' and the tendancy to go for easy success over hard work, it'll be something that is forced rather than brought out of this country should we ever need it again.

  • Comment number 45.

    We hear lots of stories about fighter pilots (and what a story), we hear about the soldiers that did battle on the front line, and also the family’s that lost their houses in the blitz. All of which we should not lose sight of.
    I would like to remember the firemen (of which my granddad was one) who battled through the blitz. Although these men were not on the front line, they were in the sense that they were out there tackling burning homes\warehouses and various other buildings while bombs dropped around them, killing many as they battled a burning London.

  • Comment number 46.

    Yes the Blitz spirit lies on – the majority struggling on, fairly happily, in the face of what ever adversity life throws at them, while the minority grab every chance to make a buck and rip people off. Let’s not get starry eyed about it, the Blitz brought out the best and the worst in people, adversity always does.

  • Comment number 47.

    40. At 09:05am on 07 Sep 2010, jr4412 wrote:

    ""It is the 70th anniversary of the blitz"

    and sometimes it seems more money is spent on the commemoration of these events than on the now -- why are our schools in such poor condition when there's money for Spitfire monuments and whatnot."

    Well, why don't we get rid of the waste in councils, the NHS, etc. by hiring less 'Diversity Officers' and translators thus funding for better education would but much easier to find.

  • Comment number 48.

    National sense of spirit and community? Hardly. Here are a few reasons. Uncontrolled immigration. Uncontrolled birth-rates amongst uncontrolled immigrants. Corrupt Politicians. Generations brainwashed in political correctness. Too many angry, tired and overtaxed folk living on a small island. Not enough space. Fear of strangers.

    I won't continue, as that razor blade is beginning to wink at me.

  • Comment number 49.

    Too much 'diversity' within the ranks today, enforced multiculturalism destroying our national identity and a stealth policy of open door immigration to give Labour a better chance at the polls.

    If WW2 happened again the civilian population would be much more divided.

    Whereas Germany has largely kept its national identity largely intact. I suspect the outcome would be different.

  • Comment number 50.

    Of course it was better in 'the good old days'! We didn't 'ave a penny to our name, but we all got on loverley'.

    As #3 pointed out, looting was rife. The black market flourished and anyone that was seen as a threat was locked away on the Isle of Man. And we won't mention the Channel Islands...

    Yes things are so much better when you look back on them.


    This counrty is not so bad. There is community spirit where I live and those that live there are active in making sure it stays there. There is even co-operation between Christians and those terrible Muslims, as there is a Church and a Mosque on the same street that have joint activities.

    Oh and to those complaining about the lack of spirit - what do you do to change it? Anything? Or do you just go along with the flow and complain how rubbish things are?

  • Comment number 51.

    Oh god, here we go again. I haven't even looked at any of the above comments yet and already I know how most of them are going to go.

    Give it a rest.

  • Comment number 52.

    Yes perhaps it does. I got on a train in Guidford during the post Hatfield chaos; it was two hours late a crammed so there was scarcely room to breath. Someone said "Phew! I could do with a cup of coffee" Another replied "Don't worry the refreshment trolley will be around soon!" It's that ability to cheer up complete strangers in an unpleasant situation.

  • Comment number 53.

    Although I was only just over 5 years old I remember the nights of December the 12th and the 15th in Sheffield very clearly. The first raid happend on a Thursday night. Earlyer that evening I had been out with my dad when the alarm sounded and we had to quickily hurry home.

    Mr Laidler our next door naighbour was an air raid warden and he came over and checked on us before going on duty. When the planes started comming over and the guns started my father secured us in the table shelter we had in our dining room and I remember my sister was crying because she was in her special gas mask and my mother being very upset. Mr Laidler returned and sugested that we went over to his house (apperently he had been told that it was going to be a particularly bad raid) and stay with his wife in a shelter he had had a specially constructed in the cellar under the house.

    As the raid continued I became very frightened with the noise of the aircraft and the guns and then the bombs which shook the house even though we lived over a mile from where the bombs were being dropped. Aperently I began to cry uncontrolably so much so that my dad took me out of the shelter and we returned to our own house.

    Our house in Roach Road overlooked the city and we went into the front room, I can still remember the sight that greeted us all of Sheffield seemed to be burning it was an awfull sight that I still remember today.

    The only good memorys of thoes nights were the excitment of searching for shrapnell on the days after the raids, the small peices of metal were highly prized and we often found compleat or almost compleat bombs, if you managed to find one with German writing on you became a bit of a local hero. As children we dident realise just how dangerious this practice was as they were often unexploded bombs.

    One of the most poignant memories of that night was somthing that happened just before the raid. We were walking down Cavendish Road in Nether Edge and I stopped to talk to a young girl in a pretty pink dress swinging on a gate, it was just before the alarm sounded, she was not there as we made our way quickly home the next time we passed the house a few days later it was a pile of rubble having suffered a direct hit. I often wonder what happend to the little girl.

  • Comment number 54.

    Yup; third-world [at-best] living-conditions, infrastructure, transport... & of-course education, education, education
    Knuckle-draggers [supposedly] believed buying 'British Rail' below-cost shares bleat-surprise when private-investors demand their-money-back [dividends]; UK£200+ day-return one-of-many benefits Manchester-London job-interview [day-or-so notice].
    'BR' requires UK£1+ TRILLION TODAY to-fund tunnel... excavations enabling double-deckers. Population-tracking [No 10 Petitions PFISecurity, HomelandSecDB...] would have prevented Stockwell, 7/7...
    Enron, Ford-Pinto... 'model' ignoring rape, terrorism... risk is NOT a saving.

  • Comment number 55.

    Sadly we live in a selfish 'me world' where altruism is virtually dead and hedonism reigns supreme. There are odd flashes of the old spirit where Brits helped each other and looked out for one another but they are so rare that it won't be long before it disappears totally. A lot of this has been brought about by bringing children up to have everything they desire and telling them they can never fail - they never grow into decent, helpful, caring people, they remain locked in their 'me world.'

  • Comment number 56.

    The 'good old days' never existed. Get used to it. Never seen so many people with 'nostalgia goggles' on. It's so obvious that in 50 years people are just going to say the same thing and 50 years after that say the same thing again and so on.

  • Comment number 57.

    The old British ways have become diluted, and with the coming of Thatcherism, generosity has been substituted with gimmie-gimmie. The wartime toughness has been exchanged for indoor plumbing, quilted loo rolls and nany-state benefits ---- but somehow, I think that we could still be as stubborn as our grand parents were and we could be just as bloody minded as they proved to be.

  • Comment number 58.

    Yes the spirit of the blitz lives on. Whilst the ordinary people suffered in the blitz many of the wealthy carried on with their lives of luxury. Some exploited the situation, with scant regard for others, running black market rackets and from what I understand if you wanted to keep running your car you could for a price get petrol coupons. The armed forces were class ridden although no one can deny the contribution of the upper classes in the RAF to the battle of Britain.
    It is said by some that the classism many encountered during the war contributed to the Labour victory in 1945. The thing now seems that the Im alrght jack attitude has spread through the whole population.

  • Comment number 59.

    4. At 06:56am on 07 Sep 2010, paul wrote:

    No, the population's morals, ethics and general behaviour has deteriorated since the 70's. We no longer care what happens to our neighbours, locked up behind our doors caring only for personal wealth and wellbeing.
    If anything the thin veneer of civilisation has become thinner.
    We are only a stones throw "quite literally sometimes" from a howling mob.

    ---------------------------------------------

    That may be how you percieve the world Paul but the majority of my neighbours are very friendly and help each other out. If that is not the case where you live then you should question why that is. Perhaps dare I say it maybe start by questioning how you yourself relate to others around you.

  • Comment number 60.

    How ironic that the entire slant of this debate seems to suggest that what our 'broken society' needs is a damn good war to straighten it out and yet when Tony Blair started one he was roundly denounced.....

    There seems to be a significant amount of rose tinting around this piece of history - an image of brave solidarity with fellow men during the onslaught of the forces of evil, conveniently forgetting the profiteers and looters that were rife during this time (they had to shoot looters to stop it happening !). The nation of the 1930's just pre-war has all the same complaints we see about current society - slovenly unemployed, criminality etc. - just take a quick look though newspapers from that age and you will find much to compare with today's social ills.

    The freedom that we fought for is the freedom to be precisely what we have become - free to be self obsessed, looking out for our own gain. Any alternative which seeks to impose morals and standards upon society is just totalitarianism - just like Hitler.

    (look, I used 'Just like Hitler' in a HYS debate and it was actually relevant to the debate and not a full-bore rant!!!!!).

    I do not belittle those who fought in the war or those who endured the home front but in the end they acted as they did not out of some sort of altruistic caring for their fellow man but because it was the best option to ensure their own survival. Would we act in the same way again ? If it looked like the best way to survive then yes, of course we would, and the fight would be no less noble because it was motivated by personal survival.

  • Comment number 61.

    35. At 08:59am on 07 Sep 2010, Robert Leather wrote:
    Without wanting to take anything away from the people of London. It wasn't just London that suffered during the Blitz.

    My Grandfather told me about a double-decker bus being blown onto the 2nd story of the building in Manchester
    ----------------
    Photograph of bomb-damaged Royal Typewriter building [Manchester] lost in 1986 arson-attack.
    21st-century Manchester under-attack 24x7 from knuckle-draggers, thieves, drug-dealers...

  • Comment number 62.

    Sadly that true Brit spirit has gone and I doubt it will ever return. In those days people had very little, not many people owned their own homes so the selfless open door policy and helping your neighbour was a human nicety. Now, with materialistic people and a more selfish attitude that to most, is second nature, means most probably some wouldn't even help their own family if in trouble. The other mix is the number of people that have emigrated here who have no allegiance to Britain (they only came here for a better life), they came here with no intention of mixing in to the community and being British, and who openly despise us. If hostilities broke out, there would probably be a mass exodus of the emigre's (remember when Sadam Hussein invaded Kuwait? The fleeing emigre's choked the borders), and those who hated us the most would probably stab us in the back at every opportunity. You only get a nation pulling together as one, when (as in Britain 1940) we are one, that means all of the same ilk.

  • Comment number 63.

    You still get the humour when things are rough.

    Like the chirpy type in the 1940s pub when France had fallen and the UK was arguably fighting alone: "What are you all looking so long-faced for? We're through to the final".




  • Comment number 64.

    The daily wail brigade are out in force again.

    When talking about blitz spirit I assume you are talking about community and society, the very thing that was destroyed by margret "there is no such thing as society" thatcher.

    The tories did more to destroy this country than even the nazis could ever do.

  • Comment number 65.

    In 21st century Britain you are more on your own than any time in the past.

  • Comment number 66.

    Yes of course it does!
    One thing the Brits are good at is having a good grumble, a cup of tea & then Getting On With It ( whatever "it" may be) We're one of the most resillient nations on the planet. It's one of the (few) things that makes me proud to be a Brit.

  • Comment number 67.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 68.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 69.

    Unfortunately that spirit is being exploited, devalued and soiled by all kinds of unsavoury characters, as we have seen Glenn Beck and Sarah Palin do with Martin Luther King, Washington and Lincoln. It's this newish "strategy" by the right to try and legitimise their far right views. I would love to say the left do this as well, but I can't see tehm pulling that off with Hitler or Mussolini. Any way, the spirit of teh blitz should be revered and treasured, but instead, like everybody else it's being spat upon by those with a total lack of moral and ethics who try and use it for political gain. Disgusting.

  • Comment number 70.

    I'm in my 30's so long as what I've heard, read and been told about The Blitz hasn't been tinged with some rose coloured nostalgia, then I would have to say it doesn't live and died a while ago.

    I see the few generations younger than me infected with a "ME ME ME" attitued that appears to be getting worse. With the people my age, it doesn't seem so bad so I hope it's been grown out of as we get older.


    As for "Ghosts of John Galt" post.

    10. At 07:30am on 07 Sep 2010, The Ghosts of John Galt wrote:
    "What??? This is a little odd and strange - how can the 'spirit' of the Blitz live on within the collective consciousness of a nation? 70 years ago - so only folk who are at least 75 would have any memory of the Blitz spirit!"

    One would have hoped that such spirit would have been instilled down the generations and thus alowing it to live on. How ever it appears to have been diluted quite a lot.

  • Comment number 71.

    Stop your whingeing, if it wasnt for the moeny generated by indians and muslims from india pre 1947 and the asian soldiers who fought for this country the war would have been much harder for you, so stop bleating about immigration changing, all it changed was the spoilt brit was asked to share and instead of sharing they became inward and hostile!

  • Comment number 72.

    Britain's spirit has gone. You only have to read HYS to see it's all about the individual now, sod the neighbours. Would we get through another Blitz? Only if the foe gave us time to prepare a Health & Safety Impact Statement and complete a rigorous three month course in Picking Up A Brick And Putting It In a Wheelbarrow.

  • Comment number 73.

    Response to post #30 @ 08:36 on 07 September - 'ed_butt'.

    The chances are that my father served with your father, at some point, during the Atlantic and Russian Convoys? Yes, it was, and still is, the most under-estimated, unrecognised and un-appreciated aspect of WWII.

    Many glamourous films were made about other forces? Best wishes and regards to your father.

  • Comment number 74.

    Who is the question directed at, I bet 99% of your readers weren't around during the war so how would they know.
    But to answer your question its NO people are to selfish today

  • Comment number 75.

    'The Blitz Spirit' will remain a generic modern term in Britain.

    Through many terrorist attacks on Britain, or many natural disasters - the good in people always rises to any threat to help others in more distress than themselves?

    This ability is part of humanity, globally?

  • Comment number 76.

    Britain is European now, not British.

    We would surrender and collaborate.

  • Comment number 77.

    “If we did all the things we are capable of, we would literally astound ourselves”

    Thomas Edison


    People can do the most extraordinary things under great stress. However, to say that it is human nature (wind-blown, #2) is wrong. The fight-or-flight reaction leaves us on our own. Wild animals may run from a predator as a pack, but when one is separated they rarely make an attempt to regroup and defend it. The media loves reporting on some poor schmuck getting a good kicking in the high street on a Friday night from a bunch of tracksuit-wearing neds, while dozens of people walk by in denial.

    What helped during the Blitz is that so many of the men would have seen military service themselves, if not in WWI then during national service, and would therefore be far better suited to survival than many people today (who most likely consider a broadband outage to be a survival situation).

  • Comment number 78.

    The war is over. You won. Can we move on now?

  • Comment number 79.

    64. At 10:07am on 07 Sep 2010, thelevellers wrote:

    "The tories did more to destroy this country than even the nazis could ever do"


    You should swap your horror stories with some survivors from the internment camps. Perhaps you can regale them of how you heroically survived the Thatcher regime. I suspect that they'll be well impressed. You might even bring a few of them to tears. Perhaps then you will feel more confident in making remarks about what the Nazis could ever do.

  • Comment number 80.

    Comment no 1 by Bob was spot on.The only spirit worth having is alcohol to drown your sorrows because we live in such a class ridden unfair undemocratic society.

  • Comment number 81.

    Terrible though it was, there was a spirit of camaraderie during the war. People just got on with it and helped one another.

    These days, the country is over-run with Health and Safety officials, who decide that hanging baskets of flowers are too dangerous in case one fell on someone's head.

  • Comment number 82.

    Seventy years after the end of the war...I would say that the German people and German society were definitely the long term winners.

    Meanwhile Britannia sinks under a rising tide of establishment corruption, dwindling personal freedoms and immigration.

    glug...glug...glug...

  • Comment number 83.

    As someone who lived through the London Blitz, my view is that the spirit of the Blitz is mainly mythical. As an ordinary person you did not have any choice but to get on with it. People helped each other, as people usually do in adversity. But the idea of a special "spirit of the Blitz" was a creation of government spin doctors, known as the Ministry of Information in those days, aided by the press and BBC.

  • Comment number 84.

    The 'Spirit of the Blitz' ignores the well documented Looting and the demoralisation of populations in Portsmouth, Southampton , Coventry .....
    (Why else would the Commanders think that the bombing of Germany would work, if it had not already been shown that bombing worked in the UK?)
    That said, the people of the UK are the same as in the rest of the world, they cope, they help and they muddle through. In recent years when there has been a major local disaster the 'spirit' emerges within hours to confound the prophets of doom.
    People is people all round the world. The 'Spirit of the Blitz' was really simply the spirit of the people.

  • Comment number 85.

    What "D" conveniently omits to mention is that Asian countries wanted the British out so it makes no sense to travel to Britain

  • Comment number 86.

    1. At 06:33am on 07 Sep 2010, Bob wrote:
    The British stiff upper lip is as dead as the United Kingdom - killed off by thieving politicians, bankers, councillors, immigrants and civil servants.

    ----------------------------------------

    Read Revelatinos 13 then you'll see why Britain is no more.

  • Comment number 87.

    I believe that if anything like that happens again we will get on with it like we did 70 years ago. By the way not just the Brits got on with it, the Germans did too (and several other countries). I like to believe in the good of people and the only way you get something good out of other people is when you lead by example. There is nothing more rewarding than helping someone and seeing their face in sheer disbelief that there are still people out there who do these things! You should try it!

  • Comment number 88.

    On the day loads of us are expecting to get a tax bill you talk of British spirit. By the end of the day i think a few more will have lost it. Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha .

  • Comment number 89.

    Where I live, everyone knows everyone else. Everyone is friendly and helpfull. The children & teenagers are good.
    I`m just so glad I don`t live in a city or large town where they seem to not know each other.
    As for the Blitz Spirit..................it was a long time ago.

  • Comment number 90.

    I do not think the old spirit still exists. It was something instilled from birth. I think youngsters stay mentally immature for much longer now.

    I have a letter sent to an old relative born 1900. The letter from a War Office is dated 1916 when the relative was barely 16 years of age (still legally a child). No doubt children were just as hardy in the second world war.

    It was written in very formal terms to remind him of his burdonsome responsibility to make sure the aircraft parts he was making did not fall below standard - he was an engineer by that age an responsible enough to do that job.

    These days many children of that age have nothing more to think about than kicking a football along the street and behaving stupidly - they seem such pathetic characters. I cannot see them coping as well as children in earlier generations should a similar situation arise.

  • Comment number 91.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 92.

    My parent's generation (I was born in 1943) grew up in the hard economic times of the 1920s and 30s so adjusting to wartime conditions of mend and make do was mostly just an extension of the fairly frugal and self sufficient way in which they'd lived previously.

    Ironically their determination that succeeding generations should never have to go through what they had endure has ill prepared those succeeding generations to survive any future man made or natural catastrophe. Computerisation and centralisation of essential utilities and food supplies has made them very vulnerable to massive widespread failure through natural disaster, war or sabotage.

    One of many books about wartime living is called "Can Your Mother Skin a Rabbit"?
    Then, the chances are she could, as well a thousand other practical things to survive. I hope for everyone's sake our gadget and bling obsessed society contains a lot of quick learners.

    Don't be fooled by every story about the Blitz Spirit. There may well have been a greater shared comradeship and no doubt many examples of selfless heroism but crime reached record levels between 1939 and 1945 and that selfish gene, exploited so often by politicians over the last 30 years, was always part of our make-up.

  • Comment number 93.

    Germany has more freedoms from state interference than us now, because of the 1930s.

    The German smoking ban is unable to be fully implemented because of Democratic local level safeguards put in place to stop the blanket imposition of legislation by the Berlin based legislature.

    We need that kind of Democracy in the UK, to help cope with those smirking gangsters in London.

  • Comment number 94.

    No the spirit of the blitz has died killed off by political correctness and the so called Human rights groups have turned the UK into a mambe pandy nation that is frightened of its own shadow, and is now too cowardly to stand up for itself falling prey to being bullied by Europe and the Radical Taliban and bin ladens sleepers that are amongst us. it high time this country woke up again and smelt the coffee before this countries identity and origens are lost for ever

  • Comment number 95.

    1. At 06:33am on 07 Sep 2010, Bob wrote:

    The British stiff upper lip is as dead as the United Kingdom - killed off by thieving politicians, bankers, councillors, immigrants and civil servants.

    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Spot on and my sentiments exactly.

  • Comment number 96.

    I can still remember the first night that German bombers attacked Liverpool; it was a very cold winter in 1940 and all of our neighbours went down to the railway arches that were our local air raid shelter.

    There were loads of us huddled together trying to keep warm and a few of the women had got some water boiling and were handing round cups of tea. No one knew what to do and for that first night most people just stood or sat in silence, holding on to their family & friends in absolute terror. We could hear bombs going off and many of them sounded like they were very close to where we were, the closest ones would make the ground shake and I was convinced we would never make it through the night alive.

    That first night was one of absolute terror and the next morning was even worse, walking through the streets and finding large craters where familiar buildings had once stood, seeing body parts scattered amongst the wreckage and having no idea if the people you knew had survived or not is something I hope the rest of you never have to experience.

    The spirit took a while to build up, after a few days of bombing people started to prepare for them and the shelters would have some food, drink and blankets taken down to them and people started bringing musical instruments, story books and games down with them to try to keep themselves busy while the bombs dropped. Regardless of what you did the terror never went away, as soon as the bombs started to drop you could see the look fear in people's eyes and even the bravest of people would flinch whenever one exploded near by.

    I'd also like to dispute many of the lies being told by people on previous comments - the area of Liverpool I grew up in was by no means a mono-cultural area; we had Polish, Chinese, Eastern European Jews, Africans and many other different cultural groups living in our area and we all came together to help and support each other during the attacks. In fact I'd say that our community was far more multi-cultural than many parts of modern Britain and this in no way prevented those people or the native Scousers from coming together to help each other during the Blitz. We had Chinese and Jewish families sheltering with us in our local shelter and I can assure all of you that I hugged them just as hard as anyone else whenever we thought a bomb was going to hit our shelter.

    I also believe that this spirit is still just as strong within our country as it ever was, I can remember watching the events of 7/7 unfolding on TV and I saw exactly the same behaviour being displayed in London on that day that I'd seen with my own eyes all those years ago. Nothing has changed and the people of Britain still come together to help each other in times of need.

  • Comment number 97.

    The people lambasting the 'modern generation' for being selfish and stupid are also denegrating the UK for being a Broken Society. I'm willing to bet that they are of the older generation, no doubt with rose-tinted views of the past. I'm 31 years old and I'm getting tired of people barely 30 years older than me constantly bashing the country and saying that we're all going to hell in a handcart.


    Just remember:
    You raised us.
    You educated us.
    You led the country in years gone by.

    If there's something wrong with the country as a whole - it's probably not the fault of the young.

  • Comment number 98.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 99.

    59. At 09:57am on 07 Sep 2010, Rupert Smyth wrote:


    That may be how you percieve the world Paul but the majority of my neighbours are very friendly and help each other out. If that is not the case where you live then you should question why that is. Perhaps dare I say it maybe start by questioning how you yourself relate to others around you.
    ......................................................
    No Rupert, am fortunate and live in the countryside of Rural Aberdeenshire, my nearest neighbour is half a mile away and is friendly enough when I meet him.
    However I base my comments on what I see in the cities, when I return to Bradford/Leeds/Sussex it is a different matter altogether.
    How many times do you want to see Rent-a-mob gathering for whatever the media is hyping at the moment. How many people stop and talk to strangers or strike up conversations in pubs, how many times do neighbours die and are not missed. Speak to a stranger today even if its to ask for directions and you are immediatley looked upon with suspicion.
    Sorry to disappoint you but I don't revel in my observations nor am I a victim (touch wood). To see an early example of what I am saying just look at the footage of the Jamie Bulger case, when the young lads were being driven from the courts a baying crowd were hammering on the side of the police vehicle. Just what were they intending to do ? who were they ? they could not see that as bad a crime as had been commited they were nothing but an old fashioned lynch mob.
    I hope you are as fortunate as I am and continue to live in an increasingly shrinking safe haven.

  • Comment number 100.

    I always remember my late father - in - law enthusing about the camaraderie, unselfish sharing, concern for the welfare of your neighbor and the "We were all in it together!"which was so much a part of the war years.....until I gently reminded him that the local black market was run by his mum, the butcher and the undertaker!
    God bless him.

 

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