Tuesday, 27 June 2017

Operation Manna and Chowhound 1945

Blown Periphery, Going Postal

The Allied Riposte to the Germans' use of Mass Starvation as a Weapon of War

The winter of 1944/45 was known as the “Hunger Winter” in the Netherlands.  The Dutch people had lived in an occupied country for nearly five years.  The Nazis had invaded the Netherlands in 1940 and in those years the Dutch had formed resistance groups, helped Allied airmen who were shot down over their country, watched the aerial battles over their heads by day and night and above everything else, they hoped.  They tended the graves of Allied airmen who had spiralled down in burning bombers to be imbedded in the polders.  German night fighters flew from airfields in the Netherlands.  They hoped for a time when their detested neighbours would be booted out of their country.  In September 1944, the Market Garden operations had turned hope into a reality, only for this to be dashed due to Allied ineptitude, the monstrous ego of an overrated general and a failure to listen to the occupants of the country they were trying to liberate. Despite the Arnhem airborne operations being doomed to failure, the Dutch people had tended-to, hidden and helped to escape, the remnants of the British 1st Airborne Division. And how they suffered for it. Because the railway workers had been ordered to strike by the government in exile in Britain, when Market Garden failed, thousands of men were rounded up and deported to Germany as slave labour.


Monday, 26 June 2017

Vince Staples - Big Fish



A Dystopian Present

PaulyTicker, Going Postal

Sharon made herself a cup of tea, and sat watching the morning breakfast talk show on the tv in the corner of her flat. She pondered whether to open the latest food packet she had been issued, and decided that the contents were probably not really worth eating, there had been an increase in the meat ration over the past few months, but she wasn’t really keen on the taste. Oh for a proper fry up, she thought, and settled for a slice of toast from her two slice daily issue.

As she smeared a slither of her weekly ‘butter’ ration, she thought back to a few years before all food production had been nationalized and foreign trade stopped, proper butter from Ireland, proper bacon from Denmark, what a shame the Danes had succumbed to pressure to stop pig farming.


Sunday, 25 June 2017

Tilda -- A Comedy in Six Acts -- 6.4

Tachybaptus, Going Postal

ACT 6

SCENE 4

Outside the State Treasury at Kamysyak. Enter TILDA, ETTY, and two MEN
of the Mongolians, one of them bearing a Horn.

Rejuvenating a Nation

1650again, Going Postal
When I was choosing the subject of my doctoral thesis my first choice was the reign and reforms of King  Cleomenes III (235-222 BC) of Sparta or, more properly, Lakedaimon.  However, my doctoral supervisor wanted  another subject and in the end he won the debate and was probably right.   Nevertheless, I retained an interest  in late Sparta and the attempts of Kings Agis IV and then Cleomenes to restore it from its state of decay, and  in some ways parallels of their struggles can be constructed with the current fallen state of our once great  nation.

The Spartan constitution and way of life was a subject of fascination, and frequently admiration, by ancient  writers and politicians, and even some modern ones.  Its admirers were motivated by its reputed political  stability over many centuries, its constitution containing elements of monarchy, oligarchy and democracy, its  predominant position within Greece over two centuries due to its military prowess, and of course its starring  role in leading the Greeks to victory against the odds during the Persian invasion and later the three-decade  duel to the death with Athens which, again against the odds, it won.


Saturday, 24 June 2017

Lorde - Green Light



The public humiliation of the personification of our constitutional monarchy

Stuart Beaker, Going Postal

When our Monarch delivered the programme of her government from the dais in the House of Lords, there was some  discussion of the significance of her clothes. No-one on here would admit it, but I do think that what she wore  - coat and hat in the colours of the EU, over a simple green and blue dress - was highly significant.  Essentially, she had abandoned the formal robes of the head of our sovereign estate, and wrapped herself in the  flag of the EU, in order to ordain a sequence of legislation and negotiation ostensibly intended to sever the  chains of our political subservience to that institution.

Neither did she wear the Crown of State, or acknowledge her ownership of the Sword and Cap, those other symbols  of our sovereign constitutional dispensation.