“All war represents a failure of diplomacy.” Tony Benn's words are no less true for being so widely and frequently repeated. That the failure brings immeasurable suffering which cascades down through the generations, is beyond dispute.
When politicians rush to claim that something is 'non-political' (as has been happening around Remembrance Day over the past week or so), you know that some healthy suspicion and careful examination is due.
As we approach Remembrance Sunday, many people may feel quite ambivalent about the increasingly numerous and elaborate ceremonies and media coverage, but be very uncomfortable about voicing their doubts.
It is grimly ironic, says Savi Hensman, that on Armistice Day UK news headlines included the announcement of a new benefits system which punishes the ‘workshy’ and a report showing inadequate care for many elderly NHS patients undergoing surgery.