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75 years ago, brave souls fought fascism

Today we remember that 75 years ago, the war in Europe ended. Brave people fought to protect our country both at home and abroad. While many of us on the left of politics hate war, there are occasions when it is necessary. Whatever the historical view on the Treaty of Versailles, fascism murdered millions of people. I cannot imagine what it must have been like for young people to go to war. Nor the devastation on our cities and towns both here and in mainland Europe.

I stood for Parliament once, back in 2005. It was for the old seat of Leominster, Herefordshire - a Tory seat where they weighed, not counted the votes. I also remember one public hustings where I stood up and defended our membership of the EU. I cited WW2 as a reason that we must never go back to division and fighting in Europe. A lot has happened since then. While many of us hoped that the world would be in a very different place in 2020, we are now faced with a pandemic and loss of life.

I've witnessed incredible community spirit and action, for example, in Feed The Hill in my ward, Lewisham Local and many others. Humans commit so many atrocities but are also capable of such acts of kindness. We must engage in acts of kindness, not just in our actions but also in our words.

Thank you to our armed forces and civil authorities during the WW2 and also now. While we remember their sacrifices between 1939 to 1945, we must also remember and not send our soldiers, sailors and air forces to war without a very clear and unimpeachable justification. Politics in Westminster still sometimes seek conflicts, e,g, Iraq that millions see as illegal and unjustified. While we think of 8th May 1945, let us also bear witness to the next 75 years through peace and kindness.