Monday, 25 August 2014

War situation

As we approach the first anniversary of the House of Commons vote following the Ghouta chemical massacre, here’s something from an earlier House of Commons debate:

I hope, indeed, that some of our ardent critics out of doors—I have nothing to complain of here—will reflect a little on their own records in the past, and by searching their hearts and memories will realise the fate which awaits nations and individuals who take an easy and popular course or who are guided in defence matters by the shifting winds of well-meaning public opinion. Nothing is more dangerous in war-time than to live in the temperamental atmosphere of a Gallup Poll, always feeling one’s pulse and taking one’s temperature. I see that a speaker at the week-end said that this was a time when leaders should keep their ears to the ground. All I can say is that the British nation will find it very hard to look up to leaders who are detected in that somewhat ungainly posture. If today I am very kindly treated by the mass of the people of this country, it is certainly not because I have followed public opinion in recent years. There is only one duty, only one safe course, and that is to try to be right and not to fear to do or say what you believe to be right. That is the only way to deserve and to win the confidence of our great people in these days of trouble.

From Hansard, HC Deb 30 September 1941 vol 374 cc509-51: The Prime Minister, Mr. Churchill.

Letter from a castaway

A stamp for GT Thomas, just a taste of what’s to come I hope.

Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Events marking the first anniversary of the Ghouta Sarin massacre

Below is a partial list – see here for more.

Cross-posted from


Brussels: Thursday 21 August, 6 pm at Gare Centrale.
Facebook event page.


Montreal: Thursday 21 August, 6:30-7:30 pm at Phillips Square.
Facebook event page via Ghouta – We Will Never Forget You.

Toronto: Saturday 23 August, 6 pm at Yonge-Dundas Square.
Facebook event page via Syria Solidarity Collective Toronto.


Paris: Thursday 21 August, 6 pm at Fontaine Saint-Michel, Place St Michel.
Facebook event page.


Berlin: Saturday 23 August, 4-7 pm at Alexanderplatz.
Facebook event page.

Frankfurt: Saturday 23 August, 2-5:30 pm, Frankfurt (Main) Hauptbahnhof.
Facebook event page.

Hamburg: Saturday 23 August, 5-8 pm at Ida-Ehre-Platz.
Facebook event page.


Dublin: Thursday 21 August, 6-8 pm at the Spire.
Via Irish Syria Solidarity Movement.


Milan: Saturday 23 August, 5 pm at Duomo Di Milano, Via Pattari.
Facebook event page.


Beirut: Thursday 21 August, 6:30 at Martyrs Square, Al Shouhada.
More at
Via Global Campaign of Solidarity with the Syrian Revolution.


Oslo: Saturday 23 August, 2-3 pm at Youngstorget.
Facebook event page.

Bergen: Saturday 23 August, 2 pm at Musikkpaviljongen.
Facebook event page.

Events are also planned in Stavanger and Larvik.


Granada: Saturday 23 August, 7 pm at Plaza Nueva.
Facebook event page.


Stockholm: Thursday 21 August, 6:30-8:30 at Mynttorget.
Facebook event page.


London: Saturday 23 August, 2-4 pm at Trafalgar Square, followed by a walk to Downing Street to leave flowers.
Via Syria Solidarity Movement.


Boston – there are two events, one on Thursday evening, and one on Sunday.

Boston: Thursday 21 August, 7 pm, candle vigil at the Montserrat Aspirers Community Center, Dorchester, Boston.
Facebook event page.

Boston: Sunday 23 August, 12-2 pm, Boston Common.
Facebook event page.

New York: Friday 22 August, 5-8 pm at Times Square, 44th Street and 7th Avenue.
Facebook event page.

Washington DC: Thursday 21 August, 12 pm at The White House.
Facebook event page. Organised by

See also events in Houston and St Paul on Saturday 23 August.

Friday, 1 August 2014

1 August 1944

BBC Timewatch: Battle for Warsaw