Which would YOU prefer?

Today, I will be heading to Cirencester for the commemoration of the 80th anniversary of the D-Day landings in Normandy, which marked the beginning of the end of World War II. This solemn occasion reminds us of the immense sacrifices made by countless individuals to secure peace and freedom.

A Veteran’s Vivid Memories

Last week in Kemble I met a Normandy veteran as he was walking (albeit with a walking frame) to the village hall. He is celebrating his 101st birthday this week. He told me he could remember Normandy like it was yesterday, a testament to the indelible impact of such experiences.

Personal Connection to War

My own family has been touched by the tragedies of war. My grandfather, a stretcher-bearer in the trenches during World War I, died in 1942 at the age of 49 due to the lasting effects of being gassed. His wheezing and damaged lungs were a constant reminder of the horrors he had endured. I don’t think my father, who was 13 at the time, ever quite recovered from the loss.

The Futility of War

As we witness ongoing conflicts in places like Gaza, Ukraine, and elsewhere, with countless lives lost and limbs shattered, I can’t help but question the efficacy of violence in resolving disputes.

How can the killing or maiming of human beings ever truly solve anything?

We like to think of modern humanity as sophisticated, yet we continue to resort to barbaric means to settle our differences, perpetuating a cycle of trauma that will inevitably resurface in the future.

An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind.

Peace and Prevention

I am proud of the Liberal Democrat stance on the Gaza conflict. From the outset, we have called for an immediate bilateral ceasefire, a lasting peace, and a two-state solution, led by our half-Palestinian MP, Layla Moran. We support the UK’s participation in organisations like NATO to increase international cooperation and avoid conflict.

Moreover, we wish to reach a defence and security agreement with the EU, a framework created with the explicit intention of ending the “frequent and bloody conflicts that culminated in the Second World War“. This agreement would serve as another bridge back to the EU, fostering greater cooperation and understanding among nations.

A Hope for the Future

As we commemorate the sacrifices of those who fought for our freedom, I dare to hope that in the 21st century, we will find better ways to settle our differences than by inflicting deep wounds on young bodies and minds. The path to peace lies in the avoidance of war, and through dialogue, diplomacy, and mutual understanding, we can create a world where conflicts are resolved without resorting to violence.

Other News

Sadly Rishi’s surprise announcement scuppered our plans for the summer garden party/fundraiser at the home of Jackie Llewelyn Bowen this Friday. Under the strict laws on campaign finance, we would have had to declare the value of all donated services, auction prizes, etc. against our tightly-capped budget. I’ve now sent out two emails about it – one via Eventbrite, and one via normal email. If you are a ticketholder, please let me know if you want a refund, or if you would like to donate the price of your ticket.

Campaign Notes

To keep up to date with me and my campaign, please follow me on Facebook. Or on LinkedIn, if that’s more your style. I’m also now regularly posting videos on Instagram, with information on the logistics of voting (especially helpful for first-time voters), Lib Dem pledges, and my own personal views on current affairs.

We’re always keen to welcome more campaigners to our team to help with deliveries and/or doorknocking. Please consider lending us an hour or two a month. Email my wonderful Campaign Organiser, Poppy Fair, for more details.

We are also looking for financial support. Every pound matters – even the price of a weekly latte would help. If you’re ready for positive change in the South Cotswolds, please put your money where your mouth is by hitting Reply to this email, and I’ll let you know how. Thank you! 🙏

Quote of the Week

“I hate war as only a soldier who has lived it can, only as one who has seen its brutality, its futility, its stupidity.”
— Dwight D Eisenhower
Have a great week!

Photo by Duncan Kidd on Unsplash

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