And Are We Learning From History? Honouring A Lost Generation, The Somme July 1916


One thing I have learned: we need to be very, very careful when we assess the quality of our leaders. Otherwise who knows where they might take us, and for what foolish or malign reasons all their own.

35 thoughts on “And Are We Learning From History? Honouring A Lost Generation, The Somme July 1916

  1. It seems to me that, as time passes, the world has come to forget the qualities of good leadership. We don’t even know what to look for in the so called leaders. During elections, when we are supposed to be thoughtful and discerning, we are most divided and bitter, violent even. I wonder how a good leader can be elected in such a state.

    1. You make very sound if saddening points, Peter. There seems to be a real lack of good leadership everywhere, the UK not least. I’ve also been following things in Kenya, if rather superficially. But divisiveness seems to be key element. I’m coming to the conclusion that party politics truly are pointless and ultimately destructive. What we need are principled managers.

      1. It is awful here, Tish. So awful.
        It’s like all the terrible history never happened and every generation must experience theirs afresh.

  2. South Africa is so very … very fortunate to have Jacob Zuma, a more conscientious humanitarian leader you will be hard-pushed to find.
    I believe he will soon be changing his name to Captain Sensible and start wearing red underpants over his trousers.

      1. I think you put your finger on it, Ark. One problem in the UK is the majority of us do not engage with the democratic process in any grown up way. This is mainly because it’s hard work, and often very boring. We certainly didn’t engage much with the European Parliament via our MEP’s.

      2. There is probably a bit of the insular in all of us.
        A sort of Us and Them thing.
        ”Oh, that’s over …. there, somewhere, isn’t it?”

        Didn’t you ever get asked if Lions roamed the streets after you got back?

        Sometimes awareness extends only as far as the garden path and culture is something that goes on in Yogurt.

        Maybe it is a good thing the UK is ”Out”?
        Not for good, but for a while?

        Maybe it’s time for a bit of introspection and re-evaluation?

        One thing’s for sure, this time the World Will Be Watching. Quite closely, I suspect.

      3. Trouble is, Ark, it is only part of the UK that has voted out. Scotland and Northern Ireland voted to remain. Not only will negotiations to leave be protracted, but it will mean our government will be tied up redrafting legislation, to say nothing of looking for new trade agreements. We could end up a little England of little Englanders.

  3. I watched the broadcast this morning from Thiepval in France and was quite moved by the way it was conducted. Sadly I didn’t do any 20th century history at school so know very little about WWI except, of course, how a generation of young men were lost and how so many families were torn apart. Of course it was never talked about in my family. We are so damn good at commemorating significant events. If only we were so good at preventing them happening in the first place.

    1. “If only we were so good at preventing them happening in the first place.” Absolutely, Jude. At times we seem to go in for mass sleep walking as if we think there is nothing else to be done; or we get fixated on a course of action that we think will deliver quite unrealistic outcomes.

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