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Sunday, May 08, 2005

The 60th anniversary

Today of course is the 60th anniversary of Victory in Europe Day. But what, I wonder, does it mean today when a man like George Galloway gets elected? A man who would, on the basis of his current actions, have opposed the war against Hitler with equal fervour, and who would have denied the reality of the concentration camps.

Of course, there were many such in Britain in 1939, and before, and it is a useful thing to remember. Mosley and Halifax, in their different ways, are representative of Galloway today. This nation survived their machinations then, and I reassure myself that we will emerge from Galloway's tenure as well.

For it is precisely because of the commemorations today that there are elections for people like Mr Galloway to stand in. Democracy is not a panacaea for all ills, nor is it in any way a perfect system. It is a human system, with all that implies. Mr Galloway stands as a warning, but also in a peculiar sense a sign of triumph. As this day makes us remember there are precious few systems in the history of our race that have tolerated such traitorous dissent. It is a triumph of the freedom of speech, of the freedom of voting that confirms and affirms our democracy.

That is all.

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