Posted by: kathandroger | November 18, 2015

The recent Horrors.

It has been an emotional week in France. We were first aware of the Paris attacks coming back from a lovely meal in our favourite restaurant in Chatellerault, our comfortable life completely isolated from any real human suffering. Having endured the Charlie Hebdo massacres, nothing is a complete surprise anymore, but the scale of the events were truly sickening. All the initial reactions seem to centre on retaliation and eliminating this malignant growth that has sprung up over the past decades. The fact that, it seems, French nationals were involved has hit the country powerfully, and inquests into the reasons why these young people have changed into murderous thugs are underway. The radicalisation of sometimes intelligent youngsters by their elders, has, I suppose, happened throughout history. The rallying call to war is very emotive and powerful if the cause is judged to be justified. I can imagine disillusioned, unemployed fit young men and women seeking any route out of their perceived misery and looking for a cause which will give them some sort of status and self respect. Real abject poverty is rare in the western world, and even the unemployed seem to have the latest mobile phones. Communication is not always an advantage to mankind. Travel is easy and relatively inexpensive, especially when limitless funds seem to be available from oil revenues. We were all young once, and following a path to new adventures is always attractive. And there are other modern changes in life as well. Gone are the days when a few beers were all the drugs we needed; mind bending by modern pharmaceuticals is everywhere, and although rarely mentioned I do wonder how much they are involved in these terrible indoctrinations.

In every tragedy some uplifting moments arise. It was moving to see the football last night between France and England at Wembley. Sport is a modified conflict, and to see the two countries unite as one, and the emotion involved, was heart warming. The combined singing of the Marseillaise, however poorly understood by the English, was very moving, and the actual match totally unimportant. Unity will defeat any enemy.

But. This whole tragedy has been immediately and rightly condemned by the powers worldwide, especially in Europe. New measures are  put in place with governments working together without hesitation for a common cause. They neglect a much greater problem in Europe at present and the many thousands of refugees who have perished in fleeing their own hells seem to have been forgotten. In most cases all they require is shelter, food and hopefully some work to regain their own self respect. Do people have to be killed by bullets rather than by drowning for governments to act? It is surely time to forget nationality and work together for a real common good. But then I am probably a hypocrite myself; we have eleven bedrooms empty for the winter, and have not yet offered them to the poor thousands at Calais.


  1. My impression is that Hollande is in a minority in wanting to retaliate and go to war. Most ordinary people see that escalating the conflict will not work. Sadly, any ordinary well read, well educated person can see that the worst is yet to come. The next stage will be targeting small towns with few police, street markets, sporting events, festivals, crowded tourist venues etc.

    The authorities wouldn’t accept your bedrooms even if you offered them I’m afraid. They are seeking long term rentals so people can settle. The authorities are also rightly wary of entering into arrangements with private citizens (remember how difficult it is to evict a tenant in France, and how easily goodwill in this situation would be destroyed).

    Offer your support instead to Medicins du Monde (either quasi-professional or financial).

    • I don’t think it will be small towns-only the largest targets seem to get the required maximum publicity, but do agree there is more to come.Ever the optimist, I believe that the unified and increasingly binding combined effort of all major powers will be enough to win this war, both by military means and others.
      The offer of our rooms was only a way of explaining how impotent we all feel in doing something positive to help our fellow beings. What a sad end to a lovely year!

  2. A superb piece of writing, Roger. Our sentiments precisely.

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