My parents lives
gave me a lot to think about. Profoundly glad that I have had nothing like this
to contend with personally, but fears for my son's future as the voices of the
'Dungeon Dimension' become louder in Britain today.
My mother was
Lithuanian. She experienced life under both Stalin and Hitler. Active in the
anti-Nazi resistance, then a refugee fleeing the Soviet advance. In the last
years of WW2 she was a slave labourer on a German farm. When my dad met her she
still had the marks of whippings visible on her back.
My father was Welsh, trained as a commando,
served as a frontline engineer. He was one of the liberators of Belsen. His job
was to count the dead and bury them. The figures on the mounds at Belsen first
appeared on my Dads clip-board. He has a claim to be the man who buried Anne
They had to deal
with terrible events, as best they could. To make a positive difference however
small and futile it may seem
Things I learnt
from their experiences. If you do not take an interest in what is happening
around you, someone else will - and you may not like what they decide. So need
to get engaged with political processes knowing that what happens will be
self-styled right and left wing political movements (and indeed all stations in
between) are capable of massive injustice and excuses for inflicting pain. This
comes from treating people as objects to be manipulated. So for me the
important thing is to recognise that each human is individual, important for
being themselves not as representatives of some dehumanised abstraction.
In his discworld
books Terry Pratchett evokes the concept of the Dungeon Dimension. When the
voices whisper, a ruinous confusion threatens the world. In my pessimistic
moments I fear that these whispers are becoming clearer in the politics of
2015, and may persuade enough people to deny each others humanity to face my
son with the kind of world my parents had to endure.
The little I can
do for him and his generation now includes voting for the political combination
I feel most fundamentally upholds liberty. We are not perfect in the LibDems, but for me we have the best combination of imperfections going. And I think we are at home with freedom.
The Dungeon Dimension cannot be thwarted except by each of
us taking on our own responsibilities however small and by supporting others
who show they share the same commitment to individuals , wherever they may be
standing on various other issues.