By Brian Hall
Wednesday 29 May 2013 09:00:00
Browse all Brian Hall articles



Two events took place on Monday.

 One was near Inverness, the other was in Newcastle.

 One was a happy occasion, celebrating the life of a man who was, amongst many other things, a war hero. He would not have liked to have been  called that, but he had ended up behind Nazi lines, holed up underground, after his RAF plane had been brought down in those terrible times.

The other event was a very sad event, indeed. It saw hatred on the streets, with visitors from all parts of the UK, shouting their slogans of poison.  All in the name of defending their country, our country.


That  happy, although poignant, occasion took place way up near the Gateway to the Highlands.

The sad one took place in Newcastle. I thought of that man who believed in so many values, not least, in fighting fascism. And I could not help think what he would have thought of the occasion taking place in our Toon.


A march shouted its way through part of our city. Tragically, some days before this pre-planned demonstration, a horrific attack, itself full of fascist hatred, had resulted in the brutal death of a British soldier walking along a London road. The people who carried that act out claimed they were doing it in the name of a religious creed. As if.  They believed in evil,  and  killing.


Yet many of those visitors to Newcastle simply echoed the same sentiments, the very ones that the old war veteran near Inverness had fought against, along with so many of his comrades who never made it back home in that battle against fascism.


I had written a piece for his family in memory of that man, trying to display the respect and fondness I had for him, and all he stood for. It was not an easy task to do, but it had not made me sad.


Yesterday , in my city, I did have a feeling of sadness though. I think he would have shared that feeling too.  Streets full of poison, venom, hatred. Just like the very streets across Europe that he and his brave comrades had given so much of themselves to clear. Of fascism and Nazism.


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