As we edge closer to Remembrance Sunday I very much feel that it would be remiss of me as a would-be candidate for high public office not to say something about the big questions of war and peace. It is certainly easy for politicians to get caught up in the daily grind of immediate decision making and hubbub of news headlines etc., consequently failing to spend enough time on the larger picture. In fact it is the remedying of precisely this tendency that I have sought to put front and centre of my European selection campaign.
So now, in honour of Remembrance, I want to produce a short series of posts addressing the fundamentals of war and peace.
To begin, I would like to share a poem. It is something that I wrote three years ago whilst studying philosophy at Heythop College, and its words still give me pause for thought today.
I sit in stillness, in peace and calm.
Safe from all known sources of harm.
I philosophise and contemplate.
I laugh, and love, and dance, and date.
I wonder how this came to be.
A life that’s free from tyranny.
I think of the lives that came before.
Lost in death and here no more.
Lives of peace until the arrival of war?
Men and women and children no more.
Taken in horror, in both fright and pain.
Torture in every moment that life remained.
I wonder why these people all died.
I wonder with anger, with sorrow, despair and pride.
What must the governors have all been thinking?
How could they allow this mass of suffering?
Could they not have ran things better?
Avoided the need to kill and maim each other.
How could life be so low in worth;
As to throw away for gain in turf?
But then I wonder, of the world I live in;
A world of hatred and anger, with malice and evil in.
Could it be that war could cease?
A permanent, perpetual, eternal peace?
I wonder of right now; who is dying for me?
And would I do the same in reciprocity?
Perhaps it is the case that I wonder with hypocrisy?
Safe in enjoyment of my unearned security?
After all this, then; I wonder: who is to blame?
Is it the governors, or are our natures so lame;
That we cannot exist, in either happiness or despair;
Without the presence of hatred, and thus war in the air?