Rockets or Whistles?

Every time I but petrol at a certain garage I get given a copy of the Sun. I guess this is one way the newspaper can inflate its circulation numbers. Normally on the rare occasions I did pick up the Sun it is for a quick flick through the racing pages while I am waiting to have my haircut or in a coffee shop.

On page 29 of the edition for Thursday 10th November tucked comfortably away below Mariah Carey’s crotch in a red spangled high cut swim suit is the following headline:

Shock, horror; that Johnny Foreigner and a European at that is telling us what we can and cannot do.


What this story is about is that Peterborough Council, because of EU regulations, can no longer use a maroon rocket to signal the start of the two minute silence during Remembrance Services. The reason for this ban is that it is not really a ban but is a regulation that for health and safety reasons all people using these “high hazard” fireworks, that cost £38 a pop, must be trained in their use by suppliers.

The question the Sun does not ask in this article is “what level of training have council staff had in prior years to use these “high hazard” fireworks which the lifeboat service no longer use to summon crews for emergencies? Is the council admitting that their staff been untrained in previous years and that members of the public have been at risk from injury as well? What would the Sun headline have been if anyone had been injured?

Several innocent people injured by rogue high hazard firework at remembrance service used to mark the two minute silence.

Instead, “The November 11 silence in Peterborough will now be signalled by a simple whistle”.

Wasn’t it the simple whistle that was blown as a signal to the troops in the trenches to clamber out of the mud holes and advance in enemy fire across no man’s land to an almost certain death face down in the mud and barbed wire a century ago? Isn’t this signal from the past a more fitting way to mark remembrance than a £38 rocket?


About alangrenville

I live in southern Britain near the fabulous New Forest. While studying for a BSc in International Studies I have developed a strong belief in 'NIBAW' or 'nothing is black and white'. Hence my favourite saying "Too often we...enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought" (John F Kennedy).
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