Earlier today, a memorial to the women of World War II was daubed with graffiti reading “Fuck Tory Scum”.
Laurie Penny, who’s about my age, decided to express the opinion that:
“I don’t have a problem with this. The bravery of past generations does not oblige us to be cowed today.”
I mention Penny’s age because I get the impression she thinks she’s part of a brave new generation, a generation not obliged to be ‘cowed’, a generation who are too pigshit thick to find anywhere to write graffiti other than one of the (very, very, very few) existing memorials to women. I am two years older than Penny, and (like her, I imagine), I grew up knowing women who lived through WWII. I met women who survived the Holocaust; I met women who drove ambulances during the Blitz; I met women who cracked the Enigma code, and I knew my lovely granny, who did tell me about the war (when I asked), but whose expression if I’d mentioned her ‘bravery’ would have suggested a cat sucking a lemon in the rain.
Penny, clearly, fondly imagines she’s captured the rhetoric of Churchill with her anachronistic ‘cowed’. But she hasn’t. She’s defended people defacing a memorial that has nothing whatsoever to do with the Tories, and an awful lot to do with what people who stand against the Tories want to support.
It’s sad she’s been attacked by Katie Hopkins, who never fails to put the boot in. But I am more than a bit sad for my generation, if this is our representative.