Ever watch Dads Army? Can’t say that I was a big fan but it is certainly classic TV. It actually looks better now than it did in the 1970s.
But here is a thought that occurred to me after watching some excerpts. While Mainwaring, Wilson, Jones and Frazer were all veterans of World War One and Pike was too young to serve in the regular army, there were two others who did not intend to fight.
Private Godfrey was given the cold shoulder when it transpired he had been a conscientious objector in 1914-1918. And of course it turned out that he was a decorated hero who had served in the Medical Corps.
But Private Walker was a bit different. Why was he not at the Front? Corn Beef Allergy. He was of course a Spiv…a black marketeer who was prepared to make a few quid from the War.
A conscientious objector is of course deserving of respect.
In the context of Norn Iron can we tell the pacifists from the Spivs. We are now in a post conflict situation. Clearly those members of Sinn Fein who were actually in the IRA were not pacifists. They were combatants.
Clearly there are members of DUP and UUP who boast about their roles in UDR or RUC Reserve. Combatants.
There are few a combatants in the SDLP ..although at least one former MLA was in the UDR. But at least SDLP senior members can point to a record in the Civil Rights movement. Active pacifism, I suppose.
Which brings me to Alliance. Oft praised as peacemakers….though few seem to have been involved in the Civil Rights movement. Oft criticised for doing rather too well out of appointments to quangos. But I don’t actually recall many Alliance people cite their role in RUC (I can think of an East Derry candidate) or UDR.
Maybe they are just too modest.