It could be said that the freedom to vote in the EU referendum and in general elections was won by the Allies of WW2.
In a few years’ time, news programmes will be reporting the death of the last surviving British WW2 veteran. Some veterans, though, will still be with us in four years’ time on May 8th, 2020.
Can it possibly be right, therefore, that on the 75th anniversary of the greatest day in British history these few, and the heroic deeds of the WW2 generation in general, will not be leading the news?
Can it possibly be right that this last major anniversary, when some veterans are still with us, will be overshadowed by the general election the day before?
Last year’s 70th anniversary was a considerable success after newspaper and national campaigns moved the Government to action at the beginning of February, but it was still overshadowed to quite some extent by the election. Horse Guards, for example, was only half full.
It may be far off and there may be many more pressing matters but there appears to be no good reason why the Government shouldn’t initiate the appropriate procedure to move the date of the next general election. This may appear to be asking rather a lot, but in fact it’s perfectly possible.
‘However there are two provisions that trigger an election other than at five year intervals:
‘A motion of no confidence is passed by Her Majesty’s Government...
‘A motion for a general election is agreed by two-thirds of the total nember of seats in the Commons including vacant seats (currently 434 out of 650)’.
It hardly seems likely that fewer than two-thirds of members would vote to move the date, say, a week or two away from May 8th; it wouldn’t be very patriotic.
Why not move the 2020 May Day Bank Holiday - as in 1995 - from the 4th to the 11th and add VE Day 75 for a long weekend.
One Conservative MP has already shown his support: ‘You raise an important issue and make a compelling case. I will ensure that the relevant authorities are made aware of the potential loss of
significance due to the election.’
We owe the WW2 generation everything. Their bravery, sacrifice, fortitude and sense of duty stand as an example for all time and we should take every major opportunity to thank them and to raise
This will be the last major occasion - not forgetting VJ Day 75 on August 15th , 2020 - when we can do so while some are still with us. We really should take the fullest possible advantage without any distractions whatsoever.
We mustn’t underplay D-Day 75, either, on June 6th, 2019.
We must remember them.
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