Must we repeat the mistakes of the past?

Repeat performance.

One comment I have received for my post can we learn lessons from history is that we should but we never do. We keep repeating our mistakes. I remember the words of  David Steele, at the time the leader of the Liberal Party, speaking about Mrs Thatcher’s dealings with Northern Ireland. David, himself a Scot, said:

the trouble with the English is that they never remember, and the trouble with the Irish is that they never forget‘.

He was, sadly, right, at least in that context. We repeated the mistakes of the past for another decade.

A Scot reminded us of past mistakes
The saltire of Scotland, St Andrew’s cross
Whose side am I on?

I know the Monmouth motto, ‘utrique fidelis’ meaning ‘loyal to both‘, refers to England and Wales, but I would like it to apply to England and Ireland too. Does loving the one mean being disloyal to the other?

Monmouth was loyal to both
The Former Arms of the City of Monmouth
Back to the mistakes of the 1930’s ?

I am concerned that today a lot of countries are making the mistakes made in the 1930’s again, austerity and nationalism being the most obvious.  Has nobody heard of J M Keynes? And as to nationalism, in the present age, I would have thought international cooperation was more, not less, essential than in the 1930’s.

How do you look at it?

Even if Brexit is inevitable, conducting the negotiations via the tabloids, seeing every warning or criticism from the EU as a threat and treating it as a win-lose situation, rather than aiming for a win-win, cannot be good for anyone in the long run.

Even if better control of immigration is necessary, let us avoid blaming immigrants for all our problems.

This is a time when we really need to learn the lessons of history and not repeat its mistakes.

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