I was flicking through Donald Bennett’s autobiography Pathfinder yesterday, and came upon this passage, which seemed strangely reminiscent of a certain situation in the British Parliament today.
Bennett is writing of the time that, having resigned from the Air Force, he became a member of Parliament for Middlesborough West, thus beginning a period of intense disillusionment and frustration:
The Whip system had completely strangled all democracy; the Party system had made a farce of our administrative arrangements, and our voting system was outdated.
No sooner was victory in Europe assured than the parties divided and started fighting, sabotaging the country in the process. Moreover, the United Nations Association, of which I had become Chairman, soon proved to me the true nature of human beings. The determination and the effort and the sacrifice to which I had become accustomed during the war was replaced by misgivings and distrust and doubt. In fact, of the fifty members on the Executive Committee of the United Nations Association, all of them were so expert that they knew that everything was impossible.
I personally can see nothing wrong with a national sovereignty and being proud of one’s own country.
Exert from: D C T Bennett, Pathfinder: Wartime Memoirs (Frederick Muller, London, 1958)
JENNIE MACK GRAY