Keith Gascoigne

Contentious Blog Post


My Grandfather fought for this?


100 years after the Great Madness started that destroyed most of Europe, countless lives – and we still haven’t learned a thing. 2014-07-28.

My maternal grandfather could only walk aided by two walking sticks. I took it for granted then – when I was around 8 years old – and it wasn’t until I became more aware of things that I started to ask my mother about him. She told me that he had volunteered and fought in ‘The Great War’.

He had been sent somewhere in northern France or Belgium (probably not far from near Louvain), it had rained solidly for weeks, the ground was a sea of mud, filth and gore. On one attempt to gain more ground he and a small party set out but were soon spotted and fired at. My grandfather fell, he had been shot by a german sniper and the bullet lodged in his spine. He did what a lot of wounded men did then and crawled into a bomb crater either for a little protection from more bullets or just to die there. His compatriots managed to get back to base and reported him missing. My grandfather was paralysed and lay in the bomb crater in the rain and in great pain as the water rose toward him. He was found on the third day by the British Red Cross and stretchered out and then on to Blitey where he spent many months in a hospital unable to move while being nursed back to health as much as they could. He felt the cold badly and was given padded trousers and a padded jacket to keep him warm.

He survived The Great War but never walked again without his walking sticks. He couldn’t work and relied on a war pension – like many others who survived. I knew my grandparents were always short of money, couldn’t buy much food and they had few possessions so why didn’t the government make sure that they had money to live better than they did? Even at around 9 or 10 years of age I could see the unfairness of this but life then was brutal and hard. My parents supported them as well as they could but even they didn’t have much spare money.

I guess that this alerted me to the unfairness of society but the 1970s filled me with the hope of a better future for everyone. Life was getting better for many people and there still was a feeling of camaraderie among people then. That is, until Prime Minister Thatcher unleashed the dogs of greed. She made greed respectable, acceptable, usual.

Now, post 2008, society is riddled with the disease of greed. We have all watched as the quality of our food has deteriorated, our health service has been wrecked by the politicians; education turned into training to fit into a corrupt society with one law for the rich bankers, the F A Goodwins(1) of our society, who swindle all the powerless people out of their money while becoming immensely rich themselves, then we are told by the politicians to pay for it all. We have an inept government, a disassembling media, a greed-fueled banking system and I think:

What did my grandfather and millions like him fight for?

Was it this greed-fuelled society where the rich claw all the money for themselves while we, the powerless majority, sit and watch them and pay for it all?

Jesus wept and so do many people now.

When I was young and hopeful, I never thought that life could deteriorate so much and turn into such a massive pile of merde. Our way of living now is a nightmare but most people do not see this. They think that this is how life is: society divided into ‘those with’ and ‘those without’.

Open your eyes people and see the truth.


1. Fred A Goodwin – former CEO of the Bank of Scotland 2008. Left abruptly, under a cloud, but benefited from an extremely large pay-off. We are all still paying for that. See Wikipedia. Unfortunately, F A Goodwin was not the only one infested with greed and who acted in this way.


Class: Rotten politics, corruption, etc...

Tags: war, greed, stupidity, money, etc., etc., etc..

Date: 2014-07-28.

Posted by Keith Gascoigne at

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