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Chicagoland MG Club: Driveline
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Cover
Intro & Club Officers
Left Hand Drive
Right Hand Drive
July Meeting Report
Welcome New Members
NAMGBR Convention
Rally Scores
Cruise Night, Aurora
Heartland Brit Auto Fest
Grand Lake Tour
UML Summer Party
Larry's Laugh-Along Rally
Rally In The Valley
Bringing It Back To Life
July Autocross
August Autocross
Wine, Cheese, Beer Tour
Abingdon Trials Ralley
MG Abingdon Weekend
Regalia Items Available
Regalia Order
CMGC Events
Other Events
Classifieds
Back Cover
 
  Chicagoland MG Club:Driveline
Left hand drive The Steering Column

Right Hand Drive
from your Vice President

Wade Keene Those wishing to read something MG or car related will have to look elsewhere in this issue. We have all heard about the London bombings by now and doubtless you've also heard about the famous British defiance to the attacks, invoking the spirit of 1940. I don't know anyone that was directly affected by the bombings, but I am mostly English by descent and do feel more than a little pride in my heritage at how "my people" faced that tragedy. Back in World War II, Churchill said to "Never give in--never, never, never, never, in nothing great or small, large or petty, never give in except to convictions of honour and good sense. Never yield to force; never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy.'' It was everyone, all classes, all functions that would never give in. Back then nearly everyone did their bit, whether it was watching from the rooftops, putting out fires, or wrenching on Spitfires. It took more than just "the Few" to fend off the Third Reich back then. Now, as in World War II, I take the greatest pride in how the common people in the street face adversity. In a recent Guardian column Tim Dowling wrote:

"Those directly affected by the attacks did indeed behave with courageous stoicism, and Londoners took a little reflected pride in their dignity. Mayor Ken Livingstone, a divisive figure at the best of times, made an emotional statement which perfectly captured the mood of the capital, even though he was in Singapore. "Londoners will not be divided by the cowardly attack," he said, his voice angry and raw. "They will stand together in solidarity ... and that is why I'm proud to be the mayor of that city."

Dowling goes on to write about how after the round of four failed bombings and the shooting of the Brazilian worker, that defiance seemed to fade a bit as peoples' more cautious ways became evident. Dowling wrote that "Carrying on as normal seems less politically freighted than it did two weeks ago, not least because it's no longer really possible, but you can't say that the terrorists have won just because the cops won't let the postman deliver my Amazon order." Nobody else, especially the terrorists, should confuse appreciation of danger with any sort of terrorist headway. When the Germans firebombed Coventry, the British people didn't stand in the streets shaking their fists at the sky; they got into their bomb shelters. When the Luftwaffe had passed they got out and manned the hoses, dug out survivors, and buried their dead. And kept on manning the AA posts, building Hurris and Spits, and setting up defenses in case the German Army started across the Channel. I think that is what's going on now; the Brits know that defeating this threat will take more than just carrying on as normal, albeit with a stiff upper lip.

Mary Riddell, also of the Guardian, wrote "But carrying on as normal does not just imply swaying into work on crowded buses, or bringing parties of children into mainline stations for summer outings to museums. It does not only mean getting back to reading Dan Brown on the tube, rather than counting bomb-sized rucksacks. Being normal means being free. And that, in turn, involves ensuring that the laws and principles which enshrine liberty are not overturned in the months to come. Freedom, unless it gets squandered in the name of fear or defiance, will endure long after this fragile, rootless hate campaign has burned itself to ashes."

There is a lot of talk now of expanding police powers and such in Great Britain, but there is also a quite open debate on the wisdom of such new laws. Those opposing some of the proposed new measures seem to believe that rather than getting a bigger hammer, fighting smarter is the way to go. I believe what makes a country what it is rests largely, if not entirely, in its laws and the rights and freedoms of its people. Mess with that and you risk accomplishing an attacker's goal - destroying a bit of that country. Personally, I think that the debate is happening is a good sign that any new laws will be sensible. I also believe there will always be a Great Britain.

Wade


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