British History, Culture & Sports, History of Freedom, Heroes, Inventors, Brits at their, English country scene

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BRITS WEEK IN REVIEW and the Dam Busters

One event we didn’t cover last week is worth reading about,

“Sixty-four years ago today (on May 16) a handpicked squadron of RAF pilots, led by a dashing young war hero took off on a mission to flood out Hitler’s war machine by destroying the dams which supplied hydroelectric power to the Ruhr. . .” Richard Fernandez has the story of the 133 courageous young men who took part. Led by Guy Penrose Gibson, they numbered 90 Britons, 28 Canadians, 12 Australians, 2 New Zealanders, and one American. You can read about them here.

Scroll down or check out archives to read about Bear Grylls’s petrol-powered paraglider flight at 29,000 feet; the spirited Dame Tanni Grey; the volunteers raising funds for the Ghurkas, the "bravest of the brave"; authors Juliet Nicolson and Daphne Du Maurier; and horse thief Mary Reibey who turned a new leaf in Australia.

We could hardly ignore the reverse Midas-touch of government - turning gold into dross, but countered it with "happily driving rusty old cars". It was an odd tribute to capitalism, but it works for us.

Because grammar schools were a big story and since ideas have conseqences we looked at the one idea that is not being proposed for British schools though it was once so effective in Britain and has proved very good for the Dutch. The idea is choice.

Winston Churchill’s St George and the Dragon gave us a rueful laugh. David’s report on EU plans, as revealed by the Bruges Group and Heathcoat-Amory, MP, makes for grimmer reading, but forewarned may be forearmed.

The language of clouds, the physics of beauty, horticultural triumphs, the billionth seed in the Millennium Seed Bank, the aquatic warbler (and the look on the face of the man holding the warbler so gently on his hand) made us happy last week. The events of the May-June Calendar are pulsing with sun and political energy.

Lord Pearson’s European Union (Implications of Withdrawal) Act receives its second reading in the Lords on 8 June. Write, call and generally inflict yourself on the Lords. Let them know you support this bill.

May your week be good.