Monday 11 October 2021

‘We always hoped that one day our suffering would be used to help struggling corporate landlords’, admits man who survived the Blitz


Very old man the blitz

A 94-year-old man who lived through the Blitz has spoken of his delight that the government is using second world war imagery to encourage people back to the office to help the depreciating property portfolios of struggling corporate landlords.

Derek Williams, who will be 95 in the new year, said that many nights spent in the bomb shelters as a teenager were spent wondering how their plight would be looked upon by future generations.

He told us, “Obviously while we were in the bomb shelters we talked a little bit about beating the Nazis and stuff, but mostly we all hoped that one day – if we lived long enough to see it – one day a second-rate politician would use our struggle in the hope of forcing people to go back to commuting to their office so that the businesses who own lots of office buildings don’t go bust.

“That was the real dream.  Of course, as a fifteen-year-old boy you never know if that dream will come true, so you can imagine how delighted I was to see Iain Duncan-Smith using the Blitz over the weekend.

“Just because the Blitz ended eighty years ago doesn’t mean that today’s politicians shouldn’t use it in their political arguments.  Of course they should. It’s still incredibly relevant.

“And yes – my dad did use to go out to work every day, even during the blitz, because that’s how he put food on the table.  But I can tell you now, if we’d had the Internet back then he would have worked from home in a flash.

“Christ, he would probably have moved us all to the countryside and got out of the city altogether.

“It’s almost as if eighty years of technological advancement have made things easier for workers and their families – but sure, if the Tories want everyone to go back to working the way we did eighty years ago so that a handful of party donors don’t lose a few quid, then I suppose that’s OK too.”

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