In the 100 years since the savagery of the Somme, the world has changed in innumerable ways. Many of the technological advancements that caused this change have also served to make the mechanics of war more efficient and even more brutal. I hope that by bringing war's horrors home, these advancements also serve to make its possibility much more distant.
The publication of the Chilcot Report will lead to renewed soul searching over our future international commitments. I was neither for nor against the war, rather I served in it. As an elected representative today my duty is to scrutinise the basis for that decision with dispassionate care. We must freely and frankly debate the mistakes that were made so they may never be repeated. We need to undertake our analysis in a forensic manner. Only by doing so will we regain the trust and confidence of the public in making these decisions.
Reflecting back on that one day of senseless slaughter helps us to look forward. This weekend people around the country will pause and think about the First World War. It is a measure of our common decency that despite WW1 being a war of history, not memory, we commemorate it. Every part of our country has its own story. Of the 16,000 towns and villages across Britain in 1914, only 40 thankful parishes would see the return by 1918 of all who had left for the conflict. The horror of that appalling loss will live on for future generations as we learn the lessons of our past.
Britain faces its most important week since the end of the Second World War. For generations to come people will look back at the decision we make in the EU referendum. Its impact will be felt over decades, not just years. Given the momentous nature of the choice before people, I'm angry at the false promises being made by Leave campaigners. We know it is Labour voters who will decide this referendum. And it is precisely those people who are being knowingly misled with unrealistic and unfunded promises.
The choice we face is between greater security and global influence as part of the EU, or a period of prolonged uncertainty and permanent retrenchment by walking away. For the Leave campaign to assert that both everything will change, but nothing will change is not simply a contradiction. It fails our collective duty to serve the national interest. That is why the patriotic choice is for a Britain that continues to lead in the world by leading in Europe. To do otherwise would not only limit the opportunities of our children and grandchildren, but their ability to meet the challenges of tomorrow. So this is the moment to decide whether we want to be great or little Britain.
Dear Ken... I know you will understand how important it is that you retract your recent comments comparing the donations received by Dan Jarvis to "Jimmy Savile funding a children's group". You know there is no comparison. You know that to make such a comparison is therefore not only provocative but seriously misleading.
I write with sadness with regard your inflammatory and unfounded comments to the BBC and LBC yesterday regarding my recent donation to Dan Jarvis, the Labour MP for Barnsley Central. In your comments, which clearly refer to me ‐ as I am the only hedge fund manager who has made a donation to Mr Jarvis ‐ you make a number of claims which are both untrue and highly offensive. I refute all of these claims and explain why in this letter...