Numbers 266/84: New Moon .... how 'Poland' came to Britain .......and ELAFNS ZOOM
New moon tonight … ready for Chinese New Year The requisite new moon is arrived and the Chinese can now commence their New Year celebrations from tomorrow. The coming year is the Year of the Metal Ox which hasn't happened for 60 years. More shortly ….
Farewell Leviticus; Hello Numbers … It was the notion of Exodus following our Exeats that got the Old Testament books in our sights! Until toady we've been in Leviticus, in scripture meaning "concerning the priests". It's been deployed here during the pandemic's third lockdown, since Christmas 2020, as a manual of regulations enabling HM's Secretary of State for Health and Social Care to set up his earthly throne among the people of Her Majesty's kingdom. It's explained how we are his holy people [world class test and trace, ahead of EU vaccine procurement and delivery even] and to worship him in a holy manner. Most of us have done just that, have we not Mr Hancock?
Now to move on to Numbers [starting today] relates the story of Israel's journey from Mount Sinai to the plains of Moab on the border of Canaan, the Promised Land. It tells, as have the Daily & Sunday Telegraph, of the murmurings and rebellions of we people [especially at pub turnout/ curfew @ 10pm] and of consequent subsequent judgments inflicted on us … e.g. just yestereve an awe inspiring elective option of a 10 year prison sentence for incoming travellers and a non-optional £1700 hotel stopover. Holiday++ ? The last act anticipated [apart from the wholesale reform of the NHS and Social Care of course] is the Liberation Road Map promised for week commencing February 22nd … and as we head toward the Anniversary of the 1st Great Lockdown on March 23rd 2021 we'll move to Deuteronomy - "Repetition of the Law" once all the over 50s are vaccinated at least once as a reminder to all HM's people of Our Covenant. Deuteronomy can be discerned as our pause - before Nicola Sturgeon's conquest perhaps across the Union following May 2021's Holyrood elections and the putative division of the lands between the tribes? Will it be 12? Stir in the ludicrous impacts of the Brexit Protocols in Northern Island and there's much excitement to be expected.
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On even date 1945 we anticipated another liberation - foretold in The Declaration of Liberated Europe. It was declaimed by Winston Churchill, Franklin D. Roosevelt, and Joseph Stalin at their Yalta Conference. It was a promise that was to allow the peoples of Europe to create democratic institutions of their own choice. The declaration pledged the earliest possible establishment through free elections of governments responsive to the will of the people. When the Second World War ended Joseph Stalin reneged on his Yalta promises and an Iron Curtain descended across Europe. In particular a Communist government was installed in Poland. Attlee's British Government wanted to maintain cordial relations with Stalin and tried to persuade Poles in the UK to leave but most Poles, correctly, felt totally betrayed by their wartime allies. It had been the Nazi/ Soviet invasion of Poland that had brought the UK into WWII and hundreds of thousands of Polish soldiers and airmen [I personally knew some as a young RAF officers in the 1950s] to Britain to continue the fight. They refused to return to Poland because of Soviet repression of Polish citizens, Soviet conduct around the 1944 Warsaw Uprising, the trials and executions of pro-democracy Poles such as former members of the Home Army including Emil Fieldorf and Witold Pilecki, and finally, the creation of the Eastern Soviet Bloc. The result of this disaster was the Polish Resettlement Act 1947, Britain's first mass immigration law [similar to the welcome given to Ugandan Asians and currently to Hong Kong's British passport holders.] Large numbers of Poles after occupying resettlement camps later settled in Scotland, London and industrial areas of the North with many recruited as European Volunteer Workers. Yet more settled across the British Empire, forming large Polish Canadian and Australian communities. In the 1951 Census, the Polish-born population of the UK numbered some 162,339, up from 44,642 in 1931. The Polish Resettlement Act enabled Poles to settle in Britain and provide much needed labour and they formed much of the Polish British community as it existed prior to Poland's accession to the European Union in 2004 after which extensive immigration arrived. By 2011 the Polish Diaspora in the UK was over 2 million with 600,000+ born in Poland and coming to work and live in the UK.
East Lothian Antiquarians and Field Naturalists ZOOM. ELAFNS normally meets in Haddington on a Saturday afternoon for a lecture and tea. But that's not been feasible of course and a recent role for Arran Johnston as Editor of ELAFNS Transactions has now cast him in the role of conducting webinars instead of an evening; and the 1745 Battle Trust was happy to donate the subscription facility. Some 30 / 140 members logged on which was considered 'pleasing' with Avril joining all the while; we'd taken moussaka for supper at 6.30pm to be ready for 7.30pm. His theme was the Blood Stain'd Fields of East Lothian reprising the six major battles he has well documented in his excellent book of the same title. He was very well illustrated and gained him rightful thanks. Members however miss their historical socialising and the afternoon tea no doubt so a return to normality will be needed in due course!
Published Date: February 11th 2021