Open Letter to Sadiq Khan, Mayor of London
TRANSCEND MEMBERS, 1 Nov 2021
Dear Mr Khan,
27 Oct 2021 – In last week’s article in the Evening Standard newspaper, you said you dislike the dangerous, violent society you live in, that your own life is at risk, not only because of your job, but also due to your religion and the colour of your skin.
I’d like to ask you a few questions: Are your children being encouraged to join a branch of the Royal Armed Forces when they reach 18? Are they being taught to protect British freedoms and British democracy, as well as to liberate citizens the world over from cruel dictators so that they can have the freedoms that we enjoy in the UK? Are your children being taught China and Russia are Britain’s enemy and the armed forces will protect our country when others attack?
Are you preparing your children to earn their living by learning how to kill using machine guns, tanks, rocket launchers, Apache helicopters, air-fighters, warships or drones? Are you grooming them to be ready to go on killing campaigns whenever our government gives the order–to fight and to kill people whom they’ve never met and have done nothing to them–despite knowing your children may be resting inside a coffin the next time you see them?
If your answers to my questions are “yes”, then don’t complain. You are living in the world you have created. Celebrate your “hero” children with all other parents. However, you should know that the vast majority of the population does not share your perspective. We give love and an education to our children and wish for them to live a happy and long life, not one cut short by governments that decide to solve their problems by cowardly fighting the enemy they created.
You’ve been in politics long enough to know that the only way Britain can fight wars is through the armed forces that is having millions of young people attracted to earning a living by legally killing people. We also use mercenary armies, like we did in Sri Lanka, but that’s another story.
You know very well that in order for your government to recruit sufficient young people into the armed forces, children and adolescents are rewarded by proving they can aim a gun or knife better than their peers; their love of weapons, fighting, blood, torture and killing augmented by certain toys, video-games, films, television, sports, etc. In the ‘80s, I was a Lay Visitor to Police Stations (a voluntary job for the Home Office). I spoke with hundreds of violent criminals, many of whom became violent after watching certain films in the cinema and on television and dreamt of emulating the “heroes” on screen. The “hero” always being the best shooter.
I was most disappointed with your asking for more government funding to reduce violence. Ever since I came to live in the UK, 54 years ago, funding for reducing violence has always been asked and granted; with what results? Increased violence.
By waging wars in the world, the message the government sends is: “problems are solved by fighting and killing”. Governments employ diplomats to prepare the ground for them. I lived for seven years in Geneva, Switzerland and can assure you that many wars were concocted, planned and negotiated by United Nations diplomats many of them benefiting financially from the negotiations. All under the supervision and blessing of their Secretary General, paid to ensure his employers, i.e. member countries, carry out their War Game Plans.
Nothing will ever change unless we make militarism disappear from the Earth. Only the universal abolition of militarism, armed forces and the war industry will create the society you are dreaming of – a society where religion, skin colour and nationality will not be used by governments to promote and practise their favourite money-making sport and business. Business for them, but for the country’s economy, war is a catastrophe.
Get your act together, dear Mr Khan, for yourself, your wife, your children, London, Britain and for the children of the world. Otherwise, you will deprive your children and all children from a planet in which to live.
Alberto Portugheis is a member of the TRANSCEND Network for Peace Development Environment. By profession a concert pianist and pedagogue, he is an active peace campaigner, whose anti-military stance earned him a nomination for the 2008 Nobel Peace Prize. As a result, Portugheis wrote Dear Ahed…..The Game of War and a Path to Peace – a book that has received critical acclaim. Another successful book followed: $$$$$s In Their Hearts. In 2015 he founded the Movement HUFUD-Humanity United For Universal Demilitarisation, which has many followers worldwide. In 2018 HUFUD Latin America was born, based in Bogotá, Colombia and in 2020 HUFUD Africa was launched, based in Uganda. In Portugheis’ writings, speeches, thoughts, ideas and reflections transpire his desire “to make people think” and not take for granted what they read or hear, “no matter where.”
Tags: Anti-militarism, Arms Industry, Arms Race, Cultural violence, Culture of Violence, Demilitarization, Military Industrial Media Complex, Structural violence, UK
This article originally appeared on Transcend Media Service (TMS) on 1 Nov 2021.
Anticopyright: Editorials and articles originated on TMS may be freely reprinted, disseminated, translated and used as background material, provided an acknowledgement and link to the source, TMS: Open Letter to Sadiq Khan, Mayor of London, is included. Thank you.
This work is licensed under a CC BY-NC 4.0 License.
Click here to go to the current weekly digest or pick another article: