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12:35pm on Sunday, 11th November, 2018:

Plus or Minus 100


We had the Remembrance Day commemorations on TV today. They drag on longer and longer each year, which spreads the message of remembrance thin; still, it's better than having it all done and dusted in 20 minutes, which would effectively be saying that none of this is important any more. Ritualisation is not a good idea unless accompanied by an understanding of what is being ritualised; the fewer people who remember what war is actually like, the more there are likely to start a new one.

This year, the organisers finally allowed a humanist representative a presence at the cenotaph. The Chief Executive of Humanists UK, Andrew Copson, did the business. My satisfaction at this was only mildly blunted by the fact that the commentary listed a series of increasingly obscure religions, ending in "humanists and spiritualists".

I guess if you're going to take the ceremony forward a hundred years, you have to take it backward another hundred to balance it up.

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