The Home Front Project Part 7 – Women

We_can_do_it

The role of women before World War 2 was that they were supposed to be ‘good housewives’, or if they had a career it should be either something like nursing, being a domestic servant or being a shop assistant.

During the war, many of men went away to fight, and those left behind had important jobs that kept the country running which they needed to keep.

This meant that women had to take up the jobs the men away fighting would have done. Women took jobs amongst other things as mechanics, engineers, builders, ambulance drivers and air-raid wardens. Many volunteered for the home guard and real army even though they did not have to, unlike their male counterparts. Perhaps most famously women worked as Land Girls in the Women’s Land Army, with over 80,000 women, thanks to publicity, volunteers then later conscription, leaving the cities and taking on the vital role of farmers in the countryside. (To find out more about the WLA you could read Land Girls by Angela Huth.

Land_Girls

Women did want to work during the war because they wanted to do whatever they could to help win the war, and help bring home their husbands and sons safely. They also wanted to prove to the men that women are just as good as men for doing any sort of job and those women can and should be trusted.

This helped change the views of many men about women and the type of work they could do, as women showed that they could do the same jobs just as well as the men and their effort in the war was invaluable.

Make_do_and_mend

Women also adapted to the rationing of clothes by embracing the make-do-and-mend culture, for example a new dress could be sewn from old curtains or even cloth potato sacks, and instead of stockings or tights a black line could be drawn up the leg to create a fake seam so it appeared that she was wearing some, and therefore she would have more coupons to spend on other items of clothing.

The Home Front Project Part 6 – Propoganda

winston_churchill

Propaganda was the use of cleverly designed posters by the government to influence people’s thoughts and behaviors to get them to do what the Government thought was needed during the war.

The British Government used it in world war two by creating series of posters and leaflets to get people to help in the war effort.

They used a variety of slogans to help with different aspects of the war (pictures below):

–         ‘careless talk costs lives’ *

–         ‘dig for victory’

–         ‘lend a hand on the land’

–         ‘look out in the blackout’

–         ‘put that light OUT’

–         ‘make do and mend’

–         ‘v for victory’

–         ‘Hitler will send no warning’

–         ‘Britain shall not burn’

–         ‘the army isn’t all work’

–         ‘save kitchen waste for the pigs’

–         ‘coughs and sneezes spread diseases’

–         ‘mothers, send them out of London’

The posters were about many things, like not talking about any information you have on the whereabouts of soldiers and missions, or letting your children be evacuated for their own safety, or how to cope in a blackout.

I think the government used posters as they can be put in many places, be easily seen and because they are eye-catching people are more likely to stop and read them, and by having them in many places and seeing them many times a day, the message would hopefully sink in and people would do as they were asked.

careless_talk_costs_lives

This poster is telling people not to discuss any information they have about the army encase it is put into the wrong hands and ends up costing lives of hundreds of service personal.

It is effective because it is quite simple n design but is very eye-catching, and the two images highlight and emphasize what the poster is trying to communicate, meaning many people would take this advice.

ww2_posters

The Home Front Project Part 3 – The Blitz

blitz

The Blitz was when for two years Germans mounted an air attack on British cities, main ports and any other important industrial areas with heavy bombings.

The Blitz was taken from the German word ‘Blitzkreig’ meaning “lightening war”

The Blitz began on the 7th September 1940 and ended in May 1941.

It started because in August 1940 the first German bombs were dropped on Central London. In retaliation the RAF started to attack Berlin. The Germans responded to this by attacking our industrial areas and large civilian populations. The main German aim was to ‘soften up’ the British population and destroys it’s morale before their planned invasion.

The warning system the British Government used was Air Raid Sirens. When lookouts spotted an oncoming attack, they would send messages to the people, often police, who were by the air raid siren and tell them to sound it. The siren was very loud, so all those in the area would hit it and know they had to get cover.

underground_during_blitz

The protection people had from the bombings were Morrison shelters in their homes, Anderson shelters in their gardens, public shelters in some streets, the London underground stations, evacuation, sandbags and taped windows.

The effect this had on people was that the blackout was introduced, and many died or were injured in car accidents or fell over in the dark. They also had to build shelter, and make sure they blacked out all their windows and doors properly. It made it hard for them to get to sleep and made them constantly frightened for their lives, and parents had to put on brave faces for their children’s sakes. People became confused and anxious as the Government restricted information about the Blitz to try to prevent panic.

It affected the cities as many important services were destroyed or needed repair, with vast amounts of their populations being decimated.

The Home Front Project Part 2 – Wartime Homes

sandbagged_homes

Homes during the war had to change to compensate for the new ways of life that were emerging.

Some of the things that changed in many homes were;

–         Windows were sandbagged against bomb blasts to stop fragments of glass going everywhere.

–         Bedding was downstairs or in shelters if that was what was used instead of a shelter.

–         First aid kits were easily accessible encase of injury from blasts etc

–         Gum and paper was used for sealing cracks and gaps in homes in preparation for gas attacks. For this reason vents were also blocked.

–         Stirrup pumps and water in buckets were placed for fire fighting encase they were needed after a blast.

–         Gas marks were kept nearby in occupied rooms.

–         Sand in buckets with a shovel were placed encase there was an incendiary bomb was dropped.

–         Wireless sets were kept close for updates and entertainment.

–         Tinned food was more common as fresh food became more rationed.

–         Fireplaces, and sometimes doors were also blocked/sealed against poison gas attacks.

–         Ceilings were supported with wooden props so as to strengthen them against blasts.

–         Windows were taped so that if the glass breaks, it didn’t go everywhere.

–         blackout curtains were used

–         Pole fencing and earth filled soap boxes were put in place to shield doorways.

–         Street lighting wasn’t used in the blackout so that German bombers couldn’t easily identify target towns and cities by their light. For this reason bike lights were taped up, and car lights dimmed.

–         Homes often had a “victory garden” where they would grow vegetables and fruit in their gardens or allotments. Soil could be placed on roofs of Anderson shelters and extra plants could be grown on this.

–         To keep warm in their Anderson shelters, people used oil lamps to see and a flower pot heater (a candle under an upturned flowerpot.)

–         Iron railings were taken away from garden boundaries to salvage as scrap metal to melt down and use in munitions factories.

The two types of shelters people had in their homes were Anderson shelters (pictured below) and Morrison shelters. Anderson shelters were shelters made of corregated steel or iron that were half buried in gardens. They were 6 and a half feet long and by 4 and half feet wide.  Many were given away free but those with a big enough income had to pay £7.  Morrison shelters were shelters made from heavy steel, and were cage-like in appearance. If people didn’t have a garden, they could shelter under them during air raids. They were 6 and half feet long, 4 feet wide and 2 and half feet high.  These were often used as tables.

anderson_shelters

Morrison shelters in a way were better as Anderson shelters were cramped, cold, dark, often flooded and all the noise from outside could still be heard. Whereas Morrison shelters were inside so it was quieter, warmer and more comforting, especially as you didn’t have to run outside in the middle of the night. However, Morrison shelters could be more dangerous because if the house had a direct hit from a bomb, the occupants of the house could be buried inside their shelter and no-one would know.

Blackout curtains were heavy black pieces of material used in the war. They were important because at night they blocked out all light coming out from a house into its surroundings. It was important to do this so German bombers couldn’t be aided in their aiming by light being emitted and highlighting their target.

A wireless was an early radio that many people had in their homes. It was important because it gave updates on news events of the war, but also entertained people during the long nights or days and helped to keep up moral.

Stop Horsing Around!

horses

One of the funniest news stories I’ve heard of late is the so-called ‘disgusting’ revelation that some of Tesco’s beef burgers contain horse meat. And? I for the life of me cannot see any reason to join in people’s outrage! Okay, there is the issue of labelling, in that it probably would have been a good idea to mention on the packaging that the burgers did in fact contain horse meat, but why should we care? Meat is meat, the burgers obviously cooked, looked and tasted like any other standard supermarket burgers otherwise this story would have emerged long ago.

I think the issue here is that some, and by some I am talking about the very small minority of people, do not know where their food actually comes from. Ask a child of about 3 years old where milk comes from and there is a good change their reply will be a shop.

During the Second World War, and many decades beforehand, we were more than happy to chomp away on horse meat, it being one of the few things that didn’t come under rationing. At a time when horses were all around us and used as our main mode of transport it was understood that the animal would be looked after for its working life then when it eventually passed away it would supply a few meals for its owners. 

Nowadays people see a ‘cute’ animal on a menu and automatically refuse to eat it. It’s similar to how funding for conservation works; nobody cares about ‘ugly’ animals or bugs, even though they are vital for the survival of an ecosystem, but say that you want to protect leopard cubs or baby monkeys and you’ll be guaranteed the funds you need. We’ve gone from viewing certain animals as good workers that will provide a good source of food when they die, to adoptive human children that we need to treat as we would a person and stroke and love. Ironically, although we can’t bring ourselves to eat horses, we don’t mind selling our dead horses to the continent where they are more than happy to devour them.

I don’t understand why the issues lies solely with horses though, lambs could be considered cute yet we love eating them on a Sunday with a large helping of mint sauce, we’ll eat rabbit at expensive restaurants yet they’re the sweet little creatures we have as pets.

Everyone just needs accept that animals will die and it is such a waste to not exploit a great natural resource of fur, fat and meat.

Moral Decisions

How do Christians make Moral Decisions?

morality

 

  • A moral decision is a decision in which you need to decide if something is right or wrong e.g. abortion or euthanasia

Your conscience

  • Your conscience is the moral sense or knowledge that lets us feel the difference between right and wrong.
  • Christians believe that God gives each of us morality and as God is good, our conscience guides us to choose the right path, and also that is Christian’s duty to do the will of God.
  • Consequentialists make their decisions based on possible outcomes and use their conscience to help decide which outcome is best.
  • Many Christians listen to their conscience through prayer or visions.

The Bible

  • For some Christians such as Jehovah’s witnesses, the Bible is the most important source of authority there is.
  • Deontologists are those who follow the teachings of the Bible when making moral decisions.
  • Some Liberal Christians interpret the Bible for the modern society removing ideas such as sexism before using the teachings to make a judgement.
  • Christians consider what Jesus said in the New Testament; answer stranger’s cry for help, love your neighbour as you love yourself, forgive your enemies, and don’t test the Lord.
  • Some Christians look to the Bible to see what Jesus would do in a similar situation.
  • All Christians use the 10 commandments to help aid decisions, and some argue this is the ultimate source of morality

 

The Authority of the Church

  • Some Christians believe that God speaks to the world through the Church, i.e. the Church leaders such as Bishops, Priests and the Pope.
  • Christians can often go and talk to the leader of their local church when they seek guidance on moral issues.

Situation Ethics

  • There are 4 main principles;
    1. Pragmatism – the main goal is love and you must try to achieve love no matter what.
    2. Relativism – each time you make a decision it’s not fixed rules, it’s always different and relevant to that one situation
    3. Positivism – you have to try to be achieving the greater good.
    4.  Personalism – it’s personal to you and it’s not up to anyone else, it’s your conscience talking to you.
  • Situation ethics give flexibility as there is not one rule for every occasion, so you’re more likely to come to a good decision.
  • Christians follow situation ethics because it allows them to decide what is right for them.

 

Beatitudes

  • Blessed are the spiritually poor – theirs is heaven
  • Blessed are those that mourn – they will be comforted
  • Blessed are the humble – they will receive God’s promise
  • Blessed are those whose biggest desire is to do God’s will – they will be satisfied
  • Blessed are the merciful – they will receive mercy from God
  • Blessed are the pure in heart –they will see God
  • Blessed are the peacemakers – they will be God’s children
  • Blessed are the persecuted – they will inherit heaven
  • These show how different behaviours will be rewarded, and these influence some Christians when they make decisions.

“Treat others as you wish to be treated”

  • This quote is from Matthew 7 verse 12, and is part of the Sermon on the Mount
  • This is the heart of the Christian law of love. (Judge not unless you are judged, be kind so that others may be kind to you, care so that you may be cared for etc)

Example and Reason

  • Some Christians try to emulate or follow the example set by experienced Christians or more famous Christians in the Bible.
  • Many Christians believe God gave them intelligence so they use reason to try and work out the most logical solution.

Should you pay for a night in the cells?

police cell

I was quite intrigued at the newly elected police comissioner David Lloyd’s idea to charge anyone who spends a night in the cells. Firstly, it was quite ammusing to hear that he’d asked his constituency for their opinions on the plans before even finding out if it would be legal! Somehow I feel that delightful piece of legislation called the human rights act would quickly put at stop to any such brainwaves after a quick once over by lawyers (not that I’m completely against it, but the current version needs improvement as it is prone to abuse, although why anyone really has a right to anything I do not know, but that’d best be argued in a seperate post methinks).

The second reason this story instantly grabbed my attention is that he said on radio station LBC that a charge of £400 would be sufficient. £400?! I’ve been looking at hotels in paris recently and that much money would get me 2 nights for 2 people in a double room plus breakfast in a 4 start hotel mere metres from the centre of the city! So why on earth one night in a 6 by 8 foot concrete box wiith only a thin matress for comfort would be equivlant to such a price tag beats me.

Then there’s the moral issues. What if the person was later found innocent of whatever crime they were arrested for? Should they still have to pay? Common sense would say no. What if the person cannont afford to pay or is on state benefits? Perhaps a suitable alternative would be a set number of hours of community service. Yet this leads to the question of whether a blanket charge should be used, or if a tiered charge would be more appropriate, because £400 to someone on £50,000+ a year is nothing compared to the same charge for someone who earns something close to the minimum wage, and how many hours of community service would this equate to? Should parents have to pay if their under 18 children spend a night there? Maybe you straight away think yes, but why should they be punished when they didn’t do anything? Although parents are responsible for their children, short of permanently locking them in their rooms, there is not a lot they can do about how their child behaves in their absence.

Furthermore, is it right to punish someone twice for the same thing, which is effectively what this charge is? Yes, it may be a deterrant from relatively minor crimes like being drunk and disorderly, but not only do those arrested have to suffer once by staying in uncomfortable conditions overnight, they then must pay for the privelege! Okay, they may deserve it, but I thought it the 21st century we are better than the times when we’d enjoy burning people at the stake.

Lastly, it could, sadly, be used by a few poice officers and council members (anyone who believes there are large organisations in the world without at least one corrupt member must be kidding themselves) as a money making scheme in these austere times. Admittedly the money would go straight back into the police budget, but that doesn’t make it acceptable. A better way to increase the budget would be to go directly to the government, even if the chances of success are slim, but if enough people signed a petition for it then it might stand a chance of being heard.

So, what do you think about this scheme? Are you glad someone has thought of it or do you have your doubts?