Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Stolen Valor

I think this more of an issue in the UK where the war was not something which happened mostly elsewhere and the aftermath lasted awhile, but the baby boomers are, by definition, people who were born after WWII and the weird ownership of a war they weren't alive for is strange.
Searching Twitter for the words “licence fee” and “veterans” is asking for trouble, obviously – but it nonetheless brings up a set of depressingly common, and depressingly predictable, sentiments. “D-Day veterans will now have to pay a licence fee to fund shite such as local BBC radio,” says “full-time binge-drinker” Rob. “The BBC propaganda machine,” writes James, whose love of Chelsea F.C. is matched only by his love of his wife and daughter, “has hit the wall today by trying to charge veterans the licence fee.”

Except – that’s not what’s actually happening at all, is it? The numbers don’t add up.

Today’s 75-year-olds were born in 1943-4. Even at a time of total war, toddlers were not being conscripted, kitted up and sent to help out at D-day. To have seen combat during the war you’d need to have been born in 1927 or earlier, making you at least 91 today. And while there were a few younger boys who lied about their age in the hope of seeing action, that a) was unusual, and b) shifts the age bar to about 88 at the lowest.