There is a story, in the Grauniad amongst others, that Asshat Osborne is going to be paying back war bonds. I did not know about these things (and there is no need to inform me, thank you very much) but it seems very bizarre and unsavoury.
The UK government borrowed some money to finance the first world war and has been paying interest on those loans ever since. Apparently most of the bond owners are individuals rather than banks. I am not interested in knowing who these people are, but, FFS, would you want your financial security tied up in paying for the Somme? (Apparently there are other bonds still around that date back to the Napoleonic wars and the South Sea Bubble).
My grandfather was definitely not one of the bond buyers. He didn't have any money for that shit anyway. Instead he sent his oldest son to get killed going over the top in a futile attempt to capture a useless hill and then the next oldest son was gassed in the war and died of cancer in his 40s.
The centenary of this war is sobering and shocking. It exemplifies the pitiful moral immaturity of our species in being unable to resolve our differences without conflict. From what I can see the only suitable marking of these anniversaries is that of lament. There may have been heroism in the midst of it, but all I can think of is the thousands upon thousands of boys buried in north west Europe and all of the others around the world killed for no purpose.
I am, of course, equally culpable. My taxes are paying for the murder of children all the way from Syria to Pakistan.