Breaking the civilian morale involved the killing, maiming, and literal terrorising of millions of 'enemy' civilians to a degree unrecorded in history. Hell fell from the sky. There is no glory to be found in that trade. It makes no difference whether it was difficult for the aircrew who participated in that inhuman action. They did what was asked of them and that was it.
For our Conservatives, however, not one of whom has stood under a falling bomb or commanded and aircraft dropping them, not one of whom is old enough to have memories of that war, these facts matter little. Like 1812, they are revisiting that war and for reasons which I cannot fathom, are striking a new bar for aircrew medals specifically for those who participated in RAF Bomber Command's campaign against German cities and industrial targets. (Do British veterans qualify for that bar too, I wonder?)
The medals for that war were struck upon its closing are are largely shared across the English-speaking Commonwealth. There are very few living veterans of that war, and in 20 years there shall be none. Creating a new bar now for that war serves no practical purpose as far as I can see, unless it is to give the finger to historians and others who raise questions about the necessity or reality of that particular aspect of the war and who challenge new wars on similar grounds.
Airshow MacKay, very much the boy with the action figures, says as much between the lines:
The new honour comes 67 years after the end of the war. MacKay today acknowledged this tribute is "long overdue. It is unfortunate it has taken this long," MacKay said. "[Creating the honour] is complex and there is certainly, as is always the case, politics involved in that.Yes, politics. Or maybe that part of the exercise of stopping Hitler involved the leaders, military and political, of the time giving themselves licence to do unspeakable things to other human beings they temporarily labelled as the enemy. The politics that recognised the horror of such acts and afterward created international institutions like the United Nations in order to avoid reproducing them, especially in the nuclear age. It is that politics that MacKay means because it challenges his own. His is a government with a politics of to inflicting pain on others in the name of great causes, particularly with weapons and uniformed people wielding them. They don't have a Nazi Germany, but they have Muslims, environmentalists, and various other civilian political opponents. Theirs is a retributive, punishment politics and emerges in prisons and omnibus legislation. It glorifies martial violence and demonises those who oppose the policies of state. It wants secret police to read your secret notes. It wants big alliances with bigger powers. It will scorch and toxify air, land, and water to fill its coffers and spite its opponents. It will starve sections of the country who do not support it. His is a politics that thwarts and pervert elections and the rules of democracy.
You see, there was a politics like theirs 70 years ago. The people of the time struck medals and built monuments to the soldiers, sailors, and aircrew who risked and lost life, limb, and mind committing the savagery necessary to defeat it.