History can be used and abused
Times change and memories play tricks: thus references to the spirit of the Blitz apropos Londoners' stoical response to last week's bombings were far-fetched, a comforting but false parallel between terrorism and the total war against fascism that ended in 1945.
Nostalgia about Dad's Army, Dunkirk or The Few is harmless, but of no relevance when commuters are killed and maimed by jihadist fanatics. Today's enemies are more elusive than V2 rockets or Panzer divisions; fighting them is far harder, defeating them completely probably impossible - whatever happens in future in Iraq, Palestine or Saudi Arabia. It's difficult to imagine that decades hence a million poppies will be strewn over the Mall - as they were yesterday in the culmination of Britain's second world war anniversary tributes - to commemorate final victory over Bin Laden and al-Qaida.