Al Murray: WWII can teach us how to cope with the pandemic

10 May 2020, 08:46

By Seán Hickey

The Pub Landlord told LBC that the views of the war in the UK can be compared to how people are thinking about the pandemic.

On the weekend after VE day, James Holland, a historian and author of several books on the Second World War and comedian Al Murray joined Matt Frei on LBC to share their research on WWII in the UK.

Matt began with the pair to discuss how many in the media are comparing the coronavirus pandemic to the war effort, where Mr Holland could see some similarities and insisted that there are some similarities. "I think we're going to win against this virus" he put short.

"In the first 18 months of the war there was a lot of grumbling and growling" he pointed out and said that this could be seen as the main similarity between then and now. Al Murray chimed in here, telling Matt that during the war "you've got complexities of politics, normal politics" and our idea of how the country joined the war effort is flawed.

"We've the idea of us all walking in lockstep towards war when that wasn't the case" he said, revealing that the country was divided before the UK joined WWII. Matt pointed out that countries on all sides of WWII joined in commemorating VE day. He wanted to know if The Pub Landlord thought the UK are too fond of celebrating the war.

Al Murray told LBC there is a lot the UK can learn from WWII
Al Murray told LBC there is a lot the UK can learn from WWII. Picture: PA

Mr Murray reminded Matt that "the war featured quite considerably during the Brexit debate" and that "this anti pan-european feeling is exactly what caused the second world war."

"So much of our scenery comes from then" Mr Murray insisted. He told Matt that although we WWII a lot in our national narrative, it's important for us to remember so we can see the danger of some political views in the modern day.

Mr Holland added that "history doesn't repeat itself but patterns of behaviour do" and we can see this today through the Brexit debate and other divisive subjects we've seen in the UK in recent years.

He pointed out that WWII happened because of a major financial crisis and warned "we are embarking on another massive financial crisis" because of coronavirus. He insisted that we use landmarks such as the war to remind us how far we've come and not to be complacent.

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