What Did You Do In The War, Grandad?

What did you do in the war, Grandad?

Err..what war?

You know, when evil America invaded Iraq and got Britain to side with them. In my history lesson, they call it ?the 21st Century Vietnam.? They say it?s what lost Bash the next election.

Bush, dear, his name was Bush.

Ahhh?yeah, Bush! Aaaanyway?we watched all the video clips of the protests. They were AMAZING! All those millions of people, joining up around the world and protesting against the North American Union.

US, dear, it was the United States of America back then.

I know, I know?before it broke down like the USSR did, I?m not stupid, y?know. But the protests, they were great. The biggest ever in British history! One and a half million people, shutting down London. Did you go on those protests?

Ummm?no. I was going to go but they kept having them on the wrong day.

Wrong day?

Yep ? I was always busy.

But I thought you were anti-war?

Oh, I was, I was! Believe me, when people started saying stuff about Iraq, I?d always leap in and correct them. Bloody Americans, thinking they could rule the world! I was into my politics, me! I did a degree in politics!

Sooo? did you go on the little local protests instead then?

Er, no?no point! I wanted to go on the big ones, they?re the ones that get on the telly. I was going to go on one, I remember, but my mate came round with some great weed and we ended up getting stoned instead. But we had a really good discussion about how evil the war was and how much we hated Blair. The bastard! Here, I’ve got some weed here now, do you fancy a spliff with your Grandad?

Eeeewww! No thanks! It smells like old socks… Anyway, what about when that scientist was killed by the government?

Scientist? Oh, you mean Kelly! Well, that was a right bloody scandal at the time. It was such an obvious government cover-up. I was up in arms about it, let me tell you!

So you went on the protests about that?

No, dear. I just didn?t have the time. What you have to remember, a lot of those protesters, they were on the dole.

What? All those people around the world, all those protesters were all on the dole?

Well, maybe not?but they weren?t as busy as I was. Easy life! Swanning down to London at the drop of a hat. Some of us have to work, you know!

Work? But weren?t you a student back then?

Er?yeah. That?s what I meant. I was doing my Politics degree and it was very hard work, not like the degrees nowadays. Piece of piss now! Back then, we had to work solidly for three whole years, no messing about!

But Dad says you nearly didn?t get your degree because you were drunk all the time?

Ahhh..ha ha! He?s just joking with you, love. I got my Politics degree! That?s why I can have these great conversations with you about political history. I wasn?t just some muppet out in the streets with a placard ? I know the THEORY behind political movements. Have I ever told you about the Chartists? Now, the Chartists ?

Yeah, yeah, but I want to know about the Iraq War, that?s what we?re studying now. I thought I could get some first-hand stories from you?

Well, I did loads of cool stuff with my band back then. We were great! We had this song called ?Fuck The US!? and it was a really heavy, political song.

Riiiight, so you must have played that at some anti-war shows or something?

Naaah ? I didn?t get on with the bloke who booked all that stuff. It was a trendy little clique. We were way too hardcore for them! Losers!

But I still don?t get why you didn?t do anything?

Hey! I did loads, you cheeky little bleeder!

Like what?

I?er… well, I was the only one of my mates who bothered to read about the war. I read all the Michael Moore and Chomsky books! Great stuff, really empowering! I?ll have to lend them to you.

Oh, I know them, they?re required reading now. But isn?t that stuff all about getting out there, protesting, making a difference?

Yeah, in theory, you?re right. But things aren?t so simple in the real world, darling.

Ermm…yeah?I think I?m beginning to see what you mean?