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'Old Guard' has never quite gotten used to the idea of settling for less

To The Daily Sun,

Great Britain almost made it into the 21st Century. Joining the European Union seemed to be the final step. Things seemed to be moving along smoothly until the heat-up in the Middle East and North Africa. Following the U.S. into various military operations cost them a bit more than they were comfortable paying, but trade with the EU partners was going along nicely. Then the westward migration of the Syrians and others fleeing the caliphate filled the English with cold fear. They visualized Britain as they liked to remember it slipping away. It was being replaced by a completely foreign element guided by the Koran.

Growing numbers of Brits blamed those decision makers in Brussels. The EU planners became the whipping boys simply because of the efforts to respond with a plan. The plan was conceived to help Greece, Turkey and some other members deal with their debt and the processing of the horde of refugees landing on their shores. The English reaction was predictable but very short-sighted. The younger Brits and the Scots tried to hold the line, but were ever-so-slightly outnumbered by the remaining members of the "old guard."

Those who study history can find a place in time when those same attitudes caused the fall of the British Empire. It all started in the 18th Century, when colonial America decided they had had enough and rebelled successfully wit a little help from the French. There was a time in the early 19th Century when the British tried to take back their favorite colony but, alas, had other ideas. Fast-forward a few decades and the other colonies of the empire began to feel restless and resentful. Some were allowed to become commonwealth nations. The so-called "ruling class" who controlled the banks and therefore, commerce, continued to lord over all. They saw America expand, have a Civil War. That war, a real threat to national unity, was about trade versus the states of the south clinging to slavery to make the cotton and tobacco culture work for the plantation owners.

The British failed to see any lesson in the outcome of our Civil War. Democracy was almost destroyed by the rich wanting to hang on to wealth and the privileged way of life. Even today, American attitudes about what was solved by the Civil War depend on where you live in our great country.

As the Industrial Revolution began, the continent of Europe started fighting for supremacy based on industrial strength. It was a very restless period. So-called world wars were fought. The British and their former colony, the United States were pitted against those in European mainland. Central European nations were bent on acquiring resources and the wealth of their neighbors. Asians were drawn into the second conflict and, during the aftermath of that war, Britain lost control of their empire.

The "old guard," like the southern aristocracy in the U.S., have not quite gotten over the trauma of having to settle for less. They still have their rank, but not such a great store of riches. Most live comfortably and want to continue that way of life. So, what they saw put them in panic mode. With their thin majority, they have managed to place a stick in the wheel of progress as conceived by the European Union. We can almost predict how their separation will play out. The story to follow is not a mystery. It is more like a Shakespearean tragedy where no one is allowed to live happily ever after.

Bill Dawson


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Come to school board meeting and let them know how important band is

To The Daily Sun,

The Laconia School Board is supposed to support education by "ensuring success with every student, every day, in every way." I will be a sophomore at Laconia High School this fall. I just completed my freshman year as a proud member of the Laconia High School Band. I owe much of my success freshman year to participating in the band. I made a lot of new friends, in all grades, and it gave me a safe, fun atmosphere in which to socialize, not just during band events, but also in the halls of the high school. which can be very daunting for a freshman.

I was able to attend the Laconia School Board meeting on June 7. Many parents, students, and teachers spoke about the importance of offering music as part of the academic curriculum during the school day. When I return to school in the fall, I have to take band as a class after school. It will be overwhelming for me to take five full blocks of classes instead of four like other students and I have needed to build an empty block into my schedule for each semester. Many students will not be returning to band or chorus because of this change. Students participate in sports after school, have part-time jobs after school, and need to take the bus home after school, or have other commitments that take place outside of school.

Band and chorus will experience a huge drop in numbers this fall and will lose many of the talented students who use band and chorus as an outlet to express and share their gifts. I was lucky enough to go to Disney with the band and we brought home the award for "Best in Class," compared to all the other bands that were there the same week. My brother, Ben, may not have the same opportunity to go to Disney in four years time because of all the cuts to the music program.

The Laconia music program is a hidden jewel for the City of Laconia and doesn't get the recognition it deserves. Music is part of an academic curriculum and deserves to be part of the school day. Please join me at the next Laconia School Board meeting on Tuesday, July 12 at 7 p.m.. Let's keep the Laconia School Board accountable for "ensuring success with every student, every day, in every way."

William Cone

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