Together with Hilary Benn, the Shadow Communities and Local Government Secretary, he said this would offer a lasting commemoration, showing the value we place on those who have served and been lost.
It’s a good idea, as far as it goes, and shows that Labour is following through on its ‘One Nation’ promise – here bringing us together through patriotism.
Why not take it one step further?
How about encouraging local authorities to name new streets – or rename current streets – for people who have died after the Department for Work and Pensions declared them fit for work (on the advice of Atos assessors)?
The street signs could feature an explanatory statement, showing how the named person died, what their illness was, and how the DWP/Atos had treated them.
It would be a lasting reminder, to Conservative and Liberal Democrat politicians, of the blood on their hands.
The possibility of commemorating the Atos dead, as some have named them, has been on my mind lately. I had been considering contacting the national action groups to ask if there was a wall somewhere, decorated with photos and tributes to them (newspaper reports of their deaths would be enough). If not, I thought one could be created quite quickly.
Or a mobile display, that could be taken to the Houses of Parliament for demonstrations. That would be effective.
I remember when I visited Bosnia, back in the 1990s, they had a building up in the hills that was a memorial to everybody who had died for their country during the war in the former Yugoslavia. It was maintained by a lady who knew the details of every single person whose picture was on the walls – and there were hundreds lining them. The stories were terrifying, and touching, and it was impossible not to be moved by them.
Now Messrs Murphy and Benn have raised this street-naming idea.
Wouldn’t it be meaningful to have, on street corners across the country, memorials to one of the most shameful purges in the UK’s history – the time when the government turned on the most vulnerable in society and hounded them to death?
What sort of message would that put out to Conservative and Liberal Democrat election candidates, canvassing voters on streets named after people their policies, effectively, put to death?
Should it be made to happen?
What do you think?