Beachd Ailein with Allan Campbell – 29.10.20

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’S math an còcaire an t-acras, a rèir an t-seanfhacail, ach gu cinnteach cha dheagh chompanach e! Tha cuimhne mhath agam air còmhradh ann an 1985 le seann saighdearan Gàidhealach is iad air turas air ais chun a’ Phòlainn far an robh iad air a bhith nam prìosanaich cogaidh fad chòig bliadhna. Chaidh an gabhail aig Saint Valery toiseach an Ògmhios 1940 agus dh’fhuiling iad dochann de gach seòrsa mar phrìosanaich agus mar thràillean fo smachd an nàmhaid. An dèidh còrr air ceathrad bliadhna bha iad air tilleadh chun na làraich san do chaith mòran aca bliadhnaichean an òige, agus b’ e cuimhneachain gu math duilich a dhùisg a’ chuairt dhan mhòr-chuid aca.

Leis an Dàrna Cogadh a’ tighinn gu crìch bha na prìosanaich agus an cuid gheàrd glacte eadar caidreachas airm ag imeachd bhon taobh an iar, agus arm an Ruis a’ tighinn bhon àird an ear. Chuir na Gearmailtich romhpa teicheadh bho na Ruiseanaich agus na prìosanaich a bhuineadh dhan taobh an iar a ghluasad chun an iar gus an coinnicheadh iad na feachdan a bha tighinn bhon taobh sin. Dh’fhàg sin mìltean de phrìosanaich, lag le cion bìdh fad chòig bliadhna, agus le èideadh mì-fhreagarrach ann am meadhan a’ gheamhraidh, a’ coiseachd fad cheithir mìosan bhon Phòlainn chun na Gearmailte.

Gun dìon bhon aimsir bha iad a’ cadal air an talamh mar bheathaichean, tric gun bhiadh ach mar a thogadh iad à achannan bhuntàta neo tuirneap ’s a dh’itheadh iad amh. Cha b’ iongnadh gun do chaill mòran am beatha air “a’ chaismeachd bhàsmhor” iargalta ri linn laigse acrais agus tinneas. “An d’ fhairich thu fhèin acras riamh?”, dh’fhaighnich fear de na seann laoich dhìom. “Cha d’ fhairich riamh! Tha mise a’ ciallachadh cràdh nad mhionach is an dàrna caolan mar gum biodh e ag ithe a’ chaolain eile, is thu a’ faicinn na feòla a’ tuiteam far cholainn do chompanaich, is dhiot fhèin! Cha tuig e ach an neach a bha thall ‘s a chunnaic! Chan eil tuigse aig daoine air mar a thachair dhuinn!”

Dè shaoileadh an duine còir nan robh e beò an-diugh ’s e a’ faicinn mìltean chloinne feadh na dùthcha ann am bochdainn agus an eisimeil biadh na sgoile gus annlan susbainteach a thoirt dhaibh gach latha. Bhiodh an aon sgreamh air is a th’ air na mìltean againne a’ cluinntinn Bhuill-Pàrlamaid a’ diùltadh biadh a thoirt dhan chloinn sin tro shaor-làithean na sgoile, gun mhothachadh ga thoirt dha ìre fulangais na cloinne, agus am pàrantan. Mo mhìle beannachd aig Marcus Rashford MBE (mu bhiadh èiginn?!) a bha thall ‘s a chunnaic, agus tha mi ’n dòchas gun tig lèirsinn maslaidh air na tha a’ cur an aghaidh a chuid mholaidhean às leth na cloinne!

By the time you read this the government may have reconsidered their refusal to provide free school meals during school holidays, but as I write we are witnessing that depressingly common picture of politicians attempting to defend the indefensible!

Allan Campbell, ailean@obantimes.co.uk