Required reading for our politicians today should be the R.F. Delderfield trilogy: A Horseman Riding By.
Picked up by chance in Birmingham Settlement’s recycling shop, this trilogy would powerfully impress on them the criminal wastefulness of ending young lives in war and of building on fertile land.
Centenary celebrations to mark Delderfield’s life and work took place in June – but the most fitting tribute would be to read, mark and inwardly digest those books.
What would he have thought of the rash of incinerators across the land, the threat to the green belt to build more executive housing, the costly and destructive High Speed 2 proposal and the new wave of nuclear power stations?
What would he have thought of Guantanamo Bay, friendly fire, the political and military support for oil-rich countries, however despotic, and above all the shameful execution of civilians – ‘acceptable collateral damage’ – by drones?