The London woman who may be on course to become the UK’s first black female Member of the European Parliament has said that in Britain, VE Day should be marked with as much ceremony as Remembrance Sunday.
Sanchia Alasia, one of Labour’s London candidates in next year’s Euro elections, said: “Remembrance Sunday is properly and rightfully the day that we honour and remember the tremendous sacrifice made by our service-men and women and civilians in two world wars and other conflicts. It must retain the solemnity and reverence for those who made that sacrifice.
“VE Day on the other hand was, and is, a specific day of joy and celebration over the defeat of the far-right ideology that scarred Europe and the world in the Second World War. VE Day should both act as a national day of hope and a day of warning over where extreme racism leads to. Such evil is ever present and we need to be eternally vigilant to oppose it.
“Of course, there are events held around the country to mark VE Day and it will rightfully be a day of nostalgia for survivors of WW2 but in order to make it relevant to the current generation it needs to be put into a modern-day context and made more political.
“People need to link the defeat of far-right ideology then, to the defeat of far-right ideology now.
“The atrocities and genocide in recent decades in former Yugoslavia are proof of this and the current ebb and flow of the electoral fortunes of the far right in the EU daily produce appalling violence to various communities in Europe. We must not forget that the Nazis first entered the German Parliament, the Reichstag, in democratic elections, but were pledged to destroy that democracy.
“It is so important to make that connection between then and now as there are still many of the older generation still alive in London who suffered in the Blitz or fought in the theatre of war that experienced the horrible consequences of such extreme racist ideology.”