When the grip of a people upon reason and so upon a reasonable conduct of life weakens, that is, when the highest human faculty is dethroned, it is only natural that standards of excellence should become distorted. All that is required to illicit admiration for an action is that it should be positive, startling, and productive of results. The good life gives place, as an aim, to life arbitrarily ordered by the efficient or the powerful. Might takes the place of right because might gets things done, and right has ceased to have any content of its own.
Last night the R.A.F. again went out over Germany, thirteen hundred strong. The main attack was on Essex. It was only Saturday and they were over Cologne; we are surprised they can go again in such a force so soon. Maybe the tide has turned. Maybe we are now going to lick the Germans! I heard gunfire nearby about four this morning, but have no information so far as to where it was.
I dream persistently of life in America, and particularly of my early years there. It is because of my biding discontent with England of course, and these terrible later years of my life. Last night I was dreaming of the Hewetson household as it was in 1905, and I was there as a young bride, nervously trying to please agreeable strangers. Probably the dream was thrown up by present circumstances, for we are expecting the advent of a strange young girl whom Artie is proposing to bring here next week as his likely fiancee. Her name is Hilda Kane, and he made her acquaintance last year in Lanark. This spring he visited her at her home in Glasgow. She is a Catholic, twenty years old. He is coming on leave on the twenty-ninth, and he as asked to come to Romford with him, for a holiday. Perhaps she won’t come, but we shall see.
For lunch I served fried sliced potatoes and fried eggs; one portion of canned string beans for Ted, (my only vegetable) rice pudding, made with tinned milk and my last spoonful of sugar, and, of course, coffee.
All women born in nineteen twenty-three had to register today. There were over three hundred thousand of them. Hateful. The government assures parents that no girl will have to leave home before she reaches her nineteenth birthday. It is a good thing I have no young daughter to be conscripted. I should ignore the rule, and then fight it. I expect I should land in jail. These young girls have had no say in the government; why should they be taken to factories or the services? We have the servile totalitarian state now, and no mistake about it; so what are we fighting the Nazi’s for? Churchill returned from Washington today. I hate the newspaper pictures of Churchill, Atlee, Eden, Bevin, Morrison and Co. All these fellows look so damned pleased with themselves: almost as though the war was a riot of fun for them. God! I hate politicians.
I received a letter from Artie to say he will not be here tomorrow; his leave has been postponed until the end of July.