Harry's Last Stand

Harry's Last Stand


Survivor of the Great Depression, RAF veteran Activist for the Welfare State Author of Harry's Last Stand Love Among the Ruins, 1923 & The Empress of Australia


Harry's Last Stand Episode 9-Love Among the Ruins  

I have lived almost 100 years and I am approaching the long night of nonexistence, but I am not afraid because I have survived much turmoil: the Great Depression, the second world war, the cold war, the deaths of friends and also the hardest blows to my spirit, the passing of my beloved wife and middle son. But now, as time dwindles down like a clock with an ageing battery, my heart still beats strong, content and free of rancour because of one single event that changed my life and forged a thousand moments of joy for me. Citizens of Hamburg going about their business in the streets, surrounded by bomb sites and a wrecked building with smoke still pouring from it in about 1943 ‘When off duty, I stumbled through the ruins of Hamburg, overwhelmed by the hunger, the dirt, and the simple despair of ordinary folk.’ It was there I met the woman who became my wife 70 years ago on August 16, 1947 in the shadow of that shattered German city.

Episode 8 Harry's Last Stand Theresa May will privatise the NHS if we don't resist the Tories  

Until Labour came to government in 1945, I couldn’t believe that the working class would ever be treated as equal citizens in a society run for the benefit of the 1%. But the creation of the NHS changed my mind. When Labour established the NHS, I felt for the first time to be included in democracy and valued as a citizen by my government.

Harry's Last Stand Episode 7 Austerity has the blood of Grenfell Tower on its hands  

We are a nation unhappily and unfairly divided by wealth and privilege.It seems people died in Grenfell because they just weren’t wealthy enough to warrant proper safety considerations. That’s just not right, it’s not the Britain we deserve, it’s not the Britain my generation wanted to build in 1945 when it lay in ruins from war and centuries of oppression by the entitled.

Harry's Last Stand Episode 6 Today's Young Must be a Tide To Raise All Boats  

On June 8th, you have to rise up and be counted because you are worth more than flat wages. You are worth more than eternal austerity. You are worth more than hard Brexit. You are worth more than student debt and zero hour contracts. You are worth more than the greed of the 1% and the incompetence of the Tories. Within you is the blood of your grandparents and great grandparents that sacrificed their lives on the battle fields of Europe and Asia. Within you is the DNA of all your ancestors who fought for the rights of women to vote. Within you is the echo of all those who battled for their right to an NHS that provided health care to all not just the well to do. Within you is the spark to become the greatest generation of the 21st century. So, I ask you as a very old man who has seen Britain at its worst and greatest to stand strong and send the Tories Packing because you deserve a future that has hope, prosperity and purpose.

Harrys Last Stand Episode 5 Austerity is the end of Hope  

The British General Election is just weeks away and because of austerity, this maybe democracy's last whistle stop. I have lived for 94 years and seen the evil conservative politics has done to Britain and the world. To not vote in this election is surrender to the tyranny of austerity. My past doesn't have to be your future

Harry's Last Stand Episode 4 The Fall of Nazism 1945  & the Rise of Democracy  

In the fourth episode of Harry's Last Stand. Harry Leslie Smith talks about the UK General Election, the dangers of nuclear war, the suffering caused by Tory austerity. Harry Leslie Smith also reflects on how spring always makes him remember the last days of the Second World War, when he along with an RAF unit crossed into a dying Nazi Germany.

Harrys Last Stand Episode 3 The world Before the NHS when the poor died worst than animals  

In Episode 3 of Harry's Last Stand, 94 year old Harry Leslie Smith calls out to Britain to register to vote for the upcoming General Election. He warns against the cynical politics of the Tories that has divided Britain. He speaks about his past 80 years ago, and how in a time before the NHS, his eldest sister Marion died a horrific death from TB in a work house infirmary. He warns that his past can become your future.

Harry's Last Stand Episode 2 The brutal short life of poor people  

It's the Second Episode of Harry's Last Stand and as we wait for our trains in a railway pub. I have begun to tell more about my 94 years of life. I speak of my sister's death from TB, the poverty of my youth, the madness of Brexit, the need for social justice and the dangers of Donald Trump

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