THE Prime Minister has tried to stiffen our resolve by regularly invoking the “Blitz spirit”. VE Day and the passing of Dame Vera Lynn, were conscripted to remind us of when we were all in it together. Time, of course, lends enchantment. Dunkirk became a miracle only with hindsight. My father was then in London and recalled the widespread sense of defeatism. Some nicknamed the evacuated troops the “Dunkirk Harriers”, because of the speed of their retreat. Low’s famous cartoon, “All behind you Winston”, doesn’t tell the full story. Churchill’s government survived two votes of no confidence in 1942. Four million working days were lost in 1944 due to strike action. Crime flourished during the blackout, there was looting and theft from the dead in bombed cities.

However, there’s no questioning the resilience of those who, as Churchill put it, “KBO, kept buggering on”. Hundreds of thousands of sons, brothers, husbands and fathers were absent in the armed forces. The evacuation of children from cities scattered families even more widely. Tens of thousands lost everything, literally overnight. Yet, people went to work, children went to school. Thousands of women did dangerous and back breaking work in factories and on the land.

What would the “KBO” generation make of our response to the Covid crisis? “You’ve had a 100-day lockdown? Try six years of total war”. “No foreign holidays? Ah well, a lot of us saw plenty of sea, sun and sand in Europe, North Africa and the Far East, all for free”. There wouldn’t have been much social distancing in the shelters during the Clydebank blitz. Obesity wasn’t a problem, though, rationing saw to that.

Rightly, they would dismiss us as whinging softies. A relative never spoke of the horrors he must have witnessed as a 20-year-old on the Normandy beaches in 1944. He did say, wistfully, that he and hundreds of thousands of others were demobbed the following year to no job and no home. Furlough, counselling, mental health issues? Just get on with it, son.

The bleating about the “hardship” of past months is an embarrassment. Yes, it’s a crisis and there have been far too many casualties, mostly amongst the generation that had already proved their resilience. But what of the rest of us? The lockdown is certainly an inconvenience, but suffering is over-egging it.

As we emerge, will we rebuild the country through sacrificing, economising and working harder? Don’t be daft, we’ll drink and shop until we drop. As offices and schools reopen there’ll be much whinging about risk, danger and inadequate protection. Getting out of bed in the morning can be risky. Let’s just toughen up and KBO.

Our columns are a platform for writers to express their opinions. They do not necessarily represent the views of The Herald.