Fighting for the freedom to disagree

Today in rural Dorset, an elderly Borderer will receive France’s highest honour in recognition of the part he played in the Normandy Landings.

Selkirk-born Andrew Henderson, now 93 and a resident of the south coast town of Poole, will be at Sherborne Abbey to be presented with the Legion d’honneur by the French Honorary Consul – appropriately 24 hours after Britain marked Armistice Day following last weekend’s Remembrance commemorations.

Unfortunately, this annual time of remembrance has not been immune to heated debate.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn came under fire for not – in some folk’s eyes – bowing deeply enough at the Cenotaph in Whitehall, while last year Channel 4 newsreader Jon Snow was criticised after condemning a trend he described as “poppy fascism”.

However, on the subject of remembrance and whatever one’s view is on wearing a poppy, remember that if it had not been for the courage of people like Andrew Henderson, many of us might not now enjoy the freedom which allows such vigorous discourse.