Editorial – “Get On Wi’ Thi Laikin”

27 July 1940

Mexborough & Swinton Times – Saturday 27 July 1940

“Get On Wi’ Thi Laikin”

Hitler summons us to surrender at discretion, and the Huns, intoxicated with cheap victory, are astonished that we have not immediately applied for the protection now enjoyed by France and Rumania, to say nothing of Denmark, Holland, Norway and Belgium.

They regard us as ” fey “—intent on our own destruction. They appeal to us, before it is too late, to cast off the spell of Churchill, to renounce Sevin and all his works, to come quietly to heel, and to receive our allotted place and task in the ” new order.”

We wish we could translate a classic cricket anecdote, and with it penetrate the muddy German mind. It is the story, often told, of the Yorkshire County cricketer, Emmott Robinson, noted for the daring and audacity of his in-fielding. During a match with a southern county Robinson crept up the pitch to a powerful batsman, who, worried by his proximity, appealed to him, between overs, to stand further back and avoid the serious risk of being hurt. “Thee get on wi’ thi laikin’.” said Robinson curtly, as he settled on his haunches within two yards of the bat. That story may serve as a parable of the present situation. We know our difficulties and dangers, but we are in this ghastly game to stand up and fight, to press home every weapon of offence and defence.

The true answer to Hitler is “Get on wi’ thi laikin’.” It is the answer given, in different language, by General Smuts in the name of the Dominions, and by Lord Halifax in the name of the Motherland. Mr. Churchill’s answer was given long ago. We will not sheath or shirk the sword until this tyranny is over-past and the world is once more secure from raging madness. We stand alone in the breach; the doom that has fallen on Europe will be confirmed and extended to the Western world if we fall. And still we stand alone. Those who have fallen were too weak, timid and foolish to rally in time to our standard. Those in the West who are now cowering behind us are still full of doubts and hesitations and are in an agony of indecision as to the minimum commitment that will keep Great Britain in the field and in the breach without being overwhelmed by the dark tide which has submerged Europe.

Nevertheless we await calmly the utmost fury and malice of the enemy; confident in our strength and with a shrewd appreciation of the difficulties and embarrassments of the enemy. The enterprise over which Hitler broods, as did that other star crazed megalomaniac, Napoleon, is one full of danger and disaster for the Germans, as those who will have to carry it out are well aware. Even Hitler would avoid it if he could and call off the British Blitzkrieg in exchange for a sullen British acquiescence in the “new order” and in the ultimate enslavement of the world. That may not be. No terms can be made with the horrible evil which has possessed and poisoned the German people. Their dementia must be cured; their unbridled savagery tamed. The war on Hitler’s Germany will go on for so long as that is necessary—whatever the cost. Hitler is a symptom: not until Germany has been cured of her madness will that symptom disappear.