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Why this 91-year old veteran fears we’re losing what we won after WWII

Veteran Harry Leslie Smith is taking a last stand. “As one of the last remaining survivors of the Great Depression and the Second World War, I will not go gently into that good night,” says Smith, 91, who was born in a coal-mining town in Britain but immigrated to Canada and now lives in Belleville, […]

Veteran Harry Leslie Smith is taking a last stand.

“As one of the last remaining survivors of the Great Depression and the Second World War, I will not go gently into that good night,” says Smith, 91, who was born in a coal-mining town in Britain but immigrated to Canada and now lives in Belleville, Ontario.

Smith is the author of the new book Harry’s Last Stand, which, in his words, is “a rallying cry to a younger generation” to fight for a social safety net “that allows every citizen the right to decent housing, advanced education, proper health care, a living wage, and a dignified old age free of want.”

Many of these post-war gains, achieved by his generation after the Second World War, are being clawed back, with the poor and middle class losing more and more ground in the face of growing inequality, says Smith.

“I am not an historian, but at 91, I am history, and I fear its repetition.”

Here’s Smith in his own words about the austerity agenda, leaving “the young [to] endure the harsh realities of joblessness and diminished prospects.”

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