Once again, I find myself surprised. I didn’t know anyone bothered to defend the First World War these days; I didn’t know anyone had bothered to do that since about 1930. I was under the impression that the defenders started falling silent at a pretty sharp clip in 1915. (That last one is hyperbole. There was a lot of oppression and repression of opponents of the war as long as it was going on. Bertrand Russell did a stint in the slammer for it.)
But once again, I was wrong. Michael Gove is bothering to defend it, and talk smack about people he dislikes in the process. The Daily Mail (yes) is on the case.
Left-wing myths about the First World War peddled by Blackadder belittle Britain and clear Germany of blame, Michael Gove says today.
The Education Secretary criticises historians and TV programmes that denigrate patriotism and courage by depicting the war as a ‘misbegotten shambles’.
As Britain prepares to commemorate the centenary of the outbreak of the war, Mr Gove claims only undergraduate cynics would say the soldiers were foolish to fight.
Oy. Lots of people at all levels of education (well ok not kindergarten) have been saying that for many decades. For almost all ten of the decades in the centenary.
Has Michael Gove not been informed of what the war in question led to over the following two decades? And then the nasty incident that took place over the six years between 1939 and 1945?
Mr Gove turns his fire on ‘Left-wing academics all too happy to feed those myths by attacking Britain’s role in the conflict’.
He singles out Richard Evans, regius professor of history at Cambridge University, who has said those who enlisted in 1914 were wrong to think they were fighting to defend freedom.
Mr Gove writes: ‘Richard Evans may hold a professorship, but these arguments, like the interpretations of Oh! What a Lovely War and Blackadder, are more reflective of the attitude of an undergraduate cynic playing to the gallery in a Cambridge Footlights revue rather than a sober academic contributing to a proper historical debate.’
While writing anti-intellectual bullshit for the Daily Mail is soberness itself.
What an ignorant hack.