Wednesday, 17 October 2012

Another Britishness Project From Cameron

My apologies for not mentioning this before now, but I make no apology for this being a continuation of yesterday's post.

David Cameron wants to spend more that £50 million on nationally commemorating the Great War under plans to mark its centenary starting in August 2014 and finishing on Armistice Day 2018.

I'm not going to discuss  the history of WW1 because it's too lengthy a subject and most of us have some idea of its origins, but I wonder at David Cameron's idea to involve children in events such as football matches to mark the 1914 Christmas Day Truce or sowing commemorative poppies, the best use of money?  Schools have the use of modern technology nowadays and there are plenty films and video documentaries which convey the horrors and history of WW1.

If teachers are unable to convey the history of WW! to pupils in the classroom a better method of educating children about war, including WW1, would be to take them round the streets and let them talk to the veterans who can't get homes once they leave the armed forces or take them to their local BLESMA home to talk to war veterans or contact the local SSAFA office and they would put the school in touch with local organisations which cater for veterans.

Sadly the last WW1 veteran died not so long ago but there are still plenty suffering the consequences of wars which involved our armed forces in more recent times. Children would learn much more from speaking to a veteran rather than being taken out of school on a trip to the battle fields.

Of course this event is planned to coincide with Scotland's independence referendum and Cameron blatantly describes it as "a commemoration that captures our national spirit in every corner of the country". At the end of the brief article the MP likens the commemoration events to those of the Diamond Jubilee.

Certainly the centenary of WW! needs to be commemorated, but does it have to turn into a sordid kind of circus rather than a dignified, solemn occasion?

The clock doesn't need to be wound too far back to the days when such a commemoration would mainly involve a day of quiet prayer and contemplation.  We now live in a country which has lost our spiritual core and therefore has yet to find a replacement.

For a little satire regarding Cameron's plans read here.


Clarinda said...

I hope I have managed to attach the e petition address (I think there are more to come)for those who wish to sign their displeasure at such crass exploitation of the start of such suffering rather than the end of the 'Great War' - which we already do with respect and dignity and include all who continue to do so, every November.

Just how helpful would £50 million be to our current thousands of wounded and traumatised?

Subrosa - your fourth paragraph sums it up.

dognamedblue said...

interesting article in the guardian:
"The first world war: the real lessons of this savage imperial bloodbath"

[speaking of coincidences, remember that peace march in scotland a few years back? with quarter of a million marching? how "live aid" just happened to then be played on the same days? interesting no?]

JimS said...

How wicked of Cameron to plan WW1 back in 1914 to foil SNP's 2014 plans, or was it Thatcher, it was in the past so it must have been her! Not that there is any connection between the referendum date and the Commonwealth games, mind.

I shouldn't worry about the WW1 commemoration either. Sure there won't be any mention of Scottish, Irish, Welsh or even English losses but the 'new' British. There must SURELY be a black, homosexual, female muslim that lost her life during 1914-18; no stone will be left unturned in the bid to find her!

JRB said...

Throughout my childhood years my grandfather lived with us due to his incapacity having been severely gassed during WWI.

Religiously on the same day each year he donned his best suit and finest shirt, and mustering all the energy he could, he joined the ever diminishing band of his old friends.

They all came together for one thing – to remember.

Not to remember their arrival on the continent
Not to remember their days in the frontline trenches
Not to remember the hellish battles they were in.

But to remember the 11th of November, the day their horrors came to an official end.
(Although the official day was Remembrance Sunday, the 11th held greater significance for Grandfather)

So why the hell is Cameron looking to celebrate the outbreak of WWI?
Sadly it bears all the hallmarks of a cynical political ploy.

English Pensioner said...

I would have thought that it was more appropriate to mark the end of the conflict, although the cynic in me accepts that this wopuld be after the Scottish Referendum and the next General Election.
Nevertheless, it is right that we should mark the occasion in an appropriate manner and although £50 million sounds a huge sum it is less than £1 per person which for once I am happy to see the government spend.

Demetrius said...

Having dug a few latrine trenches a long while ago, perhaps the kids could have a fun time doing this. If they don't do the job properly then a night on guard duty in freezing weather would give them an insight into how it was.

Crinkly & Ragged Arsed Philosophers said...

Cheap politics from a bankrupt government.

subrosa said...

You have attached it Clarinda. Thanks.

£50 would go a long way towards the military having the same facilities as the police. Think how many veterans' homes could benefit from a share of it rather than having to endlessly raise funds through public subscriptions.

subrosa said...

Good link dognamed blue. Many thanks.

I don't believe in coincidences, do you?

subrosa said...

It's not the fact that it's near the referendum Jim, but that he wants it to be a pantomime rather than a time of contemplation. But you knew that of course.

subrosa said...

Exactly JRB and we don't need any event to mark the beginning of the hell.

subrosa said...

Me too EP and it wouldn't need £50 to do it. Of course, since our churches have let us down badly by not feeding the spiritual side of human nature, then events involving contemplation will not be marked - except a big one by the head of the Anglian church for TV of course.

subrosa said...

Now that's an idea Demetrius. When they're taken abroad to visit the graves, they should do a 24 hour duty attending them. The War Graves Association would appreciate the help no doubt.

subrosa said...

Ah, but they can always find money for the children to play their propaganda games Crinkly.

J. R. Tomlin said...

The very idea of celebrating the START of a war is obscene. I can't even tell you much it sickens me.

subrosa said...

It does me too Jeanne.

Apogee said...

Like many others I am puzzled by the idea of celebrating the start of a war. Few will know what started the war,it is rarely mentioned now,but why does Cameron want to stir up such stupidities now?It will be very unlikely to further the cause of the EU. Maybe that is why?

subrosa said...

Good point Apogee.

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