Friday, 1 July 2016

Not Over The Top To Say

Other countries have revolutions, and wars of independence, and that kind of thing.

We have the First World War, and especially the Somme.

It pervades our national consciousness, to such an extent that most of the time we do not even notice that it is there.

But we scarcely think of it as a war or a battle against the Germans.

Look at any cultural representation of the First World War or even of the Somme, and the Germans feature barely, if at all.

The enemy was, is, and always will be the callous and incompetent Officer Class.

Thus does it pervade our national consciousness, to such an extent that most of the time we do not even notice that it is there.


  1. It's all a myth, though. The upper classes were as ready to get themselves killed as all the other classes.

    As Orwell wrote:

    "One thing that has always shown that the English ruling class are morally fairly sound, is that in time of war they are ready enough to get themselves killed.

    Several dukes, earls and what nots were killed in the recent campaign in Flanders.

    That could not happen if these people were the cynical scoundrels that they are sometimes declared to be. It is important not to misunderstand their motives, or one cannot predict their actions. What is to be expected of them is not treachery, or physical cowardice, but stupidity, unconscious sabotage, an infallible instinct for doing the wrong thing. They are not wicked, or not altogether wicked; they are merely unteachable.""

    And the poor voluntarily signed up to fight for love of their country; despite having voluntary enlistment, Kitchener and Eden had an overwhelming response within weeks of the call to action.

    As the history notes: ""At the moment when it seemed likely that England might be invaded, Anthony Eden appealed over the radio for Local Defence Volunteers.

    He got a quarter of a million men in the first twenty-four hours, and another million in the subsequent month.

    One has only to compare these figures with, for instance, the number of conscientious objectors to see how vast is the strength of traditional loyalties compared with new ones.""

    1. Oh, it is not the whole truth in a strictly factual sense, no. But which national mythos is? This is ours.