Disgraceful Partisanship from Prince William 103

A jarringly inappropriate nationalistic speech from Prince William hit entirely the wrong tone and drew desultory applause at the commemoration ceremony for the start of the First World War, in Belgium today.

William’s whole attitude was based on the ludicrous jingoistic myth that there was a “right” and a “wrong” side in the First World War. This attitude pervaded the entire sickening performance. More than once he said we were “grateful” to Belgium for its “staunch resistance”. He mentioned the execution of Edith Cavell and the burning of the library of Loeven, with no balance of the equal war crimes on the other side.

In the dreadful nationalistic war between rival Imperial powers, the Belgian Empire was probably the most evil of all. To commend its resistance is ridiculous. Joseph Conrad’s great “Heart of Darkness” and “Congo Diary”, and the formal revelation by British Consul Roger Casement of the dreadful enslavement and abuse of the Congo population to provide vast profits to the Belgian crown, provide lasting testimony to the malignity of the Belgian Empire.

William referred to Cavell’s execution: he did not mention the execution of the heroic Roger Casement by the British, another key incident of the First World War.

The First World War was a terrible, terrible event. The millions of soldiers may have been activated by motives they believed to be noble, but the cause of war was the rival desires for aggrandisement of the very rich who ran and profited from the Empires. The Second World War was a fight against the evil philosophy of fascism, but there was no such cause for the First World War, which was simply a clash between Empires, and whose vindictive conclusion laid the foundations for fascism.

Commemorations which play to the “good side” “bad side” myth are uncalled for and should be widely condemned. That we still have a monarch-led elite which cannot admit the First World War is wrong is ludicrous. William stands baldly revealed as a reactionary ass.

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103 thoughts on “Disgraceful Partisanship from Prince William

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  • CanSpeccy

    Of course the Brit’s didn’t expect to ruin themselves and everyone else. Most thought the war would be over by Christmas, although some perceptive thinkers predicted it would turn into a stalemate that would continue until at least one side was totally ruined. As it turned out, all sides were totally ruined. So much for messing with great powers, as the US/UK are now doing with Russia, although today there is a difference. Push Russia hard enough and London and New York will be incinerated.

  • Ben-American Fascist Flechette

    CanSpeccy; I think you overly rely on Toynbee. Good, but gullible.

  • Tony M

    Peacewisher, thanks for that detail at 11:34pm, most interesting and puts a human face on these events. I would say if he left England after Russia’s withdrawal from the war, when the western front hung in the balance, then it was high folly indeed to send him or anyone spare to Palestine, though it may have been pre-destined by the training he had already received. As the US and its suicidal President Wilson were becoming the main sponsor of the Zionist project by then, it clearly made more sense to send US troops directly to try take Palestine for this violent colonisation project wrapped in religious fantasy, of the Zionists, than use them as morale boosters and substitutes to plug self-made gaping holes in the Western Front. Never forgetting that the late Russian Czar, German Kaiser and English Monarch were all close relatives and mutually eliminating their surplus proletariat and lots of French too, prolonging the slaughter unnecessarily, if not initiating it merely for that reason, was to them probably seen as a good thing. More so as the events in Russia had given western Europe’s aristos and oligarchs a sharpened fear of the masses’ revolutionary potential.

  • Ben-American Fascist Flechette

    Hitler’s hands

    Toynbee met Hitler in Berlin in 1936, shortly before the reoccupation of the Rhineland. The meeting is described in Acquaintances. Toynbee had no fascination with power at all. The last post shows where his political sympathies tended.

    “Most of the time, my eyes were following Hitler’s hands. He had beautiful hands. His gestures were eloquent, as well as graceful. His voice, too, was, unexpectedly to me, agreeably human in its pitch and cadence […].”

    Not another one! Another intelligent person who found something enchanting and mesmerising in Hitler.

    Acquaintances, OUP, 1967


    It’s like Bush saying something like ‘I looked into Putin’s eyes and saw his soul”

    Really. This is everyone’s ideal of a modern historian?

  • CanSpeccy

    I think you overly rely on Toynbee

    The fatuity of your comment is evident from the fact that I have never read Toynbee. And from what you say of him, I’ve not missed much.

  • Peacewisher

    @Ben: well, if there is a likely cause, and no-one is prepared to admit it, there must be strong lobby in favour of not admitting it. I’ve got an open mind, would just like to know the truth, but it looks as if the truth would be unpalatable to the masses. I didn’t expect to have a personal interest – I had previously thought my grandfather was on the Western Front – but thanks to the National Archives I do.

  • Peacewisher

    @Tony. He was a runner. He was injured by shrapnel near Jaffa on 1st February 1918, and was in quite a bad state for months… none of that side of my family would have existed but for the medical skills at Netley. Quite a sobering thought. He never spoke about war, and if asked said it was a very bad thing. Who would disagree…


    What else can we expect from a royal? Not the sharpest tool in the royal tool box either.

    But in mitigation I doubt they write their own speeches and if they do they are vetted beforehand.

    Such a pointless waste of money the royal family is – I don’t buy the argument that they make money for the country through tourism – we’d still have the palaces and castles without the idjits waving and gurning from the balconies.

    But WENI will remain stuck with them – but here’s hoping Scotland can dispense with them. Balmoral would make a splendid open prison for young offenders…

  • conjunction

    Paul Rigby

    Very interested in your link and the review. I shall probably buy that book. These ideas mirror to some extent the views of Rudolf Steiner, the Austrian educationalist, academic, and occultist who also had a lot to say about Politics. His dates were approx 1865 to 1925. He was a friend of Moltke, the German Chief of staff, or head of armed forces in the early stages of the war.

    As he was an occultist his work may be ruled out of court by many, but remember he worked for many years in the Goethe archives as an academic and had an impeccable academic reputation. Also there are now hundreds if not thousands of Steiner schools around the world.

    He wrote an interesting book called Social and Political Science and several others delineating his view that Germany was scapegoated after the war, agreeing with many commentators on this blog that the war was caused equally by many nations, although he mostly blamed England.

    He also, remarkably, in a series of lectures now published under the title of ‘Karma of Untruthfulness’ detailed a conspiracy involving freemasonry going back to about 1870 whose aim was to cause a war with Germany.

    Normally I hate conspiracy theories, but I have to say I found a lot of his arguments about the first War compelling.

  • Habbabkuk (La vita è bella) !


    *They only became widely known as “Fascists” after Germany ratted on the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact.


    That’s incorrect, I’m afraid, at least as far as the Soviets were concerned. The term “fascists” (variant : “social-fascists”, as applied to Socialists) was used extensively by the Soviets in the 1930s.

  • Richard

    Habba, in part I’m basing what I said on what my mother told me she had been told by her parents, both of whom were in the C.P.U.K. and their story that prior to the German war with the U.S.S.R., the socialist, left-wing aspects of the German regime were emphasised and used as an argument against the war. I even seem to remember the phrase “workers in uniform” applied to the Wehrmacht (not a phrase, I hasten to add, that survived long after Operation Barbarossa!). Of course, the C.P.U.K. was a clique and, perhaps, a small one, but I suspect that their opinions and influence spread someway beyond their own ranks. ‘National Socialist’ was, of course, the term used by Hitler’s mob themselves, though they wouldn’t be the first group in history to try to massage their image a bit.

    Whatever the truth of the matter, it has occurred to me since I read Craig’s piece and wrote my comment, that I have heard in the past (accurately?) that attempts were made to get Italy into the allied camp right up to the moment when Mussolini finally threw his lot in with Hitler. (I seem to recall that the failure of the attempt elicited a remark from Churchill something to the effect that “Oh, well, people who visit Italy to look at ruins won’t have to go as far as Pompeii in future”). Now unless I’ve really got the wrong end of the stick, Mussolini was a Fascist and, probably, the original, so Craig’s assertion that “The Second World War was a fight against the evil philosophy of fascism …” would be called into question by that fact alone if it can be corroborated. Combined with the later alliance with the U.S.S.R., however necessary that alliance was to try to extricate Britain from the hell of a jam she’d got herself into, it really puts the kybosh on the ‘noble motives’ narrative.

    In short, I have absolutely no idea why Britain declared war in 1939. It looks like an act pure insanity to me, as does the declaration of a hundred years ago. Germany doesn’t appear to have been too interested in Britain, even in 1914 when she was a power to be reckoned with. Their concern with Britain was so strong in World War Two that they didn’t even bother to finish her before chasing off towards Moscow – perhaps their major concern all along. So if Germany wasn’t concerned with Britain, why was Britain so concerned with Germany? I don’t know; but I’d take a lot of convincing that it was a noble stand against Fascism.

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