The BBC World War Two Porn Page 467


Waking up this morning and putting on the TV to see the news, instead I saw on BBC Breakfast a 30 minute piece on the role of a teenage girl in 1932 in helping her father do the maths to establish that the Spitfire needed eight .303 guns to deliver a sufficient weight of shot.

That sentence contains the total import of the 30 minute film. In spreading it out over half an hour, the BBC managed to repeat slight variations on that sentence over forty times, padded out with numerous shots of spitfires, Battle of Britain reminiscences and the exhibition of the kitchen table where the maths was done.

I am very glad the Battle of Britain was won. I admire the heroism of those who fought. My mother never forgot her only brother, an RAF navigator who was shot down and died aged nineteen. I am not mindless of the stakes or the sacrifice. But I am old, and the war was over more than a decade before I was born. It is as chronologically distant from a child born today as Victoria becoming Empress of India was from me. I have repeatedly been tempted to write about the WW2 obsession in the media and the English political psyche, but have refrained from not wishing to offend those with whose emotional ties I sympathise. But this is becoming an unhealthy obsession with a “glorious past”.

The BBC’s piece today actually finished with a Churchill speech, with spitfires flying and with Elgar. It was like a parody. The recent focus on Churchill’s vicious racism might as well not have happened. It really is going too far, and it links in to a current day militarism which was initially cultivated by New Labour and Blair’s obsession with neo-imperialist wars abroad.

You have a war that lasted from 1939 to 1945. We have had “anniversary” events that mark the 70th, 75th and now 80th anniversary with the result we have a full 16 years during which not a day passes that is not a “major anniversary” of an event in WW2, on which peg the BBC can hang more “Britain’s Greatness” nostalgia. Very plainly this all meshes with Brexit, with the nostalgia for Britain’s world-bestriding role exuded continually by Johnson and Gove, and with the new aggression of Unionism. It gets less and less subtle – Stalin’s propagandists might have blenched at today’s BBC state propaganda piece. The girl who did the maths deserved her recognition. But not like this.

In the real world, the UK has just resumed arms sales to Saudi Arabia to massacre the children of Yemen and support the jihadist terrorist fanatics of Idlib.

I am going to keep this page permanently open for comments, and hopefully bookmarked on the right hand side, so you can record future examples of BBC WW2 Porn as they occur, or indeed other examples of gratuitous official militarism.

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467 thoughts on “The BBC World War Two Porn Page

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  • charles mair

    I agree with you 100% it is pure propaganda just like endless repeat’s
    of Dads Army, When a Country needs the word Great in it’s name you know
    it has a personality problem.

    • Cubby

      Charles – I agree with most of your post but the Great is a geographical term as in Great Cumbrae and Little Cumbrae – Scottish islands. However, plenty of people think it is as you suggest.

      • John O'Dowd

        Its a bit more complicated than that, Laguerre. It really depends on what language – and in which country you are:

        In Scottish Gaelic Brittany (Brettagne) is a’ Bhreatann Bheag, just as you say. – and of course, the Breton language is similar to Welsh and Cornish.

        However, in the Irish language “an Bhreatain Bheag” (Little Britain) is the word for Wales, and not Brittany.

        Great Britain (Grand Brettagne in French) is both a geographical description – and a political delusion.

    • Jonathan M

      Dear Charles. I agree with Mr. Murray, and your comments, but not over ‘Dads Army’. That is sacred. You have overstepped the mark.
      If you don’t understand ‘Dads Army’, then you’re clearly not British enough. I only voted for Brexit because Farage promised us that the frequency of repeats of the programme would be increased by 1000%, and European people would be banned from watching it. 😉

      (To be clear, because sometimes the Internet just exacerbates communication problems. Dads Army is not about ‘Great Britishness’, it’s about excellent acting, fantastic writing, a wonderful cast combination, brilliant production, lasting stories, and mostly it makes fun of total ineptitude, incompetence and misplaced snobbery. If anything it promotes humility. It has nothing to do with Empire or the War, or Britishness. I will admit though, maybe it does need a ‘British’ take on humour. )

    • Johny Conspiranoid

      ” When a Country needs the word Great in it’s name you know
      it has a personality problem.”
      “Great Britain” is a geographical term which distinguishes the islands from Lesser Britain which is Britanny.

  • John+Deehan

    The Russians lost over 27,000,000 people and destroyed 80% of the Wehrmacht, yet, if a Martian looked at either the U.K. or US propaganda channels it would appear they defeated the Nazis. Still, why let the truth get in the way of a good yarn.

    • Ian Brown

      I read somewhere that Stalin mistrusted just about everyone….. with the crucial exception of Adolph Hitler, about whose projected invasion he was informed in some detail by various spies and notably Richard Sorge in Tokyo (informed accurately s to withing a couple of days!) but refused to listen.

      Had he listened, perhaps Hitler’s invasion might have been somewhat less costly in Russian lives and devastation.

      • Kempe

        Absolutely correct. His own military intelligence warned him, British intelligence warned him and the Russians had a spy working at Bletchley Park who warned him. He didn’t listen.

  • Simon Baddeley

    Some very intelligent and sensitive comments, but also an ‘echo chamber’ (or is it filter-bubble’?) as encouraged by web chat, rather than face-to-face, with space for second and even third thoughts and the communications of reservations, conditions and nuance that enriches human to human chat – keeping a vigorous debate from becoming a heated argument. It’s also as if we’ve reverted under COVID to speaking across the landscape in semaphore, which is quite funny when you’re a little worked up or want to give your vent a West Country, Yorkshire, Scots, Welsh, Eire, London, Kentish, ‘whatever’ edge. I’m 78; inclined to sneak a peak in private at war ‘porn’ and other slightly strange glimpses from the past, sometimes with my 6 year old grandson, who watching ‘A Night to Remember” asks “Why women and children first, grandpa?” observing “I hope my dad would have dressed up as a lady then he could have got on a lifeboat and not been drownded”. I like fielding these remarks, lobbing them v. gently back, assaying what most people mean by integrity and courage and duty in 2020, even if they’d use different words such such universals. We’ve lived 40 years in Handsworth, a ‘notorious’ inner suburb of Birmingham, amid hyperdiversity, predatory crime and the ever present company of good neighbours and the kindness of strangers. I see no reason why one should not hop in and out of the past, link it to the present and use that odd mix to talk about the future – especially one in which I’ll not be in attendance. These odd mixtures are bread and butter, unleavened bread and olive oil. I had relatives who died, were wounded, and fought home and away in a war that led to the Welfare State from which I’ve been a fortunate beneficiary. “The Cruel Sea” is an awfully good movie as is Spike Lee’s ‘Do the Right Thing” especially as ‘doing the right thing’ often presents me with the same confusions as a chameleon striving to camouflage itself on tartan, and while on the subject of camouflage …..(cont. on p.94)

  • DiggerUK

    I first read this in The Daily Mail. It could easily be misread to portray a proud young patriot “burning the midnight oil” on solving the planes armament problem as the enemy approached. Then you clock this was being done in 1934, which means you are dealing with those who can predict the future.

    As it turns out, the configuration of guns that this prodigal daughter of empire was calculating for, meant that the planes were still badly under armed and where abandoned in short order…_

    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-8507915/The-girl-13-helped-win-Battle-Britain.html

    • Yr Hen Gof

      Indeed, 8 Browning machine guns firing .303 bullets were no match for the Messerschmidt BF 109’s two 13mm machine guns and 20mm/30mm cannons (shells available as armour piercing as well as the more normal explosive), neither were our carburettor fed engines able to compete with the fuel injected Daimler Benz DB 605A.
      German planes in some cases returned to France with substantial bullet damage (200 in one case), Yet were able to be returned to service, .303’s just weren’t able to inflict sufficient damage unless scoring vital hits.
      It was range, (time spent in combat) that severely restricted the Luftwaffe’s operational ability.

  • Thomas Mellman

    So Britishcentric! “Very plainly this all meshes with Brexit”. Surely, this a spin-off of the jingoism that the U.S. exudes.
    In my formative years, the rise of the anti-hero reflected an understanding that there are no blacks and whites in life, only greys. Until … probably in the late 80s or early 90s, when you started hearing … “except Hitler. He was all bad, right?”. And suddenly, life was full of black and white again. Milosevic, Saddam Hussein, Qaddafi, Assad were all monsters. In parallel to this was the resurgence of (Hollywood, USA) films glorifying war. Britain is just riding coattails. 🙂

    • Laguerre

      I think Black-and-White in political imagery in the US probably comes from super-hero comics with comic-book (sic) baddies, and Hollywood Westerns. It’s nice, simple, stuff that all the kids read and saw (in my generation). I was quite astounded, when young in the 70s, meeting American students for the first time (yes, even very bright ones), to discover that their universe was formed around this stuff. How much worse the situation of the many who didn’t go abroad to study.

      It wasn’t the same in Britain. Yes, we used to go and see The Dambusters and other such flicks, patriotic enough, but it wasn’t the same.

    • Ilya G Poimandres

      Let’s remember – it was Britain that began bombing cities 3 months before Hitler was pushed to switch from military targets to a token bombing campaign of civilian targets. The Battle of Britain was another British War crime. Hitler wanted no war with Britain. He offered batallions to protect the British Empire, offered to quit being the German leader in 1943 for peace with Britain. Britain (Chruchil), wanted to annhialate Germany, which they for the most part achieved.

      • Laguerre

        “The Battle of Britain was another British War crime.”

        You’ve got the story up-ended. The Battle of Britain was the bombing of military targets – airfields, and aircraft factories. You are right that Hitler was piqued into switching the bombing to the cities, because of British raids on German cities. Traditionally historians say that it was this switch which brought an end to German chances of conquering Britain, as the RAF had almost been defeated at that point. However, even if the RAF had been defeated, the Germans had almost no chance of invading Britain. The German army was organised for continental land warfare and knew nothing of amphibious invasions. They brought up Rhine barges, and manufactured a plan, but the relief in the army was almost palpable when Hitler cancelled the invasion.

        Yes, Hitler liked the British, but it doesn’t mean the Germans would have been nice, had Britain surrendered.

        • J Galt

          The German army started re-deploying to the East in July 1940, there was never any serious plan to invade Britain – the Rhine barges neatly lined up for RAF photo reconnaissance were a ruse de guerre.

        • Johny Conspiranoid

          Hitler’s main mission for his backers, like Henry Ford, was to destroy the USSR and get rid of the commies, hence he tried for a settelment in the West. The allies didn’t open a second front until he had been defeated at Stalingrad and it became a race between America and the USSR to grab as much of Europe as they could.

          • J Galt

            Yes Ford wanted to destroy the USSR, that’ll be why he exported over 25,000 tractors to the evil Soviets that became the backbone of collectivization then….

            As old Oscar said “the truth is rarely pure, and never simple”.

          • James Charles

            “Taken together, these four volumes constitute an extraordinary commentary on a basic weakness in the Soviet system.
            The Soviets are heavily dependent on Western technology and innovation not only in their civilian industries, but also in their military programs.
            An inevitable conclusion from the evidence in this book is that we have totally ignored a policy that would enable us to neutralize Soviet global ambitions while simultaneously reducing the defense budget and the tax load on American citizens.”
            “ His book tells at least part of the story of the Soviet Union’s reliance on Western technology, including the infamous Kama River truck plant, which was built by the Pullman-Swindell company of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, a subsidiary of M. W. Kellogg Co. Prof. Pipes remarks that the bulk of the Soviet merchant marine, the largest in the world, was built in foreign shipyards. He even tells the story (related in greater detail in this book) of the Bryant Chucking Grinder Company of Springfield, Vermont, which sold the Soviet Union the ball-bearing machines that alone made possible the targeting mechanism of Soviet MIRV’ed ballistic missiles. “
            http://www.crowhealingnetwork.net/pdf/Antony%20Sutton%20-%20The%20Best%20Enemy%20Money%20Can%20Buy.pdf
            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sah_Xni-gtg

      • Funkermann

        All wars are crimes.Mostly young boys used as cannon fodder.Every Rememberence Sunday the BBC spend hours and hours gloating in gore.
        Poppy Police everywhere. I want to vomit at the carry on of some of the heavy medalled men. Some of them would not know a tank if it ran over them.
        While the poor buggers who survived WW2 Korea and the other Made in the USA wars are being bumped off by medical neglect.”Nation shall speak peace to nation”.Bollocks.

  • joel

    The BBC would also have us believe the royal family and upper classes were ferociously anti-Nazi. Even Churchill said he would have supported Mussolini if he had been Italian. Admittedly that was before the war. During the war,, in 1943, he said on reference to the 4 million he starved to death in the Bengal Famine: ” I hate Indians. They are a beastly people with a beastly religion.” It’s why the Beeb employs the likes of David Starkey, etc, to keep it all nice and simple.

      • Marmite

        Isn’t it frightening, then, that those who teach in public schools smear all this BBC excrement into the brains of our children? I think we are going nowhere with this conversation until we start to demand a change to how history is taught.

      • Ian Brown

        Yes, Churchill was certainly a flawed figure (to put it mildly) but I guess most people, and not only in Britain, have cause to be thankful he was around in 1940.

        Perhaps his 1943 comment about the Indians might have been in reaction to the efforts of Subba Chandra Bose and various others to raise an army to fight together with the Japanese against the British in India?

        • Antonym

          Indeed: without Churchill’s WW II drive and speeches the UK might have been concurred by Hitler. There was much NAZI sympathy in the Anglosphere: the trains ran on time, the great Autobahns, Volkswagen, good for big business, a bit like for Xi Jinping’s CCP externally these days.

          • Herr Ringbone

            Your remark about Xi is inaccurate, indeed moronic.

            And what is the point of such personalizing of geopolitics? “Xi’s CCP.” Oh, yes. Xi is Hitler. Putin is Hitler. Their successors are all Hitler too, until such time as they hand their nations over to Western capital wholesale.

      • John+Deehan

        What has been flushed down the memory hole, is both Mussolini, Stalin and Hitler were supported financially by Wall Street. Moreover, the Nazis and Bolsheviks has technology transfers from the US and had their industrial capacities built up with the aid of the US and to a lesser degree the UK as Professors Antony. C. Sutton and Guido Preparata explained in great depth in the various books they wrote concerning this.

        • bevin

          “.. Mussolini, Stalin and Hitler were supported financially by Wall Street. Moreover, the Nazis and Bolsheviks has technology transfers from the US and had their industrial capacities built up with the aid of the US and to a lesser degree the UK..”
          Regarding the USSR this is nonsense. Like most nonsense there are elements of truth in it. But the treatment that western finance and governments accorded the USSR was quite different from that given to either Germany or Italy. And for very good reasons: both countries were run by governments friendly towards capitalism and seen as presenting no challenge to it. Both Germany and Italy proved to be, for a time, profitable places in which to invest capital. This was not the case with the USSR, which was subject to a series of sanctions and economic (as well as military) campaigns designed to change the regime there.
          In effect your history is precisely what Putin was objecting to in his recent ‘Victory Day’ speeches and articles-it is a rehash of Neville Chamberlain’s and lacks only references to the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, and charges that Lenin was an agent of the Kaiser. Never mind the memory hole-flushing is in order here.

          • Ian Brown

            Not the case with the USSR? What are you talking about? Did you know, for example, that Henry Ford opened up a bloody great motor factory in the USSR? And you have perhaps forgotten that one of the early Stalin trials (as crooked as subsequent ones, of course) was of a bunch of foreign engineers who were in Russia installing plant and systems under licence from Western countries.
            No wonder Putin’s busily rehabiltating the memory of Uncle Joe.

          • John+Deehan

            If you read either Wall Street and the rise of Hitler, Wall Street and the Bolshevik Revolution,Conjuring Hitler you will find ample proof to demonstrate that the financial elites both in Wall Street and the financial centres plus some of the international corporations did indeed both fund and help build up the industries of both the Bolshevik and National Socialist dictatorships. Indeed, Henry Ford received the Grand Cross of the German Eagle from Nazi officials in 1938 on his 75th birthday. Ford was the first American recipient of this order, an honour created in 1936 by Adolf Hitler for services rendered to the Nazi regime. In addition, Prescott Bush had his company assets seized in 1942 under Trading with enemy act by the American government. Furthermore, Montague Norman sold Czech gold, left with the Bank of England prior to the Nazi invasion, for the Nazis after the invaded Czechoslovakia. Moreover, Jacob Schiff, a very important Wall Street Banker he was head of Kuhn Loeb and company along with others, in March 1917 had substantially funded the Bolsheviks . Moreover, a number of American corporations helped build Bolshevik industry, for example, Ford built an enormous automobile / truck plant at Nizhni Novgorod. Western capitalists, before, during and after WW2 continued to do business with the USSR. The Soviet Government imported entire systems of production plus hiring foreign experts plus skilled Labour. It appears you have no idea what you are talking about !!!

          • James Charles

            “Taken together, these four volumes constitute an extraordinary commentary on a basic weakness in the Soviet system.
            The Soviets are heavily dependent on Western technology and innovation not only in their civilian industries, but also in their military programs.
            An inevitable conclusion from the evidence in this book is that we have totally ignored a policy that would enable us to neutralize Soviet global ambitions while simultaneously reducing the defense budget and the tax load on American citizens.”
            “ His book tells at least part of the story of the Soviet Union’s reliance on Western technology, including the infamous Kama River truck plant, which was built by the Pullman-Swindell company of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, a subsidiary of M. W. Kellogg Co. Prof. Pipes remarks that the bulk of the Soviet merchant marine, the largest in the world, was built in foreign shipyards. He even tells the story (related in greater detail in this book) of the Bryant Chucking Grinder Company of Springfield, Vermont, which sold the Soviet Union the ball-bearing machines that alone made possible the targeting mechanism of Soviet MIRV’ed ballistic missiles. “
            http://www.crowhealingnetwork.net/pdf/Antony%20Sutton%20-%20The%20Best%20Enemy%20Money%20Can%20Buy.pdf
            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sah_Xni-gtg

  • Crispa

    Much of the porn is a cover up for the foreign policy of the preceding years in which there was a lot of support from Tories for Hitler and his dictatorial methods, particularly with his opposition to communism which they regarded as the biggest threat to their positions of power. And there was a lot of sharing of his anti-semitism.
    Chamberlain’s so – called “appeasement” was more an act of tacit support for Germany at that time, which only changed when it became clear that Hitler was offering a direct challenge to British Empire interests. While the Germany – Russia peace pact was in play Russia was still seen to be the bigger threat and it was only when Hitler made the mistake of invading Russia and diverting Germany’s resources to the Eastern front that it was possible for this country or rather the British Empire to mount a proper resistance.
    Putin’s celebrations of the 75th anniversary including his analysis of the events leading up to it – also ignored in any depth by the British media – was a response to the denial-ism of this country and its allies to the role it played – and the 27 million Russian lives that were lost. And soon there will be the 75th anniversary of Hiroshima and Nagasaki and there will be the usual reitreation of the lie which BBC and other outlets will spread that bombing saved more lives than it cost as justification.

    • Kempe

      This would be the hour long speech in which he attempted to blame Poland whilst glossing over the Soviet Union’s treaty with Hitler which divided up Poland in advance?

      https://foreignpolicy.com/2020/01/21/vladimir-putin-wants-to-rewrite-the-history-of-world-war-ii/

      The Soviets also helped Germany re-arm and would’ve done better had Stalin’s paranoia not led him to murder most of the Red Army’s best officers and had he heeded the advance warnings of the German invasion from British and his own intelligence.

      • Laguerre

        Britain and France didn’t leave Stalin any choice but to make a treaty with Hitler. They refused to make a treaty with the Soviets themselves. Funny how Kempe fails to mention that.

        • Kempe

          Why on earth would Stalin need to make a treaty with a man who should’ve been his mortal enemy or anyone come to that? Why did it have to involve the illegal carve-up of a sovereign state?

          • Laguerre

            Please read up on the history. Russia needed to protect itself against a repeat of the numerous devastating invasions of its territory, particularly after the purges. As Britain and France wouldn’t ally with the “dangerous” communists, Stalin was forced to take out a temporary alliance with the Nazis, to hold them off long enough for the Soviets to prepare (it was pretty well known that Hitler was going to attack). It was basically the same policy as after the war, but less well-developed, and only confirmed by Barbarossa. All this stuff is pretty well-known.

          • Ian Brown

            What “devastating” invasions would those have been, I wonder?

            You can’t be thinking about the Crimean War, nor about WW1, surely. Perhaps you’re thinking of Napoleon, a mere 120 years or so previously. And of course, the Russians paid that invasion back in spades, didn’t they – Russian troops in Switzerland and Paris, n’est-ce pas?

            When speaking about “reading the history”, it may well be that Stalin needed time after the various purges and in particular that of the Soviet military. There is however the question of why Stalin wiped out most of the Soviet commanders and much of the officer corps. If we wait long enough, someone is going to pop up and say that that the West was somehow responsible for that as well?

          • J Galt

            Laguerre, I do read history and if the peace-loving Soviets were using the time of the “temporary” treaty to prepare for the long awaited invasion, why in June 1941 was the WRPA deployed in attack formation crammed up against the frontier?

            A deployment which ensured the opening phase of Barbarossa was so disastrous for the Soviets even though they were stronger and had better equipment – and more of it – than the Wehrmacht.

          • Laguerre

            Well, Napoleon’s invasion was devastating, even if the Russians ended up in Paris and invented the bistro (Bistro! Bistro! – Quick! Quick! – was the supposed call of the Russian soldiers). But you’ve forgotten the history of the First World War. After the collapse of the Tsarist regime in the March Revolution and the peace treaty of Brest-Litovsk, the Germans advanced far into Ukraine (I would have to check how far) and only withdrew at the end of the war. Then, the allies invaded Russia, and supported the Whites, to get rid of the dreadful Bolshie regime (note to western governments: a basic principle, never invade a revolution, it doesn’t work). All of that was enough to stimulate Russian paranoia.

            Then again, further back, there was Charles XII of Sweden’s invasion.1725, was it?

          • Kempe

            There was an attempt in early 1939 to agree a Russian-French-British pact to protect Poland but it failed on a number of issues not least Poland’s reluctance to have Russian troops on its land. Distrust that dated back 20 years when an attempt by Russia to invade Poland ended in an humiliating defeat for the Red Army. Stalin then swapped sides and agreed a division of Poland with Hitler. I think his motivation throughout was clear. He wanted to take control of Poland to avenge the earlier defeat.

            Stalin trusted Hitler to the point that Russia was totally unprepared for Barbarossa despite numerous warnings from Russias own spies, military intelligence and the British.

          • Ian Brown

            I’m not sure that Napoleon’s invasion was “devastating”, Laguerre, although you obviously feel it suits your argument (whatever it is, exactly) to say so. Certainly not by 20th century standards anyway.

            As for the Germans in Ukraine, yes, they didn’t retreat until near the end of the war. Just like the Germans didn’t begin retreating from France until the very end of the war (you may remember that Allied troops only arrived on German soil after the Armistice.

            And, finally, as for the Allied troops fighting the Bolsheviks, few people would call that a “devastating invasion”. “Intervention” is the word which would seem to pay greater justice to the scale (and the lack of success). The Whites and Reds, between them, managed to do quite enough “devastating”, thank you very much.

            Finally, many people forget (or prefer not to remember, perhaps, that Soviet behaviour in 1939 was but an echo of Soviet behaviour just after WW1. I refer to (1) the offering to Germany of training facilities for what remained of the Reichswehr and (2) the Soviet invasion of Poland and the Soviet-Polish war, described by either Liddell-Hart or Fuller as one of the 10 decisive battles of the modern world.

          • Laguerre

            J Galt

            I suggested the Soviets were peace-loving? That’s a bit wild. My suggestion is that Soviet policy was mainly defensive, in the 1930s as after WW2. But it wasn’t always very subtle, such as the attempt to recover Finland in the Winter War.

            What is the WRPA? Packed up for attack in 1941? Sounds like a Nazi story. Not arranged for a defence in depth, that’s a possibility. The level of disorganisation in the Soviet army in June 1941 was very considerable, given the number of officers executed in the purges.

          • Ian Brown

            Laguerre

            Stalin made exactly the same mistake as the Poles did in 1939, that is, too many troops concentrated too far forward at the border and not enough defence in depth.

            It’s not a “Nazi story” and it has nothing to do with post-purge “confusion” and eveythng to do with mistaken military strategy (and all the more inforgiveable because the Soviets had seen in 1939 how quickly and effectively the Germans could advance, an advantage the Poles didn’t have).

            With great respect, WW2 is evidently not your field of expertise.

          • Laguerre

            Ian Brown
            July 11, 2020 at 20:55
            “I’m not sure that Napoleon’s invasion was “devastating””.

            By the standards of the early 19th century it was, as shown by Tolstoy’s War and Peace and its effect on the Russian imagination.

            “And, finally, as for the Allied troops fighting the Bolsheviks, few people would call that a “devastating invasion”. ”

            Not if you insist on isolating the event, but combined with the Allied support for the Whites, yes. It would have seemed that way to the Russians of the time. It’s a bit like claiming US and UK haven’t intervened in Syria, when they’ve done everything to help the rebels to win, only not intervened on the ground. A policy which also hasn’t succeeded.

          • J Galt

            Laguerre

            Slight misprint – WPRA – Worker’s and Peasant’s Red Army.

            Yes the Nazi’s used the defence for their invasion of the USSR that it was pre-emptive based on intelligence, however it is telling that even anti Hitler elements in the German officer corps agreed with the assessment. Just because the “baddies” said it does not automatically make it untrue.

            Extensive detailed research has been carried out by Victor Suvorov into the the USSR order of battle detailing Soviet deployment from Front or Army Group down through Army, Corps, Division and specialised units. He also shows that Soviet weaponry was generally superior to Germany’s and there was more of it. If this impressive force had been deployed in defensive posture, in depth, as it had been until around 1939, it would have seen the Wehrmacht off easily – the Germans were no fools and would have thought twice about attacking such a force so deployed.

          • Laguerre

            Ian Brown
            July 11, 2020 at 21:17

            “With great respect, WW2 is evidently not your field of expertise.”

            Sounds much like your level of knowledge, only you’ve decided for your own reasons that the Soviets were being aggressive, when defensive policy is a much more likely explanation, as is the case after WW2.


            [ NB: ‘Ian Brown’ is the latest incarnation of Habbabostock. ]

          • Laguerre

            J Galt
            July 11, 2020 at 21:33

            The Soviet archives are now open, being of the previous regime. If there was a plan of attack, it should be there in the archives. Suvorov, as you say, only talks of the disposition of the army, which was faulty. If there was a plan of attack, he should have found it, but didn’t.

            In any case, what would have been the objectives of such an attack in June 1941? A recovery of Poland? i.e. unrealistic dreams.

          • Johny Conspiranoid

            “There is however the question of why Stalin wiped out most of the Soviet commanders and much of the officer corps. If we wait long enough, someone is going to pop up and say that that the West was somehow responsible for that as well?”
            Perhaps the West had made a great effort to infiltrate the officer corps and wiping most of them out was the only way to be sure of getting rid of the fifth columnists.

      • Mr V

        Said treaty was signed in late 1939. Soviets spent 3 previous years trying to sign an alliance – any alliance – with the West. They even proposed Polish-Czech-Russian alliance in 1938 (to which Poland, under its far right dictature said no – they preferred to divide Czech corpse with the Nazis). Funny how it is never mentioned, because in that light the desperate decision to sign pact with the only country that was willing to in order to not be attacked by both sides becomes ‘slightly’ more understandable, eh?

        Then there is the fact rabid Russo- and left-phobia among the Allies back then was so strong UK literally was making insane plans to bomb Baku and invade Murmansk in 1940 (Operation Pike). You’d think they had more pressing concerns in Nazi Germany that was at war with them for 8 months, yet only the fall of France put an end to these delusions. Gee, I have no idea why Russians would seek assurances at all costs from anyone, especially seeing mass invasion by the Allies in 1919-1920 was still very much alive…

        • J Galt

          The ostensible reason Britain and France had declared war was to assist Poland – why would they not plan to attack a country that was brutally occupying said Poland? A brutal occupation that included the standard Cheka liquidation of the ruling class including the entire Polish officer corps under their control.

          Of course it was fantasy by the French and British that they thought they could attack the USSR whilst simultaneously planning to invade the Ruhr.

          • bevin

            ” why would they not plan to attack a country that was brutally occupying said Poland?”

            This is of course Goebbels’ propaganda. As is most of the anti Soviet stuff on this thread.
            Mr V-above has it right. As to Putin’s ‘rewriting’ of history it is re-writing that was long overdue. One thing one can say about WWII is that it was the only time that reasonable views of the Soviet Union- after the soft pro-fascism of the appeasers and before the Cold War anti communist and soft fascist propaganda of the post war years- prevailed.
            The USSR had no alternative in 1939- given the refusal of the Poles to co-operate in their own defence, and the bad faith of the western governments (which really is not debatable)- but to buy time and hope that the Nazi military machine would be blunted in the west, by entering into a non-aggression pact. When that was done it made no sense at all not to occupy eastern ‘Poland’ and make it a buffer against the Nazis.
            Neither Molotov nor Stalin were particularly nice people but they made a much bigger contribution to saving the UK from Nazi rule than Dad’s Army, the BBC or Winston Churchill. And there were few grown ups in the UK in 1945, and very few soldiers who didn’t know it, and didn’t understand what was owed to Ivan Ivanovich and the Red Army.

      • Crispa

        For what it is worth the piece I was referring to was his article of the 18.06.2020
        Article by President of Russia Vladimir Putin ’75th Anniversary of the Great Victory: Shared Responsibility to History and our Future’ which can be read on the Russian Embassy website https://www.rusemb.org.uk/. Call it Russian propaganda if you like, though I read it as an attempt to balance western propaganda and it is not a rewriting of history. It’s accuracy would require more critical study than I am capable of and time.

    • Yr Hen Gof

      It’s obvious from reading MI5’s official history that between the wars they were very relaxed about the growth of fascism both here and in Europe, what really concerned them were trade unions, worker’s organisations, the Labour and Communist parties.
      The latter groups were spied on, followed and their communications intercepted, the former could be ignored because and I quote: “we went to school with many of them”.
      I don’t suppose much has changed since, certainly hadn’t by the time a ‘rogue’ group decided that the country had had enough of Harold Wilson and his government.
      MI5/MI6 should be regarded as big a threat to our freedoms as Mossad or the CIA.

  • Clark

    I like the end of the film Poltergeist – the family, driven from their home by forces they don’t understand, check into a motel; we watch them file into their suite and close the door behind them. A few seconds later the door reopens, the father rolls the suite’s TV out onto the walkway and leaves it there, going back in and shutting the door behind him.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iiCQcEW98OY

  • Kempe

    ” The same tactics and terminology is being used to defeat a virus which hsa played itself out in this country. ”

    Wanna bet?

    I think the residents of Leicester might disagree.

  • Jon+Musgrave

    I felt much the same way when I looked at the Vera Lynn funeral items on BBC website – “private ceremony” – her coffin was carried by military personnel, the hearse was flanked by slow marching military personnel, there was a fly past of 2 Spitfires. Such an unhealthy obsession with the Second Word War – its like the English population is being encouraged, nay forced, to relive it time and again.

  • Bob+Smith

    I hear the item about the 13 year old on the radio and thought it was a bit of a stretch. The claim is that she helped her Dad do the maths and the Spitfire ended up with 8 guns instead of one. The news item then turned her into a feminist trailblazer and the Battle of Britain would not have been won without her calculations. I am not sure the story would stand up if exposed to analysis by experienced historians. One simple point is that the Spitfire was not the main fighter plane – the Hurricane was but there were also other aircraft. There were also ground defences, backroom staff, engineers etc. The news item was one of the most laughable politically correct rewrites of history I have ever heard but as it was broadcast on the now laughably inept Today programme, I shouldn’t be surprised.
    As for constant reminders about WW2 I remain unconcerned. The victory at Trafalgar in 1805 was celebrated by many right up to WW1 and many of us still host Trafalgar Day dinners. Remembrance of Victories is part of every nations psyche and I suspect we will hold WW2 remembrance events long into the future, if not the next century. I grew up in East London in the late 50s and 60s and the scars of German bombing were all around me. The human cost was also very apparent with missing relations and total strangers with visible and voluble mental health issues. I have no problem with the constant reminders of WW2. I do have issues with those who rewrite history to fit their political agenda or drape themselves in the Union Jack to make themselves more popular with a section of voters who have an understanding of WW2 that falls far short of what they should have learned at school.

    • John Goss

      My golf-course runs, or at least up to this covid nonsense, ran a competition for old farts including me, called the Trafalgar Shield towards the end of October. The “victories” of the great British Empire are never allowed to die.

      • Bob+Smith

        Although John, it can be argued that Trafalgar is pre Empire. Much older events are remembered through re-enactment societies. I understand the arguments against such remembrance but I see no harm in it.

      • Republicofscotland

        “The “victories” of the great British Empire are never allowed to die.”

        Nor their modern day machinations using war as an excuse as in 2014, when the then PM David Cameron had the UK commemorate the beginning, not the end of, the First World war, something the UK hadn’t done before.

        Of course the commemoration was an attempt to instil unionism and patriotism especially in Scotland which was in the process of holding a independence referendum that year. The British used the excuse of the commemoration to attempt to weaken Scottish independence.

    • Laguerre

      “As for constant reminders about WW2 I remain unconcerned.”

      I’m not sure I’d agree with you there. There may still be Trafalgar Day dinners, but there was a big relaunch of everything traditional – the Royal Family, etc – once Cameron got into power in 2010. Along with a new emphasis on commemoration, and Johnson is just pushing it further. It’s all fake of course, memory of the war would normally be slowly fading, with the death of those who actually participated. It’s very common, when real sentiments are fading, to try to revive them for political reasons. After all, it’s what Brexit is all about isn’t it?

      • Bob+Smith

        Laguerre, my mother is 95 and lied about her age to serve in WW2. She is not a royalist or a little englander but obviously remembers why she fought and those around her at the time who didn’t survive. I have a daughter and a grandson. They respect my mother and through her have a better understanding of why we should never fight wars. That’s why constant reminders don’t bother me that much. When she dies that remembrance will live on through myself etc. Using such remembrance for political gain is, I agree, disgraceful but nothing new. Indeed, Nelson’s clerical brother William used his brother’s death to gain pensions, titles and influence. He was instrumental in commissioning a version of Nelson’s life that was designed to enhance his own minuscule role rather than tell the true story.

        • Laguerre

          You’re of the same generation as me. You well describe how memory of the war slowly fades in your family, but doesn’t disappear. That’s what naturally happens. The war is less and less relevant to today’s life. Here we have an artificial situation where the Tories are deliberately reviving memories of the war, because 1) it’s useful for them, and 2) there’s a feeling in some quarters we shouldn’t be forgetting.

          • Ian Brown

            No good trying to write all this “reviving WW2” business onto the slate of the Cameron Conservatives. The 1950s were full of war films, and TV didn’t take very long to latch on. The World At War in 26 parts (OK, that was WW1), Dad’s Army, Fawlty Towers (remember the “Germans” episode?) and so on ad nauseam are examples. As for the possible cause, I tend to agree with Ian above.

          • Laguerre

            “No good trying to write all this “reviving WW2” business onto the slate of the Cameron Conservatives.”

            You joke. You’ve forgotten the big revival of traditonalism once Cameron arrived in power. Yeah, we had it before, but it wasn’t important.

          • Laguerre

            Let’s do without the accusations of anti-semitism, shall we? If it had been another ethnicity involved, you would have let it pass without comment.

          • Clark

            You, Laguerre, did let it pass, possibly because it is that ethnicity?

            It’s conspiracy theory; “the boss man has such-and-such evil motivation, and everyone beneath just does as they’re told”, and like most conspiracy theory I have encountered, it comes in twin-packs; “buy one, get the anti-Semitic one free”. I’m sick of it, because this real anti-Semitism has just been leveraged to help deprive Corbyn’s Labour of government.

          • Laguerre

            Conspiracy theory on your part. You’re very sensitive to only one ethnicity. I don’t much care whether it’s a Russian oligarch, or a Jewish oligarch or a Yank. They’re all the same. I suspect that Goss is in the same position.

            The mistake he made was talking of holocaust rather than genocide. Genocide would have been a better term. But even genocide wouldn’t have been correct for the Bengal famine. A better description would have been “callous negligence”, as I don’t know there was an element of deliberation. Much like the Irish Famine of 1845: was death the intention? or the landowners just didn’t care?

            By contrast, and to come back to the original point, I have no doubt that it is the deliberate intention of the Israeli government to eliminate the Palestinian identity, not by direct killing of Palestinians, so not genocide, but by making life impossible to live. That’s pretty bad, but doesn’t seem to bother you, who finds theoretical anti-semitism more important.

          • Johny Conspiranoid

            Anti-semitic conspiracy theories are a sub-set of conspiracy theories, so anti-semitic conspiracy theorists are a sub-set of conspiracy theorists.

          • Clark

            Laguerre:

            “The mistake he made was talking of holocaust rather than genocide”

            No, it’s the blatant anti-Semitic cliches of Jewish bankers and Jews control the media; same ones as the Nazis promoted. Just keep reading it until it gets past your blinkers.

            “but doesn’t seem to bother you”

            I can’t post here all the photo’s I’ve taken while participating in demonstrations for the Palestinians, so instead of telling me what I think, try reading it again; it said:

            “I’m sick of it, because this real anti-Semitism has just been leveraged to help deprive Corbyn’s Labour of government.”

          • Clark

            Johny, it’s a bit more subtle than that. The evil “them” of conspiracy theory are left forever ill defined; conspiracy theory thereby builds infrastructure ripe for anti-Semitism. But there are also a widespread bunch of commenters who promote conspiracy theory as a method for slipping anti-Semitism past sites’ anti-bigotry moderation rules; they snigger to each other as they impute motive to anyone critical of their fallacious consensus. As a reformed conspiracy theorist I have personal experience of this; I was horrified when I realised what I had permitted to happen to my own thinking.

          • James Charles

            Look, look, over there, it’s ‘the Jews’.
            Don’t look over there at the ‘plutocrats’ and the M.I.C., there is nothing to see!

        • Gav

          @ John Goss

          A good reminder, I find, of who’s who in big banking, is the board of directors at the central bank for central banks – the Bank for International Settlements. Not many Jewish names there.

          Although I’m perhaps being myopic. I dunno.

          • bevin

            Anti semitism is thoroughly provincial. In most of the world, outside of Europe, the idea that Jews are of any particular influence in finance or economics is puzzling. There are many other candidate groups for the honour, from Parsees to Armenians to Lebanese to ….
            As to the Tories and the war- they were overwhelmingly rejected by the electorate in 1945. It took them a long time to live down their record in the war and before it.

  • Ian

    I think you might have got cause and effect the wrong way round. Rather than the constant recycling of WW2 myths leading to brexit, the decline of the UK as a relatively stable entity has led to a near hysterical reincarnation of that war as the totem of Britishness, when all the other once available symbols and signs of it have withered away. As a consequence it has become far more inflated and ubiquitous a myth than it ever actually was for decades after the war was over. It has become a fetish object. Brexit is the corollary, another symptom which merely embodies the very decline that it is supposed to magically arrest and reverse.

    • Johny Conspiranoid

      Ian
      Its to get the public on side for the anti-Russia/China/Syria/Cuba/Venezuela campaign. More interistingly, how are such campaigns managed and organised? Given that news items are, in the modern way, subcontracted to independent production companies, maybe someone at the production co. is taking the piss out of the client a little bit. Hence the news item is “like a parody”.

  • Stevie Boy

    I guess if we’re talking about WW2 Porn and it’s use to exploit the masses we should give an honorary mention to “Captain Tom” ?
    The poor old chaps heart is in the right place and I’m definitely not trying to do him down, but we need to look at the bigger picture. We have a government who are, and have been for decades, consciously underfunding healthcare and who are very quick to jump on the bandwagon and laud the efforts of a poorly war veteran pensioner who is trying to minimise the impact of government policy on the NHS. In an alternative decent universe the people would rise up at the shame of this scenario and demand government resignations – but they don’t !
    In my opinion, it’s pornographic to use the (misguided ?) efforts of war veterans to support the failures of corrupt government policy.

  • BW

    WW2 is becoming an all purpose foundation myth for any country with skeletons in the closet. The holocaust is the toxic legacy that all try to distance themselves from, even if the German Nazis needed and got co-operation and tacit licence from many quarters in carrying out the multiple genocides.

    The holocaust has rightfully become seen as an absolute of eugenic extermination, but this has tended to obscure a general tendency in imperial powers towards quasi-scientific or just plain racist population ‘control’.

    Most of the European empires, the USA, Turkey, Japan have cases to answer, the Nazis did not come out of a void in their eugenic theorising and volk mythology

    The british empire may have been more obsessed with ‘free trade’ and laissez-faire economics, but this was just another layer of reasoning to go with racism, hijacking the capacity of the economy across India for example, representing regular famines as natural disasters and doing little to re-channel food from India to the Indians themselves.

    The fact is a lot of these structures still exist, they certainly werent eliminated with the defeat of the Nazis. In India the BJP are the overlords and treat sections of the Indian population with similar contempt to the British.

    Resource wars, fears of terrorism and mass migration underpin the ‘freedom-lovin democracies’ of the west with their corrupt financial centres and oligarch entourage. Attempts to validate these wars with WMDs, cartoon villains, malala and white helmets havent really cut it, so its back to WW2

  • John Goss

    In 1951 (when I was six) my parents took us to London to see the Festival of Britain. I remember looking awestruck at a spitfire suspended from a ceiling of one of the exhibition halls and pondering how anyone could fly in something so small. It was impressive though and had floats for landing on water. It turns out it was from the thirties. I was looking at it through the innocent eyes of a child. The innocence has long gone. There is no way seven years later I could have contemplated what guns to put on it or any theoretical trajectories. Before I started inventing any piece of engineering I had served a five-year apprenticeship. Once you have the training you can invent. I question whether this child actually played any part in the gun development of the Spitfire.

    Out of interest this last few weeks I have been designing and building a Hollander beater (a papermaking machine) to my own design. It should work when it’s finished. But you never know. As Richard Feynman said: “If it disagrees with experiment, it’s wrong.” It’s getting there.

    • J Galt

      I too have a healthy scepticism of “neat little stories”. They are usually false, wholly or in part, and normally have an ulterior motive.

    • Yr Hen Gof

      A little reading soon reveals that the Spitfire, even with its eight Browning .303 machine guns was no match for the Messerschmidt BF 109’s mix of 13mm machine guns and 20/30mm cannons.
      Neither did our carburettor fed engines perform as comprehensively as the Luftwaffe’s fuel injected.
      Unless the Spitfire pilot hit his opposing number or a critical component the German plane was able to return to France.

  • Vivian O'Blivion

    All this British bluster about “our glorious part in WW II” is largely uninformed, propaganda nonsense. Thames Television’s excellent 1970’s series World at war is a good starting point.
    The RAF and the Navy (Royal and Merchant) put up a good man to man performance, but the infantry were largely shite (excepting the Far East; Arakan, the Admin. Boxes, Kohima, Orde Wingate’s Chindits).
    This isn’t a reflection on the average squaddie, it’s an inevitable result of the English caste system and its crippling impact on the Army Officer Corp.
    The Navy and the RAF by necessity incorporated a degree of meritocracy. It’s not a good idea to put a cretinous public school boy in charge of a ship or an aeroplane, you can however dress them up in a General’s uniform without getting found out (’till the shit hits the fan).
    In the Far East, after the humiliations at Hong Kong and Singapore, the basic squaddies and junior officers fought like tigers once they realised what capture by the Japanese entailed.
    Fergal Keane’s account of the Kohima campaign, Road of bones is required reading.

    • Laguerre

      I think the British infantry were always good, very steady. But the officer class were fighting the last war (WW1) for the longest time, and couldn’t adapt to the new mobile conditions of warfare, like in the desert.

      • Ian Brown

        The French officer class was fighting the last war as well, Laguerre. You would have heard about General Weygand, no doubt, Marshall Foch’s Chief of Staff? And I shall not even mention General Gamelin (on the military side) and Marshall Pétain (on the political side) as I’m sure you know all about them as well.

      • J Galt

        I don’t think that is entirely correct, the French and British were amassing heavily armoured and motorised forces along the Belgian border which could only have one purpose – a rapid push through Belgium (the “neutral” Belgians had even been involved in secret staff talks) to the Ruhr. Even disturbing the Ruhr, not even necessarily occupying it, would be fatal to Germany’s war effort.

        Such plans of course were interrupted by Germany’s invasion of the Low Countries and France.

        The British and French armies were motorised to a greater extent than the Germans, hardly indicative of a “stick in the mud” attitude.

        • Ian Brown

          Galt

          I don’t know about the heavily armoured and motorised forces bit, but the reason that there was a concentration of forces at the Belgian border and then the advance into Belgium was because the Allies were expecting a repeat of the Schlieffen plan and not a swift thrust through the Ardennes, hitherto considered impenetrable. The effect of that thrust was to isolate the BEF and the best French divisions in Belgium. It is true that the Germans did accompany their thrust through the Ardennes with a feint against Belgium.

          • J Galt

            The plan was for a thrust at the Ruhr through Belgium with their right flank covered (so they thought – or at least so the French thought) by the Maginot line, as said before even disruption of the Ruhr would probably be fatal to the Germans.

            I’m interested in military history – the facts. Most people have an agenda around which they attempt to fit the facts. Remember if the Germans had won they would now be the “Goodies” and the “majority” would think you a bit odd if you thought the opposite!

        • Laguerre

          J Galt
          July 11, 2020 at 22:05

          “The British and French armies were motorised to a greater extent than the Germans, hardly indicative of a “stick in the mud” attitude.”

          That is precisely evidence of the British army failing to keep up to date. In spite of all the motorisation, they were unable to react to the German breakthrough at Sedan.

    • J Galt

      It’s often forgotten that the British Army was only in combat with the enemy main force for a couple of weeks in May 1940 – 2 or 3 weeks out of the entire 6 years of war.

  • Marmite

    This pornography is not just in the media.

    Everyday life is also saturated with it, in ways that are so revolting, especially because nobody seems to think that there is anything sinister going on.

    Take the example of your local park, where flowerbeds are arranged in such a way to make the image of a battleship or union jack, or where chicken wire is used to create the armatures for plant-based tanks and soldiers.

    You’d have to be desperately dedicated to implanting war imagery to go to such lengths. But I don’t think authorities need to be so dedicated to this. The average Brit is a twit, after all. There is no real public education to speak of in this country any more.

  • Hazel

    I think Fintan O’Toole had a go at addressing why Britain is so absorbed by World War 2 in his book ‘Heroic Failure’ if I am remembering correctly?

  • Stonky

    I suppose it’s rather ironic that the BBC and World War II were instrumental in inspiring my commitment to Scottish independence. Way back in the dawn of time, (or somewhere in the early 1970s when I was still a teenager), the BBC broadcast a flagship documentary series on the Second World War. It was presented by AJP Taylor, then Britain’s most eminent historian.

    I can still remember the opening to the episode on The Battle of Britain. That stentorian music. Those portentous words.

    “In 1940, then, England stood alone…”

    • J Galt

      And he – AJP Taylor – was one of the better ones, giving a fairly accurate reading of the events leading to war in 1939 for instance.

  • Angus Coutts

    While the little girl and her father’s efforts may have resulted in the increase from 4 to 8 rifle calibre guns the the whole notion of fitting rifle calibre guns was wrong as they lacked hitting power.

    While the axis powers armed their fighters with cannons or a combination of cannons and machine guns and the US with .50 calibre machine guns the RAF were lumbered with all rifle calibre armament.

    It was only later in WW2 that the RAF saw the light and up gunned their fighters with cannons.

    LIke most people of my generation I have been brainwashed all my life just how wonderful was the armament of 8 rifle calibre guns.

      • Kempe

        MkII spitfires with 20 mm cannon were introduced in mid 1940. Not immediately popular as the cannon jammed too frequently.

        Bomber Command laboured on with 0.303″ despite Harris pleading for an upgrade to 0.5″.

  • Walter

    They myths of “dam-busters” – both the reality and the movie – belied by the somewhat difficult David Irving – most of the dead were Russian ladies made POW’s (some 900 young women) Nazi steel production continued undiminished…and the UK crews died for nothing but a fairytale. Such is war, as betrayal always comes with conflict and war.

    • Ash

      Why do we Yanks tolerate being occupied by sociopathic mediocrities that rule in our name?

      I think it’s mainly the combination of really excellent propaganda strongly rooted in cognitive research and decades of debasing education to the point that we now have generations of people who never learned to think critically about anything. But there does also seem to be a deep, almost desperate human drive to believe comforting truths that aren’t true at all, which is expertly exploited as well.

  • Alan Jackson

    Sick to death of it TBH. It’s like Brexit has become insecure. Not surprising when you realise that 70% of the nation had been relatively forgotten about until 2019.

  • FlakBlag

    Back when I used to subject myself to the psychological self harm that is television I used to watch a channel called UKTV History. I enjoyed learning about old and ancient societies and how they differ from ours, about how this crazy world we live in developed through a mixture of ego and accident. Then, all of a sudden, about fifteen years ago, they announced “2nd world war month”. I wouldn’t have minded if it had been a balanced objective history of the war, but it was just the kind of drivel you talk about, perhaps with a few more (carefully selected) facts. I waited eagerly for the month to end and normal service to be resumed, but it never happened, the channel had morphed into perpetual jingoistic war-heritage porn.

    It was around the same time that I came to understand that the propagandists had abandoned subtlety. I don’t think for a second that the BBC and other mainstream TV were ever anything but propaganda, but sometime in the early years of this century it seems they stopped trying to maintain even a veneer of credibility. I consider it an insult to my intelligence.

    On a tenuously related note, as I worked in my garden yesterday a workman in the neighbor’s garden was playing Radio 1. I tried to tune it out, but I did notice that between songs the enthusiastic DJ would utter some meaningless words, and every single time one of these words was “lockdown”. Why is it that this word is used? As I understand it the word is used in reference to prisons, when there is some kind of crisis and the prisoners are all locked in their cells. Why aren’t we using the word “quarantine” or “isolation”? Is it an attempt to condition us into thinking we are in a prison? That we are undeserving of freedom? I find it offensive.

    • Clark

      ‘“lockdown”. Why is it that this word is used?’

      My guess is that it was deployed as a propaganda term against China for the way covid-19 was suppressed there, especially in Wuhan. That was when Western establishment were assuming “foreigners’ problem; can’t happen here”.

    • J Galt

      I used to enjoy “Coast” until every programme started to have a mandatory WW2 story usually of the “standing alone” variety!

  • Johny Conspiranoid

    Perhaps its “like a parody” because they’ve been told to do it by a bunch of nutters who want to march on Moscow.

  • OnlyHalfALooney

    It seems to be emerging more and more publicly that it was the UK (through MI6) that interfered with the US presidential elections through the dodgy “Steele Dossier”, spying on the Trump campaign and who knows what else. Obviously this would all have been swept under the rug if Hillary Clinton had won, as the English establishment was apparently certain she would.

    Trump might be demanding the extradition of Steele (on what charges?), but it’s obvious Steele was not a lone gunman. Did Skripal know too much?

    Personally, I can’t stand watching BBC any more. It’s become so full of English exceptionalism and “glorious history”. And the BBC and Guardian seem to have decided to continue Mrs Clinton’s deranged anti-Russian obsession.

    What secret cabal actually rules the UK?

  • Mighty Drunken

    I felt that WWII was overdone when I was at secondary school. Of all the wars we Brits have been in, WWII gets far more attention. The reason for this is that it provides a simple narrative. We, the victors, fought against the Evil Nazis and won. This naturally suggests that we are great and war can be good. WWI gets a mention, but everyone appears surprised that there are no good or bad guys, or it is far less clear.
    I would argue that most wars rarely have a clear good/evil narrative. Though an army of spin doctors can make it seem so. I wonder why the BBC doesn’t have more about how the heroic Brits overthrew the evil tyrant Saddam??

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