The BBC World War Two Porn Page 466


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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466 thoughts on “The BBC World War Two Porn Page

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  • Courtenay Barnett

    Dear Craig,
    Thank you for your observations as expressed.
    I have thought about World War 11 at times, but more so from the perspective of reflections on historical fact than an experienced set of events. I was born in 1954, so am too young to have had any such direct experience of the war years. There are three observations I wish to share:-
    1. The narrowed view of Britain winning the war.
    2. The broader view of valiant participation of ‘others’ during the second World War.
    3. The jingoism of US Presidents who themselves were draft dodging cowards.
    In making my comments I am fearful of being caught in a certain irony which may serve to display my own narrowmindedness. Not so, I am aware that I have delimited to merely three reference points, but remain fully aware that there are other valid dimensions to the discourse. So:-
    1. The narrowed view of Britain winning the war
    I am convinced that Britain did fight valiantly against a then heavily militarised Germany. Yet, the story when told about that valiant fight should not forget the contributions of others who contributed.
    2. The broader view of valiant participation of ‘others’ during the second World War.
    The broader view gets a little personal for me in two ways. I was a student from Jamaica in London in the 1970s. My father had a very close friend, Guy Thomas, who was a decorated soldier who had fought at Dunkirk. He lived in Brixton after the war, where he raised his family and never returned to Jamaica. Just one of many from the Commonwealth who had also sacrificed in World War 11 – lest we forget.
    The second person I recall was Arthur Wint ( Jamaica’s first gold medalist in the 1948 London Olympics). I knew him when he was Jamaica’s High Commissioner ( Ambassador) in London and being myself an athlete while at London University ( of course not at all in his league) would converse with him at his official residence on Baker Street while he took an interest in both my academic progress and my efforts on the track. In both regards he mentored and gave me much encouragement. That is on the very personal side, as I said I would mention. The real point regarding World War 11 was that he was an RAF fighter pilot, yet another of the ‘others’ who contributed during the Battle of Britain – lest we forget.
    So, from the personal to the truly global scale as related to contributors to the victory over the Nazis during World War 11, I simply quote:-
    “ Over four hundred German and Soviet divisions fought along a front of more than 1,000 miles. Soviet forces destroyed or disabled an estimated 607 Axis divisions between 1941 and 1945. The scale and geographical extent of the eastern front dwarfed all earlier warfare.”
    3. The jingoism of US Presidents who themselves were draft dodging cowards.
    Bill Clinton precedes Donald Trump as a draft dodger.
    For further analysis under the points which I raised at 2 and 3 above please listen to and/or consider these links below:-

    https://www.vox.com/2014/6/16/5814270/the-successful-70-year-campaign-to-convince-people-the-usa-and-not

    https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/donald-trump-draft-dodger-tammy-duckworth-criticism-war-veteran-north-korea-kim-jong-un-national-a8171536.html

    In summary, all to say that the truth is a greater savant than the imposters who otherwise pose as conveyors of truth, while telling half-truth or willful distortions or as is the case with President Donald Trump, persistent lies.

    All the best for now Craig and I do wish you the best in your present trial.

    Sincerely,
    Courtenay

  • portside

    Enabling the massacre in Yemen is of course far more characteristic of modern UK military history than heroics in WW2.

    In fact it’s usually forgotten that the UK’s most distinctive contribution in WW2 itself was also killing hundreds of thousands of civilians, mostly women and children. By some counts those civilian victims of UK bombs in WW2 outnumbered the UK servicemen who died in that conflict.

    In December 1914, German warships had bombarded Scarborough, killing a number of civilians. Churchill had denounced the German navy, saying that “the stigma of the baby killers of Scarborough will Brand them for as long as sailors sail the sea.” What was Cuurchill himself branded 30 years later when 100,000 German children had been killed by RAF Bomber Command?

    This slaughter of civilians has remained a signature of the UK’s “good wars” in recent times, again mostly by aerial bombardment.

    Fortunately BBC’ celebration of all this is taken to heart only by a very distinct section of the population vividly observable attacking police in Trafalgar square a few weeks ago.

    • Republicofscotland

      This isn’t the first time the UK has interfered in Yemeni affairs in 1962 the tyrant Imam of Yemen was overthrown, and was replaced by a popular government, a republic, the overthrown Imam waged a guerilla war from his base in the hills.

      Fearful of the notion of a republic spreading around the region and especially to Aden a British protectorate (the UK had great influence and power in the region at the time by propping up and bribing tyrants) British PM MacMillan, and later Douglas-Home, covertly backed the Saudis and the Jordanians, and the ousted tyrant Imam in a war against the popular new republic.

      MacMillan actually admitted that, it was repugnant to political equity and prudence alike that we should so often appear to support out of date and despotic regimes, and oppose the growth of modern and more democratic forms of government. Of course as always important British interests supercede any forms of democracy, its far easier to pay off a tyrant that deal with a democratic society.

      MI6 asset Neil (Billy ) Mclean a serving Tory MP was sent to check out this new popular republic, but only after Mossad had agreed with London on which Briton should be sent. The SAS and mercenaries some from France were also sent into the new popular republic, anyway to cut a long story short the war raged on for several more years the brutal tyrant fled Yemen and spent his final days living in England (Pinochet anyone?) The popular Republic of North Yemen prevailed, 200,000 people had died in the war, and Britain withdrew from Aden in 1967, the war ended in 1969.

      • Laguerre

        The 1960s war in Yemen wasn’t very different from the present one. The old Imam in Yemen wasn’t a tyrant, and had as much democratic legitimacy as the King of Saudi Arabia or indeed Jordan, i.e. none, but he was supported by the tribes. Unfortunately, he was a Shi’a, like the Houthis today, and thus attracted the ire of the zealot champions of Sunnism (Saudi, Jordan), intolerant as the Wahhabis have always been of other forms of Islam. Britain of course has always supported the Sunnis, mainly for oil reasons, but it’s not the only one.

        • Republicofscotland

          “Britain of course has always supported the Sunnis, ”

          Yes the UK supports the Sunnis, but they also covertly support Shia movements when it benefits them pitting both factions against each other.

          In 1953 the MI6/CIA coup to overthrow Musaddiq in Iran, this involved plotting with Shia Islamists the predecessors of Ayatollah Homenini. Ayatollah Seyyed Kashani who in 1945 founded the Fadayan e Islam a military fundamentalist organisation, it was funded by Britain and the USA to organise opposition and arrange public demonstrations against Musaddiq.

          https://www.opendemocracy.net/en/opendemocracyuk/britain-s-collusion-with-radical-islam-interview-with-mark-curtis/

        • Antonym

          Britain supports Muslims for oil reasons till today; see how much leeway they get – the dozens of Grooming rings could rape minors for years uninhibited. In most of Western Europe this is much the same for the same reason: the EU is neck deep into it.

          • SA

            I really think this is scraping the barrel, excuse the pun. The two are not in any way connected if you have applied any thinking before you made this pronouncement.

          • Squeeth

            You’ll find that non-Muslim crimes against children are effaced or manipulated to imply that the perpetrators are swarthy-faced religious minorities in the corp-0-rat media and the state broadcaster. How many Muslims groomed children at the BBC or Stoke Mandeville?

          • Antonym

            In the era of Jimmy Savile and other “elite” Angloes the number of Muslims in the UK was way lower, hence different statistics.
            Till recently even the mostly Pakistani plebs in these “grooming rings” were shielded by calling them “Asian”. You want Asians to label Savile, Bischop, Castree etc. as European?

            Also did these Angloes target non-Christians?

    • Stephen Ambartzakis

      Portside, this has been a British tactic from times past, carried out over and over again. In the second Boer war (the Boers won the first one) Boer women and children were put into concentration camps where 27,000 died of starvation and disease, Boer losses on the battlefield are estimated at about 5,000. Conditions in these camps were so bad that you will find photographs of Boer prisoners in the book “Bitter Einders”, meaning bitter enders, crow-barred into books about the holocaust written after the second world war. I’m sure that if you look at British history in any other conquered country you will find other examples.

    • andyoldlabour

      portside

      Any reputable sources for the 100,000 children killed, when the total figure from ALLIED (bomber command was aided by the USAf) bombing raids was 360,000. The US Air Force based in the UK carried out the largest raids of the war, employing 1000 bomber day raids.
      War is evil, but WW2 was unavoidable.
      Would you rather that Hitler took over the whole of Europe?

  • N_

    Very plainly this all meshes with Brexit, with the nostalgia for Britain’s world-bestriding role exuded continually by Johnson and Gove, [Scottish nationalist propaganda omitted].

    The point of the story that a “young girl did the maths that helped the war effort” may be to prepare the way for a story in the near future about how “maths shows that the Chinese state deliberately spread SARS-Cov2”.

    It gets less and less subtle – Stalin’s propagandists might have blenched at today’s BBC state propaganda piece.

    As a speechmaker, Stalin was quite similar to a BBC newsreader. He didn’t have anything like the shamanistic skill of Hitler or even Lenin.

    • N_

      Propaganda is mostly simple. But as the smartphone epoch progresses, it becomes ever more so.

      I’ve also noticed that BBC radio newsreaders can’t read properly. They stress words wrong, because they take each short line on their autocue as a unit and they can’t apply their brain to its likely articulation with the next one. Listen to one of them for two or three minutes and they will oblige with at least one example. How the f*** were they hired? You would have thought that being able to read would be a requirement for a newsreader. But the vast majority of punters don’t notice and probably can’t even read as well as that themselves, being too accustomed to typing and ingesting sh*t on their mobile phones.

      • N_

        Things like “Liz Truss’ ” without an ‘s’ after the apostrophe are common in media articles, as is confusion between “its” and “it’s”. Soon it will be considered awfully lah-di-dah to use a form such as “you’re”.

        • Bramble

          It’s also considered lah-di-dah to be grammatically courteous when asking for something in shops and thanking for it. You are supposed to just order and grab. Otherwise, apparently, the assistant thinks you are patronising them.

          • Squeeth

            I haven’t noticed that in Hull, must be further behind the times than I thought….

  • Bill McLean

    Interestingly, I wonder how many who contribute here know what nationalities were the most successful pilots in the “Battle of Britain” and why Churchill excluded them from the “victory” parade?

      • Stephen Ambartzakis

        Do not forget the South African and Rhodesians either, look up the names Sailor Malan and Edwin Swales VC for example

      • Bill McLean

        Poles and Czechs (and Slovaks) Tinto – no room for them in the “victory parade”. Political cowardice by Churchill Rhys!

      • Mary

        ‘Originally the names of 1,243 Polish airmen who died during the war were inscribed on the monument. Subsequently, another 659 Poles were identified whose names should be on the monument. By the 1990s the monument needed refurbishment, so in 1994 an appeal was launched to fund the work. At the same time the opportunity was taken to extend the monument to add the 659 missing names. In 1996 the work was completed and the Duke of Gloucester rededicated the enlarged, refurbished monument.’

        It’s very impressive. The sculptor was Polish.

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polish_War_Memorial

    • Laguerre

      The other case of war-porn which is quite appalling is the case of the museum at Bletchley Park. When you go round it, you just see it’s a hymn to British brilliance in breaking the Enigma code, and of course, nowadays, to Alan Turing. Until you read the display texts carefully, and then you discover that it was the Poles who broke the code, and of course it’s well known that they supplied the first Enigma machine to the Brits. It’s all hidden away in a few sentences. Turing developed the access (and did a good job, and built his “machine” to analyse the alternative possibilities, before the settings expired at midnight) – Turing is spread all over, including his coffee mug, but you have to look really hard to discover that it was the Poles who made the breakthrough.

      • Monster

        Turing didn’t design the Tunny machines. British Tabulating co in Letchworth designed and built them in conjunction with Post Office engineers. The Turing machine is also a mild fiction as his Church Turing thesis was actually Church’s idea who propounded it many years earlier.

    • Loony

      I imagine that they were probably eastern European. If so it seems reasonable to conclude that they were excluded from the “victory” parade for precisely the same reasons that the EU today seeks to prosecute a cultural war against these very same countries.

      • Laguerre

        “the EU today seeks to prosecute a cultural war against these very same countries.”

        Oh really? Must be a very bitter war, as nobody can see it, and those same countries have done very nicely, thank you, out of the EU. It’s why Britain is brexiting, isn’t it, because Britain, being mean as usual (didn’t contribute to the Greek bailout), didn’t want to pay out for those East European spongers.

        • Ian Brown

          The UK didn’t contribute to the Greek bailout because the EU component was a Eurozone only component and as you robably know, the UK wasn’t part of the Eurozone.

          The UK did however contribute to the Greek bailout via the IMF component; as you know, the UK is a member of the IMF.

      • Mark

        The Poles were probably excluded from the victory parade as by then the allies had signed the Potsdam treaty making Poland a satellite state of the Soviet Union. The brave Poles were now the Communist enemies in the new cold war. So much for going to war in 1939 to save Poland. All that bullshit had by 1945 been quietly forgotten.

    • Kempe

      The Victory Parade took place in 1946 by which time Clement Attlee had replaced Churchill in No.10. His Labour Party switched recognition from the Polish Government in Exile to the puppet government installed by the USSR. They refused to send a delegation in protest at Polish pilots who served with the RAF being invited to participate. In the end they refused to take part too.

  • LowellHighlander

    Your comments here, Mr. Murray, are more than a breath of fresh air; they’re a veritable public service.

    Though I’m am American, I have felt similarly about the constant emphasis by Britain’s (and Hollywood’s) movie-making industry on The Holocaust while, simultaneously, there’s a total black-out about the heroism and courage of Palestinians and Yemenis under fire.

    If I ever win the lottery, I should like to make a movie about a love story gone wrong, through no fault of the protagonists, in war-torn Baghdad. The setting will be [earlier] in this century. Let’s see how British and American audiences would react when it’s today’s Empire that’s causing all the misery.

    • Laguerre

      Have you seen “Baghdad Central”, the six-part mini-series? That’s a detective series set in occupied Baghdad in 2003. The hero is the Iraqi cop (played by a Palestinian, not an Iraqi (unfortunately)), and the villains the Yanks and Brits (well, the Brit is the real villain, the Yanks a bit neutral, but not very positive). I was very surprised they could get away with such a positive depiction of Arabs, and negative for the Coalition forces.

        • Laguerre

          They still do think that way. For example, a Brit needs a specially approved visa for Iran, and tourists to be accompanied everywhere, but for the French, it’s automatic free entry. This was last year, things have changed since then.

          It’s quite understandable, I’m pretty sure the Brits never bothered getting approval from the rather distant government in Tehran under the last Qajars for what they did on Iranian territory (but I haven’t checked it, and am open to correction). Did you know, for example, that in the colonial period, the British governor-general in the Gulf, who ran Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, the Emirates, etc, was actually located on Iranian sovereign territory at Bushire? He was called consul-general, for politeness sake, but he was really governor. Did they bother asking permission? I rather doubt it. And then the Anglo-Persian Oil Company’s activities, in favour of whose products Churchill abandoned coal-firing for the Royal Navy in 1906. Did it not need some “firm” pressure from time to time, to ensure that the Navy’s oil supply was never interrupted?

  • David

    we are seeing the deployment of stronger powers than the Chinese security take-over of Hong Kong!

    and what ‘magically’ happens in One Eye, tends to appear in all Five Eyes, shortly after

    similar militaristic ‘errors’ include https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-8358769/NSAs-tracking-program-FAR-extensive-knew-thought.html

    and quiet NZ https://www.newshub.co.nz/home/new-zealand/2020/06/spy-secret-revealed-sis-and-mi6-raided-czechoslovakian-embassy-in-wellington.html (what diplomatic sovereignty?)

    oh, must catch Antiques Miltaria tonight, with Colonel Fiona Bruce?

    • Stephen Ambartzakis

      It’s interesting that a day after an article appeared in the Unz review, fact checking Bill Browder and his attacks on Russia and Putin the United Kingdom suddenly applied sanctions against 25 Russians. Magical indeed!

  • Dave Dwyer

    I can understand the obsession of those who are old enough to remember it clearly, and to some extent those who were very small children at the time. I simply have never understood the obsession of my generation (I am 59) and that of the younger generations. My prime concern however, apart from the misrepresentation of elements of the war by a right wing narrative, is that it provides an underpin for a lot of racist and krypto fascist nonsense prevalent in modern society.

  • Feral Finster

    Because it was the last hurrah of Britain while it still mattered, before it became a wholly owned subsidiary and lapdog of the United States.

    Sort of like how the French forever wax nostalgic about past French glories.

    • OnlyHalfALooney

      “Sort of like how the French forever wax nostalgic about past French glories.”

      Do they really? If anything France is worried about repeating past French failures. This is a partial explanation of why France’s very expensive nuclear (weapons) programme is not a subject of much debate in France and neither are the very high expenditures on the French military. I think you are confusing national trauma with “past glories”.

  • Peter

    Many people were impressed by Peter Jackson’s reconditioned and reprocessed original footage film of WW1 – “They Shall Never Grow Old”

    The footage was indeed very impressive but I could only watch it with the sound turned down as it was the most nauseating piece of pro-war propaganda I have ever seen.

    Why on earth are we being fed this in 2020?

    • Giyane

      Peter

      NATO has just taken over Syria, carved up between Turkey, israel and the Assad enclave .it has done the same in Libya champagne all round for Cameron and Hague, and Yemen is undergoing the same.

      Meanwhile , our compliance is being pre-paid by weekly dollops of Tory cash. £10 I brings to every single shop in England, furlough coming out your ears, and now green Grant’s for every household.

      So when USUKIS has recognised Syria, Libya, Somalia, etc, we will be reminded of Tory hospitality over Covid 19.
      You condoned NATO wars in all these countries for the sake of Sunak’s sherry, so shut up now and don,’t complain.

      • Peter

        @ Giyane

        What?!

        I condoned no such thing and am sickened and enraged by UK HMG’s role in the destruction of Syria – White Helmets, bogus bombing, “lethal aid” etc etc, and the MSM’s cover up of this.

        I regarded Cameron’s 2013 parliamentary defeat on Syria as a post-war democratic high point.

        Won’t be shutting up or stopping complaining any time soon.

  • Lucy Komisar

    For the current chapter of Anglo-US warmongering, please consider the latest example of the UK’s Russophobia, the Magnitsky sanctions, based on the fake, corrupt, invented William Browder/Magnitsky hoax.
    American Committee for East-West Accord https://eastwestaccord.com/lucy-komisar-the-u-s-and-uk-are-taking-new-actions-to-intensify-cold-war/
    also at https://www.thekomisarscoop.com/2020/07/u-s-uk-harks-back-to-first-pillar-of-new-cold-war-the-magnitsky-hoax/
    This story is banned by the BBC, the Guardian, and other UK (and US) media which write the fake Browder story with never ever a link to evidence. Because there isn’t any.

  • michael morgan

    The anti Russia, anti China propaganda, the hypocrisy over Yemen, the obsequious support of Israel and the Zionist manifesto coalesce to form a pathetic last gasp of Empire and the Protestant work ethic, Victorian values and Conservative elitist economics

    Are there any journalists out there, apart from Craig & Pilger who can identify and expose this ridiculous notion of Britishness and our role in the world today.

    Britain has the relevance of one small American state in global affairs and succumbs to the Christo Zionist foreign policy of a McCarthy anti Communist idiot Potus quicker than a Micronesian town council wanting CIA funding for it’s retirement fund. Since when were our politicians so easily bought and paid for?

    • Ade

      “Are there any journalists out there, apart from Craig & Pilger who can identify and expose this ridiculous notion of Britishness and our role in the world today.”

      Mark Curtis & DeclassifiedUK does a good job.

  • David

    BBC WW2 porn continues this morning on BBX Radio 4 (later available on the data-mining app “Sounds” – which after you’ve listened to a random five or six programmes, will potentially allow the audience research department to ‘nudge’ your beliefs, very much following Analytica models…..)

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m000kw3r
    Episode 6
    Legacy of War
    Episode 6 of 10

    “Sean Bean presents a series exploring the ways in which wartime experiences have filtered down through the generations” (c) BBC war porn dept, 1945.

    I’m living currently in Lombardia, and must remark that I’m not aware of RAI tv & radio ‘pushing’ war, as much as I notice from newly independent Britain. Though, until very recently, one of the local supermarkets did sell wine which had a picture of “the Duke” on it, and I’m sure I saw some labels that would be illegal in Germany. The BBCR4 series, apparently started in May 2020, and does cover pacifism, children of German POWs etc, whilst still throwing in pics of Sir Winston Leonard Spencer Churchill
    https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/320×320/p08cymfq.jpg with a BBC microphone, legitimising everything?

  • Christine+Smith

    I no longer watch mainstream news. My blood pressure can’t take it! I was born 11 years after WW2 and as I grew up, although my parents generation talked a lot about it, my mothers 3 brothers all suffered greatly, 1 lost his life, it wasn’t glorified. There were no public minute silences. We were aware that war was to be avoided. It was a terrible thing. My father told me that Churchill was great during the war but not before or after. Compare with today. Sentimental claptrap and distortion of history to suit certain narratives. Russia written out and the BBC are the worst offenders. But so many have fallen for it!

    • Tatyana

      we got rid of the television in our house many years ago, when we noticed that the little son was citing the texts of commercials inappropriately in the conversation. We thought we’d like his language to be qualitatively related to his thought process, and the thought process to be streamlined and organized.
      We learn about the world from news sites, especially since the Internet makes it easy to find the necessary pieces of knowledge to put together a whole balanced picture, as well as to find out the opinions of different people on the forums. The screen remained only as a ‘theater stage’, where we can watch an educational or entertaining performance of our own choice.
      my parents are a different generation, their degree of trust in what is said on the TV screen is bemusing. How is it possible – to see on the screen a person who recommends himself as an expert and to believe him with no verification and without evidence – this is strange to me.

      • Mary

        My father, who was an electronics engineer, sold and serviced television receivers. As a young man, he went up to Alexandra Palace to see John Logie Baird demonstrate his invention. He always said that television would become a great educational tool. That didn’t happen.
        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Logie_Baird

        In the early days, the transmitters were few and far between. The signal for where we lived in Hampshire came from Wenvoe in Wales or from Crystal Palace if you were lucky.` All the neighbours came round to us to see the Coronation in 1953. Phillips made a projection receiver where the images were shown on a large screen.

        The early sets were extremely heavy with a metal chassis, valves, the cathode ray tube and the cabinet, usually made of wood. Now you can pick up a flat screen TV with one hand.

        https://www.rewindmuseum.com/vintagetv.htm

        • Tatyana

          Thanks for the links Mary, most interesting. I remember my father saying that the very first TV had a screen the size of a postcard and a water lens, like a flat aquarium in front of the screen.

        • Mark Golding

          Interestingly it was the cathode ray tube that brought television to the masses. Originally developed for the oscilloscope the CRT was refined for radar displays. It was a Russian, Vladimir Kosma Zworykin, who was one of the first to demonstrate a system with all the features that would come to make up televisions. As Mary points out these TV sets were heavy and large screens were impossible in that respect also producing harmful emissions as the display size increased.

          The first flat panels were plasma, based loosely on the fluorescent tube, and favored for very large displays. Later liquid crystal displays replaced plasma producing less heat, were brighter, and worked better at high altitudes.

      • Rhys Jaggar

        There is a time when children are sponges but have not yet developed critical reasoning. This is a very valuable period if you ensure that what they absorb is not biased, depraved, violent etc. If you felt the television was not appropriate for him, good for you for getting rid of it.

        You can live very happily, indeed arguably more healthily, without access to TV. I worked in a ski resort in Switzerland in 1989/90 and did not see a television screen for over four months. Far from being harmed by the experience, I was never happier and healthier.

        Since 9/11, I have spent less and less time watching TV: it was clear from the coverage of that that TV news did not seek to inform, it sought to brainwash.

        • Tatyana

          I agree, Rhys.
          The child psychologist also noted that inappropriate and aggressive episodes of behavior were gone when we got rid of the TV.

          Religious propaganda, sex, stupid characters, horoscopes and battles of magicians with a serious face, the likes of Kashpirovsky and Chumak, financial pyramids and fraudulent SMS, money, more money, buy, consume, buy again … Why do we need that?
          On the Internet, he can learn to draw and play music, make websites and study a new language, learn more about historical events in order to better understand the causes of modern facts – anything to his personal taste, at a convinient pace.

          Perhaps it’s not the same in the UK, because I remember BBC series on the Universe and Biology and those are my golden standard for educational videos.

  • Alastair

    On the subject of Churchill. I recall that in the late 40’s early 50’s, when he appeared in the Pathe newsreel in our local ‘flea pit’ (the Opera House, Lochgelly) the audience always spontaneously booed. So it seems the denizens of West Fife, even in the immediate post war years, did not hold the ‘great leader’ in high regard. As a child then, I didn’t know why, but I have some idea now.

  • Ern Malley

    It’s not just the UK. Many countries are, with various degrees of success, trying to establish or perpetuate a heroic past in order to invest current wars with the same piety. Old soldiers good, current wars good.

    • Marmite

      Probably Ern, but I think the point is that people in other North Atlantic countries are not as stupid as the war-mongering Brits.

    • Laguerre

      Craig’s point is that the war porn in the UK has become exceptionally dominant, thrust into our faces every moment of the day. That doesn’t happen elsewhere.

      • Tatyana

        Laguerre, we have much of that in our country too, but in a special context.

        We celebrate Victory Day in what is called “the Great Patriotic War”, began on June 22, 1941 with Hitler’s invasion in the Soviet Union. We commemorate the ‘war of liberation’. As far as I remember myself it was always like that.
        In general, we have a lot of museums and monuments, and much of the school education is devoted to this period, but it is always remembered with great sadness, and the inhumanity of Nazism is always emphasized.

        Until a couple of recent years, I did not think about what events of the WW2 the USSR was involved in, before 1941 and after 1945. It was a revelation for me, thanks to the communication on this blog.

        • Rhys Jaggar

          There is no other nation on earth that made sacrifices that your forebears did.

          Whether or not Lenin and Stalin, Beria, Breshnev and Yeltsin were good or bad, the ordinary soldiers were not responsible for their deeds.

          They died to defend your Motherland and defend it successfully they did.

          People need to distinguish the acts of politicians from the bravery of ordinary soldiers, in the main.

          • On the train

            Yes I agree with this. The people of Russia and the rest of the USSR did something admirable and heroic. This should never be forgotten. We all owe so much to the courageous people of the Soviet Union. I am ashamed by the way the history of this period is taught in our schools, with so little reference made to the contribution of the USSR.

        • Ian Brown

          Yes, it’s strange – or perhaps not. The Brits and Poles call it the world war of 1939-1945, the French tend to call it the world war of 1940-1945 (TheWar to correct me if I’m wrong, thank you kindly) and the Soviets and now Russians call it the Great Patriotic War and date it as 1941-1945. All very revealing, actually.

  • Jimmeh

    I agree that it’s porn. It’s designed to tittilate.

    I happen to enjoy porn. I also like WW2 movies. I was raised in a generation where Germans were baddies, even though the war had been over a decade before I was born. But I was raised on those movies – and on “war mags” – small-format magazines of about 20 pages, each telling some fictional WW2 tale in black-and-white pictures with captions such as “For you now, Tommy, ze war is over” and “Achtung! Englander!”.

  • Tom74

    I guess the idea is to invoke the ‘wartime spirit’ in the hope of propping up the establishment’s even-more ubiquitous coronavirus narrative, which I get the feeling fewer people here in England are buying.
    To pin the blame on the BBC, however, seems to me to fail to see the wood for the trees, for it neglects the obvious fact that the jingoistic reporting in Murdoch’s media, the Mail and the Telegraph is just as bad or worse. Obviously, there is more involved here than just the BBC – and giiven Murdoch’s connections to Washington, perhaps more even than the British government.
    I’m not fan of the BBC in its present incarnation – far from it – but readers should be very wary of being used as ‘useful idiots’ by the American media corporations who have long wanted the BBC crushed so that their channels can rule the roost. Remember that very often, those on the left are conned into supporting projects run by the far-right – the Iraq War and Brexit immediately spring to mind. If criticism is to be levelled at the media for propaganda, it should be made across the board.

    • Sarge

      The BBC rightly gets more stick from thinking people because everybody is paying for it and it pretends to be unbiased. I see its latest DG is a former Conservative party parliamentary candidate. Not a biggy, just one more committed rightwinger setting the agenda of our “public service broadcaster.”

  • remember+kronstadt

    UK war-porn is both triumphant entitlement and, allegedly, heroically won exclusivity. Disappointingly under appreciated elsewhere on hearing the morbid clarion call for blood, sweat and tears others wisely declined the offer. Changes to the fabric of society since WWII have been relentless and unforgiving largely featuring loss, real and intangible. Recalling the historic social/military effort is defibrillation for the forgetful conservatives as well as warning of the ever present need for imminent war readiness. Unlike the monocrome artfullnes of war poets and Humphrey Jennings (youtube) who spoke of history, solidarity and ‘values’. Until Thatcher eventually ended society and sold out the BBC. Further loss across society will follow the epidemic and won’t recover leaving many more strangers in another strangely fragmented otherland. After the war, fewer than one in 25 of the population had been born outside the country; today that figure is closer to one in seven (BBC).

  • Republicofscotland

    Of course Westminsters war porn doesn’t extend, or the publicising of it I should say, to celebrating drone strikes, Reaper drones have been operating in RAF bases since 2007 in a joint programme by the USA and the UK. Four of the bases in the UK including the UK/USA spy base at Menwith Hill in Yorkshire, facilitate drone strikes in Yemen, Pakistan, Syria, Afghanistan, Iraq and Somalia.

    I doubt the British governments war porn extends to having the red, white and blue bunting out over the drone assassination programme, first begun by President Obama, and regarded as illegal under International law. It also breaches fundamental human rights, with thousands of civilians already killed including children, under the guise of targeted killings.

    Nor will there be street parties to celebrate Britain’s crucial roll in the drone bombing which the USA could not achieve so emphatically without the aid of the UK, in which in certain strikes British personnel have tracked and identified so called priority targets.

    The UK’s Foreign secretary Dominic Raab, once described the rule of International law, as one of the guiding lights of UK foreign policy. Covertly the UK government only cries wolf with regards to international law, on the likes of Iran and Russia.

  • Carl

    Will be interesting to see if Aunty celebrates equally hard the upcoming 20th anniversaries of the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq — also portrayed at the time as epochal struggles of good versus evil, tackling new Hitlers, etc, etc.

    We know now ‘the world’s finest counterinsurgency force’ (TM) had to be bailed out in both Helmand and Basra by the yanks but surely similar commemorative celebrations will be in order?

    • Kempe

      Once Upon a Time in Iraq: “War” (Episode 1 of 5) – BBC Two, 13/07/2020 21:00

      Doesn’t sound very celebratory but others may differ.

      • Mark Golding

        Thank you for the link Kempe and yes THIS was the reality: Nota Bene: (bollocks) The following content has been identified by the YouTube community as inappropriate or offensive to some audiences. Viewer discretion is advised:

        The illegal (March 2002, Blair received legal advice from the Foreign Office that an attack on Iraq was illegal under international law) invasion of Iraq created a holocaust and wiped out a generation of children

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZK12wgs2mvA

      • Carl

        Haven’t an hour spare for that, I’m afraid. What are its conclusions, especially on the lies that started it all and the BBC’s own role as cheerleader in chief?

  • fwl

    If we have to pay a licence fee then firstly there should be some educational content. It’s a shame Open University is no longer on BBC2. The Government should compel Russell Group Universities or perhaps all colleges that receive state funding to contribute programmes so that anyone can watch and study all subjects. They do not need to be sexed up. Just lectures and notes as to reading materials – for example have a look at Yale online, which is really excellent open access content – where anyone can watch a whole series of lectures and access reading material and even try their hand at essays. Someone such as OU should co-ordinate the content. It would have been good to have had this for lock down. Everyone could have spent two hours a day studying something they like. Popular content on BBC4 with more esoteric online.

    Secondly, we need documentaries which go against the grain, rub the establishment the wrong way and look at taboo subjects.

  • Mark Golding

    To a greater extent remembrance is misused to promote a positive image of war or evasive claims about what war has supposedly achieved. Trump led VE Day in the US celebrating 75 years after the end of World War II in Europe. He saluted at the memorial which read: We are determined that before the sun sets on this terrible struggle our flag will be recognized throughout the world as a symbol of freedom on the one hand and of overwhelming force on the other.

    Says it all!!

  • Kadath

    When I was growing up I remember watching every episode of the “World at War” documentary series. I remember seeing all those dead bodies of soldiers and civilians, starving refugees, ruined cities, you don’t see truth like that anymore in the news! the Western media just shows a plume of smoke in the distance and then repeat some boiler plate comment about supporting our troops or not showing weakness they just don’t want people to see the truth of what “War” really is because they know if they rub the truth in the face of the people, the people might actually feel bad about what their leaders are doing and demand they stop it.

    • Bramble

      An end was put to that after the Vietnam War, when reporting showed far more of the conflict than was considered desirable by the West’s leaders. By the time the “Falklands” War came along all journalists were embedded. At the time there was comment and concern about the way the reporting was thereby fixed: by the time Iraq and Afghanistan arrived, though, the main media organizations had been brought to heel. Even when the Americans killed Terry Lloyd, journalists toed the line.

  • Republicofscotland

    The UK media is swamped with stories of how young Charlie just a teen managed to con his way into joining the army, and many years later, Charlie now a pensioner, recalls on UK tv news and certain daytime coffee shows of how he dodged the bullets and bombs, of WWII and made it back to old blighty to marry his sweetheart the daughter of the local greengrocer. Of course I’m not belittling Charlies heroic war efforts, young men often crave adventure and excitement in war, only to find out that the romantic version of war read in books, is in no way akin to the blood death and sheer terror of the real thing.

    So in saying that you’d have thought that child soldiers would now only be fighting for Third World countries, you’d be wrong of course. The UN Committee on the Rights of the Child, has expressed it concerns over the UK’s army recruiting policy that allows 16 year olds to enlist, the UK is the only country in Europe, and indeed Nato that follows this practice. It’s thought one in four recruits into the British army is now under 18 years of age, and according to the British Medical Journal child recruits are more likely to end up in the front line than adult soldiers.

    Just last year the British army sent child soldiers to fight in Afghanistan, and Iraq, despite pledging to end the practice, the UN wants to see the recruitment age raised to 18 years of age in the UK.

    • Tatyana

      Republicofscotland,
      I was on a walk today, I saw many young people in the streets. You know, they are no longer like us.

      I remember the days of my youth khm-khm-ty years ago and those things that were important for us, then young girls – oh, it’s great that the guy is taller than me I can wear high heels, and my mother taught me how to get into the car so that my carefully ironed dress didn’t show anything indecent …
      These young people wear jeans, T-shirts and sports shoes, indeed, because they ride bicycles and skateboards and some other things that I don’t know the name of. They are not looking for a cafe, so that the girl can elegantly sit down at the table in her dress and heels, to have coffee and cake modestly, because the girls do not overeat on dates.They just swallow their burgers and pizzas on benches and grass and they are comfortable with it and have fun.

      The world is changing, it is already different for my son than it was for me. And it is completely different from the youth of my Soviet parents, when a patrol on the street could ask a guy not to hold his hand around the girl’s waist, while in the street. What can we say about the youth of my grandmother, who met the war as a child?

      The world is changing, but here and there I see a wrinkled toad creeps out and begins croaking “Staaaaalin, UuuuuSSR” and less wrinkled toads would be croaking “Puuuuutin, Noooovichooook”.

      In 4 years my son will be serving in the army. If this continues like this, then maybe he will have to shoot at your 18 year old guys. No one would care that my son did not live in the USSR for a single day, and never he voted for Putin.
      I’m desperate to find a movement for peace, I see the diplomats are desperate to find it too.

      • Republicofscotland

        “In 4 years my son will be serving in the army. If this continues like this, then maybe he will have to shoot at your 18 year old guys. No one would care that my son did not live in the USSR for a single day, and never he voted for Putin.
        I’m desperate to find a movement for peace, I see the diplomats are desperate to find it too.”

        Hello Tatyana, I take it your son is 14 years of age at the moment? I’ve read that a one year compulsory military service is required by Russian males from the ages of 18 to 27, if I’m correct your son still has four years to go. Still I can understand your apprehension on thinking about the future with that in mind.

        In my opinion 18 years of age is still far too young for young lads who probably still think that enlisting compulsory or other, leads to a world of excitement and great adventure. In the past in the UK, and even today the MoD trawl the schools of poorer areas in the UK looking for teenagers, hoping to enlist them by dazzling them with glossy brochures and promises adventures abroad.

        • Tatyana

          Republicofscotland, you’re quite right about his age and compulsory military service in Russia. I can tolerate my son going to army to learn what it is, but the thought that these boys may be sent to the front terrifies me.
          Moreover, I can’t understand why we may be at war? Why the US and the UK are so hostile?

          I mean, we had war with Germany, with France, with Turkey, with Sweden, with Japan etc. – but we are no enemies today. Why the US and the UK are really so hostile?

          • Tatyana

            If you ask Russian teenagers what they are interested in in the United Kingdom, they would most likely say “whiskey and football, maybe education or good job” I guess that UK teenagers might be interested in the same things when visiting Russia, except for replacing whiskey with vodka, and maybe adding here some pretty russian girls.

            Young boys would hardly say “we hate Russia/UK and we have to bomb them because of Stalin, Putin/Queen, Johnson”
            That’s what I mean. It’s always old farts who wage wars by the hands of young boys.

          • Huw Manoid

            Politicians hide themselves away
            They only started the war
            Why should they go out to fight?
            They leave that role to the poor

            Black Sabbath 1970

            Half a century later and nothing has changed. Will we ever learn? As each year passes I despair a little more for the survival of humankind.

          • Vercingetorix

            Tatyana
            It’s only our Zionist Government that is hostile towards Russia. The people of the United Kingdom, if I may be bold, have no issue with Russians. I live very close to Salisbury. I do not know anyone who thinks the UK Government’s version of the Salisbury “poisoning” is anything but “utter bollocks”. Most of them have have probably not read deconstructions from intellectuals like Craig Murray or Rob Slane. This is quietly encouraging to me. All wars are in the final analysis about resources not ideology. Russia still has resources.

            I view the people of the UK today as being similar to those of one of the smaller Soviet states in the early 1980s: we too may have to go through much pain to rid ourselves of a tyrannical regime and what replaces it may be awful in other ways.

          • Johny Conspiranoid

            Tatyana
            Financial interests want to loot Russia and China to save their own ponzi scheme economy.

          • David

            @Tanya

            Hostile? Or misled?

            HL Mencken has this famous quote attributed to him The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by an endless series of hobgoblins, most of them imaginary, this may have been a one liner, satire perhaps, when he wrote this in 1918, but very much following Cervantes.

            if the tilting at imaginary hobgoblins or windmills manages to still repress the evolution of society, then the politicians and their paymasters will be very happy today.

            Even very large institutions follow blindly the lead of the worst of idiots, mendacious schemers. Combined with the Chomsky, narrowly focussed media – look a squirrel!

          • Tatyana

            Vercingetorix
            It seems it’s difficult for a common russian citizen to separate the opinion of the UK government and the opinion of the UK population. Follow my illustrations:
            We here get news from the media, and our media
            – 1. call the author of an opinion “Великобритания” or “Англия”, the meaning of the words may be different in our respective countries.
            – 2. the sources of opinions are called e.g. the “British Prime Minister” or the “British Minister of Defense,” and we believe that since your country is a democracy, these officials are elected by the population and express the opinion of the entire population.
            – 3. opinions are often published with reference to the BBC, and we know that BBC is the state (non private) media in Britain, which is sponsored by the entire population of the country.
            – 4. no one never published news about any British peace/compromise/cooperation movement or initiative aimed to improve relations with Russia
            – 5. the British reactions to the acts of Russia becomes predictable hostile, never supporting

          • Tatyana

            -6. besides the media, we could receive official opinions from the diplomatic channel, but now it’s broken.
            -7. another possible channel to get information is communication of ordinary people with each other.
            There were high expectations that during the football cup many ordinary citizens would come to Russia and see our country and our people with their own eyes. That possibility has been met negatively by Britain, there were official and media calls to ignore the football cup in Russia.

          • Vercingetorix

            Tatyana – thank you for your response at 08:43. I have some comments on your illustrations.

            – 2. the sources of opinions are called e.g. the “British Prime Minister” or the “British Minister of Defense,” and we believe that since your country is a democracy, these officials are elected by the population and express the opinion of the entire population.

            The United Kingdom is NOT a democracy. Switzerland is democratic. The UK is a Zionist Kleptocracy run for the benefit of major landowners and international finance. Labour and the Conservatives are different wings of the same bird (to politely rephrase George Galloway). People vote primarily out of tribal loyalty and/or perceived personal advantages. There is no correlation between Manifestos published during election periods and subsequent actions when in Government. Each major party is comprised of smaller groups; they often despise each other more than those in the other party.

            – 3. opinions are often published with reference to the BBC, and we know that BBC is the state (non private) media in Britain, which is sponsored by the entire population of the country.

            The population does NOT sponsor the BBC. The BBC is increasingly loathed by the UK population because of its dishonesty. Most people, I suggest would be happy to pay £150 annually, for a truly honest broadcaster. The BBC is NOT that broadcaster.

            – 4. no one never published news about any British peace/compromise/cooperation movement or initiative aimed to improve relations with Russia

            Agree. What co-operation does happen, does NOT get reported. This group – open to Russians – may interest you:
            https://gbrussia.org/about/

            – 5. the British reactions to the acts of Russia becomes predictable hostile, never supporting

            It is the Zionist Government that is hostile – NOT the British people. This goes back to the British Empire. Please read the Great Game by Peter Hopkins.

            -6. besides the media, we could receive official opinions from the diplomatic channel, but now it’s broken.

            As above.

            -7. another possible channel to get information is communication of ordinary people with each other.

            Your writing on Craig’s blog is truly something special. It stops it becoming an echo chamber for grumpy, aging disaffected British liberals.

            There were high expectations that during the football cup many ordinary citizens would come to Russia and see our country and our people with their own eyes. That possibility has been met negatively by Britain, there were official and media calls to ignore the football cup in Russia.

            I would place NO trust in Football cups, people, players etc. It is a game run by Spivs (sorry I cannot think of a Russian equivalent) and played by idiots (mostly) . The main reason why some ENGLISH fans did not go to the Russia World Cup was the events of 11 June 2016 in Marseille. I do not fall out with people over football – it is like falling out over dogs.

          • Tatyana

            @Vercingetorix
            If you return here by chance, just want to thank you for the link! I’ve checked the “about” section and googled for the names.
            I discovered one person among them – The Baroness Williams of Crosby – whose eyes in the photo are so alive and ignited with the kind light of a great soul. I feel she might be a person of high intellect.
            I also googled for Prince Michael of Kent, wow, he married a woman that led to him loosing the right to wear the crown! Respect 🙂
            The GB-Russia Society website looks dull, I couldn’t make out what actually do they do except for getting membership fees in exchange for the chance to listen to some more dull lectures. I guess the point is “you pay to be the member of a club of which His Royal Highness Prince Michael of Kent GCVO is a Patron of”.

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