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Another Freudian slip

Posted on May 30, 2013 by

From the one-man gaffe goldmine that is Central Ayrshire Labour MP Brian Donohoe:

donohoesmall

We do sympathise, and not just with the unfortunate (but alert) constituent of Mr Donohoe’s who sent us this recent press release. It can’t be easy for poor Brian either, constantly having to remind himself “Commemorate… not celebrate. Commemorate… not celebrate” like a low-rent version of Viz’s immortal Eight Ace.

eightace

With the constant mental effort, it’s no surprise the odd such clanger slips out. Here’s Brian in the Irvine Herald this week on the campaign to get medals for the brave men who served on the Arctic convoys during WW2:

“I hope I have gone some way in showing these brave men just how absolutely honoured that not only I am, but I would hope everyone in attendance was at being part of this special day to recognise the sacrifices they made doing their duty to Queen and Country.”

Britain, of course, had a King during WW2, not a Queen.

But like so many before him, Donohoe can’t help letting the cat out of this particularly grubby bag. The events planned to “mark” the outbreak of WW1 next year have only one true purpose. The UK already has a perfectly good Remembrance Day for honouring the fallen of the two world wars – the only problem is that it falls after the independence referendum, so is useless as a propaganda tool of “Britishness”.

It’s no coincidence that “Glasgow has been chosen to host the focal point of the UK and Commonwealth’s activities to mark the centenary of the start of World War 1”.

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again – you celebrate the end of wars, not their beginnings. We have many issues with things he’s said in the past (he was one of the most strenuous opponents of a centre-left UK government coalition in 2010, handing the keys of 10 Downing Street to David Cameron), but on this particular occasion Brian Donohoe’s only crime is to tell the truth.

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    1. 23 03 15 19:39

      The Devo Files: Brian Donohoe (Central Ayrshire) | A Wilderness of Peace

    131 to “Another Freudian slip”

    1. Dan Simmie says:

      Remember one gaffe from him a few years ago when he was berating Angus council.It was pointed out to him that at that time it was a coalition which included Labour  which was running Angus.He refused to believe this fact and stated again and again that it was SNP run.

    2. thebunnyman says:

      Donohoe’s comment,  has all the hallmarks of a bigot.

    3. Jiggsbro says:

      I’m looking forward to hearing how 150,000 casualties – a per capita death rate exceeded only by Russia and twice that of the UK as a whole – in a pointless imperial war is a Union dividend. I anticipate commentators telling us we could never have achieved this protection of our freedoms to be slaughtered like cattle if we’d been independent. Well, maybe not in those words.
       
      I propose we combine the official events with an unofficial commemoration/re-enactment of the riots of 1919.

    4. Famous15 says:

      The carnage of the “Great War” so diluted the gene pool that this MP should be more pitied than laughed at.He is but a product of that disaster.Let him celebrate if he wishes and we should treat him kindly as we would any other human scarred mentally by our imperial past.

    5. pmcrek says:

      Personally I’ll be celebrating the 100 year anniversary of the successful Glasgow Rent Strikes instead.

    6. Craig M says:

      WW1 was a tiff between monarchies. Millions of lives were sacrificed needlessly for the vanity projects of Cousins Willy von Preußen, Cousin George Saxa-Coburg-Gotha, Cousin Nicholas Holstein-Gottorp-Romanov and various other minor players from assorted royal families. Are not Labour MPs supposed to be socialists? Ok, sarcasm is the lowest form of wit…talking of which, where’s Brian Donohoe?
       

    7. Ericmac says:

      This needs a counter campaign…
      With photos of the horrendous Mustard Gas injuries, entitled ” “When Governments are in charge”
      …on the day.  That will get the attention that this is Westminster propaganda.
       

    8. Ericmac says:

      And other poignant titles “My great grandfather fought for the very thing the British State are restricting – democracy, social justice and freedom.” 

    9. Dee says:

      “Heroes led by Donkeys”…

    10. Welsh Sion says:

      Do(nohoe)-nut

    11. Famous15 says:

      The poetry of those who recuperated in what is now Napier University Craiglockart campus should be enough to moderate the  slavering imperial megalomania of those who who would use 1914 to celebrate anything of worth. Shame on those who see any glory or honour in a war  fought for imperial territory. Not in my name,please.

    12. Craig says:

      http://www.mediafire.com/view/1qctl4nq10w4q8w/Scotlands_War_Losses.pdf

      The above link (Assuming it doesn’t get hammered by a spam filter. Apologies in advance if I set off an alarm bell) is a 1947 white paper by Duncan Duff called Scotland’s War Losses and it lays out in fair detail just how Scottish troops have, time and again, “benefited” from the Union from the Napoleonic wars till publication.

      On WWI:

      “[T]otal war casualties for the United Kingdom, viz: 812 317 killed in all services. Scotland should on a population basis (10.5% of the UK) therefore have incurred a total loss by deaths of no more than 85293.”

      “Making generous allowance for the presence of English in Scottish regiments, Scottish losses must be in the neighbourhood of 110,000 possibly more. There total loss suffered by the United States from a population about twenty-five times that of Scotland was 126,000.”

    13. Strangely, no talk of commemorating the 60th anniversary of the END of the Korean War on 27 Jul 2013. Must be too far away from anything to deserve a Britfest.

    14. Dee says:

      Just saw Scots Guards in Inverness. As in WW1 the commanding officer is right out of the Old Etonian fellowship. It hasn’t changed in 100years, the army, navy, and Air Force are all led by a very small core of men from England’s  ruling elite.  As Alex Salmond said about promotion opportunities in a Scottish Defence Force, that they would be open to all. I think Mr Donohoe should be reminded of that…

    15. Shinty says:

      let’s not forget also the million horses who were sent into this war with only 62,000 returning.

    16. reginald says:

      Make the ‘Celebrations’ go with a bang. Read Niall Ferguson’s book on World War 1==THE PITY OF WAR.

    17. JLT says:

      Seriously …is there any other nation in Europe, ready to celebrate the start of the worst ever war in history.
      I’m seriously holding my breath on the 4th – 6th August 2014. Honestly …how are they going to commemorate it? They can get away with something on the lines of what happens on the 11th November …but, that’s it!
      Surely, they wouldn’t dare to have street marches and bunting …surely not!

    18. Jiggsbro says:

      This needs a counter campaign…
      With photos of the horrendous Mustard Gas injuries, entitled ” “When Governments are in charge”
       
      Who do you expect to be in charge in an independent Scotland?

    19. CM says:

      O/T
      There is a rather good developing story occurring way out west. In fact, it’s taking place on an expedition to Rockall involving a chap who wants to stay 60 days there. Just so happens there’s a YES logo on board. I really do hope they can pin the logo to the rock, since it’s Scotland’s after all!
      Best thing to do is read the recent twitter entries here: https://twitter.com/severincarrell

    20. ewen says:

      Absolutely disgusted. The Great war has been turned into another media show and it’s horrors forgotten.  Who in their right minds celebrates war?
      We should protest using the photos of the blind leading the blind after gas attacks,  of the bodies on the wire, of the mud, rats, lice and destruction. On the medals struck, it said” The great war for civilization.” What is civilized about Westminster’s latest wheeze?  What are they going to get up to in 2039? At least we won’t be part of their theme park state by then and we can remember with dignity in 2018 and 2045.

    21. Ian Mackay says:

      Next thing Labour will propose will be a Tony Blair Day to ‘celebrate’ the start of the Iraq War..

    22. BillyBigbaws says:

      Not so long ago the UK’s Defence Secretary (the short-lived Andrew Robathan) said that the men who worked the Arctic convoys were just a bunch of big jessies, who didn’t deserve the steam aff one of his shites.  Or words to that effect.

      Another book everybody should read is Alan Ereira’s “The People’s England.”  The chapters on the army and navy will leave the reader in no doubt that the UK state has never had any respect for it’s servicemen whatsoever.  The other chapters show that the same goes for just about every other citizen. 

      It’s just a standard history book, really – but what an eye-opener.

      It mentions that the UK Government deployed a larger army domestically to suppress the Luddite revolt than it sent to fight in the Peninsular Wars against Napoleon. Just think about that for a second.

    23. JLT says:

      To be honest, the more I think about it, the only way the UK can really commemorate the start of the Great War, is basically, they will do what they do on Armistice Day.
      I can see just about every commemorative statue, in every city, town and village, having flowers laid at it. There will probably be solemn marches from some of the military divisions, and there will probably be a lot of old footage on TV. No doubt, live footage from the Cenotaph will take place, as the Queen lays a wreath at the base of it.
      Beyond that …I really can’t see what the UK government can do, to ‘celebrate’ the Great War.
      There is just no way they can have bunting or street parties. I think the population would be furious and disgusted at such suggestions.
      Come the day, I think it will be a quiet, dignified affair. I have no doubt there will references to ‘Britain’ did this, and ‘Britain’ did that, but all they will get is one day …no more than that, and after that one day of remembrance …it will be back to the Referendum.

    24. pro-loco says:

      On the other hand, Eric Joyce, remember him? the gift that keep’s on giving? – has this extraordinarily complimentary (no irony, seriously) thing to say about cybernats –
      http://ericjoyce.co.uk/2013/05/the-word-cybernat-is-for-losers/

    25. CameronB says:

      Re. Eric Joyce. Perhaps his most recent mishap has finally sobered him up? (no irony, seriously)

    26. Bugger (the Panda) says:

      Eric Joyce can talk sense when he is obviously sober.
       
      Such a shame for him during the rest of his day.

      Such a waste.

    27. handclapping says:

      But if we are calebrating war like centenaries why not the bicentenary of the British burning the capital of their ex-colonies, Washington, in 1814? Surely not because it might give a hint to what might be done to London in the summer of 2014?

    28. Marcia says:

      I visit the Somme every year. Both of my grandfathers died prematurely from the effects of the Great War. I for one will not celebrate as a youngster I saw one of my granfather’s coughing up his lungs daily because of the effects of gas warfare in the trenches.  A tour around the cemeteries would make anyone question the stupidity of ‘celebration’.
       
      Is this what Donohoe is celebrating? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nr-Pf4rvwlg
      if you get easily upset don’t watch the video.

    29. wullie says:

      Will our Norman overlords be around to celebrate 2066. The first thousand year, well you know the rest

    30. Iain says:

      @ pro-loco
       
      My own prejudices aside, that’s a pretty sharp piece. C’mon Eric, time to leave the dark side (in every sense).

    31. Luigi says:

      Start of war “celebrations!”, royal baby on the way, endless, ridiculous scare stories recycled, attempts to gag free speech and demonize Scottish nationalism. My oh my, 16 months to go and the unionists are already pulling out all stops. You would think that they are worried about something? Nah, can’t be that, after all a steady 70% of scots wish to remain in the UK, right?

    32. Ron says:

      My MP. Which makes me very sad. And not for the first time, or the last.

    33. The Rough Bounds says:

      I remember this little bit from a Scottish poet who was enraged at how the British Government lied to the Highland soldiers returning from the horrors of the first world war. They had been promised land and they got absolutely nothing.
      It was written in the style of a prediction.
      And of course, 100 years later and nothing has changed.
      Unfortunately I cannot recall the poet’s name.
       
      And when the fight is done, and they come back o’er the foam,
      ”Well done”, they will say, ”You are good and true,
      But we cannot give you a home.
      For the hills we want for the deer and the glens the sheep enjoy,
      and bad for the deer is the smoke of the cot,
      and the song of the crofter’s boy’.

    34. Ericmac says:

      @Jiggsbro 
      This needs a counter campaign…With photos of the horrendous Mustard Gas injuries, entitled ” “When Governments are in charge” Who do you expect to be in charge in an independent Scotland?
      It was ‘off the top of my head’.  What I was trying to say was, “When ****** Governments are in charge”  
      For ****** read something like..
      Hegemonic, Elitist, Tory, Imperial, War Mongering, Undemocratic, shit. 
      Someone will have the right word.  🙂 
       
       
       
       

    35. Marian says:

      The unionists and their MSM poodles strategy is to smother any and all information from the YES campaign with their downright lies and smears in order to snuff out any chance of a proper debate in the hope that the people of Scotland will never know what advantages and opportunities independence could bring to the people of Scotland.
      The sad thing is that for far too many potential voters the unionist strategy is working so far.
       

    36. Jiggsbro says:

      Someone will have the right word.  🙂

       
      Liberal?

    37. CameronB says:

      As in ‘spreading liberal democracy’?

    38. Robert Kerr says:

      Since this is being kicked off in Glasgow I suggest the Scottish Government invites all the other celebrants to attend…. Germany, Russia, Italy, Turkey, Austria (and Hungary) and even the late arrivals the USA.
      Yes I missed a few… you get the gist.

    39. If you love wars so much that you feel a need to celebrate their beginnings, I’m sure you’re Better Together with Westminster and the memories of Empire lingering there.

    40. joe kane says:

      This weekend the BBC will be celebrating the Queen and another royal anniversary date, again.
      The Radio Times for 1-7 June is a 1953-2013 Coronation Special Commemorative Issue celebrating 60 years since Betty Battenburg was made queen.

      Download a free 1953 edition of Radio Times here –
      http://static.radiotimes.com/editorial/Coronation.pdf 

    41. Boorach says:

      @ Jiggsbro
       
      Would that be Neoliberal or even Neocon?

    42. CameronB says:

      Could you describe neo-libealism as the evolution of imperialism, though corporatism, to today’s post-modern fascist ‘democracy’?

    43. Jiggsbro says:

      Could you describe neo-liberalism as the evolution of imperialism, though corporatism, to today’s post-modern fascist ‘democracy’?
       
      They’re all about sociopaths seeking power, status and privilege, so they’re all variations on a theme.

    44. HandandShrimp says:

      Labour celebrating the start of a war?
       
      Shirley not!

    45. hamish burgess says:

      This carry-on is to counteract Bannockburn, 1314. There is ammo to use: the Glasgow rent strike during the war when landlords thought to up the rent because the men were at war and the women would be a soft touch. They weren’t. There’s also the tanks on the streets of Glasgow after the war. Also, as mentioned, the Scottish casualty levels were well above the Brit normals.

      We can also link WWII into here; that the 51st Highland Div was left behind to cover the Dunkirk evacuations, Churchill saying that historically the French and Scots belonged together in battle. When secret papers were released in the 1990s a different story emerged. It would not look good in the London papers if London and Guards regiments were lost, better to use remote regiments, especially the 51st, because it was a TA formation, not a front line regular one.

      Furthermore, what few people seem to know – that Scots regiments of the 5th Brigade were sent over to reinforce the French and remaining British after Dunkirk ended. When some made it back to the UK, they found people in their camps were surprised, because they had been told the units would not be returning. In other words, they were sent off to be killed off.

      A former soldier who experienced this has deposited his story with the BBC. Google http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/ww2peopleswar/stories/32/a2485532.shtml

    46. BillyBigbaws says:

      @ CM, those Rockall tweets are hilarious, and the pics of the big Yes sign have got Severin Carrell in a right tizzy.  Fair cheered me up.

      As for Eric Joyce, the last thing we need is for him to be the first “major” Labour figure to publically change their stance on independence.  Can you imagine it?  Please God, no.  If that were to happen, I would be unable to see it as anything other than a deliberate smearing tactic, and Joyce himself as a knowing attempted wrecker of the cause.

      He is so thoroughly self-discreditted that his support should be actively avoided. 

      The media and the major UK parties have tried very hard over decades to portray independence as a madman’s dream, and pathologise it’s supporters as drunks and fools (and thugs).  Joyce joining would help reaffirm their favoured image of us. 

      Not that he seems to be wavering, really, but the thought of it just scared me. 
       
       
       

    47. Douglas Campbell says:

      Estimated Iraqi deaths +110,000 from 2003 until now. Estimated Scottish war casualties 1914 to 1918. Lots of wasted lives lost for Labour to celebrate.

    48. Cath says:

      Wow! That’s a genuinely really good and thoughtful article from Eric Joyce. Folk can surprise you at times.

    49. Boorach says:

      I would be very surprised if pacificist groups (including CND, particularly as decision time for trident will be approaching fast) don’t mount silent protests at any events designed to comemorate the start of a war.
       
      I forecast sales of white poppies breaking all records!
       
      and to bring a tear to your eyes and remind you of the pointlessness of war have a listen to ‘The Green Fields of France (AKA Willie McBride) and Mothers, Daughters, Wives.

    50. Ananurhing says:

      You have to question, where is the intellect or the humanity in Donohoe? Does he have any real grasp of the horrors of WW1?
       
      My 14 year old daughter has recently been on a week long trip to some of the WW1 battlefields. The deal was she could go provided she read Max Arthur’s “Forgotten Voices of the Great War” beforehand. ( No politics, just people.) She was incredibly moved by the whole experience.
       
      I just asked her to read the statement from Donohoe. Her jaw dropped, then she said, “You do realise that had you been fighting in that war, you’d be taking orders from the likes of him”
      Aye, him and Sir Jock no doubt.

    51. Braco says:

      Billybigbaws,
      Eric Joyce, maybe ‘The drunk that came in from the cold’?

    52. BillyBigbaws says:

      Hehehe, spot on Braco.

    53. ianbrotherhood says:

       
      Of all the issues covered by WoS since I started visiting, this one (over and above anything in Sealand Gazette – and that’s saying something) makes me tremble with rage.
       
      I’m not going to list the reasons – most have already been covered, or are so obvious as to require no comment whatever, but I can’t be the only one who is still wondering why Glasgow was chosen to host this ‘commemoration’, and who is responsible for the choice.
       
      If the Scottish Government has had any hand in this decision then we have to know about it, and soon – even if it hasn’t, and it’s the usual story of Glasgow ‘bidding’ to host something/anything which will put a smile on city hoteliers’ faces, the Scottish government should instruct the relevant Committee to demand answers of GCC.
       
      Donohue is a proven 24-carat roaster who would struggle to buy a sausage-roll without making a complete arse of it, and his clanger shouldn’t detract from the rancid nature of the proposal – perhaps we could get a real wordsmith (the Poet Laureate herself?) to attempt a justification which can survive cursory proofreading and point to the critical issues involved.
       
      We should not be contemplating counter-demonstrations/commemorations, however well-intended – the proposed event simply must not be allowed to happen. If it does, Glasgow’s reputation (whatever you currently assess that to be) will plummet at a time when we need no national embarrassments of any kind to deflect us from the great prize in sight.
       
      It’s been ten years since Glasgow hosted the biggest ever gathering of Scots, and we were saying ‘Not in Our Name’ to the imminent invasion of Iraq. If we can’t make it plain to the authorities that this obscene event is not going to happen on our own doorstep? – we don’t deserve independence, and forfeit any right to complain about our children being hauled off to die like their ancestors.
       
      Non-violent action, civil disobedience, call it what you will – if that’s the only way to make sure it doesn’t happen, then the sooner we get on with it the better.
       
      (If this appears OTT, apologies, but I suspect many feel similarly.)
       
       
       

    54. David McCann says:

      A showing of the last episode of Blackadder would illustrate nicely the utter futility war. After all Darling had a leading role in the series!
       
      As Rudyard Kipling wrote in his famous poem Mesopotamia
      “THEY shall not return to us, the resolute, the young
      The eager and whole-hearted whom we gave:
      But the men who left them thriftily to die in their own dung,
      Shall they come with years and honour to the grave?’

    55. Alan Gerrish says:

      Hmmm. Seem to remember Brian Donohoe from when he was questioned some years ago on the possibility that rendition flights had used Prestwick airport for refuelling purposes. “Absolutely not” said he, “I was told ( by I think the Scottish Labour defence minister at the time) it did not happen. He is an honourable man and I have no reason to disbelieve him”.
      In the light of recent research which indicates such landings did take place, I don’t think we should be asking where Donohoe’s intellect and humanity is when he obviously can’t think for himself but choses the lazy option of believing what his “betters” in Westminster tell him.

    56. AmadeusMinkowski says:

       
      @Ericmac @Jiggsbro
      This needs a counter campaign”
      Agreed. “Celebrating” WWI in 2014 would be an abomination.
      Let’s get the artists/creates over at National Collective to revive The Musical “Oh, What a Lovely War!” and dramatize Alan Clark’s “Donkeys”: inspired by the “Lions led by Donkeys” a quip designed to capture the incompetent generals (donkeys) who led so many to pointless deaths.

    57. CameronB says:

      And it not as if we are talking about a couple of flights, as Prestwick was the second most intensively used of the 51 UK airports involved, which saw a total of 1,622 landings of torture, sorry rendition flights.
       
      http://beforeitsnews.com/alternative/2013/05/uk-deeply-involved-in-cia-renditions-2657372.html

    58. The Man in the Jar says:

      As someone that served for over sixteen years in the British Army and can consider myself a Cold War veteran, a Northern Ireland veteran and a Falkland Island veteran I want to say. Not in my name, no f*****g way. Shame on the lot of them!
      British Government what a W.A.F.T.A.M.

    59. Tamson says:

      Regarding Eric Joyce, if he is genuinely leaning pro-indy, he could strike a powerful blow by resigning his seat and forcing a by-election sometime in 2014. With the local Labour Party in turmoil (thanks to the Unite union) and his predecessor Dennis Canavan on the stump for the SNP, a Falkirk by-election would be a cracker.
       
      However, I suspect protecting his pension is a bit too important (am I correct in thinking he would lose the MP pension if he resigned or ended up in jail?).

    60. annie says:

      I think Eric Joyce was simply comparing the SNP’s more efficient use of twitter/facebook etc to the labour party’s efforts – think he would have a laugh that it might be thought to be him leaning towards independence.

    61. Semus says:

      Can we not have all Scots women pointing south after a YES vote singing  to the Unionists polticoes. “We think you ought to go…”

    62. Big Al says:

      WW1 – The largest planned mass murder in history.

      I have recently been trawling WW1 photos for captioning and have a couple which hopefully should get the message across that this should under no circumstances be seen as a celebration.

      Who chose Glasgow as the ‘Host Celebrant City’ for the WW1 event? Did call me Dave foist that on us or did Matheson stick his grubby mitt up for the ‘honour’?

    63. Jiggsbro says:

      Who chose Glasgow as the ‘Host Celebrant City’ for the WW1 event?
       
      It’s been chosen because the Commonwealth Games mean that Commonwealth heads of state will be in the city and handy for a Commonwealth War Party.

    64. AnneDon says:

      My hobby is genealogy.
      A couple of years ago, I visited the Mitchell Library, who are in the process of indexing all the WWI Evening Times Soldiers’ Obituary Notices.  The Evening Times (like many local newspapers) ran an obituary, usually with a photo, of the fallen soldier, often with details of what had happened to them.
      The librarian told us that the people doing the indexing usually only managed an hour at a time, because it was so upsetting to read about so many dead young men.
      Of all the idiotic things Westminster are doing, trying to make people celebrate the start of a war is the worst.
      Of course, it has an added piquancy that we are at war and the injured soldiers are hardly any better treated now than they were a century ago. On the one hand, they are ‘Heroes’; on the other, their injuries will immediately have them labelled ‘shirkers’ by this government.

    65. kininvie says:

      The events of July & August 1914 mark the biggest ever cock-up in European diplomacy. The war need never have happened – should never have happened. Read B Tuchman’s wonderful ‘The guns of August’ if you want chapter and verse.

    66. Indion says:

       
      On a teenage cadet exchange that took place near an airfield we were all flown in and out of to go and return from in due course when homeward bound, we were taken  en-masse to one of the biggest WW Part 1 memorial cemeteries.
       
      Approaching up a very wide, long but narrow stepway was to see unfold before we stopped at the top in trying to take in, whilst stumbling forward from the weight of bodies behind, the perfect symmetry of row upon row in files and ranks of white headstones in the morning sun shimmering into ever distant focus towards the empty horizon.
       
      Hampden full to the brim of 100,000 singing voices was as nothing to the sound of the silent assault of the silent here in testament to the senseless, their only accompaniment birdsong as they slept never to wake up to again.
       
      How big the land or sea we would have to set aside to bury all the dead from all this world’s wars of hand to hand hacking, through nuclear, biological and chemical weapons of mass destruction, and back to the now remotely controlled hands of remote leaders launching cruise missiles to their kills and guide drones to deliver death out of the blue? 
       
      Who should be brought to see it?  How should it be brought home for all to see what they are capable of?
       
      I’m no flower to wilt at the sight of, nor shrunken in the fight for survival from, but Jesu what is this creed of greed that lacks all understanding that could possibly be forgiven for not knowing not what they do long before this day and aged in our lifetimes still that enough is enough? 
       
      What’s the in-fighting of humanity for? The survival of the fittest to wipe us all out? The master of everything to be gained in nothing to be won race?  
          

    67. Indion says:

       
      On a teenage cadet exchange that took place near an airfield we were all flown in and out of to go and return from in due course when homeward bound, we were taken  en-masse to one of the biggest WW Part 1 memorial cemeteries.
       
      Approaching up a very wide, long but narrow stepway was to see unfold before we stopped at the top in trying to take in, whilst stumbling forward from the weight of bodies behind, the perfect symmetry of row upon row in files and ranks of white headstones in the morning sun shimmering into ever distant focus towards the empty horizon.
       
      Hampden full to the brim of 100,000 singing voices was as nothing to the sound of the silent assault of the silent here in testament to the senseless, their only accompaniment birdsong as they slept never to wake up to again.
       
      How big the land or sea we would have to set aside to bury all the dead from all this world’s wars of hand to hand hacking, through nuclear, biological and chemical weapons of mass destruction, and back to the now remotely controlled hands of remote leaders launching cruise missiles to their kills and guide drones to deliver death out of the blue? 
       
      Who should be brought to see it?  How should it be brought home for all to see what they are capable of?
       
      I’m no flower to wilt at the sight of, nor shrunken in the fight for survival from, but Jesu what is this creed of greed that lacks all understanding that could possibly be forgiven for not knowing not what they do long before this day and aged in our lifetimes still that enough is enough? 
       
      What’s the in-fighting of humanity for? The survival of the fittest to wipe us all out? The master of everything to be gained in a nothing to be won race?  
          

    68. Indion says:

       
      If not at all, once would have been enough above too, 🙁 grr

    69. clochoderic says:

      Have a look at Wee Dougie’s expenses on his big fancy hoose in Houston especially the amount he claims for garage doors and chimneys.
       
       The wee shite is at it – he claims for everything – his leccy, gas, phone, telly, council tax, taxis, computers, insurance, fitted kitchen, anything he can imagine .
       Speaker Mick and big Gordon were his role models.

    70. Gordon Bain says:

      @ ianbrotherhood
      I could not agree more. You’ve put into words exactly how I see it too.
      For us to allow this would not only be a slur on us here & now. It would be a slur on those very men & women who were nothing more than cannon-fodder!
      Vote Yes for a better, fairer Scotland.
      Hail Caesar!

    71. alexicon says:

      @ Hamish Burgess.
       
      You can add this devastating counter attack to your list.
       
      http://wingsoverscotland.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/paleface.jpg
       
      @Bugger the Panda.
       
      Eric Joyce got one thing wrong on his blog. Labour and the tories are in a coalition at Falkirk council.

    72. Holebender says:

      The 51st was not a TA division, it was made up of the various Highland regiments (Argyll & Sutherland, Gordons, Black Watch, etc.) of the British Army. Just as the 52nd was made up of the Lowland regiments.

    73. ianbrotherhood says:

       
      @Jiggsbro –
       
      ‘It’s been chosen because the Commonwealth Games mean that Commonwealth heads of state will be in the city and handy for a Commonwealth War Party’
       
      I forgot you’d already provided this perfectly sensible explanation on another thread when I asked the same question.
       
      One has to wonder whether the esteemed Heads of the Commonwealth States have been formally invited to hang about for this proposed event, or if it’ll be sprung on them as a ‘wee extra’. 
       
      It might be a good idea to offer them the open-top bus tour of the city followed by a pint at the Horseshoe Bar – that would give citizens the opportunity to line the streets and show these people how much we appreciate them. No need for all that sombre standing-about peering at one’s shoes.
       
      The trick, of course, is not to let them know that they’re participating in a politically-motivated stunt exploiting the dead – if they get wind of it? Glasgow might find that quite a few Commonwealth high-heid yins are washing their hair that day.

    74. MajorBloodnok says:

      @Holebender
       
      You are right, although I think the 51st and 52nd subsequently became TA Regiments before transforming into battalions, catchily named 7 SCOTS and 6 SCOTS respectively, in our only remaining regiment.
       
      Anyone, seen Private Eye this week by the way?  There is a photo in there of a restored Lancaster flying over a dam and a speech bubble from someone on the parapet saying “For you Tommy ze war is never over.”
       
      Neatly captures the ‘British’ obsession with continually trying to revive our plast glories, however inappropriate they may be.  What was the name of Guy Gibson’s dog again?

    75. Indion says:

       
      @ clochoderic 3:45am
      Wee Duggies balls were passed down thro’ the female line; they’re hanging under his sister’s skirt.
       
      She’s probably tucked her husband’s away there too, now that he is rowing back from full fiscal autonomy as far and fast as his overtaken by events econonomy watch blog can go.
       
      Where did all Keir Hardie’s home rule avowed adherent’s go? Were their words only of farewell, take care of yourself too?
       
       

    76. les calthorps says:

      A modern anti-war sang, which should be better known–with apologies to the composer Andrew Hunter for any mistakes as I only ever heard it sung the once which was by himself when he accompanied himself on the oxter pipes.
      [1]O rise and fecht ye heilan chiels,
      yer wifes are fou o dule for ye
      and bid the bonny bairns fareweel
      and lay ye doon and dee for me.
      [2] The hounds o war are at yer yetts
      fight, but never ask me why
      Affia, Tunis and Bengazzi
      blood reid in the desert sky.
      [3] At Singapore ye fought and fell
      Changi jile was aa yer ludgins
      strang men fell, ay cut tae hell
      the Burma road lies green and rotten
      [4] On Flodden field the gress grouws green
      ouwre the graves o our heilan laddies
      doon fa”s rain but it ne”rs does clean
      the blood and sweat frae their tartan plaides.
      [5] Ouwre the main the gress grouws blue
      ouwre the trenches tae Beaumanhammell
      and the Scottish lads their lives doon threw
      and their blood ran rivers tae the English Channel
      ON FLODDEN FIELD THE GRESS GROUWS GREEN.

    77. MajorBloodnok says:

      Not sure why I wrote “our past glories”… – the closest I’ve ever got to real war is buying the complete box set of Dad’s Army.  Though there was that time I was in Beirut….

    78. Bugger (the Panda) says:

      Major
       
      Did you by any chance organise the looting of the British Bank of the Middle East and if so, could you spare a few bob for the YES campaign.
       
      It is all perfectly legal, permitted and with precedence.

    79. Tony Little (aka Aplinal) says:

      Perhaps this is just another cunning plan by Cameroon to make sure the Scots vote YES?  After all the opportunity to point out, not only the folly of WWI, but the Iraq debacle, Afghanistan, and all the other wars based on political lies and manipulation.  
       
      I can think of no other memorial to the greed and shame of the political-martial industry than Wilfred Owens’
       DULCE ET DECORUM EST
      Bent double, like old beggars under sacks, 
      Knock-kneed, coughing like hags, we cursed through sludge, 
      Till on the haunting flares we turned our backs 
      And towards our distant rest began to trudge. 
      Men marched asleep. Many had lost their boots 
      But limped on, blood-shod. All went lame; all blind; 
      Drunk with fatigue; deaf even to the hoots
      Of tired, outstripped Five-Nines that dropped behind.
      Gas! Gas! Quick, boys! – An ecstasy of fumbling, 
      Fitting the clumsy helmets just in time; 
      But someone still was yelling out and stumbling, 
      And flound’ring like a man in fire or lime . . . 
      Dim, through the misty panes and thick green light, 
      As under a green sea, I saw him drowning. 
      In all my dreams, before my helpless sight, 
      He plunges at me, guttering, choking, drowning. 
      If in some smothering dreams you too could pace 
      Behind the wagon that we flung him in, 
      And watch the white eyes writhing in his face, 
      His hanging face, like a devil’s sick of sin; 
      If you could hear, at every jolt, the blood 
      Come gargling from the froth-corrupted lungs, 
      Obscene as cancer, bitter as the cud
      Of vile, incurable sores on innocent tongues, 
      My friend, you would not tell with such high zest
      To children ardent for some desperate glory, 
      The old Lie; Dulce et Decorum est 
      Pro patria mori.
       
      Let us never forget

    80. Iain says:

      @les calthorps
       
      Good stuff, would like to hear it sung. I could imagine Hamish Henderson giein laldy to that.

    81. Holebender says:

      Major, that cartoon sounds spot on.

    82. Dorothy Devine says:

      The battle of George Square (Bloody Friday) 1919

      Previous | Contents | Next


      On Friday 31 January 1919 upwards of 60,000 demonstrators gathered in George Square in support of the 40-hours strike and to hear the Lord Provost’s reply to the workers’ request for a 40-hour week. Whilst the deputation was in the building the police mounted a vicious and unprovoked attack on the demonstrators, felling unarmed men and women with their batons. The demonstrators, with the ex-servicemen to the fore, quickly retaliated with fists, iron railings and broken bottles, and forced the police into a retreat.

      On hearing the noise from the square the strike leaders, who were meeting with the Lord Provost, rushed outside to restore order. One of the leaders, David Kirkwood, was felled to the ground by a police baton, and along with William Gallacher was arrested by the police.

      After the initial confrontation between the demonstrators and the police in George Square, further fighting continued in and around the city centre streets for many hours afterwards. The Townhead area of the city and Glasgow Green, where many of the demonstrators had regrouped after the initial police charge, were the scenes of running battles between police and demonstrators.

      In the immediate aftermath of ‘Bloody Friday’, as it became known, other leaders of the Clyde Workers’ Committee were also arrested, including Emanuel Shinwell, Harry Hopkins and George Edbury.

      Government concerns about industrial militancy and revolutionary political activity in Glasgow reached new heights after the events of 31 January 1919. Fears within government of a workers’ revolution in Glasgow led to the deployment of troops and tanks in the city.
      An estimated 10000 English troops in total were sent to Glasgow in the immediate aftermath of the Battle of George Square. This was in spite of a full battalion of Scottish soldiers being stationed at Maryhill barracks in Glasgow at the time. No Scottish troops were deployed, with the government fearing that fellow Scots, soldiers or otherwise, would go over to the workers side if a revolutionary situation developed in Glasgow.

      On 10 February 1919 the 40-hours strike was called off by the Joint Strike Committee. Whilst not achieving their stated aim of a 40-hour working week, the striking workers from the engineering and shipbuilding industries did return to work having at least negotiated an agreement that guaranteed them a 47-hour working week; 10 hours less than they were working prior to the strike
       
       
      Perhaps those in the City Chambers could remind themselves of this event.  Maybe they would reconsider the ” pride ” they have in being the “chosen ones”

    83. HandandShrimp says:

      The First World War was an obscenity that spawned fascism and the Second World War. To celebrate its beginning would be an act of insanity. There should be nothing more than a sombre commeration in August. Events to mark the end of the war in 2018 I think could and should be markedly more upbeat with a mixture of song, poetry, remembrance services and events that are insightful and educational.
       
       

    84. Captain Caveman says:

      “Celebrate the start of the First World War”… man alive that’s crass, even by Labour’s abject standards. That utterly pointless conflict has to go down as the blackest mark in the age old history of Mankind’s endevours – some duke gets bumped off and the next thing you know, 37 million people are either dead or wounded all for nothing much except the seeds sown for the next round some 20 years later.
       
      ‘Eight Ace’ seems positively generous, under the circumstances?

    85. Indion says:

       
      …. that time I was in Beirut saying ” Niggah! Pukkah Cuppah, Biggah, Bettah, What?

    86. ukip free zone says:

      Celebrating World War I. Will they have fireworks? Then everyone can sing that old favourite of those in the trenches, ‘Hush Here Comes A Whizzbang’.

    87. MajorBloodnok says:

      @Captain Caveman
       
      Archduke if you please.  Makes all the difference.
       
      @Indion
       
      Actually, I spent a good part of it getting pissed with a fellow Scotsman in a pub in Achrafieh called “The Hole in the Wall”, neatly illustrated by a star-shaped RPG round impact on the carpark wall opposite.
       
      http://www.gardlen.com/locations/75-hole-in-the-wall
       
      @ukip free zone
       
      Moaning Minnies too.

    88. ianbrotherhood says:

       
      @Dorothy Devine –
       
      Great post. 
       
      For anyone who isn’t aware of those events (and the Rent Strike etc), it’s perhaps worth reminding them what conditions were like in Glasgow at that time. Better still, they should find out for themselves. A good starting point might be the little-known fact that the Gorbals area (which must be, what, a mile from George Square?) suffered an outbreak of Bubonic Plague (aye, that’s right, ‘The Black Death’) in 1900.
       
      For anyone who doubts this, or intends to embark on the long slog which is self-education, try entering ‘Glasgow’, ‘Bubonic Plague’, ‘Black Death’, ‘1900’ (any combo will do) into the search engine of choice, and be prepared to have your gob well and truly smacked.

    89. les calthorps says:

      IAN
      I have been able to dig up a recording of the song—-not quite so hair raising as when the composer played the oxter pipes as he sang
      Go to The School of Scottish Studies site–Tobar an Dualchais and type in Andrew Robb Hunter– then select page 4— title “Ye Heilan Chiels”
      Enjoy.

    90. Norsewarrior says:

      “The events planned to “mark” the outbreak of WW1 next year have only one true purpose…a propaganda tool of “Britishness”

      Don’t be silly, that is paranoia in the extreme. Are you seriously attempting to suggest that the events to mark the 100 year anniversary of the outbreak of WW1 were planned purely as a ‘Britishness’ propaganda tool in order to try and win the referendum?! 

      No doubt the events will be used to try and promote ‘Britishness’, but that is a side product, it is utterly ludicrous to suggest that the ‘true purpose’ of them is to be a propaganda tool against Scottish independence! 

      If that is the case, perhaps you could attempt to explain why similar events were held in 1964 to mark the 50th anniversary of WW1? 

    91. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “Don’t be silly, that is paranoia in the extreme. Are you seriously attempting to suggest that the events to mark the 100 year anniversary of the outbreak of WW1 were planned purely as a ‘Britishness’ propaganda tool in order to try and win the referendum?! “

      I’m not “attempting” to suggest anything. The suggestion of it is a fait accompli. Indeed, I’m stating it as an absolute conviction, not merely putting it forward as a possibility.

    92. Norsewarrior says:

      “I’m stating it as an absolute conviction, not merely putting it forward as a possibility.”

      So why were similar events held to mark the 50th anniversary of the outbreak of WW1 in 1964 then? Was that a ‘propaganda tool’ for ‘Britishness’ too?! 

      We independence supporters have a large number of very real grievances and dishonest behaviour to get upset about, we don’t need to start inventing paranoid conspiracy theories about events commemorating the 100th anniversary of WW1 being set up purely to try and stop Scottish independence.

      Are you honestly claiming such events wouldn’t have been held if there wasn’t going to be a referendum the same year?! Utter nonsense.

    93. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “So why were similar events held to mark the 50th anniversary of the outbreak of WW1 in 1964 then? Was that a ‘propaganda tool’ for ‘Britishness’ too?! “

      Kindly link me to documentation regarding these events so that we may make a fair comparison.

    94. Norsewarrior says:

      “Kindly link me to documentation regarding these events so that we may make a fair comparison.”

      From Hansard: “In 1964, on the 50th anniversary of the outbreak of the first world war, similar co-ordination of activity and events around the country took place. In my constituency, there was an exhibition of war paintings at the Metropole art gallery, which was hosted in conjunction with the Imperial War museum. Co-ordination also took place for the Last Night of the Proms, with music by Vaughan Williams and Britten acting as a musical commemoration of the war”
      http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201011/cmhansrd/cm100708/debtext/100708-0004.htm

      Proms event: http://www.bbc.co.uk/proms/archive/search/1960s/1964/august-04/7525

      BBC Documentary: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Great_War_(documentary)

    95. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “From Hansard: “

      Yes, thanks, I’m capable of typing “first world war 50th anniversary” into Google for myself. My point is, for a comparison to be valid we need to know, most pertinently, precisely WHEN these events took place, but also their nature and cost. One classical concert and an exhibition of paintings is hardly analogous to the sort of hoopla being planned for next year.

    96. Norsewarrior says:

      One classical concert and an exhibition of paintings is hardly analogous to the sort of hoopla being planned for next year.”

      That was the first couple of events I found, no doubt if I searched more thoroughly I’d find more. 

      As I said, it is utterly ludicrous and beyond paranoid to suggest that these commemorative events are being held purely as ‘Britishness’ propaganda against the referendum, they would clearly have been held anyway regardless of whether the referendum was happening, as the similar events in 1964 prove. 

      If these commemorative events really are ‘Britishness’ propaganda why on earth has Salmond recently announced details of similar events taking place in Scotland?! 

      http://www.thecourier.co.uk/news/scotland/first-minister-announces-details-of-first-world-war-commemorations-in-2014-1.96210

    97. ukip free zone says:

      @Norsewarrior
      That’s right,why shouldn’t there be large scale events to mark the 96th anniversary of the end of World War I?

    98. HandandShrimp says:

      The 50th commemoration of the war was relatively low key, culminating in the November remembrance day. My understanding is that what is being proposed for 2014 is considerably bigger in scale. If it is not, and various newspapers have got the wrong end of the stick, then fair enough. 
       
      As I said above, I think there is considerable merit in events to commemorate the ending of the war in 2018 but, to use the MP’s words, to “celebrate” the beginning is beyond crass.  

    99. SCED300 says:

      As the UK Government drags this flag-fest through the years of the war there will be a sticky point in 1916. As we all know, while Irish soldiers were fighting at the front, the British Government had troops in what is now Southern Ireland, putting down the Irish’s fight for Independence. Cameron seems to have not noticed that.
      I wonder what the Commonwealth Leaders will make of linking the Commonwealth Games to the ‘celebration’ of the start WW1. Many of the Commonwealth countries went through the same repression as Ireland, later in the 20th Century, before gaining Independence.
       

    100. Bugger (the Panda) says:

      I feel like sending an e-mail to the PM of Australia to ask her what she thinks about being part of this BRITFEST celebrating the start of WW1, especially as it is being foisted on Scotland by Westminster and, bearing in mind how the Scottish and Australian troops were used as cannon fodder thereby suffering disproportional casualties, for Mother England.

    101. ianbrotherhood says:

       
      Can’t think why, but every time I read a contribution from Norsey I start humming ‘Bodysnatchers’, a Radiohead song which contains the line ‘Your mouth moves only when someone’s hand’s up your ass’. 
       
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wRka8e6d8hw

    102. Norsewarrior says:

      “The 50th commemoration of the war was relatively low key, culminating in the November remembrance day. My understanding is that what is being proposed for 2014 is considerably bigger in scale”

      Presumably because its the 100th anniversary rather than the 50th.

    103. Gordon Bain says:

      Of course it’s a Britfest and of course its aimed at the referendum.Why else would Scotland be getting it first? 

    104. Norsewarrior says:

      “That’s right,why shouldn’t there be large scale events to mark the 96th anniversary of the end of World War I?”

      What on earth are you babbling about?

    105. Norsewarrior says:

      “Of course it’s a Britfest and of course its aimed at the referendum.Why else would Scotland be getting it first?”

      As I said earlier, we independence supporters have more than enough real grievances and real wrongs to get annoyed at without making up ludicrious paranoid conspiracy theories about the entire 100th anniversary commemoration of the outbreak of WW1 being set up purely because the referendum happens to be in the same year! 

      Its nutterish paranoia such as that which gives us a bad name. And if you want to know about Scotland’s commemorative events ask Salmond – its him who has overseen them and who announced the program a few days ago.

    106. ianbrotherhood says:

       
      @NW-
       
      ‘Presumably because its the 100th anniversary rather than the 50th.
       
      WTF?
       
      So, what about the 150th and the 200th? Will we have national holidays and give the weans bars of chocolate in wee brass tins? Do we have to celebrate the start and finish of each and every war for perpetuity?
       
      If you really don’t understand why people are offended by these events then you’re sick…but then again, you do understand, which makes you worse than sick.
       
      Do us a favour – if you must troll, select a less contentious subject better suited to your logic-mangling abilities and circular reasoning. You’re going nowhere with this.

    107. Jeannie says:

      Strange, isn’t it?  We’ve fought in many wars since 1707, side-by-side with people from other parts of the British Isles, against what was portrayed as a common enemy – including, from memory, the American Wars of Independence, the war against the French in Canada, the Peninsular Wars in Spain, The Boer War in South Africa, World War I, World War 2, the Korean War, the Falklands War, the Gulf Wars, the Wars in Iraq and Afghanistan…and then there’s all the independence movements in Ireland, India, Palestine, Aden and various African countries. Even during the Jacobite Rebellions, many Scots fought on the side of the government of the day.  And we fought in all of them alongside our fellow “Brits”, under a British Flag.  We’ve lost millions of lives fighting together on the same side.  You would think that if anything could make us think of ourselves as a single UK nation, surely all that shared experience and share  loss could.  And yet, it hasn’t.  Despite all that, we still think of ourselves as a nation in our own right.  Nothing has ever been able to extinguish that flame.
       
      When my grandfather fought at the Somme, I don’t think he thought of himself as fighting for an entity called “Britain” or “United Kingdom”.  I think he fought for his family.  And I think that next year, despite the “call to arms” to commemorate the outbreak of WW1, most of us will do the same, fight for our families, and take our fight, not to the battlefield but to the ballot box and vote for Scotland’s independence.  I think that’s the highest tribute I could pay and the best commemoration I could make to those who made such a huge sacrifice on our behalf.  They didn’t fight and die to see this Nation’s resources squandered and so many of its people confined to lives of poverty while a select, elite group held onto power and grew rich at their cost.  If we allow that to continue, then there’s little point in commemorating the sacrifices made by our grand- and great-grandparents.

    108. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “Presumably because its the 100th anniversary rather than the 50th.”

      Oh, DO piss off.

    109. Gordon Bain says:

      Just because I’m paranoid doesn’t mean they’re not out to get me.

    110. Jeannie says:

      Just on another point – when the descendents of so many of those who sacrificed life and limb during this war are living in poverty through unemployment, welfare cuts and poor health, obtaining food at foodbanks and worrying about losing their home because they can’t pay the bedroom tax, how can anyone think it’s appropriate to spend taxpayers’ money on events commemorating the sacrifice these soldiers made? 
       
      If you could ask the soldiers what they’d rather see the money spent on…I suspect their answer would be to spend it on the people who need help……the people they thought they were fighting for.

    111. Iain says:

      les calthorps says:
      31 May, 2013 at 11:48 am

      ‘IAN
      I have been able to dig up a recording of the song—-not quite so hair raising as when the composer played the oxter pipes as he sang
      Go to The School of Scottish Studies site–Tobar an Dualchais and type in Andrew Robb Hunter– then select page 4— title “Ye Heilan Chiels”
      Enjoy.’
       
      Thanks, raised a few hairs nonetheless. Makes a difference having read the words first. Andy Hunter has a fine voice.

    112. scottish_skier says:

      Presumably because its the 100th anniversary rather than the 50th.

      Does this mean the 200th commemoration will be even larger scope? The 300th, 400th and 500th progressively larger still? Is this a straight linear expansion or more exponential?

      Surely the size of the commemoration should decrease with time? Imagine they kept getting bigger with age. We’d spend all year commemorating wars if that was the case. There’d not be enough time nor cash to do anything else.

    113. MajorBloodnok says:

      Jeannie, personally I’m a big fan of the War of the Spanish Succession (1701-1714) particularly due to the dour exploits of Lt-Col. John Blackadder of the Cameronians, and where Scottish regiments had become British ones by the end of the war.
       
      Mind you, the War of Jenkins’ Ear comes a close second.
       
      Let’s celebrate them all.

    114. lumilumi says:

      I think it’s sickening to celebrate the start of WW I, or any war.
       
      However, a few years ago, the 70th anniversary of the beginning of the Winter War (1939-1940) was marked in Finland. I think there was an official laying of wreaths at war memorials, maybe church services, speeches… The media ran stories on the war and the few remaining veterans – a great education for the younger generations. It wasn’t a celebration but a solemn occassion to express gratitude to the veterans and commemorate the fallen (on both sides, mind you), to pause and think. The beginning of the Continuation War (1941-1944) was marked in a similar way, and anniversaries of some major battles have been highlighted in the media.
       
      The context is of course totally different, in 1939-1944 Finland, a fairly new independent country, was fighting for its very survival, not some imperialistic war.
       
      My grandfather was a vereran of the Finnish Civil War (1918, as a teenager, supplying the front with his horse and sleigh – and bringing back the dead), the Winter War (on the front) and the Continuation War (too old for the front, behind the lines support). He never talked about his war experiences to us grandkids but one thing he made clear. He abhorred war and thought peace was the most important thing in the world.

    115. Jeannie says:

       @Major Bloodnok
       Mind you, the War of Jenkins’ Ear comes a close second
       
      Dang!  Knew I’d missed one out!  That’s my new favourite now 🙂

    116. Tony Little (aka Aplinal) says:

      @Norsewarrior
       
      Thank you for the link.  It is useful to read what the First Minister had to say:
       
      He told delegates: “It is a commemoration that will give the whole of the country the opportunity to reflect on the impact the First World War had on Scotland …” [my emphasis]
       
      Quite right, let’s take the time to REFLECT on the abhorrence of WWI, and NOT “Celebrate” an imperialistic squabble that resulted in the deaths of millions in the most horrendous conditions.
       
      Let us see what is actually being proposed by Westminster, and then we SHALL know whether we are right to be just a little but paranoid, shall we?

    117. scottish_skier says:

      I see UKIP have been reading up on Scotland ahead of Nigel’s next visit.

      http://www.heraldscotland.com/politics/political-news/ill-be-back-ukip-leader-farage-plans-a-rematch-with-scotland.21222438

      Mr Farage also intends to travel to Orkney and Shetland, where the party has a “solid branch”, in August. A party spokesman said the constituency voted against membership of the EEC in the 1970s and opposed Scottish devolution in the 1999 referendum.

      1999 devolution referendum results

      Orkney & Shetland Yes = 60%

      1975 EEC results:

      Orkney & Shetland Yes = 53%

      Hmm.

    118. Indion says:

       
      Major Bloodnock @ 11:36am
       
      Actually, I spent a good part of it getting pissed with a fellow Scotsman in a pub in Achrafieh called ‘The Hole in the Wall’ neatly illustrated by a star-shaped RPG round impact on the carpark wall opposite.”
       
       
      OK Butch,
       
      I’m with you as to getting pissed, but when it comes to jumping off ledges accelerating at 32 ft per sec without a parachute to raging torrents less than the depth I have to go down before bobbing back up, you’d best have a plan better than the last one. And if it involves parachutes, I’m packing both mine brought tried and tested by you rather than some moth eaten stuff made from deprived silkworms round the back of regimental stores.
       
      And no, I don’t want to rob a bank first to raise the money, when we can con a payday loanshark from a bookies set up in the Royal Mile catacombs fed by delayed results from Ayr, Musselborough or Perth, or anywhere else I get don’t get shot dead for real in getting out of.
       
      The last time was bad enough in slow motion!  It did for you too, remember!
       
      And now I do, I think I’ll stick to hoarse whispering, with the other pretty lady not sullied by Grere or Grant, yon bonnie lass neither of us I would not leave alone in a desert cave all English patient waiting when her husband’s French, comprends?
       
      Sundance
       
      PS  You can come too if you like, but don’t bring that bi cy cle.
       
      And I might tell you then of another life, on a night spirited away by smiling ex-EOKA friends I was waxing lyrical to – about Greek and Turkish Cypriots being better together as equally caring sharing Cypriots – outside a village bar beneath pine trees tucked away below Troodos drinking the local wine from the 1955 vintage bottled at 19:55pm the night afore, that I did not know was being paid a visit by the Near East’s protagonists touring the island, bumping off each other on R&R.  Sunglasses after sundown through my eyes by then ….

    119. lumilumi says:

      I don’t know if other WoS readers are able to see my comment @5.36. I see it in full but preceded by ‘awaiting moderation’. I posted in the wrong comments thread (it was meant for Eric Joyce’s piece) and alerted our Rev to delete it from this thread and tried to post the same in the EJ thread but it seems to be taking a while. Well, it is a Friday night and people might actually have a life… 🙂

    120. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      I’m confused. I’ve deleted it from this thread, don’t see it anywhere else.

    121. The Flamster says:

      I am in the middle of reading a book called Cruel Britannia – A Secret History of Torture by Iain Cobain.
      Some of the comments are:
      “In one of the most shocking and persuasive books of the year, Cobin details not just British complicity in torture, but the longstanding practice of the thing itself, and the lies British politicians have always told, and are still telling, to cover it up”.
      DAVID HARE
       
      “A deeply disturbing book which implicates both the British Government and the Security Services.  It is like rolling a hand grenade into the heart of the Establishment”.
      LIEUTENANT COLONEL NICHOLAS MERCER
       
      “It is clear from this superb book that those who got us involved in torture in recent years hadn’t learned from our previous visits to the dark side.  This fascinating, horrible story of seventy years of British cruelty should be read by politicians and the public alike”.
      CLIVE STAFFORD SMITH, DIRECTOR, REPRIEVE
       
      “I found Cruel Britannia utterly gripping.  Ian Cobain’s writing has poise and measure, allowing space for these horrible truths to seep in, under the skin.  I will not forget what I have learnt from this book, and I will be telling others about if for years to come”.
      P J HARVEY
      It is mainly from WWII.

    122. lumilumi says:

      @Rev, 6.37pm
       
      Well, I still see that post in this thread, and not under Eric Joyce’s piece, where I’ve tried to post it two times.
       
      Oh well, maybe it’s the time difference or the thunder storm just north of where I live or some weird interwebby warp between the UK and Finland. It’s not important, I didn’t really say anything that hadn’t been said by others.

    123. cirsium says:

      @kininvie “The events of July & August 1914 mark the biggest ever cock-up in European diplomacy. ”
      It should never have happened but it wasn’t a cock-up kininvie.   A reactionary German elite used the crisis caused by the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand to carry out long-held plans for the subjugation of Europe.  British, French and Russian diplomacy hadn’t a chance.  1914 saw the  introduction of the concept of total war where not only enemy armies but enemy civilians and their entire culture were regarded as legitimate targets.  Some examples include the deliberate shooting of 6,500 Belgian and French civilians by the German Army in 1914,  the deportation of hundreds of Belgian and French civilians to work as slave labour in the Reich and the actions of the dictatorship set up by the German Army in the occupied territories of Eastern Europe (1915-1919).  The advent of mass killing, of the practice of total war is nothing to commemorate or celebrate.   
       

    124. john king says:

      Gordon Bain says:
      31 May, 2013 at 2:23 pm

      “Just because I’m paranoid doesn’t mean they’re not out to get me.”
      So your aware of them as well? 
      thank god I thought they were only after me

        

    125. SCED300 says:

       
      From the Guardian interview, October, 2012.
      “The ambitious aim, Cameron said, was a commemoration, like the diamond jubilee celebrations, that “captures our national spirit in every corner of the country, something that says something about who we are as a people”.
      and; “Cameron studiously avoided discussing the morality of the Great War”.

    126. lumilumi says:

      @SCED300
       
      So David Cameron wants to have another jubilympics type Britfest to detract from the reality. And maybe to persuade Scots to vote NO.
       
      Circus and bread springs to mind, except that the UK is a bit short on the bread, unless provided by food banks. Big Society and all that.

    127. Tamson says:

      Regarding that 1964 concert, if it was featuring work by Britten then it was almost certainly not glorifying WWI to any degree.

      Britten was a lifelong pacifist, who registered as a conscientious objector during WWII. The other composer featured, Vaughan-Williams, saw frontline service in the Medical Corp in WWI. He did, however, try to prevent fellow composer and Tippet from ending up in jail for his pacifist beliefs during WWII.
       
      Neither man was noted for churning out bombastic Dambusters-type stuff.

    128. deewal says:

      My Grandad survived The Somme.  When he came home he never spoke to anyone except my Grandmother again.
      My Uncle David was a Petty Officer on a Destroyer on the Murmansk Convoys. When he came home he never spoke to anyone except his wife again.
      When my Grandad died he spoke to his team of 6 Horses which where blown up by the shell which landed directly on top of them leaving him holding the remnants of the reins on his ammunition waggon teetering on the edge of a huge hole. He survied the injuries to his body but not to his mind.
      He called out their names over and over again for an hour before he died. 
      Celebrate.
       

    129. indy says:

      If having Glasgow at the centre of the commemoration of the outbreak of WW1 is meant to be some kind of plot to make everyone feel more British it may backfire spectacularly. You can say a lot about Glasgow Labour councillors but many of them do actually regard themselves as socialists. And in addition to the carnage itself, the post WW1 history of Glasgow is set in most peoples souls – eg the charming way the British Government sent in troops against the ex troops who survived the trenches and then had the temerity to strike to demand decent pay and conditions. The way miners were forced back down the pits at gunpoint and so on.
       
      A lot of Labour people are uncomfortable with the union jack waving they are expected to do but when it’s about the Olympics it hardly matters. When it is about a brutal war and the subsequent repression of the working class, well, I think played properly by the SNP we won’t even have to do very much to undermine it. The idea is obscene, it undermines itself.

    130. Indion says:

       
      An Irish relative was on Lancasters during WW Part 2.  Rumbling from Chemnitz and Munich to the Ruhr and Rhine crossing, the last 2 of over 50 sorties the crew he was part of flew were from Mildenhall in East Anglia to and from the continent as their squadron began taking part in the recovery of POWs (Op Exodus). One he crewed with told me how some POWs were moved to tears on seeing the shores of Blighty ahead, as he too was in survivng to re-tell it.
       
       
      55.000 died serving in Bomber Command throughout the war. As of last year – when the Queen’s Jubilee was marked by a state visit to Ireland’s republic as prelude to this year’s apology in reconciliation by the Irish state for its  discrimination of the Irish returning from service in the UK military – their own memorial now stands on Piccadilly. As many again did not live to say their farewells to those named there. It was vandalised this past week after Drummer Lee Rigby was heinously murdered in Woolwich.
       
      Mildenhall became next a US bomber then transport base when the UK was NATO’s unsinkable aircraft carrier in the Cold War. At the base of the Commonwealth Window in the RAF Mildenhall Chapel is the inscription:
       
      “These are the times that try men’s souls”

      Those words are from Thomas Paine, born in nearby Thetford, who helped draft the American Declaration of Independence in 1776 when caught up in the American Revolution. He was involved later too in the French revolution, only nearly to lose his head.
       
      Apart from light-hearted episodes when not on ‘ops’, my Irish relative spoke with telling reticence about what many found to be unspeakable, except perhaps with each other. But we would not be here today without those and the millions more who lost their all – the very freedoms and an ethos of a very different, greedily self-serving breed in their wilful separation from and estrangement with the meaning of society as what we owe to each other, the past and future generations, now traduced into interest payments of millions as part of a deficit of billions to service trillions of the wrong debt.
       
       
      Eastwards
      they climb,
      Black shapes against the grey
      of falling dusk,
      gone with the nodding day
      from English fields;
      Not theirs the sudden glow
      of triumph that their fighter-brothers know,
      only to fly through cloud,
      through storm, through night
      unerring to keep their purpose bright,
      nor turn until their dreadful duty done
      and Westward climb to race the awakened sun
       
      Anon
       
      The price of freedom being responsibility has cost an immeasurable contribution to democracy emergent from the past still yoked to here and much moreso elsewhere.
       
      When will humankind be so – and not given to tribal animus agin others with kith and kin too? In our time? Only here?
       
      I hope we bring it all back home to re-enlighten and take-off with us again.

    131. Indion says:

       
      deewal @ 4:38am: ‘Celebrate
       
      Starkly nailed, as to a cross. 
       
      Borne by your grandfather and uncle, carried by your grandmother and aunt.
       
       
      indy @ 8:13am:  ” The idea is obscene, it undermines itself ”
       
      Agreed, as to all afore also, and how gaming or playing it would be as unnatural that we should not put up with it either.



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