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War: what it’s good for

Posted on October 11, 2012 by

Sorry folks, we’ve got a cold coming on and we’ve been a bit enfeebled today, so we’ve only just caught up with this. Evidently, independence campaigners such as ourselves were being far too complacent when we imagined that 2012 was the last opportunity for a major Union Jack-waving Festival Of Britishness. Stupidly, it hadn’t occurred to us that in a time when we can’t even afford to pay Disability Living Allowance to blind paraplegics with terminal cancer because the lazy scrounging scum could be out getting work as draught excluders or something, the country’s economy could manage to find 50 million quid spare for a big knees-up to celebrate the START of a war.

After all, World War 1 isn’t generally thought of as all that great a thing. Millions of young lives were squandered senselessly on the Western Front and elsewhere, not in the heroic defence of an innocent nation invaded by an aggressor but because of some inept, spectacularly stupid political manoeuverings and failures of diplomacy. When it finally ground to an end having slaughtered the flower of a generation, the peace-making process was handled so ineptly that it set up another world war just 20 years later, this one three times more catastrophic. Sounds well worth a party.

In our Lemsip-befuddled state, we can’t actually figure out if this is in fact all a ploy specifically designed to foil the referendum or if the Tories really do just get a massive hard-on for ANYTHING that’ll let them wave a flag around and reminisce fondly about the Empire and the spilled blood of the working class. If we do, we’ll let you know.

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    114 to “War: what it’s good for”

    1. tartanfever says:

      I know time is tight with Euro elections and C.Games in summer 2014, but I would hoot if AS pulled the referendum forward a wee bit and scuppered Dave’s plans for his ‘Better Together – One Nation- WW1 remembrance – save the union’ drive.

    2. Juteman says:

      If this is a stunt, to promote Britishness to influence the Referendum, then it is a sick stunt.
       To use the millions of dead in this way should be beyond politics.
      But hey, it is the British Unionists we are talking about.

    3. Tris says:

      The date rings a bell with me… can’t think why. 1914 Hmmm. Nope. Can’t think of the significance.

      Isn’t it more normal to celebrate the END of a war… (probably mainly when you have won it) …rather than the beginning.

      Maybe he thinks the plebs won’t notice the odd 4 years here or there?

       

    4. cynicalHighlander says:

      “or if the Tories really do just get a massive hard-on for ANYTHING that’ll let them wave a flag around and reminisce fondly about the Empire and the spilled blood of the working class”
       
      After hearing Cochers on the radio the answer is YES.

    5. MajorBloodnok says:

      Eminent historian AJP Taylor therorised that the Great War started due to the inevitability of railway timetables.  As the government can’t even administer the West Coast Mainline franchise properly I don’t fancy their chances of them being able to organsie the celebration before 2015.

    6. James T. says:

      If Cameron and Co. go for this, I think the rest of Europe, America, Canada, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, India, Pakistan, Turkey will be in a blind fury about this.

      Angela Merkel, who is probably one of the most astute and shredest leaders in the Western World will scream from the rafters if this happens. I don’t see Germany celebrating the start of WW1. It led to the deaths of at least 8 million of the citizens / soldiers, mass inflation, partitioning of their homeland, and basically paved the way for the Nazis.

      In fact, it wouldn’t surprise me if the Germans, the French and the Belgians actually come out and have a say on our Referendum, by telling the Scots to go for it !! (as a way of sticking 2 fingers up at Cameron for being so highly bloody insensitive if he does this) 

      Strangely…this was also a war that was about Self-Determination. The Serbs were a bit peed off with the Austro-Hungarians eyeing up Bosnia. Two gunshots later, and it really was a war about Nationalism (bizarre…Is Cameron and Co. actually celebrating Self-Determination and protecting one’s Nationalism….interesting).

      Personally, I can’t see them doing it. I think it would be a PR disaster on a mega-scale. 

    7. Alasdair Frew-Bell says:

      Oh! Oh! Oh! what a lovely war!   
      Couldn’t get sicker Camo.   Yet so in keeping with the establishment mindset. I fear many will fall for this grand guignol.   

    8. James Morton says:

      It is all that’s left of the Union that was – Nostaligia for a time thats past. But let them celebrate it. Let them celebrate a war that cost so many lives, not just British, but Austrailians, Canadians, New Zealanders, Indians, Gurkhas, and last but not least Scottish. Let them celebrate a war connected to dying empires and a profligate waste of life. Only the tories, would celebrate a war…most people might celebrate it being over, but only these clowns would celebrate it beginning.
      I bet what you won’t see is any poetry readings by Wilfrid Owen, or the excellent book by Seigfried Sassoon. You won’t see any cinemas showing all quiet on the western front or J’accuse. Nor will you see “oh what a lovely war” or “Have you seen out jack” It will be a sickening flag fest of people celebrating a war. A sickening wasteful war. Images like the one above are tame in comparison to the ones that are out there. 
       
      No one in their right mind celebrates a fucking war starting – no one

    9. muttley79 says:

      This is utterly ridiculous, a shambolic, idiotic thing to even suggest!  This Tory government, even by the dismally low standards set by Conservatives in office, are a fucking wreck, a boil on the good backside of Scotland!  Celebrate the start of a war, not the beginning of any old conflict but the First World War!  Jesus wept…

    10. Robert Dennis says:

      play the folksong’ Willie Mcbride ‘ and if we really want to go down this road , lets tell the ‘ ordinary people’s story ‘ of their ‘ war to end all wars ‘ history is a window on the past , to glorify this is dangerous.

    11. James T. says:

      I hope Salmond raises this in next weeks First Ministers Questions. I’m dying to see how Lamont, and Davidson respond to this.

      I mean….are they seriously trying to out-do each other in the stupidity stakes?

      By God, there are a few entries for the Darwin Awards this year !!!  

    12. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      There’s no FMQs next week.

    13. Ian Brotherhood says:

      They’ll organise a big open-air free concert in Hyde Park, then have to cancel it when Franz Ferdinand don’t accept an invitation.
       

    14. Aplinal says:

      I think it’s all been said.  I suspect this is a bit of the “run it up the flagpole” sort of idea dreamed up by some party wonk on a bad day.  Even the pro-war conservatives couldn’t seriously contemplate this.  Could they?

    15. muttley79 says:

      James T is right.  This will not go down well at all with most Europeans I imagine.  Politically it is dynamite and not in the good way.  I seriously hope this does not happen.  It would be a really sick stunt.

    16. Juteman says:

      The best version i’ve heard.
      English and German.
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mUzQ6Am-bbc

    17. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      The backfire on this could be absolutely enormous. On the eve of an independence referendum, remind people that staying in the Union means having your children sent off to be slaughtered in pointless foreign wars. Genius!

    18. James T. says:

      When the day comes to mark the anniversary, it should be remembered. There should be a 2 minute silence at 11am (or whenever the moment was that basically started the war – and there lies a question – the war started on different days for the major European Nations, so what is the real day of mourning??? – When we joined the war, when the Duke was shot, when Austria declared war on Serbia??? We know it finished at 11am on November 11th in 1918…but that’s not the same for the start of the Great War).
      To be honest, it should be a day for quietly remembering the fallen, and the terrible aftermath for all nations (especially Germany; they really suffered).

      But for Cameron to say that they will spend £50 million on a day of Rememberance, and to celebrate (celebrate!!! – WTF) the benefits of being in the Union. That was NOT the reason for what this War was fought over. It was about Self-Determination, and basically to stop Germany from being the dominant power in Europe (100 years on…the Germans dominate Europe).
      If this is £50 million being spent on (quietly) promoting the Union under the guise of bereavement, and remembering the Fallen, then this is seriously nasty, low, dirty tricks, and make no bones about it, it makes a mockery of the dead.

      I think Cameron and Co. will have to be very careful when it comes to the main day. It’s a day for flags at half mast, and people remembering Great Grandparents, and Grandparents. Not waving them about how much better it is to be in the Union. 

    19. YesYesYes says:

      If the British were to celebrate the start of every war that they’ve been involved in, they’d have a reason to ‘celebrate’ just about every fucking year. 

    20. scottish_skier says:

      When I hear unionists say ‘Think of all the people who fought and died for Britain’ as a political argument against independence it turns my stomach. To put words in the mouths of those that fought and died in WWI & II for political purposes is just sickening.
      Maybe some should take a little time to read the words of those who fought in the trenches before planning a PR stunt.
      What passing-bells for these who die as cattle? 
      Only the monstrous anger of the guns. 
      Only the stuttering rifles’ rapid rattle 
      Can patter out their hasty orisons.
      No mockeries now for them; no prayers nor bells; 
      Nor any voice of mourning save the choirs, –
      The shrill, demented choirs of wailing shells; 
      And bugles calling for them from sad shires.
      What candles may be held to speed them all? 
      Not in the hands of boys but in their eyes 
      Shall shine the holy glimmers of goodbyes. 
      The pallor of girls’ brows shall be their pall; 
      Their flowers the tenderness of patient minds, 
      And each slow dusk a drawing-down of blinds.
      Anthem for a Doomed Youth, by Wilfred Owen
      I grew up in a small village in the Highlands. Only a few hundred people at the time of the Great War. When stopping during a walk through the woods at the memorial and looking at all the names listed, I can’t imagine how awful it would have been at the time.
      http://i122.photobucket.com/albums/o256/Brownag/Inverness/2006_0929Image0115.jpg

    21. muttley79 says:

      If it is true then we know that the British establishment has totally lost the plot.  The whole ethnic nationalism subject is scary and this gives me the creeps.

    22. Colin Dunn says:

      “They’ll organise a big open-air free concert in Hyde Park, then have to cancel it when Franz Ferdinand don’t accept an invitation.”

      Well, maybe Gavrilo Princip would be happy to stand in 😉 

    23. mato21 says:

      I’m so pleased to see I’m not alone in feeling disgust at this latest sick idea
       

      Many of the men who were lucky enough to come home suffered for the rest of their lives It was common to see them begging on the streets not so very many years ago  Would they have joined in ? I doubt it  Or the widows left to bring up children with no fathers when there was no help from the state Will these fatherless children a few of whom will still be living be grateful for this farce  

      From the Eton boy who couldn’t recall his Latin and appears to have an even lesser grasp of history shows his parents certainly didn’t get value for money as far as his education goes

       
       

    24. James T. says:

      ‘If the British were to celebrate the start of every war that they’ve been involved in, they’d have a reason to ‘celebrate’ just about every fucking year.’

      Every year….try every day….when have we NOT been at war !!!  – The only one seems to be Vietnam. Seriously…lets work this out – Afghanistan, Iraq, Northern Ireland, Falklands, Gulf War, Suez, WW1, WW2, Korea, Bosnia, Boer War…

      F*** IT !!!!!  

      20th century

      Anglo-Aro war (1901–1902) – Nigeria
      British expedition to Tibet (1903–1904)
      World War I (1914–1918) – United Kingdom, France, Belgium, Serbia, Italy, Russia, United States vs Germany, Austria-Hungary, Bulgaria and Ottoman Empire
      Easter Rising (1916) – Ireland
      Allied intervention in the Russian Civil War (1918–1922)
      Third Anglo-Afghan War (1919)
      Anglo-Irish War (1919–1921)
      World War II (1939–1945) see Military history of the United Kingdom during World War II

      Air warfare of World War II
      Pacific War (1937–1945)
      Anglo-Iraqi War (1941)

      Palestine (1945–1948)
      Greek Civil War (1946–1947)
      Cold War (1946–1990)
      Malayan Emergency (1948–1960)
      Korean War (1950–1953)
      Mau Mau Uprising (1952–1960)
      Cyprus Emergency (1955–1959)
      Suez Crisis (1956)
      Brunei Revolt (1962)
      Dhofar Rebellion (1962–1975)
      Indonesia-Malaysia confrontation (1962–1966)
      Aden Emergency (1963–1967)
      Northern Ireland Troubles (1969-mid 1990s)
      Cod War Confrontation (1975–1976)
      Iranian Embassy Siege (1980)
      Falklands War (1982) 

      Gulf War (1990–1991)
      Bosnian War (1992–1996)
      Operation Desert Fox (1998)
      Kosovo War (1999

      I mean, lets not beat about the bush…I think Westminster is just dying to have a poke at Syria ….just so we can noise up the Russians and Iranians !!!  After all, Hague is always at meetings about ‘What should we do about Syria?’

    25. Holebender says:

      To be fair to the Tories (why?) I haven’t read any reports of celebrating the start of the war. What I’ve read is of commemorating the event. And the 50 Million is to be spend over the four years with the bulk of it (I hope) to be used to mark the Armistice. Let’s not get all worked up over something that isn’t happening.
       
      As others have pointed out, drawing attention to the huge price Scotland paid for being part of the UK in 1914-18 is not the smartest thing Whitehall could do in 2014.

    26. scottish_skier says:

      “They’ll organise a big open-air free concert in Hyde Park, then have to cancel it when Franz Ferdinand don’t accept an invitation.”

      We may joke, but…

      http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2011/oct/08/christmas-parties-war-memorial-park

      It’s all about the ££££s…. 

    27. Juteman says:

      Maybe it’s just a coincidence?

    28. muttley79 says:

      It gets worse.  Just saw the guardian page, Cameron says there is “something captivating” about stories from the First World War.  “Captivating” about a war where thousands were machine gunned to death trying to charge a trench while dodging land mines in a singe day and stories of men having to get their legs sawn off because they lived in disgusting conditions.

    29. Juteman says:

      I can just see the Yes march in 2014.
      A minutes silence, and banners reading ‘never again in our name’.
      Well done Davey boy.

    30. Davy says:

      Their comes a time when you just have to say “are they off their fucking heads” you do not celebrate the start of fucking World War 1, you can commemorate the end of World War 1 in 2018 to actknowledge the 100 years since that insanity. The sheer insensability of it is staggering, have they no respect for the dead of that conflict and of this country, if they do this I can not see how they can go any lower. 

      The quicker we are out of this slimy disgusting union the better.

      Please please Vote YES. 2014.   

    31. albaman says:

      Rev Stew / Scottish skier,
      My thoughts exactly when I heard about it, to use the fallen on all sides
      as an excuse to union flag wave to try to undermine the YES vote is the
      very pits, it`s disgusting!!.  

    32. MajorBloodnok says:

      I think they’ll get Rowan Atkinson to reprise his Captain Blackadder role for any operning ceremony.  Put Baldrick in a kilt and there you have it.

    33. peter says:

      all i can say is: DISGUSTING

    34. James T. says:

      Holebender

      ‘To be fair to the Tories (why?) I haven’t read any reports of celebrating the start of the war’

      Then what is it? I haven’t heard the Germans, the French, the Austrains, or the Belgians talking about this. So, why has Cameron decided to do this?    

      Seriously mate. I see no reason for this to be a main BBC News item…especially when it is 2 years away. This has got subliminal messages all over it. This is about celebrating the Union !!!

      As the BBC put it …’It is when the referendum on Scottish independence will be held, so a reminder of what the nations of the UK have achieved together is seen as not unhelpful to the unionist cause, our correspondent says.’

    35. scottish_skier says:

      Don’t know about anyone else, but I can commemorate the fallen just fine in my own way. No need for spending loads of money, getting good TV coverage, chance to role out the union jacks, get the guys destined for the next war all lined up on parade, maybe some tanks trundling past, fire off a few big guns and stuff.

      £50 million? Is that all? Why not spend the same as the Olympics? Are those that fought and died worth less? Who made the greater sacrifice?

      Sorry, maybe I’m just a bit of a cynic, but I think making a big expensive song and dance over such things demeans it.

    36. Steven of Songnam says:

      Someone please tell me that this is a BBC Scotlandshire hoax that got out of hand. For my faith in humanity.

    37. James T. says:

      muttley79 says:
      ‘It gets worse. Just saw the guardian page, Cameron says there is “something captivating” about stories from the First World War. “Captivating” about a war where thousands were machine gunned to death trying to charge a trench while dodging land mines in a singe day and stories of men having to get their legs sawn off because they lived in disgusting conditions.’

      Exactly mate. I think the minute Cameron open his mouth and tries to tie 1914 to the benefits of being in the Union, then I can see a lot of people howling to the rafters, as it will be seen as a huge major disrespect to the fallen.

    38. mato21 says:

      Green Fields of France sung by Geordie Jack(from Golspie)and Colorado at Interlaken
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KyK7rs6xYQQ

    39. muttley79 says:

      Cameron is acting more and more like Basil Fawlty after he gets hit on the head with that moose these days.

    40. YesYesYes says:

      Isn’t it strange how quickly things have turned, and we’re still two years away from the referendum? Over the years, the unionists have almost run out of dictators’ names to associate with Alex Salmond and for years they’ve dined out on the political capital of stigmatising the SNP as ‘narrow nationalists’, implicit and explicit ‘neo-Nazis’.
       
      But now, here a we are, seeing the British nationalists in the Labour and Tory parties in their true colours, draping themselves in the union jack, goose-stepping their way through their respective party conferences, and all this after their festival of British nationalism in the summer.
       
      Let’s note something else here, though. If this is how the British nationalists in the Labour and Tory parties are behaving when they believe that they have a comfortable lead in the polls, how will they respond when they start to fall behind in the polls? 

    41. Franklin says:

      So very wrong. Looks like they do have a stiffy for any flag waving reason or excuse. Even something as awful as this. More millions pissed away too when we are being told to tighten belts every day too. Remeber folks, no money for hospitals, NHS, education, welfare\benefits, etc. but a purse can be found and promised for whimsies. Why people aren’t more vocal against it all I’ll never understand.

      Oh, Stu. I am posting this from a phone and the page and form loads up fine. Are you going to get phone cases for more models or are you stuck with only apple ones on that site? 

    42. Dcanmore says:

      Maybe Thatcher can sink Cameron’s plans by finally falling off her perch in May/June 2014, then the money would be re-directed into giving her a State Funeral.

      Don’t worry about this Great War ‘celebration’. After the referendum it will be all over by Christmas 😉

    43. Luigi says:

      I am disgusted at this development, to use the start of a war as an excuse to keep the union flags flying. WW1 was a war fought, not for freedom, but over imperial power and territory. Lions led by donkeys. Based on the imperial nature of this war, the fact that the start of the war is to be celebrated in 2014, instead of  waiting until the more appropriate and respectful end date of 2018 (I cannot think why!), and a disproportionate number of scots died in the battles, I hope this backfires big time if the tories are stupid enough to try and build a nostalgic, British festival in 2014. 

    44. MajorBloodnok says:

      They could arrange a football match with the Germans, army jumpers for goalposts…. and then have everyone shot at dawn for fraternising with the enemy.

      (I’m just working through some opening ceremony ideas)

    45. JPJ2 says:

      I think it is correct to view the commemoration of the START of the First World War as a cynical unionist ploy-nobody, but nobody, celebrates the START of a war. The fact that every year we celebrate the END of the First World and commemorate our war dead then is just confirmation of that.

      However, if the unionists are determined to commemorate our dead at such an inappropriate time, then let us remind Scots of the disproportionate loss of Scottish lives, Scottish lions led by British donkeys. AND, as someone who lost as many southern Irish relatives as I lost Scottish ones in the Great War, that obscene clash of Empires, let us remind those with Irish heritage that the southern Irish removed themselves from involvement in the future imperial struggles shortly after the end of World WAR 1.   

    46. Luigi says:

      Let’s give our great grand children a wonderful 100th anniversary to celebrate in 2114.
       

    47. muttley79 says:

      The thing is though, the First World War was catastrophic not just for the UK, but for France, Russia, Germany, Austria-Hungary (just about everybody that was involved in this disaster), so I think it is crazy for the even the Tories to say “lets mark the start of the war” when there is a referendum on independence for Scotland a few months later.  Have they even considered the implications of this for Europe as a whole because I really can’t see anyone else marking it.
       

    48. Ian Brotherhood says:

      Can someone who knows how to do so please locate a photo or image of a young man on a First World War battlefield, his legs separated from his torso, then stick their effing slogan underneath it – ‘Better Together’. 

    49. Wallace Bruce says:

      So we are to celebrate the start of the greatest mass slaughter this planet of ours had seen. How do we “celebrate” that, send each other cards with heavy artillery, barbed wire, land mines and dead young men on them! Only a really out of touch Eton boy could think he was on to a winner with that one.  Would like to hear the conversation he has with Ms Merkel about his plans.  Come on Dave get real the only thing to celebrate is the end of a war, Armistice Day, VE Day, VJ that’s what most DECENT people celebrate.

    50. douglas clark says:

      I am reminded of the inestimable Eric Bogle:
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WG48Ftsr3OI
       

    51. David says:

      I can only agree about the lack of merit and sensitivity that appears to be displayed by Cameron with this plan. Maybe it is all part of the Big Society thing, i.e. remember how we can dramatically reduce one in size, or, perhaps a perverse way of setting out his stall for a big push on an EU referendum.
      Of course, there is a genuine anniversary that year of a very important mile stone in British history. One that would commemorate those who fought and died “in the heroic defence of an innocent nation invaded by an aggressor“. Do you think Dave might stump up a few quid to help us remember the decisive climax of the Wars of Independence?

    52. douglas clark says:

      And I didn’t know the Pogues had covered it, which is quite remarkable:

    53. G. Campbell says:

      “A series of friendly football matches to mark the Christmas truce of 1914 is among the ideas being considered as part of the nation’s commemorations of the centenary of the First World War.”

      http://www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/news/uk/article3565665.ece

      Put all your money on it.

      http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-dEnGAWgS8RM/UHcoOag9tHI/AAAAAAAAAJ8/Vr0YeIFIBbU/s1600/Firing_duds_yet_again.png

    54. James T. says:

      Maybe Cameron will give us £50 million quid to celebrate the battle of Bannockburn on the 24th June 2014 !!

      To be quite honest, if I was Alex Salmmond, I would just have the Referendum on the 24th of June now. If they want to play dirty, then so can we !!! – Effectively, no date has been set, so stuff it…hold it then. Then we can watch the Unionists scream !!!!

      Following that train of thought, it would also blow a huge hole in Cameron’s stupid plan as according to Wikipedia, the start of WW1 began of the 28th June 1914. Which begs the question…if he commerating it then, or is he going to say it was the 4th of August (when Britain entered the war)….

      Cameron could look a right twat if between the 28th June and the 4th of August, that the countries that did go to war before Britain (Austria, Serbia, Russia, Germany, France, and Turkey) quietly mourn and grieve for the dead respectfully, while Cameron has to try and stop himself waving a Union Jack, when it is meant to be at half mast.

      God help him, if he tries to say the Union helped to stop German Imperialism at the start of WW1. I can see sooooo many potential faux pas by the Unionists, that they could upset everyone in the end. 

      I’m dying to see how Cameron tries to pull this off. As I said, if he utters anything about the ‘Union’, he will upset the Scots, as well as, basically, every family in Britain. If he tries to defend how the union stopped ….err…gulp…German domination, then he is going to have to deal with Angela Merkel, and I think she would batter the poor boy from Eton. It might also pee off the Belgians, as it will be a very sensitive time for them, as their country was basically raped and annhilated by Germany, France, and Britain.

      I just can’t see how Cameron can promote the Union during that time. It would be a disaster !! 

    55. MajorBloodnok says:

      And I was just joking about the football thing.  What a temptation for the English crowd to start singing “Two world wars and one world cup” in the friendly against Germany.

    56. douglas clark says:

      I am going into rant mode here. It matters not a fuck how David Cameron want’s the start of a fucking war to be portrayed. It was a war that his class thought was right and killed a huge number of the rest of us. We are to blame, even our deaths in their stupid wars. We should be proud of the fact that an arsehole led us to this? We should be proud that we died?
       
      Well, fuck that,
       
      This is not, actually about Scottish independence, it is about solemnizing right of these ignorant bastards to the murder Scottish folk,  for the sake of their money stream.
       
      It is past acceptable
       
       

    57. Blindmanonhorse says:

      HWW1 started July 28th 1914 but using that date Camerons plan would have overshadowed the Commonwealth Games. 24th July to 3 Aug 2014 Cameron could have chosen 4th July when Britain entered the war. that would be a very short marketing campaign of overnight and bad protocol even for the Tories. So if we can be sure there are no other excuses to flag wave the union flag In the next 2 years.       ( with exception of the labour sponsored OO ) then this is flag waving PR 
      This is our window of opportunity and we have to make the most of it. 
      It’s time..
       time to ramp up the marketing of Scotland to the whole world :
      Time to put on a show for  CWG14 Time to welcome our families back to Scotland for the 2nd homecoming 
      Time to gather at Bannockburn
      Time to welcome the world again for the Ryder Cup 
      and for those that can’t make it we have Brave and oh yes weve highjacked 007 Skyfall )  
      As for Armistice Day most plebs would be able to tell you that this was to commemorate the end of the war and not the start we all know that Dave is not very good with history (Letterman ) 
        On the other hand you would like to think that a smart FM of the smartest nation on the planet would have thought about all of this and worked out that, although Armistice day is close Dave , there’s no prize for being late to the party. 
      So on 11-11-14  we will show our respect remember them, pause for reflection on why we fight wars and toast the fact that we have been kept safe. 
      For those of us with Hope we will then turn our thought to having the biggest St Andrews Day Party ever to celebrate our Independence 

    58. Donald says:

      What about the YES campaign drawing attention to the military occupation of Glasgow in 1919 by the UK Government. Men who had risked their lives for the Union months previously, had bayonets, tanks, artillery and machine guns pointed at them.
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_George_Square
       

    59. DougtheDug says:

      As far as I know there was no 50th commemoration of the start of WWI in 1964 or no 50th commemoration of the start of  WWII in 1989.

      The Royal Mint did however issue commerative gold £2 coins to mark the 50th anniversary of the end of WWII in 1995.

      Cameron’s using an opinion poll commissioned by the British Future thinktank to justify the 2014 events.

      Here’s a quote from  British Future’s website:
      Remembrance Day in 2014 could provide the next major national moment to bring people together – and to ensure that we know the shared history of modern Britain, British Future director Sunder Katwala told a fringe meeting at Conservative Party conference.
      “This Jubilee and Olympic year has shown how much people value moments that bring us together. As we again wear poppies next month to remember the sacrifice of all of those who have served this country, it is also a moment to consider how we could choose to mark the centenary of the Great War in two years time”,

      Cameron himself is quoted on the Guardian as saying:
      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”.

      It’s pretty clear what the real purpose of this is all about. Its about using the dead of WWI to bolster Britishness in the year of the Scottish independence referendum.

      I didn’t think they’d get that low.

    60. Bill C says:

      The Tories are having a sick joke here.  As the man said “Let me tell you a story”.  My two great uncles marched off to the ‘War to end all Wars’. They both fought with the Gordon Highlanders and they were both killed. Obviously the family were devastated, but worse was to follow. Both of their families farmed crofts on land owned by a “German Lairdie” in the North East of Scotland.  Following the deaths of my great uncles who were killed for King and Country.  The ‘King’s Shilling’ stopped arriving and the families were left with no income.  Needless to say the ‘German Lairdie” back in Germany being an astute businessman, could not tolerate the situation of not being paid his rent and thus felt duty bound to evict both families from their crofts. Hence the two families not only lost their breadwinners but their entire way of life.
      The moral of the story?  There is nothing to celebrate in the grief and misery of millions of working class Europeans; while their so called betters lined their pockets, making money from arms deals, land grabbing and capitalist speculation.
      Cameron you insult the memory of millions with your tawdry Brit fest!

    61. James T. says:

      Seriously…I WOULD now hold the referendum on the anniversary of Bannockburn. 

      Then an ‘Independent’ Scotland can honour the war dead in its own way come August the 4th.     

    62. cynicalHighlander says:

      It seems that the education system has failed if posh boy Dave wishes to commemorate Imperialism as a good thing.
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n7kp3vf1uKA
       
       

    63. douglas clark says:

      Bill C,
       
      That was brilliant!

    64. Silverytay says:

      What neanderthal came up with this idea ?
      I always knew that the unionists would stoop to new levels before the referendum but I always thought that it would be the dirty tricks brigade and not the so called prime minister. If the prime minister is willing to stoop to this level , what level will the dirty tricks brigade stoop to .

      If you are going to start waving the flag to celebrate the start of a war where millions died , why not go the whole hog and celebrate every war including the ones where we killed 27,000 innocent women and children in british concentration camps and that does not count the 20,000 native south africans that died in separate concentration camps .
      This celebration is just a spoiling tactic to try and influence Scotland,s referendum .
      The olympics did not work , so what make cameron,s advisors think this will work .
      What a bunch of low life hypocritical shysters unionists are , they made enough noise about our referendum being held in the Bannockburn anniversary year but they themselves are not above jingoistic flag waving when it suits them .
      This should come back to bite them big time . 

    65. Seasick Dave says:

      So we can’t afford free prescriptions for people that have paid taxes all of their lives and may be even needing the prescriptions for war related injuries but we can afford £50 effin’ million to celebrate the start of one of the most horrendous episodes in human history?

      Truly, what the fuck has become of Britain?

      Its time is surely up.

    66. MajorBloodnok says:

      It’s beyond parody.

    67. Bill C says:

      Thanks Douglas. The hypocrisy of the British Establishment is beyond belief. They treat ordinary people like fodder whether cannon or industrial. As long as they, their class and what’s left of their Brit Empire survives, that is all that matters. They are repulsive to all decent people.

    68. douglas clark says:

       
      As Bill C had to say:
       
      “The moral of the story?  There is nothing to celebrate in the grief and misery of millions of working class Europeans; while their so called betters lined their pockets, making money from arms deals, land grabbing and capitalist speculation.
      Cameron you insult the memory of millions with your tawdry Brit fest!”
       
      I completely agree with that.

      I have calmed down now – no more sweary words – but it seems to me that Cameron is trying to claim he speaks for us! I don’t think he does,

    69. Doug Daniel says:

      Sit down and bargain
      All you like grizzled old foxes
      We’ll wall you up in a splendid palace
      With food, wine, good beds and a good fire
      Provided that you discuss, negotiate
      For our and your children’s lives
      May all the wisdom of the universe
      Converge to bless your minds
      And guide you in the maze
      But outside in the cold we will be waiting for you
      The army of those who died in vain
      We of the Marne, of Montecassino
      Treblinka, Dresden and Hiroshima
      And with us will be
      The leprous and the people with trachoma
      The disappeared ones of Buenos Aires
      Dead Cambodians and dying Ethiopians
      The Prague negotiatiors
      The bled dry of Calcutta
      The innocents slaughtered in Bologna
      Heaven help you if you come out disagreeing
      You’ll be clutched tight in our embrace
      We are invincible because we are the conquered
      Invulnerable because already dead
      We laugh at your missiles
      Sit down and bargain
      Until your tongues are dry
      If the havoc and the shame continue
      We’ll drown you in our putrefaction

      Primo Levi
      14th January 1985

      Fuck you David Cameron
      You fucking cunt

      Douglas Daniel
      11th October 2012

    70. Morag says:

      Last night rain fell over the scarred plateau,
      And from the dark horizon, dazzling, flies
      Arrow on fire-plumed arrow to the skies,
      Shot from the bright arc of Apollo’s bow;
      And from the wild and writhen waste below,
      From flashing pools and mounds lit one by one,
      Oh, is it mist, or are these companies
      Of morning heroes, who arise, arise
      Toward the risen god, upon whose brow
      Burns the gold laurel of all victories,
      Hero, and heroes’ god, the invincible Sun? 

      Last movement of Arthur Bliss’s anti-war oratorio “Morning Heroes”.  Written in 1930, which was how long it took for him to get his head together after fighting in the front line and his (apparently extraordinarily brilliant) elder brother being killed.

      When I sang this with a choir in the Queen Elizabeth Hall in London a firm diktat went out.  No handkerchiefs on stage, and if you are crying, you go on singing anyway.  We were all crying.  God only knows what it sounded like but the audience were all crying too.  Partly because it comes after a recitation of Wilfred Owen’s incredible poem, “Spring Offensive”.

      Cameron is suggesting something deeply, deeply offensive.  The start of that war should be marked by very low-key, quiet contemplation on and around the date.  Maybe a few sombre church services, a requiem mass or two.

      And that moron wants a celebration????  Is he INSANE???

      ETA: I hadn’t seen Doug’s post when I posted that. Great minds and all that.

    71. douglas clark says:

      Doug Daniel,
       
      You always find those positive messages, don’t you 🙂
       
      Anyway, this is where Scotland stands:
       
      “If the havoc and the shame continue
      We’ll drown you in our putrefaction.”
       
      That, dear reader, is what is at stake.
       
      Do you believe, for a moment, that a vote against independence is a vote for the status quo? If so, you are deluding yourself. What they really, really want is a subservient vassal state from our  good selves to Westminster.
       
      You have the power to decide……
      On shit like bus passes,
      or free prescriptions,
      or free education,
      Or anything at all, such as free elderly care,  that you may enjoy, or may not  enjoy depending on you political persuasion. Everyone of these is only genuinely free at the point of delivery. For each has come at the cost – via the taxes you paid.
       
      That is the point of a universalist policy. You pay in when you can and you take out when you can’t.
       
       

    72. Willie Zwigerland says:

      Good grief. You’re all completely insane. Nobody, Unionist or Nationalist is arguing that WW 1 was a ‘good’ thing. But keep jumping at shadows and making connections that don’t exist. And yet you all wonder where the cyber-nats jibes come from.

    73. douglas clark says:

      Morag,
       
      I suspect he is barking mad. It is, apparently what Eton does to you,

    74. douglas clark says:

      Willie Zwierland,
       
      Spell out for us how you celebrate a war like that? Spell out when we started to celebrate the start of wars? There’s a good chap. We will all come around to your point of view exactly after you explain what the fuck you are on about.. 

    75. Morag says:

      OK, found it.
       

    76. Bill C says:

      Willie – the line between sanity and insanity is a fine one.  Suffice to say that any celebration of an event which resulted in the slaughter of millions of ordinary people on the altar of capitalism is indeed insanity.  It is obscene and insane to celebrate carnage.  I object in the strongest possible terms that the memory of my great uncles  should be abused in some sort of national celebration of Britishness. War is not the World Cup. Camerons’s quest to save the union should not abuse the memory of those who died. Quiet reflection on the sacrifice and suffering of those who died would be much more appropriate.

    77. Morag says:

      4th August 1914.  I should have remembered without being told.  It was my father’s tenth birthday.
       
      Also the Queen Mother’s 14th birthday, coincidentally.

    78. Triskele5 says:

      I mistakenly wandered onto Mr Cochrane´s Telegraph site and posted this: (Mr Cochrane decides 1314 is an important date too, surprise surprise…)

      It seems the pro-Westminster parties are the ones keen to point out dates and anniversaries.

      If you must mention WW1:

      WW1 fought on a massive industrial scale and fought due to clear empire building imperialism from the UK (which included all of Ireland then), Russia, Germany, The Ottoman Empire and the Austro-Hungarian Empire with the US rushing in in 1917 and Russia leaving in 1917. Italy wobbled until “bribed” with gaining South Tyrol if they changed sides to the “good guys”.

      And, for right or wrong, the beginning of the break up of the UK began during WW1, in Dublin in 1916.

      If you must mention Bannockburn:

      It put paid to the English Crown´s expansionism meaning that England (incorporating Wales and sometime a bit of the Pale in Ireland), when confronted with France would be constantly confronted with a fight with two fronts, from France and from Scotland. I´m not sure if & how the Americans would have helped if they´d been around then anyway.

      I´m not sure about the relevance of any of the dates. The Commonwealth Games will be happening right in our midst. May the best Commonwealth country win. Since almost all were previously governed from Westminster. As indeed some are.

      Maybe a flier or poster stating:

      India – once governed from Westminster – now independent. Fought in world wars for the Empire. Part of the Commonwealth and good relations to Westminster.

      Canada – once governed from Westminster – now independent. Fought in world wars for the Empire. Part of the Commonwealth and good relations to Westminster.

      New Zealand – once governed from Westminster – now independent. Fought in world wars for the Empire. Part of the Commonwealth and good relations to Westminster.

      Scotland – still governed from Westminster. Fought in world wars for the Empire. To be decided…

      etc…

      Any printing presses available?

      Let´s focus on the future.

    79. douglas clark says:

      Err. This is for Willi………….

      I would agree with Bill C,
       
      My family had people that died in the Great War. And died threafter of the gasses that were used,
       
      I am sorry I cannot be more detailled. Because I tend to look to the future rather than this, somewhat, disgusting past. I remember this only lightly. They died for a state that has no meaning whatsoever for me. They were brave, and creatures of their time.

      They have no relevance whatsoever to how I’ll vote in 2014. Indeed I’d like to think that, had they lived, they might even have voted with me.

      Given that they died for your idea of British Nationalism, I suspect I’d have been disappointed.

      That, sadly dead, generation is who you,  Willie, appears to speak to,  To build up the start of WW1 is, frankly, bizzare.

    80. DougtheDug says:

      This is the bit from Dave’s speech which says it all:
      A commemoration that, like the Diamond Jubilee celebrations this year, says something about who we are as a people
      He’s comparing the start of WWI to the Diamond Jubilee because it’s going to be a celebration of Britishness not a commemoration of slaughter.
      It’s going to be 100 years since the start of WWI in 2014 so why all the excitement about it now? The independence referendum must just be a coincidence. Even when someone who’s getting on a bit like me was young it was your Grandads’ war. Literally in my case. A terrible war but a long time ago and overshadowed by WWII.
      For the schoolchildren of today it’s got the same significance as the Franco-Prussian War of 1870–1871 had to me.
      The British state is obsessed with Royalty, flag waving and the armed forces. Jubilee’s, Olympics and old wars are its stock in trade and it’ll use them all to try and keep Scotland.

    81. Willie Zwigerland says:

      Douglas, you don’t celebrate the start of a war. And it’s ludicrous for anyone to pretend that that is what Cameron was announcing today. But that hasn’t stopped the mass hysteria on this blog.

    82. douglas clark says:

      I refer your more astute readers to this:
       
      “Good grief. You’re all completely insane. Nobody, Unionist or Nationalist is arguing that WW 1 was a ‘good’ thing. But keep jumping at shadows and making connections that don’t exist. And yet you all wonder where the cyber-nats jibes come from.”
       
      and then this:
       
      “Douglas, you don’t celebrate the start of a war. And it’s ludicrous for anyone to pretend that that is what Cameron was announcing today. But that hasn’t stopped the mass hysteria on this blog.”
       
      What mass hysteria?
       
      I only want to know why the fuck we are supposed to celebrate the start of a major war, you have the answer, provide it to us please?
       
       
       
       

    83. Siôn Eurfyl Jones says:

      A good time to reflect that Cameron, Osborne and the rest would have been members of the Officer class by virtue of their schools, and no doubt they would have been as incompetent at that – sending millions to die in their stead  fore no good reason – as they are at running the country. The only difference is that now they are sending the sick and disabled to die, again for no good reason. 

    84. douglas clark says:

      What mass hysteria?
       
      I only want to know why the fuck we are supposed to celebrate the start of a major war. What Cameon annouced is pretty clear cut. You have, allegedly, the answer to why he did that.

      Provide it for us mere mortals, there’s a good chap.

      Provide it to us, please?
       
       
       

    85. Adrian B says:

      Here is the original story from the ‘Think Tank’ that came up with the idea and launched it at the conservative Conference earlier in the week.

      http://www.britishfuture.org/national-conversations/britain/remembrance/

    86. Willie Zwigerland says:

      Douglas – this entire blog is attacking a claim that isn’t true. The hysteria is the unwillingness or inability to understand the difference between ‘celebrate’ and ‘commemorate’.
      ‘.

    87. douglas clark says:

      That, immediately above was for our good friend:
       
      Willie Zwierland

    88. Jeannie says:

      I really don’t see the significance of this at all, other than as a political stunt.
      What difference does it make whether it’s 100 years, 50 years, 25 years, ten years or one year since a war either began or ended? No matter how long it’s been, the important thing is that the politicians learn nothing from the experience and consequently they are still asking young men to sacrifice their lives or endure  lifelong disability, both mental and physical, for political causes.
      For all we know, one of them might die tonight or tomorrow and what use will it be to them or their families if 100 years from now, people hold formal commemorations to remember their sacrifice?  If we collude with the politicians in these stunts, and the politicians gain electoral benefit from it, then it’s less likely that the politicians will change their ways.
      Rather than throwing 50 million pounds to commemorate 1914-1918, use the money to keep some of the soldiers employed that are presently losing their jobs.  And if you’re really serious about it, do something in the here and now to stop any more loss of life.  If politicians are not prepared to do this in 2012, then there planned commemoration in 2014 has a rather hollow ring to it.

    89. Muttley79 says:

      Willie, why commemorate the start of a war?  Has it been done before?  Have political considerations played a part?   The First World War is too important to be brought into politics.

    90. douglas clark says:

      Or not immediately above, but who cares?
       
      Anyway:
      Douglas – this entire blog is attacking a claim that isn’t true. The hysteria is the unwillingness or inability to understand the difference between ‘celebrate’ and ‘commemorate’.


      What’s the difference? You commemorate afterwards, you celebrate before because you are the sort of person that see’s body bags as a reason to commemorate. It is a disgusting circle of death.


      No doubt this is in some way wrong…..



       
       

    91. Doug Daniel says:

      My grandad was a stretcher bearer in World War 1. I’m really proud when I think about that – he wasn’t out there shooting at people, he was crossing the battlefield, saving the lives of his fellow troops. He didn’t do that so some jumped up, over-privileged, posh twat could use the war as a propaganda tool 100 years later to try to emotionally blackmail Scots into staying in the union.

      My grandad won a medal for risking his life to save others. David Cameron is exactly the kind of cunt that was sending them out there to die in the first place, and he’d do it himself in a heartbeat if he thought he could gain from it politically.

      In fact, don’t be surprised if the UK is suddenly engaged in a war in 2014. His hero did it in 1982 just to regain popularity – don’t anyone be fooled into thinking this dick is beyond such callous cynicism.

    92. Jeannie says:

      @doug daniel
      You make a good point.  If the polls are going against them in 2014, what better time to engineer an external threat that results in us having to get involved in some kind of military activity. 

    93. Jeannie says:

      @doug daniel
      Actually, come to think of it, letting Cameron have his Britfest in 2014 might be the only way to keep us, and the rest of the world, safe.

    94. Doug Daniel says:

      Jeannie – talking of keeping the world safe, Benjamin Zephaniah said on Question Time tonight that the most frightening thing about Boris Johnson potentially becoming Prime Minister one day is he would have his finger on the nuclear button.

      That just underlined it for me. Scotland has played its part in the horrific human rights abuses by the British Empire, so it’s time we atoned for that by unilaterally removing nuclear weapons from our shores, and out of British imperialist hands.

    95. charlie says:

      I really don’t know what this is about, my niece  has done a project on walther tull (and I mentioned andrew watson to her)

      are we celebrating the massacre of the working classes of all nationalities? which even thatcher didnae  manage

      or will the futilty  of war be mentioned, Dulce et decorum est pro patria morii

      I would celebrate Poppy Day on 11 11 2017

    96. Barney Thomson says:

      I am a member of the Royal British Legion, but not for long. They support this obscene intiative which leads me to believe they no longer represent the ideals which led to their founding in 1921. I have just written to them in the following terms –

      “To : The Royal British Legion
      Subject : Director General’s statement 11/10/12
      As a result of Mr Simpkins’ statement, I shall be contacting the chairman of my branch to inform him of my intention to resign my membership of the RBL.
      The obscenity of commemorating the START of the horrors of the Great War defies belief and I am saddened and shocked that the RBL has decided to support this misguided initiative. Remembrance has always been about being thankful that the killing stopped at 11.00 on 11/11 in 1918 and paying tribute to those that sacrificed so much. To make the beginning of the slaughter a special occasion is a betrayal of those who suffered and died.
      As an ex-member of the RBL, I shall still remember them in my own way in 2014 and I shall do it at 11 on 11/11, which is when that hellish mess ENDED! At what hour of what day in 1914 did the killing actually start? Will that be officially remembered?”

      I doubt that I am alone in my views.

        

        

    97. charlie says:

      both Dougs I agree with you

      cheers
      charlie

    98. Richie says:

      This is a cynical move by Cameron to install a feeling of Britishness at the time of the referendum.
      Cameron and his ilk should be apologising for what happened.
      But I wish people would try to work out the difference between the words “celebrate” and “commemorate”

      From the Scotsman

      ” The events will take place in the run-up to the Scottish independence referendum in the autumn of 2014, but both sides of the debate said they would put politics aside to commemorate the fallen.
      A spokesman for Yes Scotland said: “The horrific sacrifice and bloodshed of the First World War is something for everyone in Scotland, across the UK and indeed the nations of the ­Commonwealth to remember and honour – and people of all political views and none will come together on that respectful basis, as is always the case.””

      “The Scottish Government said it too would be holding events and joining in with the commemorations.”

      Don’t be surprised if this blog gets a slagging in the unionist press in the next few days.

      I’m not getting into an argument with anyone about this, so that’s all I’m saying.

    99. Arbroath 1320 says:

      Only the Tories could see the START of World War 1, a family feud between two of Queen Victoria’s nephews, as a reason to CELEBRATE!
       
      If there was ANYTHING to celebrate about the whole issue of WW1 then surely the celebration MUST surely wait until 2018 the centenary of the END of WW1 but NEVER 2104 to celebrate the START!
       
      SICK doesn’t begin to describe how I feel about the Tories idea of “celebrating” the START of WW1.

    100. murtam says:

      Although many have already expressed their outrage about this topic, I feel I have to add my little bit. I would like to share what WW1 means to me.

      It means that my father and his 6 siblings grew  up as orphans after their father was blown to pieces in a trench in the north of France.

      It means that my grandmother was a widow bringing up these 7 children in a two room flat on 10/- a week war widow’s pension (and bless her she always said that she was better off than others)

      It means I never knew my grandfather.

      It means that after the war to end all wars didn’t quite work out like that it all started again in 1939!!

      I t means that this time my father had to take up arms leaving my mother and sister behind.

      It means nearly every able bodied male in my mother’s and father’s family  had to go to war again ! Thankfully most but not all of them returned safely.

      It means that all of those in my family who participated in these wars, some giving their lives and none who returned alive, being unchanged by the horror of it all, have no say in this unionist jamboree as they are no longer with us. If they had I venture to think that they would be speechless at the sheer crassness of the very idea!

      It means to me that   the uk government of the day have no idea what it involved for the service men on the ground and the families left behind, to be involved in war.

      It means to me that  anything that “commemorates” or “celebrates”  the start of WW1 will be nothing but jingoistic claptrap.

      It means that Scotland must vote YES in 2014 to forever release the nation from being dragged into war that is not a threat to its own security. WW1 certainly wasn’t such a war!

         
              

    101. Ray says:

      I don’t think these events will make too much difference in terms of independence. The media will barely say a bad thing about it, all political parties will back it (the SNP have already said they will be fully involved in the remembrance), it’s down to the individual to decide what they think about it. Of course, those who feel British will stick by this decision, those like most of you above will see it as another reason we should be shot. The people in the middle might just ask themselves if they’re happy for that amount of money to be spent on something like this at this time, and maybe more importantly, ask if those in charge of an independent Scotland would spend the equivalent on the same thing.

    102. James T says:

      Willie…

      This is not an over reaction on our part. I think it’s an appalling idea. This is just the Unionists pretending to celebrate something, when we know what the subliminal message is.

      Willie. I put one question to you, then. Just one.

      Tell me what War we have celebrated when it first started. I posted a list of them nearly at the top of the above replies. Please point out which one we celebrated the start of? 

      As I said, if the Europeans intend to avoid the dates for the start of the war, and instead, remember it on November the 11th at 11am, then Cameron is going to look a right twat.
      If this is the level that the supporters of the Union are stooping to, then you should be utterly ashamed. 

    103. Craig P says:

      Ironically it was the outbreak of that war that was the beginning of the end of the union, for Ireland at any rate. an Irish home rule bill had been knocked back twice by the Lords, and shelved completely with the start of hostilities. A few less patient nationalists started the Easter rising in 1916. This was put down so brutally that Irish public opinion went from favouring home rule to favouring outright independence. 
       
      It is also 300 years since a German family took over the monarchy. 
       
      Hmm, what other anniversaries can we celebrate in 2014 instead? 🙂

    104. maxstafford says:

      Interestingly, from what I have read, there was indeed jubilation by a public whipped up into jingoistic frenzy in 1914. That didn’nt last when realisation dawned that it wasn’t going to be over by Christmas. After that, fanfares and flags were pretty much in short supply until 1982.
      Whereas I’m loathe to use the word ‘celebrate’ here, I feel that anything more than somber reflection in relation to the outbreak of a war, especially the one in question, is wholly inappropriate. If anything should be commemorated it should be the centenary of the end of the slaughter on 11/11/18.
      The donkeys of Westminster have not changed in a century and remain a clueless, jingoistic embarrassment in my eyes and I thank God I can tell the world I am Scottish and not British.

       “When will they ever learn?”

    105. Kenny Campbell says:

      Much as I agree that the whole idea of celebrating the start of the Great war in some jingoistic way there does seem to be a bit of an urban myth running through the postings. I’m pretty sure that statistically it was more dangerous to be a junior officer than any other rank in the war. The idea that the slaughter was avoided by the upper classes is a false one. Naturally overall numerically the working and agricultural classes took the highest absolute casualties but some jobs were more dangerous than others. Class was no barrier to dying in the war.

    106. Ian Brotherhood says:

      Kaye Adams is covering this ‘topic’ on her show this morning.

    107. Aplinal says:

      To me nothing epitomises the futility of war like WWI and the poems of Wilfred Owen.  Maybe Cameron and his acolytes should recite THIS on their opening celebration.
       
      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.
      AND WE SHOULD REPEAT THIS ALWAYS

      The old Lie; Dulce et Decorum est
      Pro patria mori.

    108. Wullie B says:

      Lyrics to the Farm All Together Now
      Remember boy that your forefather’s died
      Lost in millions for a country’s pride
      Never mention the trenches of Belgium
      When they stopped fighting and they were one

      A spirit stronger than war was at work that night
      December 1914 cold, clear and bright
      Countries’ borders were right out of sight
      They joined together and decided not to fight

      All together now, all together now
      All together now in no man’s land (together)
      All together now (all together), all together now (all together)
      All together now (together, together)
      In no man’s land (together, together)

      The same old story again
      All those tears shed in vain
      Nothing learnt and nothing gained
      Only hope remains

      All together now, all together now
      All together now in no man’s land (together)
      All together now (all together), all together now (all together)
      All together now in no man’s land (together)
      All together now (all together now), all together now (all together now)
      All together now (together, together)
      In no man’s land (together, together)

      The boys had their say, they said no (all together now)
      Stop the slaughter, let’s go home
      Let’s go, let’s go (all together now)
      Let’s go (all together now), let’s go home
      All together now (together, together)
      In no man’s land (together, together)
      All together now (all together now), all together now (all together)
      All together now (together, together)
      In no man’s land (together, together)

    109. James McLaren says:

      I have sleepless nights trying to work out if Cameron and his “class” clan  at Westminster really are so stupid or it is all some part of a cunning plan which will all come together like a magician’s finale?
       
      The idea that Cameron is really a closet ScotNat seems worthy, at least of contemplation.
       
      Whilst researching on some stuff at the cellular level I came across this maladie which when projected onto the slightly more evolved level than bacteria could explain from what the Unionists are suffering.
       
      Apoptosis.
       
      I think this has to be the winner.
       

    110. Colin Dunn says:

      @ maxstafford:
      ” . .from what I have read, there was indeed jubilation by a public whipped up into jingoistic frenzy in 1914.”
      Yes, that’s what I’d always assumed too, mostly from history at school. An interestingly different perspective on this on George Monbiot’s blog:
      http://tinyurl.com/97dthph

    111. Arbroath 1320 says:

      There’s only one other thing I can add to this discussion.
       
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ti-Yh698CtI

    112. maxstafford says:

      Interesting read Colin. Thanks. 



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