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“Why it's David Cameron and Michael Gove who betray the soldiers of World War One

Many servicemen were so angry about the conditions they faced on returning from the trenches that even attempts to celebrate peace could provoke protests and riots.


2014 marks the hundredth anniversary of the beginning of the First World War. Far from being a "war to end all wars" or a "victory for democracy", this was a military disaster and a human catastrophe.

We are disturbed, therefore, to hear that David Cameron plans to spend £55,000,000 on "truly national commemorations" to mark this anniversary. Mr. Cameron has quite inappropriately compared these to the "Diamond Jubilee celebrations" and stated that their aim will be to stress our "national spirit".

That they will be run at least in part by former generals and ex-defence secretaries reveals just how misconceived these plans are.

Instead we believe it is important to remember that this was a war that was driven by big powers' competition for influence around the globe, and caused a degree of suffering all too clear in the statistical record of 16 million people dead and 20 million wounded.

In 2014, we and others across the world will be organising cultural, political and educational activities to mark the courage of many involved in the war but also to remember the almost unimaginable devastation caused.

In a time of international tension we call on everyone - including writers, actors, musicians, teachers and campaigners - to join with us to ensure that this anniversary is used to promote peace and international co-operation.
SIGNED BY: Jude Law, Carol Ann Duffy, Alan Rickman, Roger Lloyd Pack, Vivienne Westwood, Paul Flynn MP, Brian Eno, Ken Loach, Vanessa Redgrave, Tony Benn, Simon Callow, many more”

By IainS Posted: February 10, 2014


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  • Taxman100  |  February 11 2014, 10:06AM

    Oh bless. The left-wing activists, ignored by the majority of the population, have come out to play in the rain - or is it Oscar time again! Remember Children you must place everything out of context and time.

  • AnBalores  |  February 11 2014, 3:04PM

    More and more army people are beginning to see the truth as well! (except retired colonels!) Some prominent names on that site. Well done!

  • Taxman100  |  February 11 2014, 3:30PM

    Prominent names? Only if one is a left-wing activist, as most other people totally ignore their self-indulgent comments. On a more serious note I cannot help but observe, as far as WWI is concerned, they take everything out of time and context to suit their own political ends.

  • Doitdreckley  |  February 11 2014, 4:03PM

    Taxman, the WW1 annivesary has been hi-jacked by the Right. Millions of men were needlessly slaughtered (we were not facing the threat of invasion as in WW2) and pacifsts were villified and murdered. Deserters were murdered by their own side as well because they displayed a natural fear. Quite reflection and rememberance would be far more appropriate rather than a jingositic fest spending £55m that could be better spent on a whole range of things now in these times of 'austerity'. What Cameron is trying to do is use the anniversary in August and the Scottish independence referendum in the following month as a backdrop to a Conservative Party conference launch of a long election campaign in October based on jingoism, English nationalism and fluff with no substance to delude the gullible into voting for him.

  • Taxman100  |  February 11 2014, 5:09PM

    Doitdrecktly. I too believe it should and time of remembrance & reflection. Politics, at least the politics of the current flock in Government, should be ignored. Have you any idea what they are going to spend the £55M on, as I haven't got a clue? We must not attempt to take WWI out of its time and context. In reality WWI had nothing to do with modern ideology, yet we constantly seek to understand it through modern ideology, and many historian's fail that understanding.


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