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Michael Gove's use of the First World War for politics - Tony Robinson responds watch

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    Michael Gove has been citing Blackadder as an example of the way he alleges 'leftie' views have dominated discussion about the First World War.

    For those interested, Tony Robinson is about to give his views on Sky News. It will be interesting to see what he says about this pathetic attempt by Gove to use the dead of WWI as part of a current political slur.

    EDIT: The clip has now appeared on the Sky News video timeline slider.
    http://news.sky.com/
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    Somewhere the connection between Gove's brain and mouth has been severed.
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    My understanding of the purpose of studying history is to critically exam the events of the past. When you start trying to asses the validity of ideas within history as patriotic or unpatriotic, you really start to scrape the barrel.
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    (Original post by Fullofsurprises)
    Michael Gove has been citing Blackadder as an example of the way he alleges 'leftie' views have dominated discussion about the First World War.

    For those interested, Tony Robinson is about to give his views on Sky News. It will be interesting to see what he says about this pathetic attempt by Gove to use the dead of WWI as part of a current political slur.
    It's quite histrionic, offensive even to accuse him of 'using the dead of WWI as part of a current political slur'. Where are the dead involved? He's said that the left has dominated discussion about the First World War, apparently. And the only slur I can see is yours about him. Your commentary seems to bear no relation to what's actually happening.
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    Surely he must have better examples of lefty history than blackadder.

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    I think the comment is just bizarre more than anything else.
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    (Original post by Fullofsurprises)
    Michael Gove has been citing Blackadder as an example of the way he alleges 'leftie' views have dominated discussion about the First World War.

    For those interested, Tony Robinson is about to give his views on Sky News. It will be interesting to see what he says about this pathetic attempt by Gove to use the dead of WWI as part of a current political slur.
    Because labour has never ever ever scraped the bottom of the barrel in order to gain support? Never ever would labour stoop that low.

    FoS. Can you please stop trying to be the chip on of the working man. You're actions inevitably benefit you, but a screw over the people you claim to defend.
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    (Original post by nexttime)
    I think the comment is just bizarre more than anything else.
    madder even than mad Jack McMad, winner of the all-Scotland maddest man contest?
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    (Original post by cambio wechsel)
    madder even than mad Jack McMad, winner of the all-Scotland maddest man contest?
    Certainly not very cunning either.
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    (Original post by nexttime)
    Certainly not very cunning either.
    Not as cunning as a fox who has just been made Professor of Cunning at Oxford University?
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    If I remember rightly from the story on the Guardian, he was attacking "leftist" historians (or words to that effect) for somehow undermining the courage and heroism of British forces in the first world war, as well as the role Britain played.

    In any case however, despite what he seems to think, history is a fluid subject, with new interpretations on events coming out as and when someone either finds new evidence, or interprets currently available evidence differently. If a historian finds evidence which says British generals were indeed incompetent, or that the war was caused by more than just Germany then they should be able to say so - it doesn't mean they were or they weren't, just that XYZ historian has found a piece of evidence to suggest that they were. (For the record my own opinion on the matter is that they were fighting a new style of warfare in which no one knew how to defeat the other, and it was only through innovations such as tanks, as well as trial and error which inevitably cost lives, that the war was won - so the generals weren't really incompetent, and Germany wasn't the only nation to start the war).

    Gove gets on my nerves really... I don't think he's using the war dead as a political tool, but he's commenting on something which I don't think he fully understands (the discipline of history) and using it to suggest somehow that one slant of it (i.e. "leftist" history) is incorrect, unpatriotic etc... that is political, and it's something I think academics shouldn't be influenced by, either by their own beliefs, or by the beliefs, actions and comments of others.
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    (Original post by Aj12)
    Surely he must have better examples of lefty history than blackadder.

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    He was referencing it because apparently some teachers have been proving their hard-left credentials by, er, showing clips of it to their history classes. Perish the thought that either teachers or children might recognise it as what we humans call 'satire'.

    This is definitely part of an overall campaign by the current Tory government, the most ideologically driven in living memory, to rewrite Britain's imperial past. They conveniently forget the role the British upper classes of that period played in warmongering, driving a big arms race with Germany, constantly fighting other European powers for colonial possessions and battling for control of Constantinople (a major, but now forgotten, war aim) with the Germans. Not that the Germans were any different, but they didn't enter into the deranged warmongering of the pre-war period alone, as Anthony Sheldon, hardly a leftie himself, pointed out in the Sky piece half an hour ago.

    This is a batty campaign by the Tories, right out of the tweedy young Tory headbangers of the 80s, Maggie-maniacs and deranged obscurantists, a tiny, tiny minority of the semi-barking trying to impose their blinkered old fashioned 1920s newspaper tycoon bull**** on the rest of us. Lord Rothermere would have been proud.
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    (Original post by TheHistoryStudent)

    Gove gets on my nerves really... I don't think he's using the war dead as a political tool, but he's commenting on something which I don't think he fully understands (the discipline of history) and using it to suggest somehow that one slant of it (i.e. "leftist" history) is incorrect, unpatriotic etc... that is political, and it's something I think academics shouldn't be influenced by, either by their own beliefs, or by the beliefs, actions and comments of others.
    I think a lot of the type of brave young officer who questioned the war, from whose ranks the famous war poets emerged, once they experienced for themselves the daily horrors and suffering, would now, if they were still alive, think him a self-regarding pompous fool and puffed up tool.
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    (Original post by MatureStudent36)
    Because labour has never ever ever scraped the bottom of the barrel in order to gain support? Never ever would labour stoop that low.

    FoS. Can you please stop trying to be the chip on of the working man. You're actions inevitably benefit you, but a screw over the people you claim to defend.
    you need to realise just because labour has done something doesn't make it anymore wrong
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    (Original post by Are you Shaw?)
    you need to realise just because labour has done something doesn't make it anymore wrong
    There's been a lot of not quite correct military history written about the First World War.

    I'm more concerned that the OP starts every single one of her posts attacking the Tories in one way or the other and ignores any mistakes that labour has made over this past. I'm surprised she hasn't tried to blame the current round of storms on the conservatives.
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    (Original post by Birkenhead)
    It's quite histrionic, offensive even to accuse him of 'using the dead of WWI as part of a current political slur'. Where are the dead involved? He's said that the left has dominated discussion about the First World War, apparently. And the only slur I can see is yours about him. Your commentary seems to bear no relation to what's actually happening.
    That is utter crap.

    The thrust of Gove's remarks is that it's unpatriotic to question the competence of the generals, whereas in fact their competence has been questioned by historians of all political persuasions (including Alan Clark MP, who conceived the expression Lions led by donkeys).

    Your kneejerk defence of Gove and attack on fullofsurprises speaks volumes.

    By the way, it's spelled plebeian.
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    Gove is right; the current popular view of WWI is largely a left wing caricature that was created from the 1930s to the 1960s. It's not supported by the evidence and wasn't known immediately after the war in the 1918-1930 period. This is quite clear if you read mainstream history books and newspapers from that time. Who would think from the popular narrative that Douglas Haig's funeral was attended by the largest number of mourners until Churchill's, and that he was very popular with veterans?


    (Original post by MostUnicivilised)
    Which is utter crap. The implication of Gove's remarks is that it's unpatriotic to question the competence of the generals, whereas their competence has been questioned by historians of all political persuasions (including Alan Clark MP, who conceived the expression Lions led by donkeys).
    He didn't say it was unpatriotic to question the competence of the Generals, he said it was incorrect to condemn the competence of the Generals. The stagnation of WWI was mostly a result of technology and terrain, not unusually incompetent commanders.
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    (Original post by MostUncivilised)
    That is utter crap.

    The thrust of Gove's remarks is that it's unpatriotic to question the competence of the generals, whereas in fact their competence has been questioned by historians of all political persuasions (including Alan Clark MP, who conceived the expression Lions led by donkeys).
    What dreadful logic. Leftist historians have attacked the generals, Gove is attacking the leftist historians, therefore he must be defending the generals. Um, no.

    You're criticising me for things I haven't said, anyhow. I was criticising FoS for misrepresenting the story, not for disliking Gove's opinions, which I didn't express an opinion on. Keep your knickers on, love.

    Your kneejerk defence of Gove and attack on fullofsurprises speaks volumes.
    Only if you're content to go on making baseless assumptions, such as that me criticising FoS's logic means that I must like Gove. The enemy of your enemy is not necessarily your friend; it's a little more complex than that.

    By the way, it's spelled plebeian.
    Not wearing your reading glasses?
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    (Original post by MatureStudent36)
    I'm more concerned that the OP starts every single one of her posts attacking the Tories in one way or the other and ignores any mistakes that labour has made over this past. I'm surprised she hasn't tried to blame the current round of storms on the conservatives.
    If a forum member takes a certain position on a subject, that is their call. Don't sit there crying about it and throwing a hissy fit each time. Why don't you make your own threads about things you think are important or interesting? Then we can all have a discussion.

    But please, please, stop coming on to every thread which is slightly anti-tory and just saying: "yeah, but Labour did stuff wrong too." Either make a sensible point or pipe down.
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    (Original post by andrew2209)
    Somewhere the connection between Gove's brain and mouth has been severed.
    Are you implying that he actually has a brain, that's probably news to a lot of people!

    Seriously though of all the examples he could have picked he had to pick the WW1 era, would something a little more modern not have done the job?
 
 
 
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