Why this Blog?

A place where I can lament the changing times; for eccentric comments on current affairs and for unfashionable views, expressed I hope, in cogent style; also occasional cris de coeur largely concerned, I regret to say, with myself.


I welcome your comments, so do please write. Please note however that all comments are moderated prior to publication. Whilst I fully appreciate that life can be frustrating, nevertheless, abuse, SMS language and illiteracy will not be tolerated!

Monday, 17 February 2014

617: Paxman, the BBC and the First World War

Two weeks ago, I wrote a very sceptical piece about the BBC's First World War series presented by Mr Jeremy Paxman.

Having watched this evening the final programme in the series, I must say that Paxman's presentation had great sensitivity, and slightly to my surprise, due credit was given in respect of the appalling sacrifice made by Britain's great landed families.  Please understand that I in no way wish to belittle the enormous suffering and sacrifice made by the millions of others involved in the terrible carnage.  However the fact remains that as Paxman pointed out, the young lieutenants, many of whom came from the upper classes were five times more likely to die than the average "Tommy," as of course the junior officers were required to lead from the front.  And further to his credit, Paxman pointed out that for we who can have no conception of what the times were like, it is too easy to "snigger" at these sometimes seemingly foolhardy gestures of patriotism, whereas in fact enormous courage and bravery prevailed.  This was well said.

All well and good, but then I got angry when he told us about the "1,000,000 acres that went under the hammer" as a result of death duties. Great: you go over to France or Flanders to fight for your country, lead from the front, get shot or blown up and then the government confiscates your family's estates.
And we end up with him telling us that the country after the war was "more democratic."

Oh really?  No it wasn't:  all that happened over the years was that the traditions of class and duty were replaced with a lot of nasty, grasping, greasy pole merchants, many of whom rule us today.

Reflect on the past and weep my friends.

Yes it does make me bitter.

Until the next time.

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