Gove on the Offensive. Blackadder content.

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  • Gove on the Offensive. Blackadder content.
  • athgray
    Member

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/10548303/Michael-Gove-criticises-Blackadder-myths-about-First-World-War.html
    Michael Gove now attacking classic British comdey. Makes me wonder what tickles his funny bone?

    jackthedog
    Member

    Makes me wonder what tickles his funny bone?

    Poor people shivering.

    hora
    Member

    Eh? So we didn’t tell our men to walk slowly towards the machine guns on numerous occassions?

    Premier Icon tomhoward
    Subscriber

    Mr Gove wrote in the Daily Mail…

    There’s a statement to fill you with joy…

    Premier Icon Leku
    Subscriber

    Makes me wonder what tickles his funny bone?

    I would love to try a set of Bombers.

    Premier Icon wwaswas
    Subscriber

    Gove on the Offensive

    ftfy.

    his whole ‘the First World War was a glorious victory for British Foreign policy’ approach would be bad enough from some random in the pub. Coming from the education secretary it’s just worrying.

    Premier Icon Northwind
    Subscriber

    It’s good to know that the biggest problem our education system currently faces is Blackadder. 100% of Michael Goves are now below average.

    jeffm
    Member
    ninfan
    Member

    I see that all anyone has managed to do so far is call Gove a c**t and play ad hominem, rather than discuss the actual point thats being made – that Blackadder and Oh What a Lovely War are, frankly, not factual representations of the British war effort.

    Quelle surprise!

    piemonster
    Member

    The Education Secretary says the conflict was a “just war” to combat aggression by a German elite bent on domination.

    Now, my history is a little rusty.

    What was Britain up to in the years preceding the First World War again?

    The linked article is not as good as the more extended debate that Andrew Marr introduced in start the week (thank you R4 thread). It seemed from that, that Gove’s central argument was that it was incorrect to depict soldiers as passive participants who did not understand what they were doing. A slightly too subtle point for the headline writers.

    The R4 program was much better and more interesting that the linked article IMO. The Canadian historian was equally interesting on how Haig was depicted after the war and then the debate about commemorating or celebrating or “?” the centenary of WW1

    Gove misses the obvious value in Blackadder etc in bursting the sanitised versions of history that too many were/are taught and the excess glorification that can overshadow the true horror of what happened. How May school,ids are given a copy of Macdonald’s The Somme to get a feel for the true horror of seeing your brothers arm being blown off. Blackadder etc use humour effectively to highlight the true horror of warfare that text books like to gloss over.

    Mr Woppit
    Member

    aggression by a German elite bent on domination.

    So, not a squabble between Victoria’s various offspring with a late entry by J. P. Morgan then?

    Mr Woppit
    Member

    ,,, and I’ve said it before, but – WHERE THE FERK IS ERNIE?

    Premier Icon Cougar
    Subscriber

    They seem to be missing the bigger news story here, which is

    … the launch of the Michael Gove sex doll.

    Premier Icon wwaswas
    Subscriber

    This is brilliant about the causes of the first world war (and a lot more);

    [video]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2DCwafIntj0[/video]

    Premier Icon lapierrelady
    Subscriber

    I’m a history teacher, and I use BlackAdder because it is funny, which helps learning, and because it is part of an interesting historiography of the First World War that saw for really the first time the voice of the ordinary man emerge from war. It is funny, because it reflects a truthful element of how some people felt about the conflict. No historian would use only one source, and I find it unlikely that any teacher is using only 3 hours of footage to teach a course which is usually 2 terms long. Gove is after a headline, not a sustainable answer to the real problems in our education system.

    ninfan
    Member

    Lapierrelady – I’ll ask you one question, have you read Mud, Blood and Poppycock by Gordon Corrigan?

    Klunk
    Member

    Gove is going to out himself as a creationist citing “evolution is a left wing plot!”

    Premier Icon lapierrelady
    Subscriber

    In fan, no, would you recommend? I try and teach all the angles and let the pupils make up their own minds, but with emotive subjects it’s difficult to be objective.

    ninfan
    Member

    Its not perfect – but its very much a book written to deal with many of the ‘common myths’ that have come about

    such as it actually being rare for troops to spend more than four or five days in the line before rotating out for training and recuperation (likely one of the main reasons that the British army never saw a mass breakdown in morale and order unlike the other allied nations)

    lots of interesting analysis that will very much make you question what you thought you knew.

    Premier Icon muddydwarf
    Subscriber

    Whilst Gove is indeed an inept cretin, his point about the aims of the Kaiserreich is valid. Germany’s aims in the first war were not much different to her aims in the second – to create and control a German hegemony across the Western continent. German leaders not only refused to rein in the Hapsburg Empire but promised to actively support that rotten edifice in its desire to crush Serbian Nationalism. Moltke in particular desired war with Russia sooner rather than later because he feared that waiting would allow Russia to arm to a point of percieved equality of arms with Germany.

    Junkyard
    Member

    the launch of the Michael Gove sex doll.

    God you mods are weird

    Its quite difficult to argue that WW1 was just and not about exapnsionist empires clashing tbh

    That the leaders and rulers used the bodies of the plebs , and they wish to venerate them as noble [ they sure as shit aint doing the fighting themselves are they] is hardly surprising

    The Education Secretary says the conflict was a “just war” to combat aggression by a German elite bent on domination.

    Have we dumbed down history that much that this would pass a GCSE? it would be hard to argue [ not on stw we can argue any position no matter how tenuous] that this view is correct or anything other than history being written by the victors.
    Wiki
    The main causes of World War I, which began in central Europe in late July 1914, included many factors, such as the conflicts and hostility between the great European powers of the four decades leading up to the war. Militarism, alliances, imperialism, and nationalism played major roles in the conflict as well.

    Who knew we could just say Germany were the baddies

    ninfan
    Member

    Except (unsurprisingly) that wasn’t the extent of the point being made:

    The past has never had a better future. Because history is enjoying a renaissance in Britain. After years in which the study of history was declining in our schools, the numbers of young people showing an appetite for learning about the past, and a curiosity about our nation’s story, is growing once more.
    As a Government, we’ve done everything we can to support this restoration. We’ve changed how schools are judged, and our new measure of academic success for schools and pupils, the English baccalaureate, rewards those who study history at GCSE.
    And the changes we’ve made to the history curriculum have been welcomed by top academics as a way to give all children a proper rounded understanding of our country’s past and its place in the world.

    That understanding has never been needed more. Because the challenges we face today – great power rivalry, migrant populations on the move, rapid social upheaval, growing global economic interdependence, massive technological change and fragile confidence in political elites – are all challenges our forebears faced.
    Indeed, these particular forces were especially powerful one hundred years ago – on the eve of the First World War. Which is why it is so important that we commemorate, and learn from, that conflict in the right way in the next four years.
    The Government wants to give young people from every community the chance to learn about the heroism, and sacrifice, of our great-grandparents, which is why we are organising visits to the battlefields of the Western Front.
    The war was, of course, an unspeakable tragedy, which robbed this nation of our bravest and best. But even as we recall that loss and commemorate the bravery of those who fought, it’s important that we don’t succumb to some of the myths which have grown up about the conflict.
    Our understanding of the war has been overlaid by misunderstandings, and misrepresentations which reflect an, at best, ambiguous attitude to this country and, at worst, an unhappy compulsion on the part of some to denigrate virtues such as patriotism, honour and courage.

    The conflict has, for many, been seen through the fictional prism of dramas such as Oh! What a Lovely War, The Monocled Mutineer and Blackadder, as a misbegotten shambles – a series of catastrophic mistakes perpetrated by an out-of-touch elite. Even to this day there are Left-wing academics all too happy to feed those myths.
    Professor Sir Richard Evans, the Cambridge historian and Guardian writer, has criticised those who fought, arguing, ‘the men who enlisted in 1914 may have thought they were fighting for civilisation, for a better world, a war to end all wars, a war to defend freedom: they were wrong’.
    And he has attacked the very idea of honouring their sacrifice as an exercise in ‘narrow tub-thumping jingoism’. These arguments are more reflective of the attitude of an undergraduate cynic playing to the gallery in a Cambridge Footlights revue rather than a sober academic contributing to a proper historical debate.
    The First World War may have been a uniquely horrific war, but it was also plainly a just war. Nigel Biggar, regius professor of moral and pastoral theology at the University of Oxford, laid out the ethical case for our involvement in a superb essay in September’s Standpoint magazine.
    The ruthless social Darwinism of the German elites, the pitiless approach they took to occupation, their aggressively expansionist war aims and their scorn for the international order all made resistance more than justified.
    And the war was also seen by participants as a noble cause. Historians have skilfully demonstrated how those who fought were not dupes but conscious believers in king and country, committed to defending the western liberal order.
    Other historians have gone even further in challenging some prevailing myths.
    Generals who were excoriated for their bloody folly have now, after proper study, been re-assessed.
    Douglas Haig, held up as a crude butcher, has been seen in a new light thanks to Professor Gary Sheffield, of Wolverhampton University, who depicts him as a patriotic leader grappling honestly with the new complexities of industrial warfare.
    Even the battle of the Somme, once considered the epitome of military futility, has now been analysed in depth by the military historian William Philpott and recast as a precursor of allied victory.

    There is, of course, no unchallenged consensus. That is why it matters that we encourage an open debate on the war and its significance.
    But it is important to recognise that many of the new analyses emerging challenge existing Left-wing versions of the past designed to belittle Britain and its leaders.
    Instead, they help us to understand that, for all our mistakes as a nation, Britain’s role in the world has also been marked by nobility and courage.
    Indeed, the more we reflect on every aspect of the war, the more cause there is for us to appreciate what we owe to our forebears and their traditions.
    But whatever each of us takes from these acts of remembrance and hours of debate it is always worth remembering that the freedom to draw our own conclusions about this conflict is a direct consequence of the bravery of men and women who fought for, and believed in, Britain’s special tradition of liberty.

    Seems quite balanced as a talking point article really!

    Mr Woppit
    Member

    “There’s not going to be a war
    because Georgie is the king.
    There’s not going to be a war,
    he doesn’t like that sort of thing.”

    (Popular music-hall ditty of 1913).

    Like I said. Family squabble, not a defence of “freedom”.

    Premier Icon muddydwarf
    Subscriber

    A ‘shambles’ myth put about by left wing revisionists as Gove puts it.
    Max Hastings pretty much nails that down as the approach to war in 1914 by all the combatant Nations & he is hardly a lefty now is he?
    Whilst the ordinary soldiers on the ground were indeed brave and valiant, the political and military leaders of the Entente & the Central Powers were notable by their complete inability to do the jobs required of them. In fact the B.E.F. under Sir John French was characterized by a similarity to Gen. Melchett in Blackadder & was saved on several occasions by the bravery and ability to suffer of the French soldier.
    And as for Churchill and his insane Naval Brigade saga the less said by a Tory minister the better!

    Seems quite balanced as a talking point article really!

    If that seems quite balanced to you, as well as your miscomprehended first post on the thread, then you’re in need of some old fashioned comprehension skills. I’m sure Gove could give you some tips.

    grum
    Member

    Hardly surprising that he would try to defend/deny ‘a series of catastrophic mistakes perpetrated by an out-of-touch elite’ is it.

    Didn’t we do this one to death last month?

    WW1 was of it’s time. At the start of the 29th century life wasn’t very fair for the working man in peace time and very few had the vote.

    IMO Blackadder IV has no place in the classroom to teach history, would you use the first series to teach the history of the Middle Ages? Although in the dumbed down society that we live it’s not much of a surprise.

    Would All Quiet on the Western Front not be more useful and accurate?

    maxtorque
    Member

    So in summary:

    “If you are too stupid to realise that a fictional televison situation comedy may not in fact be 100% truthful, then you are also probably too stupid to understand any of the broader historical issues surrounding that subject anyway”

    or more succinctly “If you think Blackadder was real, you’re an idiot”

    The point for me is that mass market programs such as Blackadder at least bring some interesting History to light for the vast majority of the public, and present that subject material in a way that makes in interesting. Very, very few children of any age are going to sit through boring, 5hr long factually correct documentaries or lectures on a subject that means absolutely nothing too them, even if they are 100% historically accurate. When i was at school, history was a dull, dry, tedious and boring subject, that the vast majority of pupils dropped at the first possible opportunity……..

    Seems quite balanced as a talking point article really!

    Its really not though.

    Alot of weasel words from Gove about people fighting for civilisation, for freedom, the western liberal order. What does that even mean? It wasn’t like World War 2 with where such an idea can be sustained, of democracy versus dictatorship. In that respect at the time the Germans had universal male suffrage unlike the British!

    A ‘sober academic debate’ will argue points of view in a nuanced manner – not just whine on about left wing (or indeed right wing) versions of history like Gove tries to do to dismiss some strawman opponent.

    Very, very few children of any age are going to sit through boring, 5hr long factually correct documentaries

    Doesn’t depend on the quality of the documentary?

    I can remember watching the World at War when I was very young, too young to really understand it but I certainly enjoyed watching it.

    Junkyard
    Member

    I dont think anyone wants to use works of fiction to teach history and in particular not the comedy programme Blackadder which is unlikely to be historically accurate
    As for dumb downed [ this is rhetorical as its clear you have not]Have you not read the thread or link? how could anyone think anyone had suggested using Black adder to teach history?

    That is why it matters that we encourage an open debate on the war and its significance.
    But it is important to recognise that many of the new analyses emerging challenge existing Left-wing versions of the past designed to belittle Britain and its leaders.

    I am really not sure why the right wing need to slag off anyone who disagrees with their analysis of history or why they think everything is a left wing conspiracy . Why call for open and honest debate whilst doing this?
    Imagine if the reply was only a right wing jingoistic patriot could etc .. I note he never gave the political views leanings or religious beleifs of the historians he cited to support his view only those he opposed.
    Its not very academic though it will get the right wing hawks and DM fanboys all stiff so he knows his audiences prejudices and hates and plays to them beautifully. Its not the most balanced analysis of the debate or the history one will ever read.

    El-bent
    Member

    Just one rich elite wanting to eliminate another countries rich elite whilst both use the blood of ordinary people to gain more for themselves or protect what they have.

    Or as blackadder puts it: another gargantuan effort to move field marshall Haigs drinks cabinet another six inches closer to Berlin.

    These days the elite like to be all encompassing by calling their interests, “our interests.” Guess who is still on the getting your brains blown out for blighty end of things?

    the actual point thats being made – that Blackadder and Oh What a Lovely War are, frankly, not factual representations of the British war effort.

    I’ve not seen Oh What a lovely war but surely only a moron would think that Blackadder was a factual programme?

    Premier Icon nickc
    Subscriber

    that Blackadder and Oh What a Lovely War are, frankly, not factual representations of the British war effort.

    I’m not aware that anyone ever has tried to say that these are factual representations

    konabunny
    Member

    it would be hard to argue…this view is correct or anything other than history being written by the victors.

    God, you do love a cliche, don’t you? We’re approaching a century of WW1 histories now and it’s been researched and revised and reconsidered to death by serious historians in every European language. The idea that Gove’s WW1 history is somehow the product of victors’ historians suppressing competing narrative is nonsense, especially when it is the minority view and when the dominant narrative in the victors’ countries is that it was a total clusterfuzzle!

    Premier Icon binners
    Subscriber

    So given the present rule by entitled ****-wit, let us hazard a guess as to, at the time, whether Gove would have been

    A) conscripted to the front line, and ordered to march towards German machine guns to his inevitable horrific pointless death

    Or

    B) General Melchet – sat safely behind the lines, wondering to have the beef or the venison, while ordering the execution for treason for any frightful working class oik who questions option A

    This is just yet another example of the present mob marching us back to the 19th century

    Premier Icon molgrips
    Subscriber

    Historians have skilfully demonstrated how those who fought were not dupes but conscious believers in king and country, committed to defending the western liberal order.

    Apart from Wilfred Owen.

    Premier Icon Coyote
    Subscriber

    This is just yet another example of the present mob marching us back to the 19th century

    Find it hard to disagree.

    Apart from Wilfred Owen.

    Gove would have him down as a hand-wringing lefty.

    grum
    Member

    This is just yet another example of the present mob marching us back to the 19th century

    Yup, what’s gone wrong with this country is that we no longer have unquestioning deference to the ruling classes. Don’t worry, Gove will make it compulsory to indoctrinate children into it from an early age.

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