Friday, 11 June 2010

”If you want to understand today, you have to search yesterday. ”

Seumas Milne in the Guardian on the ConDem’s threat to progressive theory:
David Cameron's coalition government likes to present itself as consensual, even touchy feely. However threatening its policies, the message is "we're all in this together". But if the latest plans of his close ally Michael Gove were to come to fruition, prepare for an outbreak of culture wars under the new regime: conflicts that would be fought out in classrooms across the country.
Oooh, man the barricades! The wackademics are going to be revolting!
Last week the new education secretary publicly appealed to pro-empire TV historian Niall Ferguson to help rewrite the history curriculum for English schools. Considering this is a man who has unashamedly championed British colonialism and declared that "empire is more necessary in the 21st century than ever before", letting him loose on some of the most sensitive parts of the school syllabus in multicultural Britain might have been expected to provoke uproar.
Might have been expected by whom?
Instead it passed almost without comment.
There you go, then…
If Britain had genuinely come to terms with its imperial history, no senior politician would have dared suggest celebrating it or mobilising apologists to sanitise its record for schoolchildren.
Translation: ‘If only we’d had more time, we could have made everyone feel guilty for things done decades ago…!’
The British empire was, after all, an avowedly racist despotism built on ethnic cleansing, enslavement, continual wars and savage repression, land theft and merciless exploitation.
Wow, he almost went for a Godwin ther…

Oh:
No wonder Hitler was such an enthusiastic admirer of Britain's empire, which he described as an "inestimable factor of value". The echoes of Nazism in the colonial record are unmistakable.
*sigh*
If people like Ferguson and Roberts are allowed to get their hands on school history, it will be contested every step of the way.
Bring it on, Seumas. How many divisions has the ‘Guardian’…?

And see Ross for a good breakdown of Seumas’ rather flexible idea of history….

8 comments:

Brian, follower of Deornoth said...

"Ferguson and Roberts are allowed to get their hands on school history, it will be contested every step of the way"

I see. Milne's view is so obviously correct you are not allowed to argue with it.

RAB said...

The echoes of Nazism in the colonial record are unmistakable.

Um, shouldn't that be the other way round?
If the twat doesn't know what an echo is, I'm certainly not going to trust his take on history.

John R said...

The sooner any public sector job ads (not that there should be very many from now on) are moved onto the direct.gov.uk website the better.

Save us all a load of money buying ad space and, special bonus, no more public funding for the lefties rag.

Jiks said...

This sounds like good news, if it means as it sounds, that our screaming lefty teachers will have to teach real facts about our history rather "good facts" this can only be a good thing.

+1 for the new bunch on this basis

banned said...

Bookshops are awash with revanchist history of the Empire (ie not slagging it off as ", an avowedly racist despotism built on ethnic cleansing, enslavement, continual wars and savage repression, land theft and merciless exploitation.") but it will take decades to extract the quoted mindset from the classroom.

On discussing these issues with descendents of colonial migrants I have asked them "Where would you (name) be personally right now had it not been for the Empire?
Usually does the trick.

English Viking said...

Call me a racist (I couldn't really give a ****), but I think that the British Empire was one of best things that ever happened to this world, although the law of unintended consequences has struck once again, leaving the cradle of democracy a sad, sick, pathetic shadow of what it once was, and the true British too frightened to tell the truth; that being that our culture is far superior to most others, and this is the reason that most immigration is FROM ex-colonies, and not vice-versa.



Perhaps there are differences between the races? (In the words of Enoch Powell) 'How dare I say such a thing?'

JuliaM said...

"I see. Milne's view is so obviously correct you are not allowed to argue with it."

Indeed...

"The sooner any public sector job ads (not that there should be very many from now on) are moved onto the direct.gov.uk website the better."

It was something Cameron promised. He'd better not back out now...

"...I think that the British Empire was one of best things that ever happened to this world..."

Indeed. As Banned points out, asking any descendant where they'd be without it is a guaranteed conversation-stopper...


""

Gibby Haynes said...

The echoes of Nazism in the colonial record are unmistakable.

Um, shouldn't that be the other way round?
If the twat doesn't know what an echo is, I'm certainly not going to trust his take on history.


The British Empire's racism was so heavy, bent spacetime to such an extent, that it inadvertently created time travel.

You don't sound guilty enough for what your ancestors may or may not have done to me. Assume the position.