Monday, 3 March 2014

The Necessary War vs. The Pity of War or Hastings vs. Ferguson.

Having had a chance to watch both of these programmes on catch up the BBC again deserves congratulation on some quality television. However, the claims by Mr Ferguson in last Fridays live debate were so outlandish that Mr Hastings came across as the clear winner. Mr Ferguson’s claims that a 1915 Europe dominated by a Kaiser Reich would be somewhat similar to the European Union we know today seemed quite ridiculous and there was little evidence to support this theory. Indeed there seem to be little evidence to support many of his theories and it was noticeable that the experts that he turned to in the second half of the programme shot his ideas down in flames one by one. In contrast, Mr Hastings’ programme was a lucid account of the facts as we know and understand them today.

It is worth pointing out that for all this welcome talk on the rights and wrongs of England’s entry into the Great War we can never fully understand the mindset of, not just the political leaders of the time, but of the average man in the street. It seems to me that enough time has passed for the world they lived in has vanished forever and nobody alive today can fully appreciate what it must have been like to live through those years.

So much of history is written about kings and queens and royalty but the Great War was more than any other, the people’s war. It was the people who fought the war and it was the people who won the war. The best argument I can see for England declaring war in August 1914 is the fact that the country and its peoples were still willing to fight nearly five years later. 

Now on to "37 days"...

No comments:

Post a Comment