Most of us know of Joseph Goebbels through our history books.
He died, 48 years old, with the end of Hitler’s Third Reich in sight.
In detail, he ordered the killing of his wife, six children, and himself. Midlife crisis.
Interpreting history to one’s advantage is always the preserve of the victorious, for they control the media. After David Cameron’s victory in the last general election it has therefore fallen to Cameron’s colleague Michael Gove, the Education Secretary, to retell the history of the last century like what it “should” be (they should have asked Ernie Wise).
So the First World War is to be painted as less of the farcical, pathetic and tragic mistake resulting in 15 million unnecessary deaths that it was, and more of a victory of good over evil. Turning the farce into a James Bond storyline is more palatable.
Thirty years ago Gove’s inspiration Margaret Thatcher declared war on Argentina with the purpose of bolstering public opinion so that the Tories could win the coming general election. That was also a good storyline. The goodies (us) won there too.
So now this twit Michael Gove prepares the ground for a another good storyline by slagging off teachers, suggesting that Blackadder is being used by “left-wing academics” to “feed myths” about World War One.
In reality, of course our political leaders of the time didn’t recognize that WW1 was such a daft exercise, and thus they sowed the seeds for WW2.
That an Education Secretary would like to paint it any different puts me in mind of Goebbels’ mid life crisis. Before it he was Minister of Propaganda, whose brief was to convince the German people that reality was fiction and fiction reality, so that they would resist the Allied forces and prolong Hitler’s tyranny. This despite the growing evidence to the contrary.
The Natzi revolution was not popularly supported and therefore it was defeated by ordinary people throughout the world, thank goodness!
Actor Sir Tony Robinson, who starred as Baldrick in the BBC hit series Blackadder is understandably miffed at Gove’s rhetoric.
Award winning Oh! What a Lovely War (5 BAFTA awards in 1970) was also criticized as they too portrayed the First World War as a “misbegotten shambles – a series of catastrophic mistakes perpetrated by an out of touch elite”.
But excuse me, isn’t that what it was?
What were the causes of WW2?
WW1 of course.