For those who don’t know, Michael Gove is the Secretary of State for Education whose job appears to be to dream up reforms to Britain’s blighted education system, then dump them some time after it’s become blindingly obvious to everybody else that his proposal is utterly hair-brained. He fights his corner long enough to display his abject failure to grasp the basic tenents of education, then retreats bruised to his luxury hole in Surrey or London, both of which the tax payer seems to have foot the bill for furnishing.
Having rewritten the history curriculum to give pupils a ‘better grasp of the broad sweep of British history’, Gove has rammed both feet in his mouth by lambasting ‘leftwing’ (which should be two words, Michael) interpretations of WWI, apparently spawned by the television comedy Blackadder, and praising the debacle as ‘plainly a just war’ fought against 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.’
Gove further tries to salvage the reputation of military leaders like Field Marshal Haig, known by those who fought and survived it as ‘the butcher of the Somme’, holding him up as ‘a patriotic leader grappling honestly with the new complexities of industrial warfare.’ The idea that the Great War was a ‘series of catastrophic mistakes perpetrated by an out-of-touch elite’ is nothing more than a left-wing conspiracy to ‘belittle Britain and its leaders’ and that our island nation’s role in the holocaust was marked by ‘nobility and courage.’
Ignoring his weak grasp of the broad sweep of world history, Gove has laid out the table for what we feared would be the tenor of the forthcoming commemorations, as seen by the out-of-touch elite that currently rules the UK with their thinly veiled but ruthless social Darwinism. And that’s why we’ve devoted so much of the past year working hard with our generous contributors to produce the WWI anthology, To End All Wars… because Gove and his cronies are simply wrong! 16.5 million lives were lost directly attributable to a war that need never have been fought, had the unelected leaders of Europe given a toss about anything other than power mongering. Geddit, Michael, you upper class twit!?