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Government accused of 'social engineering' over its WW1 plan

 
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BerichtGeplaatst: 10 Jan 2014 14:23    Onderwerp: Government accused of 'social engineering' over its WW1 plan Reageer met quote

Government accused of 'social engineering' over its WW1 plans

The government is hit by another row over its plans for the First World War centenary, amid accusations it is "whitewashing" the contributions of Australians and New Zealanders, in favour of those of black and Asian servicemen


Quote:
Ministers have been accused of “social engineering” over their plans to mark the centenary of the First World War, by downplaying the role of Australian and New Zealand soldiers in favour of the contribution from New Commonwealth nations.
Critics claim the government is focusing on black and Asian servicemen from other parts of the British Empire, such as India, as well as Caribbean and West African nations, at the expense of the Anzac forces, along with those from Canada and South Africa.
They have accused British ministers of “political correctness” and a “whitewashing” of history.
It is the latest First World War row to embroil the government ahead of the centenary of the outbreak this summer.
Earlier this month, Michael Gove, the education secretary, triggered a political argument over who was to blame for starting the war, prompting interventions from, among others, David Cameron and Nick Clegg, as well as Tristram Hunt, the shadow education secretary, and Boris Johnson, the mayor of London.


The latest row follows a briefing to Australian journalists by Whitehall officials that no events were being planned to mark their country’s contribution and that internal discussions on the plans do not mention Australia or New Zealand. The briefing disclosed, instead, that officials were concentrating on promoting the role played by so-called New Commonwealth countries, those which achieved independence since 1945.
The countries singled out for promotion were India, Bangladesh and Nigeria, along with other west African nations. The reports state that this is to promote “community cohesion” in the UK.

The government source said: “There has been no mention of old Commonwealth Allies like Australia or New Zealand but more interest in celebrating the role from New Commonwealth countries. I think it’s fair to say Commonwealth ties are being frayed a little on this one.”
It has led to accusations in Australia of “blatant politicisation” of the anniversary, with the UK government accused of attempting to win “political and economic favour in multicultural Britain”.
Col Richard Kemp, a former officer in the British army and commentator, said: “This seems to be an attempt by the Government to use the centenary as a means of trying to appease large numbers of immigrants. But it shouldn’t be an exercise in political correctness or social engineering.
“Countries such as India and those in West Africa did make a significant contribution and we should certainly remember that. But we should not do so in the place of Australia and New Zealand.

“The contribution of those two countries, along with Canada and South Africa, towards the Allied victory was huge and they fought incredibly bravely, and made very, very immense sacrifices. “There should be a proper reflection that we owe our liberty, to a large extent, to them.”
Murray Rowlands, an British writer on the war, who was raised in New Zealand, said the contribution from the two Australasian nations “needs recognition”.
“There is nothing in David Cameron’s program of commemoration that mentions these countries. I have seen nothin on Canada or South Africa either. The old empire is being overlooked.” he said.
A total of 62,000 Australians and 18,000 New Zealanders died in the First World War. Canada and Newfoundland - which was then separate - lost around 67,000 men, and South Africa, around 12,000 killed. British India, meanwhile, lost 74,000 men. Deaths from other British colonies have been put at 35,000.
The Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (Anzacs) fought, most notably, during the ill-fated Gallipoli campaign, in 1915, when an assault was launched on the Ottoman Empire, in what is now Turkey. Despite its failure, the campaign is seen as an important step in the development of a national consciousness in Australia.

There was also notable contributions from the countries on the Western Front, and in other theatres, for instance, the Gaza campaign.
The Department For Culture, Media and Sport, which is coordinating the centenary plans, confirmed there were no plans to have any specific events recognising Australia’s contribution.
However, a spokesman denied accusations of a “whitewash”, adding: “The UK will be commemorating the huge contribution and sacrifices made by members of Armed Forces from Britain, Australia, New Zealand and other Commonwealth countries and Allies in a wide range of centenary events throughout the 2014-2018 period.

“Helen Grant, Minister with responsibility for the First World War commemorations recently met the High Commissioners from New Zealand and Australia to discuss our plans. We are clear that Britain could not have prevailed without the contribution of our Commonwealth partners and our plans for the centenary will fully reflect that.”



Dat 2014-2018 gaat niet echt vreedzaam van start...
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BerichtGeplaatst: 10 Jan 2014 14:29    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

A PC push by British politicians is threatening to downplay the role of Aussie diggers in WW1 in favour of developing nations.

Quote:

The ANZAC whitewash comes despite the 62,000 Australians who died in the Great War fighting for the British Empire and another 156,000 wounded, with no 100-year anniversary events planned by Britain recognising the sacrifice.
News Corp Australia has learned in a blatant politicising of the anniversary, Whitehall officials in London have been briefed to push the efforts by the so-called "New Commonwealth" nations in a bid to win political and economic favour in multicultural Britain.


The move comes amid a heated social and political row in Britain over immigration numbers with the issue likely to determine the outcome of federal elections in Britain next year.
British government sources have confirmed internal briefings on WWI commemorations have not mentioned Australia or New Zealand once, instead staff from departments and cabinet offices have been briefed to concentrate on other British Empire contributions by soldiers from countries such as Nigeria and other dominions in West Africa, India, Pakistan and Bangladesh.
The "new Commonwealth" is a British term to describe predominantly non-white and developing decolonised countries and is often used in debates on immigration.

The desire to push the war efforts by soldiers from these countries is now being seen as more fruitful to promote "community cohesion" and link younger generations of ethnic Britons today to the war fought by their forefathers. It's also seen as high-level support for old colonies like India which is experiencing a booming economy.
"It's basically to remind Britons the First World War wasn't just soldiers from here fighting in France and Belgium but involved people from Lagos, Kingston and the Punjab," a government insider said.


"There has been no mention of old Commonwealth Allies like Australia or New Zealand but more interest in celebrating the role from New Commonwealth countries. I think it's fair to say Commonwealth ties are being frayed a little on this one."
The British Department For Culture, Media and Sport, tasked with WWI anniversary events, confirmed there were no plans to have any specific events recognising Australia's contribution to the British Empire's cause.


"I don't think there is anything specific at this stage for individual countries," a spokeswoman said. "It is obviously a four-year program so there may well be specific things as we go along but nothing specific at this stage."
British author and commentator Murray Rowlands said it was a disgrace Australian and New Zealanders were being ignored.
"There is nothing in (British Prime Minister) David Cameron's program of commemoration that mentions these countries," he said.
"The British pretty much lost the war in July 1918, they were in retreat and it was
the Australians and New Zealanders who got put into the gap … they were the ones that held up the Germans in places like Hamel (Somme, northern France), with the Americans too but basically the well-trained Australians, pretty battle hardened by then, who stopped the Germans. If they had got to Amiens the game would have been gone because that was where the British communication system were. That needs recognition."
Australia's Department of Veterans Affairs and the Australian High Commission in London are planning a series of Australian-specific events in the UK this year and next year, the 100th anniversary of Gallipoli.


http://www.news.com.au/world/british-plan-anzac-whitewash/story-fndir2ev-1226797568086
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BerichtGeplaatst: 10 Jan 2014 14:32    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

De commentaren op bv Facebook liegen er niet om, men gaat nu al rollend over straat.
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BerichtGeplaatst: 10 Jan 2014 14:42    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

First world war: an imperial bloodbath that's a warning, not a noble cause
Tory claims that 1914 was a fight for freedom are absurd – but then history wars are about the future as much as the past

Quote:

They were never going to be able to contain themselves. For all the promises of a dignified commemoration, the Tory right's standard bearers held back for less than 48 hours into the new year before launching a full-throated defence of the "war to end all wars". The killing fields of Gallipoli and the Somme had been drenched in blood for a "noble cause", declared Michael Gove. The slaughter unleashed in 1914 had been a "just war" for freedom.

Hostility to the war, the education secretary complained, had been fostered by leftwingers and comedians who denigrated patriotism and painted the conflict as a "misbegotten shambles". Gove was backed by the prime minister, as talk of international reconciliation was left to junior ministerial ranks.


Lees verder:
http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/jan/08/first-world-war-imperial-bloodbath-warning-noble-cause?INTCMP=ILCNETTXT3487
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BerichtGeplaatst: 10 Jan 2014 16:12    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

The first world war and Australia: oh, what a loopy debate
We are only a fortnight into the first world war's centenary year, and already historical facts are suffering amidst the heavy artillery of point-scorin
g

Quote:
Just two weeks into the centenary year of the great war, not only is the debate on the war running off the rails, it is increasingly clear that there are no rails.

Politicians are setting the agenda, once sensible historians are responding with nonsensical rebuttals, other historians and journalists, their minds uncluttered by research, are racing into print; Lenin, that great historical authority, is quoted as the last word on the war. I await Mao on the battle of the Somme, Kim Jong-Il on Jutland and Castro on artillery. Even as I write, I have no doubt that these subjects are being Googled.

In the short space available to me, I wish to make just a few points of my own about the Great War.

The first concerns Britain. For me, notwithstanding some of the weighty authorities mentioned above, it was entirely right that Britain entered the war. It did so at the last minute when all hopes of mediation were gone and when neutral Belgium had been invaded. It did so to uphold treaties, to preserve its democratic way of life and to prevent Western Europe being overrun by an expansionist, militaristic Germany.

These are surely honourable motives. After the war Germany became democratic, as did other states in central Europe. By 1925 Europe seemed headed for a period of peace. That this did not eventuate does not negate the efforts of the Western democracies between 1914 and 1918.

http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/jan/10/australia-first-world-war-anzac?CMP=twt_gu
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BerichtGeplaatst: 11 Jan 2014 19:17    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Nog meer
http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/140110/britain-insists-australia-nz-represented-wwi-plans
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BerichtGeplaatst: 11 Jan 2014 19:20    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

En:

Quote:
THE British Prime Minister David Cameron has intervened in a bid to quell a row over World War I centenary commemorations, saying the contribution by ANZAC soldiers would be honoured.


http://www.news.com.au/world/british-prime-minister-david-cameron-anzacs-will-be-honoured-at-world-war-i-centenary/story-fndir2ev-1226799460473
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BerichtGeplaatst: 11 Jan 2014 19:51    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Quote:
The first world war centenary should be about shared understanding, not political point-scoring
Politicians of both left and right want to hijack the debate about this catastrophic event in our history – but it belongs to all of us

The trouble in this debate about the first world war is that one person's myth is another one's incontrovertible truth. Either the generals were all donkeys or they were sensible men doing their best. The war was either a colossal mistake or a struggle for important principles. Such polarisation may make for a good spectacle but it doesn't do what history should – and that is help us to understand the past in all its complexity.


Meer
http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/jan/10/first-world-war-centenary-understanding-not-political-point-scoring
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