Roger Whittaker

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The royal wedding

Monday 2nd May 2011

The whole event was a massive advertisement for the military. There were continual reminders of the Second World War - the commentators helpfully reminding us of "the young Princess Elizabeth mingling with the crowds on VE day", etc, culminating with the flyover by a Lancaster bomber, a Spitfire and a Hurricane and then by modern war planes. It was the wedding of two young people for heaven's sake. The Second World War ended 66 years ago. But no-one seems to find the use of this imagery odd in any way.

The message is: it's ALWAYS 1939, we're ALWAYS at war, there's ALWAYS another Hitler somewhere to be fought, and if you're British, you should support the latest war whatever it is. (Nasser was Hitler, Idi Amin was Hitler, Saddam Hussein was Hitler, Ghaddafi is Hitler, etc...). This is a misuse of the memory of the Second World War, to create a phoney "national myth" in which "we" are always in the right, and it is disloyal and un-British even to question the latest war. And by upholding this military version of national identity, the royal family ensure that they are held in contempt by those who do not share the enthusiasm for war and destruction.

This "national myth" is roughly what Mr Gove wants to teach in schools instead of history, by the way. It stinks. It is a calculated promotion of ignorance, just like the bogus "national myths" that we see being taught in certain other countries.