British taxpayers’ money for ‘celebrating’ World War I

This video is called Trench warfare at its worst – Battle of Somme 1916.

This video from Britain says about itself:

10 Nov 2013

BBC’s Jeremy Paxman says “only a complete idiot would celebrate such a calamity” as the first world war. This is what David Cameron did when he announced plans for the World War I centenary in 2014 and said he wanted the commemoration to be like the celebrations for the Queen’s Silver Jubilee.

By Luke James in Britain:

David Cameron aims to rewrite WWI as heroic ‘epic’

Monday 11th November 2013

Peace groups slam Prime Minister as £50m offered to celebrate slaughter

Offices, classrooms and public spaces will fall silent today as Britain pauses to mark the 95th anniversary of the end of World War I.

Sixteen million people had lost their lives and 20 million more were wounded when the guns finally fell silent across a devastated Europe on November 11 1918.

Britain will unite at 11am to remember the war between vying empires.

But Prime Minister David Cameron chose to use Remembrance Sunday yesterday to trumpet divisive plans to mark the centenary of the start of the slaughter on August 4 1914.

He announced details of a £50 million programme of events to honour an “epic” period of history.

They include a service of dignitaries to coincide with the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, the laying of commemorative paving stones and a football match at a Flanders battlefield.

Mr Cameron said his Cabinet will meet tomorrow to “make sure they are a fitting way to commemorate all the heroes of the first world war.”

But peace campaigners accused Mr Cameron of depicting the outbreak of WWI devastation as something to “celebrate.”

Stop the War Coalition convener Lindsey German said the plans “use the anniversary to recast that war as one for democracy, not as the senseless slaughter of young men fighting for different empires which it actually was.”

She added: “That really would be a travesty of the truth.”

Ms German is among high-profile figures to have established the No Glory in War campaign in opposition to the government’s plans.

Other supporters include actors Jude Law and Patrick Stewart, musician Billy Bragg, veteran campaigner Tony Benn, Labour MP Jeremy Corbyn and Plaid Cymru MP Jonathan Edwards.

An open letter from the group says they are “disturbed” by the comparison made by the Tory PM between his plans and the “Diamond Jubilee celebrations.”

It states: “Far from being a ‘war to end all wars‘ or a ‘victory for democracy,’ this was a military disaster and a human catastrophe.

“We believe it is important to remember that this was a war that was driven by big powers’ competition for influence around the globe.”

No Glory in War will organise an alternative calendar of events that will “mark the courage of many involved in the war but also to remember the almost unimaginable devastation caused.”

Plaid Cymru also issued a statement yesterday quoting WWI veteran Harry Patch and called for a commemoration to mark the end of the war.

“The flag-waving and jingoism that persuaded young men to sign up to go to war should not be copied and repeated 100 years later,” it said.

Yorkshire peace campaigners re-enacted a football match yesterday which first took place between German, French and English soldiers during the unofficial “Christmas truce” that briefly halted the first world war in 1914. After laying a white-poppy wreath at Bradford’s war memorial with the Raise Your Banners group, organisations including Yorkshire CND and Quakers had a kick-around in the town’s Centenary Square: here.

Remembering the folly of the Battle of the Somme on Veterans Day: here.

The poppy’s significance to today’s observance is a result of Canadian military physician John McCrae’s poem In Flanders Fields. The poppy emblem was chosen because of the poppies that bloomed across some of the worst battlefields of Flanders in World War I. And their red color seemed an appropriate symbol for the bloodshed of trench warfare.

19 thoughts on “British taxpayers’ money for ‘celebrating’ World War I

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