JUST when we think this government and its absentee grand pooh-bah Brandon Lewis can’t get any more preposterously arrogant, they keep on surprising us.
The suggestion this week of a British Government-commissioned ‘official’ conflict history is on the face of it such a self-evidently worthless and vacuous project that it leads us to question why anyone could think of compiling a history that will be roundly rejected by anyone with the vaguest commitment to the concepts of objectivity and fairness.
The simple answer is that the finished work – if indeed it ever is completed – is not designed for consumption by a wide audience and it is not designed as a serious academic project; it is designed as pure propaganda to be aimed at key groups and individuals that the British aim to influence.
Primary among that cohort would likely be schools. And doubtless any such history would be widely available around the world for any similarly mendacious regimes or institutions willing to disseminate a British Government-coloured version of what happened in Ireland.
If anyone thinks that no serious western democracy would devise its own history in order to indoctrinate its schoolchildren, then they haven’t been paying attention as this Tory administration continues to take a wrecking ball to those planks of democracy which stand in the way of its members enriching themselves and their friends while impoverishing the rest of us.
This move does not happen in isolation.The Conservative tanks are already parked on the lawn of the British media – or at least on that small element of it which doesn’t slavishly advance its brutal neoliberal agenda. The BBC has already all but fallen, its senior ranks replete with Conservative placemen. Channel 4 is now in its sights, with moves afoot to privatise a station which has been one of the few media outlets to hold this gang of Tory crooks and shysters to account. And in the most audacious move of all, they are hell-bent on placing the most notoriously right-wing newspaperman in the history of the British press – former Daily Mail editor Paul Dacre – at the helm of the media watchdog Ofcom.
Now, with the vast majority of the media acting as mere instruments of Tory policy and those which aren’t in the firing line and afraid for the future, attention has turned from current affairs to the past. Clearly, this outrageous official history suggestion is closely linked to the current efforts by the Tories to force through a conflict amnesty here, and since it’s an Irish matter that means that practically no attention will be paid to it by the British public. That would be a massive mistake, of course, because if the Conservatives are successful in rewriting the past in Ireland does anyone think for a minute they would stop there?
Of course they would not. There would follow more bogus British histories – about their murderous colonial past; about their non-stop war on the poor; about their corruption. Unless this is stopped here and now.