Tuesday, February 05, 2008

I don't beleeeeve it!

Based on a survey of 3,000 people, 1 in 4 Britons now think that Churchill and Monty are mythical characters, not real people like Sherlock Holmes.

Ron has notified some of us of this, but I felt it important enough to post on the Blog.

Please try to keep your language moderate in your Comments.


Blogger Tomcann said...

This only proves my point that the "dumbing down" of the British people has reached an advanced stage and therefore inside the next twenty years they will accept the fact that the one world government means everything to everyone - George Orwell was merely premature by a few years - nevertheless - he was spot on !

I just feel a great sadness that my grandchildren will have much to suffer - and I will not be here to help them !

Tuesday, 05 February, 2008  
Blogger Ron Goldstein said...

Thanks Peter for raising this matter here.
When it was first mooted on another WW2 site: http://www.ww2talk.com, I posted a tongue in cheek response but the thread has now developed into the more serious subject of revisionism or, as Tom is wont to call it "Dumbing Down"
Like Tom I find it quite distressing and hope that in time good sense will prevail and the truth will manage to survive

Tuesday, 05 February, 2008  
Blogger Peter G said...

Yes, I saw that a Senior Member (sic) in that other place, on the evidence of his 'nan', believes that Churchill, though a real person, spent WW2 in America on the booze. Apparently the tiller was dexterously held by Nye Bevan.

We live and learn.

Tuesday, 05 February, 2008  
Blogger Frank mee said...

Being an ardent watcher of TV quiz shows, (the serious ones) I am aways amazed at how little history or geography the young people know.
One answered that Montgomery was a General in the Crimean war? He did not bat an eye when told it was WW2
It shows the total failure of modern thinking on education.
I have been attacked on other BBC boards for mentioning the war, and saying "when I was a lad" brought the comment "we are now in the 21st century such things are not relevant".
My reply was we learn from our past mistakes and up to now the beginning of the 21st Century is such a mess we seem to have learned nothing.
My little grandson knows more history than some of those morons.

Tuesday, 05 February, 2008  
Blogger ritsonvaljos said...

I got asked at work the other day whether Churchill was in WW1 or WW2. The person concerned is mid 40s. "Well, it could have been either" was my reply.

It turned out they had a relative who had been well up in the Navy and apparently met Winston Churchill a number of times. However, as he did not know the age of his relative it was difficult to determine which war (or possibly both wars?) they had been in.

Now I do know about this fellow Robin Hood. Wasn't he a Yorkshire character written about by a writer by the name of Joseph Ritson? I wonder if there is money in this?

Tuesday, 05 February, 2008  
Blogger Peter G said...

A lack of knowledge of WW2 is merely the tip of a disturbing trend. It is merely one aspect of a general lack of knowledge of history, be it British, European, or world history.

I have a reasonably good knowledge of the two world wars but it is only part of a broader knowledge of history - ancient Greek and Roman, the early and late Middle Ages, the Renaissance, Absolutism, the Enlightenment, the Industrial Revolution, and so on. I am not blowing my own trumpet here, I have simply been naturally curious all my life from when I got my first world atlas at the age of eight. It is this natural curiosity which seems to have all but vanished.

I am simply baffled when someone doesn't know anything of the Crimean War or the Boer War, for example, or the Spanish Civil War. I can understand a person having a scant knowledge of early Chinese history, a truly fascinating subject and a favourite of mine, but not knowing anything of China in the 19th and 20th centuries is inexcusable.

But history isn't my only interest although it does span many other subjects. I have a very deep interest in philosophy, religions, biology, cosmology, physics, chemistry, and a variety of many other subjects. But alas, I know next to nothing about sport's celebrities and pop-groups; a deplorable gap according to modern perceptions.

TV quiz shows, even the few serious ones, have utterly banal questions such as 'What is the name of David Beckham's baby daughter?' or 'What was top of the pops for twelve consecutive weeks in 2006?'

Take the popular Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?, for example. Recently some celebrities appeared, amongst them a few well-know news readers. As expected they were reasonably knowledgeable about current affairs and media celebrities questions, but the simplest questions on physics, biology, or even geography had them resorting to phoning friends for help and even when told the answers expressing some reservations.

It is all very very sad and bodes ill for the future, there are many bright young kids but they are seemingly isolated in a sea of ignorance.

Wednesday, 06 February, 2008  
Blogger Tomcann said...

Peter -
"what is the name of David Beckhams daughter " ?
Does his wife know about this ?

It is my understanding that he - and his wife - have three sons all named to celebrate the place of conception i.e. Brooklyn - Romeo - shades of a balcony here - and the other one - whose name escapes me - thankfully !

Your education has obviously been misguided you probaly haven't a clue that Michael Owen will be warming the bench for the England Vs Switzerland game which will be played later to-day ? Sheesh !

Wednesday, 06 February, 2008  
Blogger Frank mee said...

Who is Michael Owen???

A Different generation Peter. We were brought up and schooled in a period when we were proud to be British, the sun never set on the Empire.
I well remember reading about the war in China, the Spanish civil war and Italy in Abyssinia.
I could not hold up the large newspapers so spread them on the floor and read the ink off them.
Mother bought Arthur Mee's encyclopedias the full set and the hours, months, years I spent reading those did not go amiss.
Then of course we had Hotspur Adventure Dandy and Beano.
Picture post, Pathe News and the good old BBC six o clock news which we never missed on our state of the art Cossor Radio.
There is a chink in the darkness of ignorance though, my six year old grandson is being taught history, he does ask quite a lot of questions about the past and he knows that Granddad and Nana were in a big war.
Everything runs in cycles so probably this is a renaissance of pride in Nation and learning.

Thursday, 07 February, 2008  
Blogger Tomcann said...

Frank - Michael Owen lives not too far from you - I thought you would know him ??/

Regarding the Sun never setting on the Empire - I have a friend in Vancouver - Kasmir Sidhu - who claimed that It was because - God couldn't trust them in the dark !....and that the Map of Empire was invariably coloured red....from embarrassment....that would start a few lively conversations !

Thursday, 07 February, 2008  
Blogger Boabbie said...

Hi all I take a week off sick and all hell breaks loose here. I don't belieeeeve it either. Up here in Scotland things seem to be a little better as I have been involved at various times helping
my grandchildren even during primary school, with projects concerning both world wars. As well as 1066 and all that.
I do believe that television whether as pap for the masses or as a video games machine,has a lot to answer for in destroying the curiousity of the young. It should really be the other way round it is a great teaching medium and the world wide web is a fantastic place to roam. I think this blog helps to prove that.


Friday, 08 February, 2008  
Blogger Frank mee said...

"Oh" that Michael Owen, used to play football and score goals before he went to Newcastle or the "Toon" as we call it.

Friday, 08 February, 2008  
Blogger Tomcann said...

That's the one Frank - and like Lazerus - he will rise again and come off the bench for the sake of English football - as long as Rooney is behind him feeding the passes......and playing in Dubai !

Friday, 08 February, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Don't you all think it great that Churchill should be considered a myth?
I am relieved to read that the British public is as ignorant as the French one when considering events that date back to the day before yesterday. I thought it was our educational system that had gone wrong, well - it seems to be a worlswide thing. Tomcann I agree with you there about George Orwell's vision having come true - sorry if I've been slow reacting, maybe no one will bother to read this anymore! Cheers! Catherine L.

Sunday, 17 February, 2008  

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