Tag Archives: First World War

Blackadder: The First World War

Edmund:* We’ve been sitting here since Christmas 1914, during which time millions of men have died, and we’ve advanced no further than an asthmatic ant with some heavy shopping. *Edmund Blackadder the recurring character in this series

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Germany and the Cause of the First World War

“The Allied and Associated Governments affirm and Germany accepts the responsibility of Germany and her allies for causing all the loss and damage to which the Allied and Associated Governments and their nationals have been subjected as a consequence of … Continue reading

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Senior Army Officers hit the jackpot after the First World War

    Field-Marshal Sir Douglas Haig 100,000 Field-Marshal Viscount French 50,000 Field-Marshal Sir Edmund Allenby 50,000 Field-Marshal Sir H. Plumer 30,000 Field-Marshal Sir Henry Wilson 10 000 General Sir Henry Rawlinson 30,000 General The Hon. Sir Julian Byng 30,000 General … Continue reading

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Winston Churchill’s Political Apprenticeship

As a Cabinet Minister he had three outstanding qualities: he worked hard, he carried his proposals through Cabinet and Parliament, and he carried his department with him.1 Winston Churchill was Britain’s greatest prime minister. He was a mature politician when … Continue reading

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The Transition from Workhouses: the 1930s

By the 1920s the workhouse system was anachronistic. Democratic reforms in 1918 meant wealth was no longer a qualification for the franchise. The 1929 reforms of relief of the poor led to the formation of Public Assistance Committees. This didn’t … Continue reading

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State Sponsored Kidnapping: Britain, Israel and the USA

1 Britain: Conscientious Objectors1 The British army was a volunteer force in 1914 until the war lost its popularity. The actuality of slaughter reduced the numbers of men volunteering. The government passed the Military Service Act in January 1916 to … Continue reading

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Bertrand Russell in Brixton prison, 1918

For the first two months of his sentence, life at Brixton prison suited Russell perfectly. Freed from the demands of both political campaigning and romantic attachments,* he was able to live precisely the kind of cloistered, contemplative life he craved. … Continue reading

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Why Can’t Babies Vote? Insights from the Sorites Paradox

The 1918 Representation of the People Act swept away gender and property as qualifications for the franchise, leaving age as the sole criterion. Although there’s been tinkering with the actual age at which British citizens can vote, the principle remains … Continue reading

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The price of naivety: Verdun 1916

The Bismarckian precept that two-front wars are disastrous shaped his foreign policy. He created a gigantic balance-of-power, which kept European peace from the formation of Germany in 1871 until 1914. Needless to relate 43 years of peace wasn’t a blessing … Continue reading

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Field Marshal Douglas Haig’s Glittering Prizes

Douglas Haig was adored by the British after he’d defeated Germany in 1918. Traditionally returning military heroes were garlanded with honours and wealth and Haig was no exception. Lloyd George, the Prime Minister, had doubts about the stellar qualities of … Continue reading

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