Anorak News | Hurrah For The Blackshirts: Daily Mail Bemoans British Kids’ Ignorance Of War

Hurrah For The Blackshirts: Daily Mail Bemoans British Kids’ Ignorance Of War

by | 5th, November 2009

hurrahfortheblackshirts2A SURVEY says that one in six between the ages of nine and 15 believe Auschwitz was a Second World War theme park and one in 20 say the Holocaust was a celebration at the end of the war. They are only partly right.

These are the kind of facts tabloids love. And the Daily Mail’s readers use it to have their prejudices confirmed:

* Labour teachers trying to change history.

* But I bet they can tell answer the really important questions such as who is in the final of X Factor, all about David Beckhams latest tattoo, or what Katie said to Peter. What can you expect? Just about sums this country up doesn’t it?

* Were the questions written? If so it’s probable that at least half the children involved couldn’t read the questions.

The survey was carried out by Erskine, a charity that provides nursing and medical care for former members of our Armed Forces “through two world wars and the more recent conflicts and peace keeping initiatives of the twentieth and twenty first centuries”.

Erskine relies on donations, it being a charity. And Remembrance Day is looming. So here’s a piece of PR lamenting the state of thick kids who have no idea what war is – which to some mind makes them innocent, or lucky. The Telegraph tutts and notes:

The survey for a veterans’ charity also found one in 10 thought the SS stood for Enid Blyton’s Secret Seven, and one in 12 believed the Blitz was a European clean-up operation following the Second World War.

One in ten had heard of Enid Blyton and identified the Secret Seven? So much for those Mail readers bemoaning the state of education. As anyone knows the Big War was when the gollywogs were routed.

Major Jim Panton, chief executive of Erskine, enlarges on the PR offensive:

”Some of the answers to this poll have shocked us and it has shown that Erskine, amongst others, has a part to play, not just in caring for veterans but in educating society as a whole.”

More facts:

While a quarter admitted they did not think about the soldiers who died in the conflicts, and 40 per cent said they did not know when Remembrance Day was, 70 per cent of all those surveyed said they wanted to learn more about the two wars in school.

So not all that bad, then. Back to the Mail’s headline:

Hitler coached a football team and the McDonald’s arches symbolise Remembrance Day: History according to UK children.

In other history lessons, the Mail can teach us:

In January 1934, Lord Rothermere wrote a long and enthusiastic article for the Daily Mail which began a campaign of support by the paper for Oswald Mosley’s British Union of Fascists: its notorious headline was “Hurrah for the Blackshirts”.

Rothermere owned the paper. Such is the history…

Posted: 5th, November 2009 | In: Reviews Comments (4) | TrackBack | Permalink