Harder history?

One of my favourite hobby horses is the teaching of history in English schools; frankly it’s risible, quite apart from the fact that it is so blatantly twisted against anything English, or for that matter, “British”. The state seems to believe that our history is so shameful we should not teach it to our children and some sort of multicultural mishmash should be put in its stead so our kids can be taught about everyone else’s history and how noble and good they were as they struggled to overcome our evil doings.
So I’m always interested when someone posits tightening up the examinations for that subject…

Exams boards have been ordered to tighten up GCSEs in four key subjects amid fears they are becoming easier to pass.
Exams watchdog Ofqual wants changes to English literature, maths, history and geography GCSEs to ensure students cover the full breadth of the subjects.
Education Secretary Michael Gove has suggested some GCSEs can be passed with too narrow a grasp of the subject.
Ofqual said it wanted to ensure students covered the whole curriculum.

Whilst I do have a passing interest in literature, can do maths and studied geography to O level standards back in the days when a O level meant something, history remains my passion and is the one subject most likely to be subject to revisionism by the powers that be, take the slave trade for example…

The powers that beobviously have a serious problem. They do not wish for the actual truth to come out and ruin the ideology they wish to push. They refuse to countenance and don’t wish it to be known that, until well into the 19th Century British subjects were being regularly seized and enslaved by the pirates who operated freely under the flag of Islam from North Africa. Anybody ever wonder why the French attacked Algeria and annexed it? No, thought not, mainly it was to stop the raiding of the coast of the South of France and the disruption of trade in the Mediterranean originating from the various Bey’s of this that and the next controlling the coasts of Algiers, Tunisia, Libya and the rest. In 1836 a British Fleet assisted in an assault on Algiers for just that reason, Algiers based raiders had seized one too many merchant ships under British Flag. Even the hymn of the United States Marine Corp mentions from the Halls of Montezuma (Mexican War) to the Shores of Tripoli where they took action to stop the enslavement of USA citizens by Arabs in the Mediteranean. But no, the righteous cannot seem to get it into their heads that at a time the UK was fighting for its life against the Napoleonic Empire we outlawed the slave trade and used our Navy to make it stick.

OK, so we had turned the trans Atlantic slave trade into a factory style process – that is one of the features of the English, usually slow to get off the starting block on anything, we simply don’t know when to stop. Ask the residents of Hamburg, Dresden or one or two other German cities. Take a look at the same morons now in charge of education and you will see the same thing at work. They have spent so long campaigning for their “cause” that they can’t see it has gone far enough and that it should now come to a gentle halt and consolidate what they have – not strive for more.

However, one of the more stupid assertions made by the “beat Britain for its slave trade” is that the Army or the Navy was engaged in capturing slaves in West Africa. If these morons knew their history instead of their prejudice they would know that the slaves were rounded up by locals who sold them to the Arab traders to their North as well. It was the Royal Navy and the Army that put a stop to the tribal wars that fuelled this from 1820 onwards, not an exercise in getting more slaves but in bringing peace to a region that had never had it! On the East Coast of Africa the slave trade continued in Arab Dhows well into the 20th Century, although, again, it was the Royal Navy that was hard at work to suppress it. Trouble was, being the other side of Africa and not affecting British shipping or people (except occasionally!) it was of little interest to the same bunch of wankers who now want our history suppressed. There is still slavery practised in the Islamic states, but you won’t find that in any “multi-cultural” history.

It does worry me a lot that even today most of our kids either know so little of what really happened, or get their history directly from movies (Braveheart anyone) As a nation we can’t really understand who we are until we know how we got here. This also goes right back to the claiming of the Magna Carta and the Bill of Rights as British, because they aren’t, they’re English and have nothing to do with Britain as a whole despite the ludicrous claims of our current political class and their associated hangers on.

10 comments for “Harder history?

  1. john in cheshire
    February 26, 2012 at 5:45 pm

    QM, well said. My thoughts exactly.

  2. Revolution Harry
    February 26, 2012 at 8:05 pm

    I wholeheartedly concur with only one small gripe. I’m not at all sure that the slavery practiced by the ‘English’ can be generalised to include all English people. In many ways the lower classes were little more than slaves themselves. The following is taken from a piece on my blog.

    “The truth is that the forefathers of the majority of (white) British people were little more than slaves or serfs (vassals) themselves for centuries. Even after huge numbers were forced off the land (through hunger, desperation and despair) into the often terrible conditions of the Industrial revolution, the reality was that they were still very much the serfs or slaves they’d always been. Most worked long hours, for six days a week and lived in appalling conditions. These conditions caused a Reverend J. R. Stephens to observe that:

    “… it was a settled custom of the male and to a great extent of the female, workers in factories to be in bed from 9, 10 or 11 o’clock on Sunday [morning], because they were tired out by the labour of the week. Sunday was the only day on which they could rest their wearied frames. It would generally be found that, the longer the time of work, the smaller the wages. He would rather be a slave in South Carolina, than a factory operative in England.”

    The point being is that it was the ruling ‘elites’ of the time that began, operated and benefitted from the slave trade and to ascribe a collective guilt to either the English, the British or indeed, as some do, ‘white’ people is surely to add grist to the mill of those who wish to exploit this issue for their own particular agenda.

  3. Rob
    February 26, 2012 at 8:25 pm

    Good piece QM. I’m reminded that after the Monmouth Rebellion, many a West Country man was transported to work as slaves in the Americas.

  4. Mudplugger
    February 26, 2012 at 10:03 pm

    From my hearing of recent school History, it seems to spend a little time on the Tudors (good tabloid stuff), then leaps straight into ‘Wasn’t Hitler a nasty bastard’ and ‘Hands up who would like to go on a trip to Auschwitz ?’

    Which is all so sad – our complete history, particularly from the start of the Industrial Revolution, is a wonderful and colourful case-study in progressive advancement, explaining so much of what we still see around us today. Such History is not ‘then’, it is ‘now’.

  5. Radical Rodent
    February 26, 2012 at 10:09 pm

    Reminds me of a time, when visiting Lagos, being asked: “Where are you from?” (it not necessarily being obvious from my appearance, but my accent).

    I replied, “England,” to which the response was: “You here to make reparations, then?”

    In an extraordinary bout (for me) of quick-wittedness, I answered: “Reparations for what? You were given roads, railways, electricity, water, sewage treatment, radio, television, telephones, schools, hospitals, public buildings… What do you want reparations for?”

    His lame response was: “Oh. I had never thought of it like that before…”

    That is the level of education there; that is the level of education here. History is being given a dangerously distorted twist.

  6. Middle Seaxe
    February 27, 2012 at 9:50 am

    And all this going on whilst slavery itself is still very much alive and kicking under our noses in 21st century Britain whether it be members of the travelling community exploiting immigrants and the mentally ill, trafficked sex workers exploited by gangs or domestic “servants” suffering abuse (and even murder) at the hands of their wealthy “employers”. Stories of which have all featured in the news in the last few years.

    My memories of history as taught in school was a (very) little on the Roman empire whilst at Junior school, a bit about feudalism and the terrible exploitation of serfs and then it was all spinning jennies, industrial revolution with heavy emphasis on the beginning of the trade union movements and the evils of laissez faire economics as practiced in the 19th century. Not forgetting the suffragettes and votes for women. I’m certain we did a bit on the triangular rout practised by the slavers as well.

    All these, of course are worthy subjects of study but looking back on it now it’s obvious the way in which we were being taught to view history from a particular point of view.

    Somehow, inspite of all that I didn’t develop an incurable strain of Anglophobia and retained a great interest in history that grew into a passion which leads me now find myself sieving through the contents of post medieval rubbish pits at one of Henry V111’s hunting retreats.

    I got my tax return in on time as well this year. That might have something to do with all the threats of dire visitations of serious reprisals from the great Lords of the manor at HMRC, what a good little serf I turned out to be!


  7. Able
    February 27, 2012 at 10:27 am

    I’d like to agree with what Revolution Harry said.

    It’s amazing how that meme is used. The same as used by the Irish and Scots it would appear. The fact that all the ‘clearances’ and abuses were perpetrated by their own rich (ie. Irish and Scots, not English) seems to have escaped them.

    I, as a nursing student many moons ago, faced almost continual feminist progressive (yes, even then) proclamations of white mens guilt. I remember being berated, for the abuse my ancestors had heaped on black/asian/wimmin/non-christians around the world, by an obviously upper class tutor. My response? To express my belief that in all likelihood, rather than being in a position to cause anyone abuse, my ancestors were probably being flogged or ‘sent over the top’ by her ancestors so it wasn’t me who should be feeling any guilt (needless to say, this was not well received).

    • February 27, 2012 at 4:43 pm

      I bet it wasn’t!

  8. Dave K
    February 28, 2012 at 12:41 pm

    For a good laugh you should see Ainsley Harriott on Who Do You Think You Are?


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