War talk

“And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet.” – Matthew 24:6

Relax! I haven’t ‘got religion’. The Biblical quote is nothing more than a crude attempt to make this article appear scholarly.

Having said that, even those of us who are most averse to the superstitious prating of religionists might well be forgiven should we resort to prayer in the face of unfolding events. These may not be the ‘end times’, but, what with one thing and another, it begins to look like a full dress rehearsal. I mean, it’s not every day the British state considers it necessary to make a public statement assuring the world that it has no intention of going to war with Spain.

Peter Felstead, editor of Jane’s Defence Weekly, has described Michael Howard’s suggestion that Britain might go to war over Gibraltar as “hilarious”. Theresa May was quick to join in the mockery – throwing in a, possibly ill-advised, allusion to Churchill as she did so. And Howard’s rattling of rusty sabres certainly tickled the Twittersphere. But you might just detect a certain hollowness in all that laughter.

Talk of war is absurd because war itself is absurd. It is never more absurd than while the carnage is actually happening. There is an essential ridiculousness in people who bear each other not the slightest ill-will being sent to mercilessly murder one another in the name of the very elites which mercilessly exploit them. If absurdity was an adequate reason to discount the possibility of war then the history of Europe would surely be considerably less bloody.

Politicians should be particularly cautious about talk of war. As Tony Benn said: ”War is the ultimate failure of diplomacy”. War is the failure of all the arcane arts which politicians claim as their preserve. It follows that no politician would talk lightly of war. For them to do so suggests a context within which the rhetoric of armed conflict is, at least to some extent, normalised.

While we may be cautiously confident that Theresa May is not about to send in the gunboats, we certainly should be concerned that her government has so destabilised relations with our European neighbours that even rumours of war can so readily become part of our political discourse.

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9 thoughts on “War talk

  1. chris avery

    Maybe the Tories are using this as a warning to the Scots post Indy that they are prepared to go to war over Berwick and the delineation of the Anglo-Scottish border which if my history serves me correctly was being negotiated prior to the Union of Crowns 1603 and was abandoned thereafter— unless Henry McLeish sorted that one out too?

    As an aside, i see among the other articles of the Treaty of Utrecht, inter alia, the French recognition the British suzerainty over the Iruquois. Does mean war against the USA and Canada?

  2. bringiton

    Tory’s have no care for people but do for their possessions.
    Gibraltar and Scotland are viewed as belonging to England and any attempt to take them out of Westminster control,an act of high treason.
    Why would they care so much about territories which have relatively small numbers of people and certainly in the case of Scotland have virtually no political representation from their party.
    Both of these places afford the Tories places to park their military hardware as well as other assets which they covet (Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s oil….).
    A medieval response from an administration which is going backwards in time as fast as their fox hunting steeds will carry them.

  3. commonoldworkingchap

    This Brexit shambles just gets better and better. The MSM educated residents of Old Blighty
    ( I am currently working down here ) do not even question the ridiculousness of the statements coming out from WM.

    The blame game has started and no one is safe ( unless they happen to spend billions on
    weapons ). Make no mistake, our ( Scotland ) time will be along soon. We just need to
    keep the head, and not rise to the bait.

    So sit back and enjoy the show, have a laugh ,like the rest of Europe. It is only a matter of
    time now till we will be free of these Westminster clowns.

  4. Alasdair Macdonald

    The thing about this, the Cadbury’s Easter egg tale, the continual repetition of ‘stick to the day job’, etc. is that it is not aimed at those of us who are committed to independence. They are directed at sustaining the opposition vote and preventing any slippage. They also keep the more serious matters from the front pages and from the broadcast news bulletins. The problems of the UK Government and its approach to brexit goes substantially unexamined, but the fact that, for example, Mr Alex Neill produces a paper about funding of the NHS in the next decade is portrayed as a criticism of the Scottish government. The FM’s visit to the USA is sketchily reported, if at all, and because of ‘balance’ the Tories are always allowed to shout, ‘concentrate on the day job’ and ‘waste of public money’, but no similar criticism that Mr Mundell is on an overseas trip and Mrs May is selling arms to the Saudis

  5. Andy McKirdy

    I had trouble getting the mindset of No voters in the past but now I really don’t get it.
    It must be a similar mind set that a Ned has when he smashes up a bus shelter and runs away laughing and every other normal person shakes their head and thinks really??
    Anyone who still thinks it’s a good idea to let these morons rule Scotland and exploit our resources are past any sort of help!!
    Away to put my foot through another telly!!!!!!

  6. manandboy

    Peter, the scriptural choice is perfect, given the contextual adaptation, and is entirely scholarly, with no connotation of ‘getting religion’.

    I cant imagine where the opening salvo came from, but to equate religion with superstition is, frankly, to insult many of the finest scholars who have ever lived, as well as the countless number of people whose religious belief contains not a scrap of superstition.

    But all is not lost, with the consideration that resorting to prayer might be forgiveable in view of unfolding events.
    I wish I could say the same for the sick, the handicapped, the poor and the homeless in the UK today, for under this generation of Tories, they haven’t a prayer. But should they start, it’s good to know they’ll be forgiven for it. They’ll appreciate that.

    BTW, forgiveness is the essence of the Christian religion. Superstition is nowhere to be seen.

    Glad you found your feet after Spain.

  7. Jas

    I notice all transmission bands of Minitrue are promoting remembrance of all those who fell in WW1.

    Lessons to be learned of course are not creating conflict with neighbouring countries or threatening war over small scraps of land.

    Otherwise, we would be insulting their sacrifice.

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