Notepad on Life

November 24, 2010

‘ Battle of Britain ‘… are you serious?

Filed under: History,Nostalgia — - @ 9:20 am

One was a last-ditch battle against the odds; young men putting their lives on the line in the skies above south-east England to deny a fascist aggressor for whom the invasion of Britain was a done deal.

The other is a football match in Glasgow this evening, where young men will doubtless don gloves and tights to keep out the cold, spit like peasants, perform goal celebrations that would look mildly embarrassing in a kindergarten and waste no opportunity to cheat each other and the spectators who pay their wages.

One concluded with a moving and timeless tribute. The other will probably conclude with a brilliant, yet curmudgeonly manager berating officials for playing too much injury time or too little, depending on whether his team were leading or trailing at the time

One was about unimaginable self-sacrifice; the other – part of a bloated competition blatantly engineered to prevent small clubs from interfering with the earning potential of large ones – is about rampant self-interest.

Yet still, people in the media so shallow they cannot function without a trite cliche to fall back on, insist on labelling both contests ‘The Battle of Britain‘. Without irony or a shred of self-awareness.

And no-one seems to find this crass hijacking of a label that should resonate in our history, in the least bit inappropriate.

Ten days after ‘lest we forget’, we have already forgotten.


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