Poor old Cameron has really gone and shot himself in the foot by suggesting a special celebration of the start of World War one in 2014. This will be the 100th anniversary of the war and Cameron is suggesting plans for several large-scale national commemorations during the year, including school trips to the trenches and upgrades to the Imperial War Museum in London.
These decisions have come as a result of polling done by the think tank British Future, which suggested that 80% of the 17,000 people asked, wanted bells to be rung across the UK and flags to fly at half-mast. Other suggestions for the day are to reschedule football games and close all the shops. Unsurprisingly these did not score quite as highly, receiving a 50% and 45% yes vote respectively.
While celebrating the start of a horrific and bloody battle is a very unconventional way to bring the country together, it has not gone unnoticed by those less inclined towards the PM, that the event happens to take place at about the same time as the Scottish referendum for independence. This has of course led to suggestions that Cameron will try to use the event to influence the public to remain unified, as we were back then.
Any plans however, to try to use the July commemoration to keep the country unified, may in fact backfire, when the specifics of the war are considered. Statistics from the Scottish Army reveal a 26.4% casualty rate compared to 11.8% from the British Army, which dissenters are suggesting actaully supports Scotland’s desire to separate from England, as even then they were made to suffer more.
Further afield, Cameron’s European invitation to celebrate the start of hostilities with a trench festival costing £50 million have been met with ‘dismay and appall’, according to a spokesperson for the PM. Cameron, ever trying to spin things in his favor, suggests that the war ‘captures our national spirit in every corner of the country, something that says something about who we are as a people’. Some have pointed out though that if ‘who we are is a people’ is to slaughter hundreds and thousands of troops and tear up the face of Europe for 5 years to avoid diplomatic embarrasment and then celebrate doing it 100 years later, the events may not turn out in Mr. Cameron’s favour.