4 April 2010

Lions and Donkeys

Tory shadow Foreign Minister William Hague has declared that under Brown the British, 'as in World War I', have been 'lions led by donkeys'.

A couple of well regarded historical biographies have Hague's name on the cover, but he really should have asked his research assistants to check out that quote. Alan Clarke, showing that 'economy with the truth' with which he will always be associated, fabricated the alleged quote by Falkenhayn to give credibility to The Donkeys, his hatchet job on Great War generals.

Clarke occupies with reference to World War I the same status as the Nazi apologist David Irving does to World War II with his tendentious The Destruction of Dresden: he knowingly launched a blatant lie that has proved far more lastingly influential than all the careful scholarship before or since. 

It is deeply unwise of Hague to remind us of one of the sleaziest of all his colleagues during the period of Conservative supremacy. Clarke and Archer were the clearest illustrations of what a poor judge of character Margaret Thatcher was - and she liked William Hague. 

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