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Humiliating, was it?

Several readers drew my attention to a remarkable (in a bad way) article in the Left’s favourite paper, the garudain [sic!]. It has the title “Dunkirk reveals the spirit that has driven Brexit: humiliation”, written by one of their columnists, Rafael Behr.

In this article, the writer connects Dunkirk – in the news because of the remarkable film of the same name by Christopher Nolan which has just been released – with both our entry into the EU and Brexit, under the overarching theme of national humiliation and shame.

Yes, you read this right: Dunkirk was a humiliating defeat, a national shame. This shame and humiliation has eaten into our national consciousness to such an extent that we humiliated ourselves even further and joined the EU in 1973.

The mental acrobatics to see shame and humiliation in joining the EU  and now in voting for Brexit is something I, for one, am incapable of comprehending, but then I’m not a lefty intellectual.

Let’s look at some of the points raised:

According to the author Dunkirk was not, as our grandparents and parents and the contemporary media all the way up to Churchill would have us believe, a show of spirit and resistance, of ‘fighting them on the beaches’ – no: it was a military catastrophe, a humiliating retreat which does not deserve praise at all.

I find it fascinating that a left-wing columnist so totally blanks out the fact that we were fighting the actual, original fascists at that time. It would seem that we were too militaristic to even have participated … so: letting ourselves be overrun by Hitler was apparently to be preferred, because that would have been … peaceful …? What the Left simply cannot forgive is that, in the face of the military disaster which led to Dunkirk:

“the Dunkirk spirit became an emblem of national character – a metaphor for plucky survival against insuperable odds, and a benchmark for resilience.”

Good grief – resilience? Plucky survival? That’s horrible to Lefties’ ears who disdain everything and everyone that is not a ‘victim’. It’s of course par for the course that “mend and make do” is referred to in a snide undertone, but the underlying argument insinuates that the Left and by extension the EU would have loved us if we had done as the French did: let ourselves be overrun by Hitler, have a ‘Vichy Britain’ with some aristocratic Quislings: that’s true victimhood, so much better than plucky resilience!

But far worse is this:

The roots of modern Euroscepticism go deep – probably as far as adventurous historians want to excavate, through the sediment of 20th-century world wars, beyond the crust of Waterloo and the Spanish Armada, into the roiling magma where nationhood is forged.”

Nationhood – the bugbear of the Left! How embarrassed they are by it, how they denigrate it with that comparison of it’s being forged in ‘roiling magma’ – something primeval, unclean, to be despised! This refers of course to Magna Carta, that monumental document which was signed roughly 600 year before Waterloo, 800 year before the present day.

No – the Left’s heroic, pristine heights beckon where unclean nationhood, where ‘nation states’ have been done away with. Such bloody stuff like the Armada and Waterloo are best kept buried deeply ‘under sediments’: history, for the Left, is unnecessary if not downright dangerous to mention.

Here’s another strange point: for the Left, France, both Vichy France and post-war France, always gets a pass. De Gaulle is perfectly fine talking about “La Patrie” – probably because the Left doesn’t speak French and doesn’t get that ‘La Patrie’ stands for the nation, for nationhood, the thing which they so abhor when it happens to be British.

Furthermore, the Left and the Remoaners, especially the continental ones, keep going on about the British Empire: colonies bad, bad, bad – so poor, post-colonial Britain deserves to suffer for her past grandeur. To me, that sounds more like post-colonial sour grapes, especially since the Left conveniently forgets that France had nearly as large a colonial empire as Great Britain – and is still heavily militarily involved in some of her former colonies, never mind also having more foreign dependencies than the UK. But then again fairness, especially in arguments, has never been important for the Left.

One other observation on the question of ‘humiliating’ retreats: it is astonishing that those who deplore the ‘militaristic spirit’ are the same who secretly admire it when displayed by the enemy, in this case fascist Germany. Rather than retreating in ‘humiliation’, these soldiers ought to have fought to the death, or perhaps just given up, insinuates the author. However, Sun Tzu said:

“He who knows when he can fight and when he cannot, will be victorious.”

Even the author of that article concedes (with gritted teeth, one supposes) that the invasion of Normandy four years later wiped out that ‘humiliation’. It is his secret why the Dunkirk ‘humiliation’ allegedly still ‘infects’ our British psyche …

Since Mr Behr dares to mention Waterloo, I really have to point out that the 1st Duke of Wellington was a master of the retreat during the Peninsular War – which he won. Without that victory, Napoleon would not have abdicated, and Waterloo only happened because the European statesmen were too feeble to ban him to St Helena in the first place.

It is all of a piece: France and Germany cannot and never will forgive us for saving them from tyranny. They were and still are too frightened of us. They believe their hour has now finally come to punish us through Brexit – something the British Left devoutly hopes for.

I leave you with one final quote from this remarkable (in a bad way!) article:

The seeds of Brexit were thus sown with the foundations of EU membership.”

Goodness gracious me! He actually writes that there would not have been a Brexit if we hadn’t joined the EU? Well I never … ! Who’d have thought ….!

If you want one, just one, perfect indication of the woolly thinking applauded by the intellectual Left, this is it!

Photo by Edited & Posted by John A. Hansen

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About Vivian Evans (241 Articles)
Vivian is a UKIP patron, Vice Chair of UKIP Cardiff and Editor in Chief of UKIP Daily

31 Comments on Humiliating, was it?

  1. A great article Viv. How the Guardianistas would like to rewrite our history. Yes it was a massive defeat and we were outmaneuvered by a much better equipped German Army, but it was also a victory in rescuing 300,000 troops who would fight again, which they did. The one consequence of Dunkirk, was we were forced to leave behind all the crappy WWI obsolete equipment and materials, meaning all the troops had to be re-equipped with new up to date equipment.
    http://www.wwiiequipment.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=125:british-equipment-losses-at-dunkirk-and-the-situation-post-dunkirk&catid=50:other-articles&Itemid=61

  2. I clicked to that DUNGaria garblefest article you refer to, Viv, and the first thing I saw was the NADIRuga begging people for support to keep going. No wonder the RAGudian needs help when it publishes such unmitigated dross. This Rafael Behr doesn’t sound British to me, which is probably why he doesn’t know what the hell he is talking about. Those who want to reverse Brexit are the Leftie twerps who drool over arrant nonsense such as this, not ordinary Brits who knew to get out while the going was good (same instinct as at Dunkirk).

    Shame? Humiliation? There are certain people who OUGHT to be feeling these emotions: anyone still alive who helped shameful Traitor Heath hand our country over to despotic foreign powers in 1973; and the Remoaners, whose humiliating defeat last year was so richly deserved – I hope they writhe in anguish every single day. Behr is obviously one of these sick, sad, souls and his projection of his own humiliation onto those who feel none at all is a well-known psychological phenomenon in unbalanced minds.

  3. Vivian thank you for yet another amazing article which got me to thinking.

    George Orwell wrote:
    “Who Controls the past controls the future.
    Who controls the present controls the past.”

    Those who write articles like the one to which you refer have little interest in the minutia of history. Even less do they have an interest in truth. They will simply pull out of it factoids that support their argument and then embellish them with their public view (which may of course be different to their real understanding which might even be completely correct, or not).

    In this instance, they wouldn’t want anyone seeing Brexit as a humiliation for the EU now would they!

    Are we seeing Projection? Has the writer perhaps been reading a little too much Saul Alinsky?

    They like to speak in terms like ‘left’ and ‘right’ which they have succeeded in making part of our language (I call it Slinglish, short for socialist English) and wantonly ignore the irony of labelling those whose fathers fought Nazis, Nazis. Making people angry causes trouble and trouble is their stock-in-trade. (How else do you start a revolution?)

    So labelling Dunkirk, a stunningly successful strategic planned withdrawal, a humiliation should come as no surprise. In truth letting our army run away to fight another day (which they did and then some!) was a major setback for the Nazis and nothing short of a humiliation for Hitler.

    I see this struggle we are in as an information war between democracy and feudalism and words are the weapons of this war.

    In Slinglish feudalism is Marxism, Socialism, Communism, Globalism … Of course in Slinglish ‘democracy’ is feudalism as well! (My favourite example is the good old GDR, the German ‘Democratic’ Republic). Also in Slinglish, real democracy is Nationalism, Populism etc. and the people who support it are being ‘undemocratic’ and of course, let’s not forget their favourite, ‘right wing’!

    I call feudalism the ancient order of man because it has held sway almost throughout human history. It is the structure on which many countries (especially in the Middle East if you get my drift) all armies, most businesses, and all criminal gangs run.

    Keeping it out is always going to be more difficult than letting it in.

    Those who have been following US politics of late may have noticed that the Democratic party seems strangely antipathetic to democracy, but, or so it seems, not to crime.

  4. Thanks for nudging me, Thomas.
    Don’t worry, Thatcherite economics is in there somewhere!

    Regrettably the Iron Duke, who contrary to popular conception respected his soldiers a great deal, represented all the forces of privilege and reaction which became the Tory party and morphed into Mrs T, Anthony, Tomaz, Gary et al, whereas he should have listened to Cobbett and the Chartists.

    The broad sweep of history …

  5. Sorry to bore everybody else.

    I didn’t say “the British alone broke the Imperial Guard”, Stout – I said “Wellington’s Army”, ie the Allied Army of which he was Commander-in-Chief, and which did not include the Prussian Army.

    Yes Napoleon was defeated by a coalition, but you seem to want to forget that Britain lead the fight against Revolutionary and Napoleonic France consistently over 22 years till the very end, and played the major part in winning Waterloo.

    We can be justifiably proud of that.

  6. George Orwell knew his fellow Labourites well. His verdict about them was to pronounce that “England must be the only country whose intellectuals loathe the country they were born into.

  7. Sonya Jay Porter // July 27, 2017 at 12:39 pm // Reply

    Viv! You are brilliant, thanks.

  8. BACKGROUND TO DUNKIRK
    The French had built a magnificent fortified wall from Switzerland to the ‘militarily impassable’ Ardennes. For some reason the French political military elite thought they would be able to deal with any incursions from Belgium into Nord Pas de Calais. For some reason hard to understand esp given the lightning pincer attacks by Germany against Poland leading to that country’s defeat, “everybody” expected a slogging match. The BEF was in position in France and requested access to Belgium and Netherlands to develop defence in depth. The Dutch refused point blank and stated they were neutral as per the Great War; the Belgians hesitated and were under the confused hope that this time Germany would not use it as a short cut.
    Adolf “cheated” firstly by invading the Netherlands with a post dated ultimatum (reason – to prevent British using country to attack in the rear); it was all over in a few days and the Dutch have been in shock ever since.
    Secondly the best armoured divisions in the world Von Runstedt’s Panzer Divisions under Von Bock’s VI Army broke into Belgium with the specific intent of luring the BEF northwards. Unfortunately this succeeded and the British were outmanouvred in open territory. the speed and deadliness of the German attacks led to the BEF making a controlled retreat towards Dunkirk and despite some heavy losses. Meanwhile the French Grand Armee went into total rout and fled leading the road to Paris wide open. The French government panicked and fled with chaos everywhere. the german blitzkrieg had worked and the French de facto capitualed and sued for terms under Marshall Petain ( an honourable man). General de Gaulle effectively committed treason by refusing to accept defeat and put himself at the disposal of the British.
    Dunkirk was an extraordinary moment in our island saga even Churchill thought the best case scenario was 50,000 evacuated. My own opinion is that irrespective Britain would not have surrendered no matter the outcome. One reason for this was the strength and fighting spirit of the Royal Navy which would have prevented a german Armada; and also the immense good fortune of the two great inventions – The Spitfire and the Hawker Hurricane.Well done R.J. Mitchell and Sydney Camm. One last point credit to the plucky Durham Light Infantry who together with the Coldstream Guards (Geordies) held up the Dunkirk perimeter defence to allow the evacuation – many paid the ultimate price.
    The Groaniad article by cosmopolitan Rafael Behr is unworthy of anyone who claims to be a political commentator let alone anyone attempting political history.

  9. Thanks Viv.
    Many like Rafael Behr have good reason to be thankful for British nationalism, the last vestiges of which they so like to decry.
    The 1940 expedition was of course itself an overall disaster, but the BEF’s near-miraculous deliverance galvanized the country and laid the foundations for final victory.
    Both Hitler and Napoleon would have thoroughly approved of the EU, even if they couldn’t be in charge themselves.

  10. An excellent deconstruction. One small point though about Waterloo. The English and French had fought each other to a standstill until von Blücher’s army turned up and tipped the balance. Wellington himself called it “the closest run thing” even with two armies against Napoleon.

    • To be sure it was a close-run thing, but Waterloo needn’t have happened had the Vienna Conference not been so lenient to poor old Napoleon and ‘banned’ him just to Elba.
      It’s also often forgotten that Wellington did not have his well-trained Army in Belgium which was forged in the Peninsular War. Many of his best regiments had been dispatched to the USA and only just made it back thanks to the initiative of some Royal Navy captains. Wellington described his army in Belgium thus:
      “I have got an infamous army, very weak and ill-equipped, and a very inexperienced staff.” – compare and contrast with the bevy of battle-hardened marshals Napoleon was able to field. Not that Napoleon was happy with his leaders either. when the counselled caution, he told them off, saying ‘you’re all afraid of Wellington because he beat you in Spain …’
      Yes, it was close-run, but todays lefty historians like to depict Napoleon as underdog, with Wellington’s as half of a juggernaut, insinuating he should’ve won on his own with the just the British forces …

      • Except he didn’t win just on his own. I appreciate the left’s view of history needs to be countered and I am not detracting from your excellent article. Just making a small point of detail mainly for the benefit of commentors one reads who have a simplified and exaggerated view of British prowess.

    • Endlessly debateable, Stout. The balance had probably already passed when Blucher turned up.
      But his arrival certainly made the victory overwhelming.

      • Except in Wellington’s own account it had not. A last French attack had been repulsed but Wellington’s army were then beyond counter-attacking. We are, I am afraid, beholden to the Prussians.

        • We’re beholden only up to a point. Wellington and Bluecher were in constant contact, and Wellington would not have chosen that battlefield at Waterloo had he not been able to rely on Bluecher: that’s what being in an alliance means.
          The EU Left now tries to make out as if Wellington was haplessly floundering, on the brink of defeat, had Bluecher not turned up. That was not the case: carefully chosen battlefield (which W. had of course already well reconnoitred himself in the year before), carefully chosen disposition of the British Forces, and all that from the retreat the day before at Quatre Bras.
          W. and B.knew full well that Napoleon would try and split their armies. It did not happen. Personally, I also doubt that either of them thought they were seeing the final battle – that only became apparent when the Imperial Guard fled in disarray, which was not caused by Bluecher’s arrival but by the force and determination of the British infantry, defending in their famous squares.

        • Stout,

          The Duke ordered the general advance as soon as the Imperial Guard was repulsed, which the Prussians’ arrival on the flank had obviously facilitated. The original French attacks had been held however and the Guard broken by Wellington’s army alone.

          “I should not do justice to my own feelings, or to Marshall Blucher and the Prussian Army, if I did not attribute the successful result of this arduous day to the cordial and timely assistance received from them.” It was, as Viv, says, an allied army, the battle part of a wider campaign of which the Prussians were an integral and essential component.

          The British and the French had not “fought each other to a standstill” and the British were certainly not “beyond counter-attacking” – because they did.

          That’s all we can usefully say, I suggest. The rest is opinion.

          • It was an allied army. It was not just Prussians but also the First Netherlands Corp under The Prince of Orange and others. It is nonsense to say the British alone broke the Imperial Guard. The historian Andrew Fields writes that under attack “the allied centre was now in serious danger of breaking”. “It was at this moment that the timely arrival of the Dutch General Chassé turned the tide in favour of the Anglo-allied army”. Others point to the Prussians turning the tide. What you call a counter-attack was pursuit of retreating French AFTER other armies in the coalition had their effect. No-one except mythologisers says it was the British alone.

            Napoleon was defeated by a coalition. We, the British, did not beat Napoleon. Had it just been us we would have lost not that Wellington would have fought. He only agreed to the battle after Prussian support.

  11. I just don’t listen to lefties, I’m not interested in hearing what they have to say anymore.
    We’ve been threatened with dire consequences for leaving the EU, Hammond was at it again yesterday, there was always going to be a bit of disruption, but we’ll get over it.
    Britain already had a global network and during my travels, I’ve always had the feeling they’d welcome us back, albeit on different terms; this is proving to be the case.
    The left are terrified, because BREXIT has the potential to throw the whole world economy in a totally different direction. In a few years time these lefties are going to be exposed for the frauds that they are, the EU will fade into insignificance before it finally dissolves into nothing.
    Unfortunately though, I think there will be trouble as the left and right confront each other, the desperate left won’t give up without a fight and we must be prepared for it.

    • So why should they ever listen to you, Flyer?

      Any disinterested person reading this and others of your posts isn’t going to get a very good impression of UKIP, are they?

      Not all ‘lefties’ are Remainers – quite the contrary. Your real target should be the complacent Tories who have betrayed this country for far too long – they’re far more dangerous.

      • Q if Viv and the team allow a Know It All like yourself to comment on here, then as long as Viv is happy to have Flyer write articles and comments, why don’t you just let him have his say.

        • We all believe in free speech, John.

          The trouble is Flyer and a few others bring us into disrepute with intemperate Breitbartain language and opinions.
          If we become indelibly associated with extremism in UKIP than we have no future with the electorate.

          ‘Know it all’? – like just about everybody else on here, you mean. OK my opinions are pretty direct and unequivocal, but they have to be in order to counter all the illogicality and confusion which confronts us and to which these pages are not immune.

          Attack me on the substance by all means.

          • The UKIP leadership has proved itself more than capable of bringing it into disrepute…

            Time to waken up to the threats from the invader, our own government and the possibility of a Corbyn government driving the last nail.

        • Q seems overcome lately with a bout of the P C terrors, John, he forgets that freedom of speech is still tenuously hanging on in Britain – happily alive and well on UKIP Daily, and Flyer posts many interesting articles, often from a wider perspective. He also seems to think that those who don’t share his views are somehow wrong! Or to give that impression. But I forgive him because he supports Anne Marie! x

          • A couple of posts by Quercus not mentioning Thatcherite economics.

            Save those for posterity.

          • Don’t we all, Dee?!

            My concern is to help UKIP, Flyer wants to “damn it”, to quote him.

            Your kind thoughts reciprocated x

          • Hi Dee – No I don’t think that those that don’t share my views are wrong, but I am getting fed up with this constant bombardment of propaganda. I think we’re in a very frightening situation.

            Looking at the US, the left there won’t accept a democratically elected president that has a lot of support, if they go too far there will be trouble.

            Added to which, the democrats or left seem intent on provoking Russia into a fight, this war between left and right then is polarising the world. We’re in a very similar situation here in the UK, Europe is a powder keg and there are now too many hot-spots where WW3 could kick off. China vs India, North Korea, Russia, too many places in the Middle East and the US all over the place. The fault-lines actually run through the US, Europe and the UK.

            I may seem opinionated sometimes, but I don’t like what I see, I’m a bit forceful with my views, but we’re going to have to face reality sooner or later and then all this propaganda won’t mean much.

            I live in a remote part of the world where I can survive, I’m out of the way. This doesn’t make me feel much better as I worry about my family, my country and you lot. That’s why I write what I do, politics isn’t my thing really, I’m looking forward to the day when I can ignore it again. I’d like to just concentrate on hunting, fishing, sailing, flying, scuba-diving, women, wine and song, I’m not really interested in much else.

          • Dear Flyer, my post was referring to Q, not you. As far as I have observed you are open to debate, though sometimes exasperated!

      • Quercus I agree with you about complacent Tories who have betrayed this country for far too long. They are dangerous because they tell us, the electorate, what they think we want to hear. When they have enough ‘bums on seats’ in parliament to form a government they conveniently forget what we elected them to do. That said, Labour is just as bad – Corbyn has very nearly pulled off one of the biggest hoodwinks ever over student fees. As to the Libdems it sticks in my craw to say anything positive about them, but I have to admit that they are only ones who appear to say what they mean and mean what they say about the EU; at least we know that they would keep us shackled to the EU for ever.

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