The late Flann O’Brien, a.k.a. “Myles na Gcopaleen,,” ,was a Divil for strong Beverages. But he had no stomach at all for Sir William Beveridge, the British Civil Servant whose 1942 Report largely inspired Britain’s Welfare State. In one of his less funny Irish Times column he attacked it. I don’t know whether O’Brien’s reactionary stance arose from his schooling in Blackrock, alma-mater both of the Ragged-Trousered Philanthropist Sir Bob Geldof and the former Education Minister Ruairi “Ho Chi” Quinn. One of Beveridge’s aims was the elimination of ignorance. Geldof and Quinn are woefully ignorant of history and Quinn peddles the discredited canard that the Second World War was described in Ireland as “The Emergency.”
The report that a London schoolgirl who went to Syria to fight against its Government (like many British and US Servicemen) where she had seen an adult human head in a bucket, reminded me of seeing a press photo of a British soldier holding the severed head of an alleged “terrorist” in Malaya during the “EMERGENCY” which lasted from 1948 until 1960.
Had the British described their bloody campaign there as a War, they would have had to pretend to abide by the Geneva Convention. But they had free rein and they employed chemical warfare to defoliate the jungle, created concentration camps described as protected villages, starvation, torture , aerial bombing, invented the “body-count” as the measure of success of winning hearts and minds. Military units competed at head-hunting and showing their trophies.
Malaya is very rich in resources, expropriated by the British. It is particularly rich in rubber and tin, acknowledged by the Attlee Government as vital for Britain. Calling their War a War would have sent Insurance premiums through the roof, discomfiting to a Nation of Shopkeepers. Calling it an Emergency soothed their material concerns let them get away with murder most foul.
Britain’s Welfare State would not have been possible without the continued robbery of the lesser breeds. The robbery of Iranian oil, for instance, and the installation of the corrupt and tyrannous Shah.
Most Britons never saw the guilt for the gingerbread or how they might be balanced
Seventy-seven years since Sir William Beveridge’s Report Official Britain and her Irish sycophants have made little progress in combatting historical ignorance – a lethal enemy.