Tuesday 6 February 2018

We don't want to fight but by Jingo if we do...

The Great MacDermott's song was the big hit of 1877, as Britain geared up to go to war to defend Turkey from Russia in the Balkans. Here he is on YouTube!

Thus the word jingoism was coined. The Tories sympathised with the Sultan as legitimate monarch, the Liberals with the Christians for Blairite reasons.

We had no reason to fear Russia. Even had they captured Constantinople it wouldn't have mattered. The Cold War was probably not necessary but, even if it were, it is certain that Russia is no threat to Britain now.

I used to be a pro Turk a propos 1877. I am not sure now and should read about it but I think that that war, which led to Romanian independence (but Wallachia and Moldavia were de facto independent anyway), was unnecessary.  The majority of people in Eastern Thrace (which remains in Turkey) were Muslim 
and I am not sorry it is not in Greece, but the majority in Constantinople were Christian. Now I regret that, as so many hoped, Mass was not celebrated in the Hagia Sofia. Yet I regret the passing of the Ottoman Russian and Hapsburg empires. In the Middle East a democratic federal Ottoman Empire would be far better than the mess we have now.


  1. In your opinion, has there been ANY war in the history of Britain that WAS justified? Surely, Harold had nothing to fear from that fine Norman fellah William?

    To keep this within reason, we'll keep this to pre Viking incursions. Nothing to fear from those Scandi's, eh?


    1. Of course, many. The invasion of 1066: we were invaded and that was on the English side a very just war. The first Iraq war and the Falklands war in my time. I thank God Wilson kept us put of the Vietnam war but the South Vietnamese were fighting in self defence. That was a just war though I do not know if it was necessarily politic for the US to get involved.

    2. As I was taught at university the Danes were absolute swine.

    3. But though I am not a pacifist most wars and certainly most revolutions are unjust.