Monday, August 4, 2014

Jersey celebrates war officially yet again - whilst Italian students celebrate life and LIBERATION...Jersey 4 August 2014

It may be my jaundiced view but I am sick of celebrations of "glorious death in war".
Today it is the 1st World war yet again. Last week it was the 18th century Battle of Minden. Soon it will be the Battle of Britain again and then The First World War all over again and the drum beating of Armistice and the 11th hour of the 11th day of the Remembrance etc...
and so it goes on. The constant selling of the absurd message that somehow death for King and Country is  the proper thing - the ultimate sacrifice and all that stuff...

This evening in St Helier the "official" manipulation of the historic record was played out for the umpteenth time. There were 1500 or so  empty seats when I video recorded the proceedings in the Royal Square under the long dead gaze of King George II's golden statute. That is about the same number of Jersey men who died in combat during  the war and it is no coincidence that the empty seats looked like a battle ground graveyard of tombstones...

But does it make any difference if we remember the fallen ? After all, the ghastly  killing continues as we all know in many locations across the world.
So just why did 16 millions die from 1914 to 1919 in recorded battles? What should we be really doing NOW in Jersey to help stop the murder of innocents in Syria, the Ukraine or Gaza? Is it really helpful to dress our young people in military uniforms? Does it serve any useful response purpose to dress aged combatants in the garbs of 18th century-like pantomime characters?

Is this "orchestrated tableau" just another event for our entertainment....

Part One of my video ( just over 2 minutes long) consists of images only. There is no commentary. If you don't get it than I can do no more...but just to point out that the twelve Jersey Parishes each had chosen 12 people to follow their Constables in laying wreath. That means a total of 144 people - or a gross as we used to say in olden times - yet I was unable to find any Portuguese, Polish,  Romanian, Thai, or other notably "foreign" names on the roll call. Although the Bailiff referred to the "community" in his foreword  to the official programme - the diversity of that "community" is hardly evident here...

Part One

As the evening darkened, my video camera followed the images as they presented themselves. I did not have time to plan and I forget to load that image which showed a "Portaloo" in Church Yard and another just around the corner - presumably because St Helier is so short of public toilets that these had to be provided at short notice to satisfy the "Bailiff's Panel" for the event.
What a shame that proper toilets are not available for the public 365 days....

I did not stay for the grand finale - so these Royal Square images cease at the commencement of the main theatrical event...but I did pass by Liberation Square on my way to catch the bus - and there encountered a much more enlightened and  spontaneous manifestation.  These are images  of a group of Italian STS Students making the liberation statue come to life in a way that I have never previoulsy experienced...what a pity that the official ceremonial originators did not employ these students to organise the main event...

Part Two


  1. mike as a great man once said there is no glorious death in war just death.

  2. Great article Michael

  3. The best answer to Sam Falle, Bob Key, Philip Bailhache and all the rest of them:

  4. Bar the EFL students in Liberation Square clip, it strikes me this was an Establish men and their wives event. Yawn- The great and the good do love themselves.

  5. Shame you misrepresent this event so badly, all 1,700 seats were filled (except 10) plus 300+ more standing well before proceedings commenced. Your filming started a good hour before event commenced, I saw you lurking there! The event honoured the fallen and gave a reminder how terrible War is, something to be avoided. It was a memorable, poignant and sobering tableau, where diversity of our community was very evident. If you are going to Blog about events like this at least you should have integrity to stay for the proceedings, but at least you confess you did not.