February 16th, 2009

intense Dr Who

Those who don't know history...

...are doomed to blab their mouths off in an ignorant and unhelpful manner.

Witness:

A couple of days ago, a BBC Radio 4 news presenter claimed that we were 'living in an age of knife crime'.

Really? This is an age in which knife crime is noticeably higher than in other historical eras, is it?

Does this guy actually have any clue at all about history?

Witness again:

Media hysteria about a 13-year-old boy who has fathered a child. Conservatives respond by shouting about how this shows that Britain is 'broken'.

Because, of course, nobody in the past ever had children until they were a good, respectable 18 years old.

Absurd. Teenage pregnancies are not a modern phenomenon. I'd go as far as to say that there are probably far fewer now than in the past. Except that in the recent past the child would have been claimed as the child of the grandparents and raised as such, allowing a convenient pretense to be maintained.

The truth is that people have bought into a myth about the past and the present, aided no doubt by the fact that history has been too often taught as a series of dates and battles and kings and queens, with very little emphasis on the lives of ordinary people.

Which is very convenient for those who want to make a ridiculous, uninformed political point out of their ignorance.