Cambridge history professor Sir Richard Evans: ‘Michael Gove is a donkey who pretends to be a lion’
Sir Richard also hit out at the commemorative Lord Kitchener coin
The Cambridge history professor dragged into a row with Michael Gove over his interpretation of First World War history has hit out at him once more, labelling him a "donkey".
Sir Richard Evans, who made the headlines earlier this month after being on the receiving end of “an ignorant attack” from the Education Secretary, made further stinging remarks in an interview with Cambridge student newspaper Varsity.
In reference to the fact that the soldiers of the First World War are often described as “lions led by donkeys”, he said: “I think in this respect of his proposed national history curriculum, Mr Gove is definitely a donkey. A donkey who pretends to be a lion.”
Sir Richard also lambasted a new commemorative £2 coin displaying the image of Lord Kitchener, branding it “inappropriate”.
“The image simply conjures up patriotic mobilisation. We need to think more carefully and in a more grown-up way about the First World War,” says Evans, who warns that the coin could shut down public debate.
He added: “Obviously there are a lot of different points of view over whose head to include on a commemorative coin. I don’t think it should be railroaded through.”
He supports the recent petition started by Sheffield Labour councillor Sioned-Mair Richards, who wants to replace Kitchener’s image with that of Nurse Edith Cavell: “Her action was not one of narrow patriotism. She helped many different kinds of soldiers of different nationalities. Her famous statement is ‘patriotism is not enough.”
Despite his general support for the Government’s centenary commemoration plans, the occasion has refueled tensions between Sir Richard and Mr Gove, who has publically claimed the First World War was fought for values of freedom and democracy.
“A lot of letters and diaries of the soldiers who took part in it have been released. They conceived themselves as fighting to defend the British Empire, not what Mr Gove says are western liberal democratic values.”
“We have to remember that Britain was not a democracy in 1914. 40 percent of adult males did not have the right to vote,” he added.
Of his public spat with Mr Gove, he said: “I played a very public part in criticizing his personal draft national history curriculum for the schools, which he was then obliged to withdraw, and I don’t think he’s forgiven me for that.”
Disgruntled RBS worker writes hilarious open letter to Russell Brand after anti-capitalist publicity stunt leaves him hungry
Shock poll shows voters believe Ukip is to the left of the Tories
Nigel Farage's approval rating hits 'record low' as popularity suffers in wake of Ukip sex scandal
Nigel Farage defends Kerry Smith 'ch***y' comment: 'If you are going for a Chinese, what do you say you’re going for?'
Ukip candidate jokes about 'shooting peasants' in racist and homophobic rant
Pakistan school attack live: Taliban kill at least 132 children in 'horrifying' massacre
- 1 Nigel Farage: Me vs Russell Brand on Question Time – he's got the chest hair but where are his ideas?
- 2 Harry Potter fans can apply to the Hogwarts-inspired College of Wizardry
- 3 Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
- 4 Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
- 5 Orange Wednesdays are no more
£20000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A highly reputable business is looking to rec...
£25000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Join a fast growing software co...
£20k + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Graduate / Digital Account Exe...
£18k: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Junior Designer / Design Graduate to join...