Centrist Dad

When my children ask me what I did in the great war to stop climate change, what on earth will I say?

As Cop26 comes to a fudged conclusion, Will Gore draws an uncomfortable parallel

Saturday 13 November 2021 21:30
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<p>Climate activists wear masks of president Joe Biden and Boris Johnson at an anti-fossil fuel protest in Glasgow during Cop26</p>

Climate activists wear masks of president Joe Biden and Boris Johnson at an anti-fossil fuel protest in Glasgow during Cop26

Ahead of today’s Remembrance Sunday commemorations, I had cause to think of that notorious recruitment poster of 1915, which depicts a little girl asking her father: “Daddy, what did YOU do in the Great War?”

Of course, in the early stages of the First World War, patriotism and a misplaced belief that conflict would be short-lived saw a wave of willing volunteers signing up to fight. A year in, persuading new recruits to follow in their footsteps – and perhaps to share their graves – was more difficult. Emotional blackmail was just one tool in the government advertisers’ armoury.

The extent to which posters like this one were effective remains a matter of debate. They were certainly divisive, even at the time; and ultimately the efforts of recruiters could not keep pace with mounting casualties. Conscription was introduced in January 1916.

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