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Thread: 'The People's Spitfire Pilot' Engaging with history, or ghastly PC tokenism ?

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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2004

    'The People's Spitfire Pilot' Engaging with history, or ghastly PC tokenism ?

    ''To mark the occasion (RAF centenary) , the RAF Museum will open a landmark RAF Centenary Exhibition in 2018 – and the organisation wants your input on exactly what should go in. In the poll below, you can help to decide which of the many heroic Spitfire Mk V pilots the exhibition will highlight.

    The Spitfire was an efficient killing machine, with the supremely important task of repelling an invading army/airforce by shooting them out of the sky. but in voting for the Peoples Pilot '' instead of judging on how many enemy aircraft were destroyed by each pilot, the museum wants you to base your selection on which individual story captivates you the most. ''

    For example, included in the list is Flight Sergeant Collins Joseph from Trinidad, who is not credited with any victories '' but endured hardship and racism in order to do what was right. Prejudice did not weary him. He chose to fight and die for his convictions''. Or Wing Commander Ian Gleed. ''Privately, Gleed was gay, but at a time when same-sex relationships were a criminal offence he had to be discreet about his sexuality or risk court martial ''.

    I am certain that the RAF museum wish to honour them and their sacrifices, and the others on the short-list but this muddled survey, seemingly driven by PC tokenism and and a will to make history somehow 'inclusive', seems a clunky way to do it. The modern mania for getting people to vote for everything and nothing, be it singing, dancing or baking is a specious exercise, and will prove no more than the local fete voting on 'Which dog has the waggiest tale ? '.

    You might have thought that the fate of a free western civilisation hanging on the efforts of a few exhausted fighter pilots was a story compelling enough, without the need to concoct a way of making it a bit more engaging.

    Keep it simple. Just honour them all.
    Last edited by Propstrike; 14th September 2017 at 00:07.

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