The antidote to nationalistic poison…you can’t win ’em all

Battle of Medway: The English defeat that’s largely forgotten

Still relevant to our modern times.

“The problem is that our naval history inevitably focuses on the wars we won and the great heroes who fought in them,” said historian Dr David Davies.

“By any criterion, it’s one of the worst British defeats of all time.

“Personally, I’d say it’s important to know about it in this country as an antidote to triumphalism – the idea that English, and then British, history has been a largely unbroken succession of victories.

“Nothing brings home that message more clearly than an attack which brought enemy ships right into the heart of the country’s main naval base, and which saw the fleet flagship towed away as a trophy.”


That’s pretty much the Left’s approach to Britain and British history…everything that Britain did is bad and if not, never mind, they’ll write it up as bad anyway.  The BBC is a fellow traveller on this journey of historical revisionism and relativity.  We can’t have any pride in Britain, no celebrating ‘Britishness’ [might offend, alienate or marginalise ‘the other’], no Union flags, no national identity or loyalty….poisonous concepts that need an antidote.

Of course Britain hasn’t contributed anything to the world, if you discount sport, science, engineering, exploration, knowledge of the world, Art, literature, culture, language, Monty Python, and of course the BBC…who could forget them eh?

As for triumphalism?  What’s not to like…we thrashed the tyrant Napoleon and freed Europe from his ‘union’ [oh…that’s what they don’t like], the Kaiser’s grand plan for the EU stopped in its jackboots [oh sorry BBC] and Hitler’s blitzkrieg to unify Europe blasted [again…sorry BBC].   Not to mention the Japs nuked, the Boers and Zulus crushed, eventually and oh yes…slavery abolished in the enlightened West….and the biggest empire the world has ever seen, mostly harmless, benevolent and enriching [arguably]…and all accidental sort of. And of course we brought down the Soviet empire and its Berlin Wall…and kicked the Argies in the Junta so that they’re a democracy now.

Rule Britannia!  Make her great again!

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39 Responses to The antidote to nationalistic poison…you can’t win ’em all

  1. Wild says:

    I have heard about the Battle of Medway. I am pretty sure most educated Britain’s have – however vaguely. I have also heard of the Battle of Hasting, Dunkirk, and the Dardanelles as well. Dr David Davies is an idiot. The universities are full of them.

    Some of us have even heard of lifting of the Siege of Orleans by Joan of Arc, and my Look and Learn told me all about the Battle of Castillon – the final battle of the Hundred Years War. I am not very interested in military history, but I can spot an idiot.


    • Helena Hand-Basket says:

      Quite true, Wild. Davies is deluded if he thinks the British are triumphalist. We’ve always been renowned for celebrating our heroic disasters. Most of you will be familiar with Alfred, Lord Tennyson’s 1854 work The Charge of the Light Brigade. Verse five:

      Cannon to the right of them,
      Cannon to the left of them,
      Cannon behind them
      Volleyed and thundered;
      Stormed at with shot and shell.
      While horse and hero fell,
      They that had fought so well
      Came through the jaws of Death,
      Back from the mouth of hell,
      All that was left of them,
      Left of six hundred.

      Dunkirk too has had poems written about it, notably Dunkirk 1940 by Idris Davies, which ends:

      Three hundred thousand warriors
      From Hell to Home they came,
      In the little ships, the little ships
      Of everlasting fame.

      British patriotism is unconditional – we accept it’s not a perfect country, but it’s ours. We are noticeably self-deprecating when compared to Australia (where I’ve lived for several years). The presenters on the commercial TV channels are given to rather cheesy expressions like: ‘And here’s the weather in this great country of ours!’ They openly state that they are ‘the greatest country in the world’. Frankly, it’s irritating, but some would say it’s a healthier attitude than England’s constant self-criticism.

      Mind you, the Aussie intelligentsia and the state-funded ABC TV channel are as bad as the BBC – very multicultural, and scornful of the white Aussies they view as racist, drunken chavs who stole Aboriginal land. I’m afraid we’re following Britain down the Islamification and political correctness road.


      • Yasser Dasmibehbi says:

        It’s the same across the Tasman Helena. People here are nowhere near as self-deprecating as the Brits.
        Not much self criticism here. Except of course their ‘appalling’ record of race relations but that is generally put down to their British heritage. “It’s them poms’ fault”
        But having said that I do like the self confidence and gutsy attitude which I like to think is their most valuable Brit heritage. And while PC does has a strong grip in Australasia (through their BBC -like state broadcasters) Their is a strong possibility they will learn something by watching Europe go down the Islamic abyss. And hopefully Britain does too. Though recent events do not cheer me exactly.
        I seem to remember George Orwell writing about the Brits annoying habit of putting themselves down in his essay ‘The Lion and the Unicorn” . It may have been the same essay where he wrote of the future danger of Scottish Nationalism. It was over fifty yeas before the establishment woke up to it.


    • GRIM REAPER says:

      Well…Owen Jones is an Oxford graduate…..the boy Jones [ 14 1/2 ] is living proof, along with Abbott and others of a drop in standards at Oxbridge….too many Howard Kirks infest our Uni’s now..poisoning the minds of the young….


      • tamimisledus says:

        Wasn’t it Cambridge which nurtured the Cambridge Five?
        Plus ca change, …… plus c’est la meme chose.

        Nowadays it’s Owen, Mary Beard, plus feminist and non-white “historians” (amongst others) who want to create a revisionist view of British history and British achievements.


  2. Edward says:

    The BBC has churned out anti-British content ever since I can remember. I was always suspicious of the BBC even when I was a naïve youngster. I could never put my finger on how to describe my feelings towards the BBC until I heard someone say; “That insults my intelligence.”

    The BBC insults my intelligence on a daily basis, but the common theme is anti-Britishness.


    • Yasser Dasmibehbi says:

      Spot on Edward!


    • Emmanuel Goldstein says:

      I remember a long time ago when the BBC would show programs such as ‘The Valiant Years’ which was an account of WW2.

      In those days the recognisable Received Pronunciation brought a comfort and the BBC was a trusted supplier of news.

      Just look at how far it has fallen. It’s now a disgrace and any of the earlier generations which spent lifetimes building up a reputation for honest news would be heartily sickened at the far left, biased, manipulating and misinforming political monolith it has decayed into.


    • Scroblene says:

      It’s a valve (like a whelk) in the uniformity they have up there in W1A.

      Snarl at normal people.
      We know better.
      We’re ‘journalists’ so you have to listen.
      You pay us, so we’re right, aren’t we.

      Feck off; tossers the lot of them, all silly lefty prats and not worth a knat’s widdle.

      We at The Turrets don’t bother to turn on the news these days as they’re an absolute disaster, with thick presenters and thick autocue readers.

      Much the happier for all this, except for the government fine for not paying, but we’re God-fearing and quite old, and don’t want some armed police arriving here by the roses and weigela near our gorgeous front door.


  3. Pounce says:

    I’ve mentioned this before regards the article in question. I spent the first 3 years of my army career in Chatham./ chattenden. I know all about the history of the battle and what is left out about the greatest British naval defeat is that we were skint. So skint in fact that virtuallly the entire fleet was laid up without crews in Rochester., which is how the Dutch manage to inflict so much damage and sail away with so many price cargoes. Upnor Castle has an exhibition going regards that battle and on the anniversary they host a weekend reenactment , so not exactly hiding the fact. As for needing to be reminded as an antidote to triumphalism. What does he think Nov 11 is all about. It’s where we remember those who lost their lives in many battles that we and the enemy lost.


    • Rob in Cheshire says:


      Chatham was an odd place for a soldier to be posted. Was there an army barracks there as well as the naval base?


      • Pounce says:

        Rob wrote:
        Chatham was an odd place for a soldier to be posted. Was there an army barracks there as well as the naval base?

        Chatham is the home of the Royal Engineers. Brompton BKs actually sits on the hill behind the Old Naval Docks. I was first based at Kitchener Bks (across the road from Brompton Bks) and then across the water at Chattenden (just above Upnor) I also did my Combat Support Boat course at Upnor.


        • Rob in Cheshire says:

          Very interesting. I expect they put the army there to help deter the Dutch! I hope the army got on well with the navy?

          I expect it has all gone now. We don’t need defences any more, just land to build houses for all the new people.


          • NCBBC says:

            just land to build houses for all the new people.

            The RoP invaders I suppose.


  4. Oaknash says:

    I am afraid national pride is a luxury that only those who care for their country and culture can afford to “waste” energy on. If however you are one of these “ciitzens of the world” with no sense of place and your loyalties lie with global corporations and corrupt organisations such as the EEC then national pride needs to be crushed and disparaged at every opportunity because it stands in the way of multi national profits and people and cultures are merely components to be moved around the machine wherever they are required.

    It is essential to break national pride so the population as a whole is less cohesive and therfore more willing to be moved around to where needed.

    And if you break the machine beyond repair then you always just walk away quite easily never having emotionally invested in it yourself.

    As for the BBC in all of this – words truly fail me. But it is probably time they “revisited” the word British ” in their title. This snake pit of thieves and traitors has become beyond a joke.


    • theisland says:

      “ … no sense of place and your loyalties lie with global corporations and corrupt organisations such as the EEC …”

      This exactly describes the manipulative, greedy and corrupt “Blairites” – the majority of our MPs, civil servants, lawyers etc. and of course the BBC.

      To be fair, these traitors fall into two categories – some of them are just thick, like the students interviewed by Luke Nash-Jones on the Uncle ‘Joe’ Corbyn thread.

      As for Dr Davies, I am unfamiliar with his work, but as chairman of the Naval Dockyards Society I’m prepared to give him the benefit of the doubt – see also

      However, the vile Beeb machine will lazily jump on anything out of context to denigrate our nation.


  5. Yasser Dasmibehbi says:

    Actually I have been thinking about the battle of the Medway a lot recently. Especially after the Dutch said they were going to elect Geert Wilders and get out of the EU. Then boldly ran away.

    The battle itself was a daring audacious and successful raid. The courage and the skill shown deserves admiration. In the seventeenth century we fought three wars against the Dutch. A worthy foe. Then.
    Today I would say it is the Dutch who should be remembering a time when they had a bit more oomph, instead of cowering down before the EU and Islam.


  6. Yob says:

    As I sit here having accessed the Internet (Invented by an Englishman) I first had to navigate my way here using my programmable computer (Invented by an Englishman) I often wonder where we’d be, if we’d left inventions to the lefts chosen creed….

    Still in the seventh Century perhaps?


    • NCBBC says:

      The “allah ackbaring” barbarians of Arabia ( this does not include Iraq, Iran and Syria), would be in 300 BC were it not for the Greeks and Romans, who brought some civic values to that lot.

      Arabia was and still is, empty of everything except sand.


      • Yob says:

        And Allah…Never forget Allah, our forthcoming overlord….According to the BBC that is..


        • MarkyMark says:

          I had a vision/dream/surreal moment where I would hold up the letters “UNTS” after the spire of a mosque and wonder what it would mean. The crescent shape of the symbol joining the letters to form some hidden message or meaning. Alas, the vision faded and I was left confused.
          Safe dreams all and my thoughts go out to those suffering throughout the world – and hope that we can reduce suffering where possible.


          • MarkyMark says:

            Of course you could demonstrate against FGM and MGM with this idea. Feminists could hold up a placard with separate lines for “HANDS” “OFF” “OUR” “UNTS”, where the missing letter has a cutout gap where the crescent of the moon can go, to complete the word.
            Powerful stuff, and a great photographic opportunity.
            This demonstration placard also works for “OCKS” for Male Genital Mutilation.

            An added bonus is that when the letter is absent from UNTS and OCKS, the placard isn’t offensive.


  7. MarkyMark says:

    Or we could teach history like they do in India as a comparison, as I found out recently whilst watching Indian NDTV one night which also showed 10 to 20 people from the town helping a Priest/Man digging a hole in the road to find Lord Shiva – they gave up when the Lord Shiva didn’t arrive, but the police did and took him away for obstructing the traffic.

    “In what can only be described as a complete distortion of history, a social science textbook believed to have been taught to 50,000 students in the western Indian state of Gujarat declared that Japan had launched a nuclear attack on the US during World War Two. Officials said the textbooks, which also got the date of Mahatma Gandhi’s assassination wrong, would be corrected. However, officials had also said that the textbooks currently in circulation would not be recalled.”
    “A donkey is like a housewife..” [ dated 2015-09-23]

    But don’t worry they are trying to correct the books since, and after two years with 27 sub-committees:
    “About 325 titles had to be reviewed ‘under the stewardship of renowned litterateur Baragur Ramachandrapp’ by 27 sub-committees with 185 members and the *mistakes still remained*.”
    “Yet, endless blunders remained including missing definitions of ribosomes; mis-numbered and wrongly arranged pages and; numerous spelling and factual errors like spelling Persian Gulf as ‘Presian Gulf’ …”

    This is happening now folks, and remember all those old books are still circulating and being taught today.


  8. NCBBC says:

    The poison in the nations bloodstream is Islam.

    Jihadis are not the problem. In fact, they are alerting us to the coming existential crisis. Muslim population growth is several times larger then European rates. In less then 50 years, Muslims will be a majority. And that’s that. Sharia, and the end of Western civilisation.

    As the Muslim population increases, attacks will get more frequent, with “moderate“ Muslim demands that the state give more to the “marginalised” Muslim youth, or they will become even more radicalised. And so on. The more you give to the so-called moderates, the more our society will become Islamic. Moderate and radical Muslims play the good cop bad cop routine.

    As the late Laurence Auster wrote:

    Islam is a mortal threat to our civilization.
    But we cannot destroy Islam.· ·
    Nor can we democratize Islam.· ·
    Nor can we assimilate Islam.· ·
    Therefore the only way to make ourselves safe from Islam is to separate ourselves

    Till then, we will continue to pay the price in blood. I have no idea why.


  9. Nibor says:

    The battle is mentioned in the Ladybird history series .


  10. Guest Who says:

    Catch up is a bit thin at the moment, so missus has us watching ‘Vikings’.

    Requisite amounts of gore, T&A, but no todger or sapphic sub plots… as yet.

    Interesting that the ‘hero’ is a noble Norse who comes over here and doesn’t approve of the raping, cool on the pillaging and adept at the blood spilling, all warranted as every. single. Englishman. be they kind, soldier or serf is a swanky, two-faced coward.


  11. BigBrotherCorporation says:

    Whilst on a nautical history theme – I remember being ‘taught’ at school that Francis Drake was the ‘very worst kind of Englishman – a merciless pirate and slaver’ to quote my History teacher at the time.

    A couple of years ago I picked up a seondhand (’50s) book about Drake and his ‘cousin’ Hawkins, can’t recall the name of the author, but like many books written during that era it turned out to be incredibly well researched and no-nonsense. My eyes were opened as they say, and after reading everything else I can lay my hands on about ‘England’s Greatest Sea Captain’, I’m on something of a personal crusade to salvage the poor blighter’s reputation. This may not be news to some here, but seems Drake was the target of a character assassination by trendy, lefty academics in the late 60s thru 80s, most of whom don’t seem to have had a clue about him, but just kept on regurgitating the same old drivel they’d been fed by others of their ilk – which makes you query their credentials as ‘Historians’ doesn’t it?

    The irony is that Drake may have started out his swashbuckling career as a trainee slaver under the care of the older Hawkins, but he quickly turned gamekeeper, and started campaigning on behalf of the ‘black man’, and AGAINST slavery and racism, he actually may be one of the first anti-slavery, anti-racist campaigners in history. One of the Colonial Spanish Government’s main complaints against him in the New World, was that he was ‘loved by the blacks’, because he ‘broke their chains and set them free, and treated with them as equals’. Add to this his well attested chivalric character and generosity towards the ‘victims’ of his ‘piracy’ (actually Royally sanctioned privateering as part of the ‘cold war’ between Queen Elizabeth I and the King of Spain leading up to the Armadas), and it’s very hard to see how, or why, he was the target of this character attack?


  12. Cranmer says:

    ‘…the idea that English, and then British, history has been a largely unbroken succession of victories.’
    Pray tell me, when has this idea ever been taught to British people?
    Certainly not for fifty years, at least, since cultural marxism took over as the religion of these islands.
    Even before that, the British acknowledged their defeats, most notably at Balaclava, Gallipoli and Dunkirk.
    Churchill was so haunted by Gallipoli that he had grave doubts about the invasions of France and Italy in WW2.
    The reason these small incursions are not generally known about is because they were not successful! They did not result in any overall defeat or change of government. They are not, for example, like the Battle of Waterloo because no decisive political change occurred as a result of them.


    • johnnythefish says:

      ‘…the idea that English, and then British, history has been a largely unbroken succession of victories.’
      Pray tell me, when has this idea ever been taught to British people?
      Certainly not for fifty years, at least, since cultural marxism took over as the religion of these islands.

      Well said.


      • NCBBC says:

        ‘…the idea that English, and then British, history has been a largely unbroken succession of victories.’
        Pray tell me, when has this idea ever been taught to British people?
        Certainly not for fifty years, at least, since cultural marxism took over as the religion of these islands.

        At this time though, its good to propagate this “victorious over all” message.

        True or not, its a fact that even France and Germany acknowledge – Britain has won the Global war of Culture, despite the best efforts of both to oppose it.


        • NCBBC says:

          As an afterthought. Islam has always been at war with Christendom. And as Britain, and later its daughter USA, have won the Global Cultural war, it will be for us to defeat Islam.

          If we assume the above, then it is not surprising that the present leaders of Germany and France are opposed to Britain and the USA.

          It is quite likely that in we, along with Russia and Eastern European countries, will have to go back to Germany and France, to liberate from the new Fascism of Islam.


  13. theisland says:

    Breathes There a Man – Canto VI
    by Sir Walter Scott

    Breathes there the man with soul so dead,
    Who never to himself hath said,
        ‘This is my own, my native land!’
    Whose heart hath ne’er within him burn’d
    As home his footsteps he hath turn’d
        From wandering on a foreign strand?
    If such there breathe, go, mark him well;
    For him no Minstrel raptures swell;
    High though his titles, proud his name,
    Boundless his wealth as wish can claim;
    Despite those titles, power, and pelf,
    The wretch, concentred all in self,
    Living, shall forfeit fair renown,
    And, doubly dying, shall go down
    To the vile dust from whence he sprung,
    Unwept, unhonour’d, and unsung.


  14. amoorhouse says:

    So our esteemed historian doesn’t think people know anything about the following?

    New Orleans
    Buenos Aires
    The Channel dash

    There are more. I’m sure people whose relatives were involved do. In modern education they don’t even teach the victories anymore. What chance do the defeats have?


  15. John Standley says:

    I suspect not many know much about the battle at the Gates Of Vienna in 1683, where a Polish army defeated the muzlim invasion of Europe. Doubtless, the BBC will be covering this one soon.

    All pigs fueled and armed and ready for take-off……


  16. StewGreen says:

    Battle of Medway was covered last week on R4 “The English Pearl Harbour”
    The way the Dutch fleet came right up the River Medway direct to the British base
    ..trashed loads of British ships and made off with the British flagship all the way to Holland.