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Yikes! Many Britons Woefully Ignorant

Back in July I wrote a post about British schools stripping Winston Churchill from its history curriculum. Well, it seems that British schools haven't been teaching about Winston Churchill for quite some time because almost a quarter, 23% to be exact, of Britons think he's a myth, a fictional character, but believe Sherlock Holmes is real. Shocking but true:

Britons are losing their grip on reality, according to a poll out Monday which showed that nearly a quarter think Winston Churchill was a myth while the majority reckon Sherlock Holmes was real.

The survey found that 47 percent thought the 12th century English king Richard the Lionheart was a myth.

And 23 percent thought World War II prime minister Churchill was made up. The same percentage thought Crimean War nurse Florence Nightingale did not actually exist.

Three percent thought Charles Dickens, one of Britain's most famous writers, is a work of fiction himself.

With all the images, video, and audio of Winston Churchill giving speeches, it's simply unacceptable that a quarter of Britons don't realize he really existed. The man was instrumental in saving Britain from Hitler and his Nazi thugs just over 60 years ago for the love of god, but they have no clue he was real? Mark Steyn weighs in:

If I lived in contemporary Britain, where polygamists are entitled to claim multiple welfare benefits per spouse and where The Three Little Pigs is ruled ineligible for a government award lest it offend Muslims, I'd be inclined to believe Richard the Lionheart, the Duke of Wellington and Sir Winston Churchill never existed.

I can't imagine Britain could turn itself upside down and inside out any more than it already has.


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Comments (13)

A discussion occurred in my... (Below threshold)

A discussion occurred in my office regarding this very topic. I stated, I believe many people in the US believe Josiah Bartlett was a real Prsident. A co-worker was extremely upset with that statement. She said, "You mean to tell me that Josiah Bartlett wasn't a real President?!?!" And she meant it.

Just one of the many reason... (Below threshold)
Piso Mojado:

Just one of the many reasons why I cannot call Britain great anymore.

LOL, just read W Blue, and ... (Below threshold)

LOL, just read W Blue, and if your brain doesn't explode due to the effort, you'll see we have a significant population living in Far, Far Away too.

KimSadly, this is ... (Below threshold)


Sadly, this is very true.

However, I am sure there are many Americans who would fail to point out the location of Europe on an Atlas, nevermind pick out a European country nor a European city! Paris is not just in Texas, and Boston is not just on the Eastern seaboard.

Moreover, prior to 9/11, I would dare suggest that most Americans would have thought that the Middle East was somewhere in between Chicago and New York. Now of course, we all know, that everybody is an expert on the Middle East and terrorism, with most getting their misinformation from Fox News!

That's just the way the lef... (Below threshold)

That's just the way the leftists that dominate the "education" establishment want us to be. It's good to see that it's spreading to other nations.:P

Joe, You are right.... (Below threshold)
LoveAmerica, Immigrant:

You are right. This is another example of liberalism run amok. Liberals are trying to rewrite history and impose their version of fictional history on the next generation. This is not a surprise. The communist left has been doing this in communist countries for a while already.

Piso Mojado,The grea... (Below threshold)

Piso Mojado,
The great in 'Great Britain' refers to a geographical entity, the largest of the British Isles, not to the stature of the Country.

I wouldn't put too much credence in a poll conducted by UKTVGold and reported in the Evening Standard. These sorts of polls come out all the time, the more ridiculous the results the greater the attention, so I think there is a tendency to generate interesting data.

As for you July post I call BS. the follwoing is from the
2009 AQA GCSE specifications
(General Certificate of Secondary Education):

Written Paper 2 1¾ hours 37.5% of the total marks 75 marks Enquiries in Depth There are four Enquiries in Depth from which the candidate must choose one option. The options are as follows: Option A: The American West, 1840-1895 Option B: Britain, 1815-1851 Option C: Elizabeth England, 1558-1603 Option D: Germany, 1919-1945 Each paper is in two sections, A and B. Candidates must answer two questions – one from each section as described below. Section A Candidates must answer one compulsory source-based enquiry comprising about six sub-questions. This section will mainly assess the candidate’s ability to use historical sources critically in their context. Section B Candidates must answer one question from a choice of two, each of which normally has three sub-questions testing the candidate’s knowledge and understanding of the chosen Enquiry in Depth.

Try teaching German History from 1919-45 without mentioning Churchill. I'll add that GCSE's are normally taken between age 14 and 16. So that sounds just like US history courses in 8th/9th grade right?

Have they been getting thei... (Below threshold)
John F Not Kerry:

Have they been getting their instruction from that teenage beauty pageant contestant?

This has to be a joke. If s... (Below threshold)

This has to be a joke. If someone asked me if I thought JFK really existed I'd say no just because it's such a stupid question.

That is what globalization ... (Below threshold)

That is what globalization does for you. Virtually no emphasis is place on the history of the individual state or historical persons. The emphasis is on homogenization of the cultures. It won't be very long before all references to WWl and WW2 fall by the wayside.

The EU has done more to destroy the individual European nations than the Nazis ever did and the people of Europe are readily abandoning their cultures.


Try asking American kids if... (Below threshold)

Try asking American kids if they have ever heard of MacArthur or Patton or "Rosie the Riveter" and find out which one gets the most respones.


Chuck, it's not just global... (Below threshold)

Chuck, it's not just globalization. Jerry Doyle (some may know him as Michael Garibaldi in Babylon 5) coined the right term for it: grapefruit mentality. The theory is: if TV stations would show a grapefruit on a daily basis, people would eventually go and visit the grapefruit, just because it was on TV. The attention people like Paris Hilton or the sighting of Jesus on a toast get by the media proves this theory to be true. And then add shows like Big Brother and the rest of the "realiy tv" garbage and what do you get? Zombies. But such zombies make good subjects which can be controlled easily by the EUSSR.

A. Kolb
Free Austrian

"The man was instrumental i... (Below threshold)
Arthur Brown:

"The man was instrumental in saving Britain from Hitler and his Nazi thugs just over 60 years ago for the love of god, but they have no clue he was real?"

Hitler and his German thugs, as long as we're on historical accuracy.

Otherwise, it's shocking. Could the poll be faulty?






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