Government minister to argue First World War was "a great British victory"

By Symon Hill
November 13, 2014

Andrew Murrison MP is the government’s special representative on the World War One Centenary Commission. At Exeter University tomorrow (14 November), he will propose the motion “This house believes that World War One was a great British victory.” I have been asked to oppose the motion.

The government has denied accusations that it wants to use the centenary to glorify the first world war, or to glorify war in general. This is hardly consistent with sending the minister responsible to propose a motion that implies the war was successful and something to be celebrated.

I’m very pleased to have been asked to speak against the motion that Andrew Murrison is proposing. I am looking forward to the debate. Andrew Murrison’s fellow proposer will be Daniel Steinbach of King’s College London. Opposing the motion alongside me will be Jim Brann of the Stop the War Coalition.

In addition to his responsibilities around World War One, Andrew Murrison is a junior minister for Northern Ireland and MP for South-West Wiltshire.

If you study or work at Exeter University, you can attend the debate at 7.00pm on Friday 14 November. There are more details at

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(c) Symon Hill is a Christian pacifist writer and campaigner. He is an associate of the Ekklesia thinktank and is currently teaching about peace campaigners in the first world war for the Workers' Educational Association. He has edited the writings of first world war pacifists for the White Feather Diaries, an online storytelling project (see

For more of Symon's writing, please visit

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