Rewriting HistoryMembers of SQA’s south east, eastern and north-east Euro Regions have been approached by the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council (MLA) to assist in the trialling of MLA London Euro Region’s Revisiting Archive Collections toolkit, part of a process of expanding the project outwards from London to the rest of the UK.
MLA informs us:
The Revisiting Archive Collections toolkit takes collection managers through the process of opening up their records to external scrutiny and comment and capturing new information and understanding in their core collection description and cataloguing systems. The purpose is to help archivists to attract and serve non-traditional audiences and people wanting to access the material from non-traditional perspectives.Also:
Participating archives will be trained and supported to use the toolkit by a team of consultants with expertise in both archival cataloguing and description and in facilitating community participation.
This development almost certainly stems from recognition of the huge potential arising from the publication of electronic archival finding aids on the web. Online finding aids stand to benefit researchers who will be alerted to the existence of many relevant collections and documents for the first time. This all seems very harmless and indeed beneficial, but only when viewed from the standpoint of archivists unversed in current political trends.
To the Leninist however, the advent of online finding aids to historical source material, available alongside contemporary socio-political web sites through search engines such as Google, has prompted the appalling realisation that objective archival description of documentary evidence of the development of the world’s most influential state, England, and its empire, laws, customs, accountable government, rule of law, presumption of innocence, habeas corpus, etc., will undermine their surreptitious scheme for Communist world government. The MLA web site reveals some clues as to their real motives:
The Revisiting Archive Collections toolkit takes collection managers through the process of opening up their records for external scrutiny and comment and capturing new information and understanding in their core collection description and cataloguing systems. The purpose is to help archivists to attract and serve non-traditional audiences and people wanting to access the material from non-traditional perspectives.
It is at this point the whole devious plan is exposed. What the metropolitan elite are proposing is that archival descriptive lists are written or re-written on advice from persons who are not necessarily objective, qualified archivists, so as to conform to the Leninist world view. Based on our prior knowledge of the Malvine Project, which seeks to “harmonise” the archives of the EU member states alongside the accompanying dumbing down of history, we knew it wouldn’t be long before EU collaborators got to grips with the bread and butter work of archivists, descriptive listing, which clearly forms the first stage in access to and interpretation of archives.
As if it’s not good enough for qualified, professional archivists, who are already expertly trained in identifying and describing material of socio- historical value, to be effectively retrained on the job, archivists will now be suitably politically indoctrinated and politically re-educated by MLA commissars who are not identified at this stage and whose credentials therefore cannot be checked by the wider profession.
Academic research is already heavily funded by the EU and the BBC is now also being indirectly funded by the EU. The outcome will therefore be a seamless conveyer belt of carefully slanted archival description leading to approved historical research, interpretation and educational propaganda, both feeding into a biased media presentation of heritage, all issues SQA has warned of previously.
We asked Garth Bland, county archivist of Loamshire, to describe his office’s experience of working with MLA’s commissars.
The Duke of Wellington, saviour of Europe
We were visited by Jacinta Sprout-Davies * and the whole experience proved very traumatic. Jacinta criticised our descriptive lists as being reactionary, Fascist and politically incorrect. Staff were hurt and offended. Until Jacinta’s visit we were proud of our high standard of descriptive listing. To give you an example of how some of our descriptive lists had to change, I will compare our original description of a letter from the Duke of Wellington to Jacinta’s revised version.
Letter from Sir Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington, Apsley House, London to Sir Lionel Scratchrace MP, Bloggsbridge, Loamshire, describing the Battle of Waterloo (18 June 1815) and its consequences. Wellington describes Napoleon as a tyrant and ogre, the French as stinking of garlic and thanks God the peace of Europe has been assured for generations to come, the Code Napoleon denied imposition on England and the British Empire and its numerous good works preserved as a beacon of justice for all civilisation.
Following Jacinta’s revision, the description now reads:
Letter from Sir Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington, Apsley House, London to Sir Lionel Scratchrace MP, Bloggsbridge, Loamshire, in which he makes racist and chauvinistic remarks about the French people, criticises Napoleon’s enlightened social and political theories and objects to the fulfilment of European Union, the harmonisation of legal systems, a single currency and imposition of post-democratic governance, instead favouring reactionary forms of government, populism disguised as democracy and the upholding of Anglo-Saxon world dominance.
I just can’t see what's wrong with our original description!
We thanked Garth for his contribution.
For a final view of the whole sorry business, we approached Benedict Crumplethorne, principal spokesman for SQA.
Obviously MLA is getting carried away with the EU's success in imposing the revived European constitution on member states even to the extent they are anticipating its formal implementation. The UK represents the biggest cultural and political threat to the European project, not just because our instincts are so anti-EU but because our institutions, traditions and cultural heritage are quite simply not European. We are British and identify much more with the Americans and Commonwealth, with which we should have a true free trade area instead. This is Big Brother entering the world of British archives for the first time. And they are only just warming up!
We thanked Benedict for his valuable insights.
[* Editor’s note: readers may recall Jacinta is Assistant Archivist at Norrey Record Office (Priscilla Dyke, county archivist). Jacinta is a qualified archivist and previously worked for the European Commission. She is a graduate in sociology, holds the Diploma in Advanced Political Correctness from the Institute of Political Correctness in London and during her student vacations obtained valuable experience of dealing with the general public at McDonald's]
MLA Revisiting Archives Collections
MLA gauleiters in action
The Fabian Society
Dumbing down history
The Malvine Project
It wasn't worth creating a negative commotion with the British. I rewrote my text with the word federal replaced by communautaire, which means exactly the same thing.
Valery Giscard d'Estaing, Wall Street Journal Europe, 7 July 2003