The Spectator at war

The Spectator at war: Maintaining the machinery of sport

24 August 2014

8:00 AM

24 August 2014

8:00 AM

The Spectator, 22 August 1914:

WHEN so great a business as war comes upon England, the sports and games of the country fall into their proper places. Cricket has been packed into an obscure corner of the daily newspaper. Golf clubs have expended their activities largely in trenching vacant ground, and in forwarding subscription lists to the Prince of Wales’s Fund. The Scottish Football Union, sending its contribution to the Fund, exhorts its members to prove what they may owe to the discipline and self-control given by the game. But these games—just because they are merely games—are less seriously affected than other country activities. The sports of hunting and shooting are hit by war in a different way, and in turn react upon other activities in other directions to an extent and with ramifications almost impossible to calculate. It does not take many days of war to show that what is sport regarded from one standpoint is the most serious business of life looked at from another.


Hunting during the coming season cannot go on as usual. Every hunt has lost large numbers of horses, and those which have been taken have been naturally and rightly those which were in the best condition. Many riders to bounds are with the forces at the front. Many establishments may not be able to afford, or at any rate ought not to afford, what they spent in other years. The money saved by not hunting should of course go, not to some other form of luxury, but to patriotic purposes, to the Red Cross and to the relief of distress. But though we say this, we do not want to see hunting killed, but only suspended. Let there be just enough done to keep it alive for better times, but no more. There must be moderation here as in all things. Apart altogether from its use as a recreation, we do not forget that bunting pays wages and makes trade, and if it ceased suddenly it would not only mean that so many thousand grooms and horsemen would be thrown out of work, but that saddlers, tailors, builders, seedsmen, farmers, innkeepers, and scores of others would find their accounts in ruins. Admitting, however, the place of hunting in the national economy, what, it may be asked, will bunting do to face an immediate problem, which is that of the poultry-keeper? How are foxes to be killed ? The answer of some of the poultry-breeders seems to be that they should be shot or trapped, otherwise the country will be overrun with them. But this is a delusion. Foxes do not breed like rabbits, and even if no cube were killed there would be no more foxes in the country in December than there are to-day. And as a fact there is no reason to suppose that the hunts will not be able to kill as many cubs as in an ordinary season. Cubbing will begin as usual, if without the interest of other seasons; and for the rest of the year it may be found possible to keep things going by hunting, say, one day in the week.

The question of shooting raises some rather different issues. One of them is that of the food-supply. We have alive in the country at the moment, more or less capable of being quickly put on the market as food, a vast number of grouse, partridges, pheasants, hares, rabbits, and deer. We have a multitude of men employed on estates where these birds and beasts are shot, and there are many trades and industries intimately connected with the sport of shooting. How are these trades and industries to be kept active, and how is the game to be utilized best as a supply of food?  To begin with, we have to reckon with the fact that many owners and tenants of shootings, probably the majority, do not wish to shoot. They are at the war, or they have sons and brothers and friends at the war, and they are in no mood for merely enjoying themselves. Yet it is to their interest and to that of other people that their game should be shot or otherwise brought to the market as usual. Grouse moors need to have their stock of grouse kept at a proper level, otherwise disease appears, the moor cannot be let, or not at its usual rental, and unemployment follows in various directions. Pheasants, again, cannot economically be kept in large numbers for an indefinite length of time, and hares and rabbits must, of course, be kept down in the interests of good farming. The grouse moor, it must be admitted, presents some difficulties, but, with good keepers and shoots arranged between neighbours, it should be possible in most cases, particularly in a good heather year such as the present, to ensure that the stock left should not be too heavy for the moor to carry. Grouse, too, may help to solve the problem themselves, for last year’s disease emptied some of the moors of practically the whole of their stock, and grouse seem to possess the faculty of what has been called “automatic redistribution,” filling up the gaps and inequalities left by a bad season. Pheasants are in a different category, and in regard to pheasants the case may as well be put plainly. In such a year as this they should be regarded as poultry. It would be absurd to kill them off now, as some people have proposed, thinking presumably of the expenses of the food bills. The right thing to do is to wait till they are full-grown and will give the best results at table, and then to kill them for the hospitals and for the market as they are needed. Their owner may like to shoot them, and so to keep up the ordinary expenditure in the neighbourhood, among keepers, beaters, carriers, innkeepers, and so on; or he may prefer to have them caught and to wring their necks like so many barndoor fowls. He will do what is best according to his lights. He may decide, as the Dukes of Devonshire and Portland and Lord Sefton have suggested in a letter to the Press, to give the proceeds of selling his game to the Prince of Wales’s or some other charitable fund. If the widows and orphans of our soldiers and sailors, and those thrown out of employment by the war, benefit in this way, so much the better for the country, and so much the better for the sport of shooting. In the same way with the forests and deer-stalking; there are many thousand pounds’ worth of venison in Scotland, and many thousands of stags and hinds have to be killed between now and the end of January. If the owners of forests choose to put this supply of food to the credit account of the country, that will be another asset of very considerable value.

If the object to be aimed at can be summed up briefly, it would be the maintenance of the machinery of sports of these kinds with as little disturbance as possible, providing always that the product of the machinery should whenever and wherever possible be applied to the benefit of those who need it most. The dislocation of even the smallest part of a machine may throw the whole out of gear, and the discharging of a gillie or a groom, the taking or non-taking of a railway ticket, the purchase of a gun or a box of cartridges, have each of them its own consequences and reactions in the lives of those who may seem to have little to do with any sport at all. It is by doing the ordinary things so far as possible in the ordinary way, in the world of sport as in other worlds, that the life of the country as a whole is kept in its safest channels. There are no heroic remedies, even for owners of grouse moors. They may be counselled to shoot their grouse and distribute them to the poor; and then may be reminded by the voice of common-sense that the poor do not want to have to pluck grouse, have no facilities for cooking grouse, and do not like grouse when they are cooked. If they want to do the best with their grouse, they may let the market do it for them, and so supply money to funds which will get better worth for it than they can themselves. We cannot make new laws of supply and demand, either in the pheasant covert or the game salesman’s shop. What we can do is to see that there is no waste, and if there is no waste, hunting and shooting, in the months that are to come, will be found to have made their own contribution to the needs of a country at war.

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  • Dean Jackson

    In one of the many senseless campaigns fought on the Western Front, the Cambrai campaign (20 November 1917 – 7 December 1917) witnessed more than 44,000 casualties, including 7,000 servicemen of the United Kingdom and South Africa dying for zero ground claimed. That 44,000 casualty figure should have been used instead for the more critical campaign against the Bolsheviks in Petrograd (who had just mounted the November 7 coup, overthrowing the Provisional government), resulting in the re-entry of Russia into the war, thereby sparing the exhausted Western Front Allies the prospect of facing another thirty German divisions previously deployed against Russia on the Eastern Front. In fact, a 57,000-man Allied military unit was already in Russia (the Ukraine) at the time–the Czechoslovak Legion–and could have been used to overthrow the Bolsheviks if the Allied powers so wished. Instead, the Czechoslovak Legion was sent on a 6,000 mile odyssey across Russia, its destination Vladivostok on the Pacific coast for passage back to Europe and the war, instead of sending the legion 700 miles due north to Petrograd and collapse the Bolshevik coup. The politicians of the West were doing all they could to (1) protect the fledgling Bolshevik regime in Petrograd; while (2) sabotaging every opportunity to immediately get Russia back into the war before the Bolshevik position had strengthened throughout Russia. Only when the position of the Bolsheviks was relatively secure would the Allied powers mount campaigns to supposedly overthrow the Bolsheviks (North Russia Intervention and Siberian Intervention), campaigns that were sure to fail due to the lackluster number of soldiers assigned to both missions (though the Japanese contingent of 70,000 soldiers deployed to the the Siberian Intervention is a minimum number one would expect from the combined American, British and French contingent, whose actual total complement registered an anemic 10,250 soldiers up against 600,000 Bolsheviks) and the remote locations for the soldiers’ landings–Archangel (British, French, Italian and American), Murmansk (British, French, Italian and American) and Vladivostok (American, British, French, Canadian, Italian, Polish, Chinese and Japanese)–far from the Bolshevik’s Command and Control center located in Petrograd (Saint Petersburg), where too the Bolshevik’s leadership (Central Committee) is located.

    When Allies did attempt to intervene in Russia they do it (1) too late (now Allied troops would be up against the Red Army, not incompetent Red Guards); and (2) in ports that are remote from the Command and Control Center that is Petrograd!* The Allies land in the remote, out of the way, Archangel or Vladivostok, but won’t land in Petrograd! To ensure that they win the war, the Allies needed to immediately move on Petrograd to quickly get Russia back into the war. In fact, knowing that Lenin had been sent to Russia by the Germans in order to get Russia out of the war, the British would have already drawn up battle plans for a Russian intervention centering on Petrograd.

    It should also be understood that as the Czechoslovak Legion moved north to annihilate the Bolshevik Command & Control centers in Petrograd–a mission a non-Marxist co-opted Allies would have assigned the Czechoslovak Legion on November 8–the ranks of the 57,000 strong unit would have swelled with disaffected officers, non-commissioned offices and enlisted personnel of the former Imperial Russian Army who were furious over the inexplicable dissolution of the Imperial Russian Army. No wonder so many ‘White’ officers had disdain for ‘democracy’, for ‘democracy’ in Russia was a front for Bolshevism.

    The above is a clear case of intentional botching of the Allied war effort in order to assist the Bolsheviks in Petrograd, proving that World War I was a Marxist ‘Scissors Strategy’ operation, the purpose of the operation to lead to the establishment of the first aboveboard Marxist nation that would spread the Marxist germ to China, where the West in 1949 would throw up its arms asking, “Who lost China?” The Marxist West lost China, of course! Then the French lost northern Vietnam thanks to China. Then America intentionally lost the Vietnam War, where (1) over 50% of NVA regiments were 100% manned by Chinese soldiers; and (2) the United States refused to invade and liberate the atheistic Marxist North Vietnam; where (3) the constant replenishing of NVA regiments by Chinese ringers and the refusal of the United States to bring the war to a quick end by invading North Vietnam, led to the loss of the war, resulting in Americans’ loss of faith in their government and institutions.

    The following is a discovery I made in May regarding the fake collapse of the USSR, and what that fraudulent collapse proves about the institutions of the West…

    When Soviet citizens were liberated from up to 74 years of horrific Marxist oppression on December 26, 1991 there were ZERO celebrations throughout the USSR, proving (1) the ‘collapse’ of the USSR was a strategic ruse; and (2) the political parties of the West were already co-opted by Marxists,** otherwise the USSR (and East Bloc nations) couldn’t have gotten away with the ruse.

    ZERO celebrations, as the The Atlantic article inadvertently informs us…

    For more on this discovery see my blog…


    The West will form new political parties where candidates are vetted for Marxist ideology, the use of the polygraph to be an important tool for such vetting. Then the West can finally liberate the globe of vanguard Communism.


    * During World War II, the German General Staff wanted to concentrate resources on capturing Moscow, since Moscow was then the Command & Control location for Soviet forces. Hitler insisted on dissipating the effort on three fronts. The same sabotage took place during the Marxists’ World War II operation, where after the war the Marxists’ global position was strengthened.

    ** The failed socialist inspired and controlled pan-European revolutions that swept the continent in 1848(1) thought Marxists and socialists a powerful lesson, that lesson being they couldn’t win overtly,(2) so they adopted the tactic of infiltration of the West’s political parties/institutions. In the case of the United States…(continue reading at DNotice)…

    Now you know why not one political party in the West requested verification of the collapse of the USSR, and the media failed to alert your attention to this fact, including the “alternative” media. When determining whether the “former” USSR is complying with arms control treaties, what does the United States do to confirm compliance? Right, the United States sends into the “former” USSR investigative teams to VERIFY compliance, yet when it’s the fate of the West that’s at stake should the collapse of the USSR be a ruse, what does the United States do to confirm the collapse? Nothing!

    The fraudulent ‘collapse’ of the USSR (and East Bloc) couldn’t have been pulled off until both political parties in the United States (and political parties elsewhere in the West) were co-opted by Marxists, which explains why verification of the ‘collapse’ was never undertaken by the West, such verification being (1) a natural administrative procedure (since the USSR wasn’t occupied by Western military forces); and (2) necessary for the survival of the West. Recall President Reagan’s favorite phrase, “Trust, but verify”.

    It gets worse–the “freed” Soviets and West also never (1) de-Communized the Soviet Armed Forces of its Communist Party officer corps, which was 90% officered by Communist Party members; and (2) arrested/de-mobilized the 6-million vigilantes that assisted the Soviet Union’s Ministry of the Interior and police control the populations of the larger cities during the period of “Perestroika” (1986-1991)!

    There can be no collapse of the USSR (or East Bloc nations) without…

    Verification, De-Communization and De-mobilization.

    The West never verified the collapse of the USSR because no collapse occurred, since if a real collapse had occurred the West would have verified it, since the survival of the West depends on verification. Conversely, this proves that the political parties of the West were co-opted by Marxists long before the fraudulent collapse of the USSR, since the survival of the West depends on verification.

    The above means that the so-called “War on Terror” is an operation being carried out by the Marxist co-opted governments of the West in alliance with the USSR and other Communist nations, the purpose being to (1) destroy the prominence of the West in the eyes of the world, where the West is seen (i) invading nations without cause; (ii) causing chaos around the globe; and (iii) killing over one-million civilians and boasting of torture; (2) close off non-Russian supplies of oil for export, thereby increasing the price of oil, the higher price allowing oil exporting Russia to maintain economic stability while she modernizes and increases her military forces; (3) destroy the United States Armed Forces via the never-ending “War on Terror”; the ultimate purpose of the aforementioned to (4) bring about the demise of the United States in the world, opening up a political void to be filled by a new pan-national entity composed of Europe and Russia (replacing the European Union), a union “From the Atlantic to Vladivostok”; which will (5) see the end of NATO.

    Now you know how Bolshevik Russia survived in 1917; how the West “lost” China to the Communists in 1949; why the Eisenhower administration turned a deaf ear to the anti-Communist Hungarian uprising in 1956; why the Eisenhower administration in 1959 was indifferent to the Castro brothers’ Communist fidelity, actually used the CIA to overthrow the Batista government; why the Nixon administration abandoned Taiwan for Communist China, and signed treaties/provided economic aid to the USSR; why the Nixon administration refused to tell the American People that over 50% of North Vietnamese NVA regiments were actually Chinese People’s Liberation Army soldiers (attired in NVA uniforms, and proving that the Sino/Soviet Split was a ruse, as KGB defector Major Anatoliy Golitsyn told the West back in 1962), thereby (1) ensuring the Vietnam War would be lost; (2) destroying the prominence of the United States abroad and at home; (3) breeding distrust between the American people and their government; and (4) securing Communist victories in Southeast Asia. Working in the background within the political parties of the United States and Great Britain were Marxist agents doing their best to (1) ensure the survival of Communist nations when they popped up; and (2) sabotage any policies that would bring down a Communist nation. That’s why after the fake collapses of the East Bloc nations and USSR there was no mandatory Western verification process to ensure the Communists weren’t still in control.

  • The Red Bladder

    In those days then the distinction between sports and games was widely understood. Was it not until the television age that the two become entangled and confused?