Paxman attacked over war 'cranks'

Jeremy Paxman made the remarks in Monday night's episode of his documentary series Britain's Great War.

Jeremy Paxman made the remarks in Monday night's episode of his documentary series Britain's Great War.

First published in National News © by

Anti-war campaigners have criticised Jeremy Paxman after he branded conscientious objectors in the First World War as "cranks".

The Newsnight presenter made the remarks in Monday night's episode of his documentary series Britain's Great War.

It included a section filmed inside a prison cell where 16 conscientious objectors, many of whom had strong religious beliefs, were held.

Paxman told viewers: "To be honest, the extreme conscientious objectors have always struck me as cranks."

A spokesman for campaign group the Peace Pledge Union (PPU) described the remarks as "unhelpful and silly".

He said: "I knew some of these people and they were not cranks at all.

"One of the main issues they felt strongly about was the coercive power of the state to force people to kill, and if that is cranky I wish there were more of them. It seems to me a very laudable thing to do."

Comments (5)

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11:44am Wed 5 Feb 14

think twice says...

"if that is cranky I wish there were more of them."

There are!

Over 7,000,000 Jehovahs' Witnesses in practically every country under the sun refuse to take up arms against their fellow man, many serving long prison sentences in worse conditions than 100 years ago.
"if that is cranky I wish there were more of them." There are! Over 7,000,000 Jehovahs' Witnesses in practically every country under the sun refuse to take up arms against their fellow man, many serving long prison sentences in worse conditions than 100 years ago. think twice
  • Score: 2

11:58am Wed 5 Feb 14

Col Mustard says...

Good job the majority of citizens didn't agree
with the above sentiment or we would all be speaking
German ! and as for Jehovah's Witnesses cranks!
Good job the majority of citizens didn't agree with the above sentiment or we would all be speaking German ! and as for Jehovah's Witnesses cranks! Col Mustard
  • Score: 0

12:09pm Wed 5 Feb 14

Tailgaters Anonymous says...

Not a great JP fan but appears he had a Damascus road experience over conscientious objectors.
Devil is in the detail!
Not a great JP fan but appears he had a Damascus road experience over conscientious objectors. Devil is in the detail! Tailgaters Anonymous
  • Score: 1

12:16pm Wed 5 Feb 14

Fat Harry says...

Unfortunately Paxman's series is not so much history as Gove's extremist agenda incarnate.
Unfortunately Paxman's series is not so much history as Gove's extremist agenda incarnate. Fat Harry
  • Score: 1

1:27pm Wed 5 Feb 14

Martin999 says...

think twice wrote:
"if that is cranky I wish there were more of them."

There are!

Over 7,000,000 Jehovahs' Witnesses in practically every country under the sun refuse to take up arms against their fellow man, many serving long prison sentences in worse conditions than 100 years ago.
Aren't these the people that would allow members of their family to die ( including children) rather than allow them to have a blood transfusion? Now they ARE cranks!
[quote][p][bold]think twice[/bold] wrote: "if that is cranky I wish there were more of them." There are! Over 7,000,000 Jehovahs' Witnesses in practically every country under the sun refuse to take up arms against their fellow man, many serving long prison sentences in worse conditions than 100 years ago.[/p][/quote]Aren't these the people that would allow members of their family to die ( including children) rather than allow them to have a blood transfusion? Now they ARE cranks! Martin999
  • Score: 0
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