The Budget: Keep Calm and Carry On

The slogan for the recession… the slogan for the Budget is “Keep Calm and Carry On”!


TV academic attacks “Junk History”

Niall Ferguson wants to launch a “Jamie Oliver style campaign” for History! Read the article online.


Inside Out, North East

Talking to Linda Barker, I appear for about, ooo, 10 seconds, and then again a bit later in the programme! A lot of the information from my PhD also makes its way into the words coming from Linda Barker’s mouth… and there’s a few ways that things have been interpreted that I might take issue with, but that’s the way TV programmes get made! The t-shirt is from Barter Books.


Quoted in the Independent

IndependentExtract from John Rentoul Blog:

According to a remarkable PhD thesis by Rebecca Lewis:

‘Keep Calm and Carry On’ was printed and held in reserve for when the necessity arose, for example, a severe air-raid, although it was never actually displayed.

Lewis does not say why it was held back. It may be that the tone seemed right before the German tanks rolled into Poland, but that, once the war had actually begun, it lacked the sense of urgency demanded by the premonition of total war.

But she does quote from contemporary evidence that the two posters that were used were widely disparaged. According to Mass-Observation:

‘Your Courage’ was the second most-mentioned remembered slogan … it still existed everywhere, and was deemed mostly annoying and inappropriate for the wartime situation. The wording of ‘Your Courage … will bring us victory’ was criticised. There was some evidence the combination of ‘your’ and ‘us’ ‘suggested to many people that they were being encouraged to work for someone else’, with the ‘your’ referring to the civilian, the ‘us’ to the Government … ‘Freedom is in Peril’ was also deemed ineffective, blamed on ‘the abstractness of the words, not one of which had any popular appeal’.

“Freedom is in Peril” has also enjoyed a bit of postmodern popularity, partly in the wake of the “Keep Calm” fashion. But it wasn’t taken at face value at the time:

The Times had described the posters as ‘egregious and unnecessary exhortations’, ‘insipid and patronising invocations’, which were unneeded and wasteful of funds, comparing the posters unfavourably to those produced by the French.

Read the full blog entry.

Note: Yes, I am catching up on the summer’s Google Alerts!


New York Times article in print…

Front cover, New York Times, 5th July 2009Dr Bex Lewis in a KCCO t-shirtNYT Article in PrintChristianity in the Digital Space

Monday-Wednesday this week I’ve been at a symposium in Durham, looking at Christianity in the Digital Space. As this included meeting up with people I’d only ever met on Twitter and Facebook, and as my avatar for those pages had changed to this image (see right) over the past couple of weeks, I decided the easiest way to identify myself was to wear the KCCO t-shirt at the conference, and it certainly worked well! Wearing a LOUD slogan on your t-shirt, particularly one that so many people have heard of, makes it very noticeable, and I got many questions as to the significance and history of it!

New York Times

Well, you can’t really have missed that I was in the New York Times on 5th July, but I wasn’t sure if I was ever going to see the real thing, rather than just the online version. Much as I live much of my life in the digital world, there’s nothing quite like “dead-tree” publications! So here are pics of the front cover/the article from the NYT, which my landlady’s beautiful friend in New York saved and posted to me!


Don’t forget that there’s a competition to win one of 10 copies of ‘Keep Calm and Carry On‘ by 20th July (and hopefully my Twitter account @drbexl will be unsuspended by then!), so enter, and tell your friends! Good book!