On 7th February 2013 The Oxford Union held the debate “This House Would Not Fight for Queen and Country”. it was the 80th anniversary of the original debate in 1933 in which The Oxford Union voted in favor of the motion. Speaking for the motion were Ben Sullivan (Christ Church College), Ben Griffin (Former SAS soldier) and Gareth Porter ( US Historian). Speaking against were Rory Stewart (Conservative MP), Nikolai Tolstoy (International Monarchist League) and Malcolm Rifkind (Former Foreign Secretary).
On the night the motion was defeated as it has been on every occasion that it has been held since 1937.
Below a transcript of the speech given by Ben Griffin of Veterans for Peace. I Will Not Fight for Queen and Country
Fight for Queen and Country, what does that mean? It is a jingoistic phrase dream’t up by some propaganda merchant intent on stoking the fire of that false religion patriotism.
The idea of fighting for Queen and Country is held tight by those who never have and never will actually fight.
It is held by those who long to bask in the reflected glory of war.
It is held by those who have no experience of the suffering that war inflicts.
It is an idea held up by those who gain the most from war, Politicians, Generals, The Arms Industry and The Media.
It is a phrase that is dredged up again and again to stifle dissent and build unquestioning support for the aggression we choose to unleash. We must look at what lies behind this decrepit phrase.