Post Brand Paxman blasts David Cameron, his plans to commemorate WW1 and Westminster culture

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It seems that his brush with Russell Brand may have liberated something at the core of Jeremy Paxman’s jaded soul. He has been courting controversy ever since and stepped firmly out from the BBC’s stringent guidelines to make some withering points about politicians and politics.

Last week, Paxman wrote "I can understand that: the whole green-bench pantomime in Westminster looks a remote and self-important echo-chamber," adding that in one recent election he did not vote as he viewed the choice of candidates was "so unappetising".

This provoked a withering response from Nick Clegg on his LBC radio show. Clegg weighed in with "Here is a guy who gets paid a million pounds, thereabouts, paid for by taxpayers. He lives off politics and he spends all his time sneering at politics."

But Paxman has started to warm to his theme. Taking issue with David Cameron’s wish to see a commemoration of the First World War’s outbreak ‘like the Diamond Jubilee celebrations’, Paxman noted that ‘only a moron would celebrate war.’

In an interview with the Radio Times, Mr Paxman said: “In announcing plans for events to mark the centenary, our Prime Minister promised that the First World War commemoration would be 'like the Diamond Jubilee celebrations'.” “What on earth was he talking about?” he asked. “These occasions, when the Prime Minister escapes from his speech-writers, are hazardous. “His address also included the cloth-eared ambition to spend lots of public money to make the Imperial War Museum 'even more incredible'. The whole point of the place is its awful credibility.”

And he went on!!! The commemoration should have ”almost nothing“ in common with the Diamond Jubilee, which he views as an ”excuse for a knees-up in the rain to celebrate the happy fact that our national identity is expressed through a family rather than some politician who wants the job to gratify his vanity“.

Mr Paxman said that “not to acknowledge the war's significance would be willful myopia”, but that “the whole catastrophe has been overlain with myth and legend”.

Paxman, whose great uncle died in the war, said: “A number of distinguished fellow citizens, like the poet laureate Carol Ann Duffy and the thoughtful musician Brian Eno, are worried that the events will turn into a 'celebration' of war.”

“We shouldn't 'celebrate' the outbreak of the First World War. But not to recognise that it was one of the most consequential events in our history would just be perverse.”

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