Perhaps the most curious aspect of Michael Gove's attack on a 'left-wing bias' in portrayals of the First World War is that he appears not to have understood the experiences of one of Britain's foremost historians.
The second volume of Alan Clark's superb diaries find him ruminating, on 24 July 1989, as to where he may end up in the pending government re-shuffle. Clark writes:
I think Defence is more likely. So many people have said that I am to go there first as M of S (Minister of State) in order to be poised to slither upstairs if George (Younger) inherits, or goes somewhere grander. And it would be bound to be Procurement. Partly because I know all the weapons system specs off the top of my head, partly because the Army brass won't have me in AF (Armed Forces) because of The Donkeys.
It is worth reading that sentence again and fully digesting it. Seventy years after the end of the First World War, senior figures in the British Army could black ball a Conservative politician from becoming Minister for the Armed Forces, because in 1961, during his earlier career as a historian, he had criticised their predecessors leadership of that conflict.
Perhaps Michael Gove ought to sit down and read a copy of The Donkeys, to see what so rattled our Generals. He could also ponder the hatred Clark's analysis appears to have engendered. If so he may find that explaining such events within the easy context of left and right does not easily fit.