Tuesday, February 19, 2008

All we are saying is give peace a chance, and let us have a go on those guns

Excitement over the discovery of a card which suggests John Lennon might have been in the Air Training Corps:

He once sang "Give Peace A Chance" but it seems the teenage John Lennon might have been less of a pacifist.

The man, who returned his MBE because of Britain's links to the Biafran War, was possibly an air cadet.

A card showing Lennon's apparent Air Training Corps membership was found when The One Show staged a Beatles memorabilia roadshow in Liverpool.

We're not so sure that this is quite the act of rank hypocrisy that it's getting dressed up as, though - it does date from a good few years before he sent back his MBE and he was still at High School at the time. Added to which, it's not like the ATC is quite on a par with the Hitler Youth as youth groups go - it's more the scouts with gliders, isn't it?

And who's to say that John joined out of bloodlust and a desire to bomb people? Our understanding of the ATC was that most of the kids who joined up were attracted by the access to planes rather than the chance to wear a uniform. In the Liverpool of the time, it must have been quite an attraction.

Oh, and it might not even be genuine.

The story of how it came into its current owner's possession is bemusing, too:
It now belongs to firefighter Tom Mills following a fire at the city's Speke Airport in the 1970s.

No, we don't quite see how a fire at an airport suddenly leads to a transfer of title, either.

It's nice to note that the airport is now named after John Lennon.

One further thing that catches our eye: When the story was first published, BBC News Online described Lennon as a "peacenik", which has since been softened to "pacifist".

[Thanks to Jim McCabe for the link]