The other week I was watching the BBC World programme, the one that for better or worse dominates hotel-room TV listings all over the globe. The topic was Ukraine, and the panel was (a) a polite Russian "journalist" (= official Russian POV); (b) a polite Ukrainian-American academic; and (c) Yasmin Alibhai-Brown.
A short while into the discussion, after Russia's contribution to WW2 had tangentially and fleetingly been dropped in by the Russian, suddenly YAL pipes up. "Wait a minute!", she says, "I learned last week, for the first time in my life, that Russia sacrificed 20 million people in WW2!". Quick as a flash the Russian says "Soviet people, actually" and YAL goes on "OK, Soviet people: but I only learned this last week: it is not being taught in schools! I had a good British education and no-one is teaching this!" The Ukrainian is completely stunned: "Excuse me?" but she is not to be stopped and repeats it all again.
Now my kids' history lessons comprised:
The Nazis and WW2, most definitely including the 20 million. The
Tudors. More Nazis / WW2 / 20 mm; and I'm sure yours did too. What ought to have happened, of course, is that the chair should have stepped in and said: YAL, if that's your level of general knowledge, we obviously got the wrong person and we don't want to be hearing from you again today. Needless to say, (i) she was allowed to prate on; (ii) I switched off.
And I expect they paid her for being there. Gah ! Put the soccer and the rugby out of your mind and have a nice weekend.