Over the recent 4 years of national remembrance for the Great War, General Haig, mostly got away with being a bad general. The 'celebrations' and documentaries concentrated on the lead up to the war. The failure of politics and nation states. Covered that very well.
And were more in sorrow than anger about the Somme.The post war poets 'Lions led by Donkeys' was much reduced from its 1960s/Vietnam conflations.
Field Marshall Douglas Haig,in more recent times, has had his Somme legacy put into context. The Somme wasn't the Blackadder slaughter by incompetence. It was a highly detailed, highly planned battle. With well thought out ideas to counter the difficulties of advancing upon entrenched works on a front that was miles wide and deep.
The 'walking slowly towards the enemy' was simply advice for heavily laden soldiers to not panic and rush. The reason for being heavily laden in the first place was so they could combat previous offensive problems of not having sufficient supplies to withstand the immediate counter-offensives that a successful breach of the enemy lines would entail.
Walking would be fine, because the largest bombardment ever undertaken would have broken the enemies strong points. Blown apart the barbed wire. Killed and concussed many of the defenders.
The air force was up in superior numbers and the humongous mines were detonated.
And ...it was an unmitigated disaster.
Largely for reasons outside Haig's control.
He had to make the attacks as the French were in deep trouble with the main German 1916 offensive.
Battles had to be planned to a timetable rigidity, as communications could not keep pace. A commander lost almost all control the moment battle was joined. Even more than in Wellington's day, where at least a General could see most of his forces. Haig couldn't see even a tiny portion of his. Couldn't contact them. It was 18th century comms with 20th century weapons. Hence the slaughter for everyone, on all sides. Made worse on the Somme as the British Army of 1916 was made up of troops of limited military experience, education, fitness and training.
Field Marshall Haig is not really responsible for the first day massacre of the Somme and the failure of his untried conscript army to breakthrough the German lines and win the war.
By necessity, he worked to a highly centralised, rigid, inflexible and simple battle plan, in which, if everyone did their job, and nothing went wrong, then all would be well.
So, Haig gets a let off for the worst single day in the history of the wars of the united kingdom and empire.
Passchendaele, on the other hand, is a rerun of the Somme. Same commanders. Same tactics. Same battle plan. Same hopes.
Where all those manifest failures of the earlier battles of the western front are repeated, in an even worse, more devastating way. With similar, catastrophic results.
People over the age of 50 could be forced to pay more than £300 more in national insurance each year in to fund social care, under plans that have been branded a tax on getting old by Labour.
Senior Tory MP Damian Green has proposed a major shake-up to funding for care, arguing that it should follow the state pension model where everyone is entitled to basic support but individuals top up the pot through their own savings.
In a paper for the Centre for Policy Studies, he said £350m could be generated by taxing the winter fuel allowance and even scrapping it for the highest earners.