Prof. Dr. Robert Knight
(Universität Wien/University College London)
On Monday, 3rd June 2019, Prof. Dr. Robert Knight held a lecture at the International Institute for Peace titled „Darkest Hour? Churchill Myth-Making and the Great Brexit Fiasco“.
In his lecture Dr Robert Knight argued that an important explanation for the current Brexit crisis lies in Britain’s longstanding myth-making about the Second World War. In particular a cultural memory of the crisis of 1940 has encouraged delusions and self-delusions. One striking example is the false – and absurd – analogy between Britain’s current position in relation to the EU and its war-time isolation. Dr Knight argues that this – supported by the virtual sacralisation of Winston Churchill – has led to a ‘politics of fantasy‘. He illustrated this by examining the recent much-acclaimed film Darkest Hour, exploring the role played in one scene by Thomas Macaulay’s famous poem Horatius and concluding that the film was sophisticated but highly effective Brexit propaganda.