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Kipling’s poem referred to soldiers guarding civilians while they sleep, and that imagery was part of the misattributed quotation being explored.The term “red-coats” referred to a military uniform and by extension a member of the military.
Later commentators placed the statement between quotation marks and introduced various modifications to the passage.
QI believes that Grenier was using his own words to present a summary of Orwell’s viewpoint.
The article discussed Orwell and Kipling, and it included two of the quotations listed above.
Grenier also used the phrase “rough men” when describing an attitude advanced by the movie: It burns with a white rage against societies as a whole, from military leaders and chiefs of state to (more common in our time) comfortable civilians in easy chairs, who send rough men out to serve their interests brutally, murderously (what is war?
The phrase “paradin’ in full kit” referred to parading in full uniform.
Boldface has been added to excerpts: I went into a public-‘ouse to get a pint o’beer, The publican ‘e up an’ sez, “We serve no red-coats here.” The girls be’ind the bar they laughed an’ giggled fit to die, …
In 1942 Orwell published an essay about Kipling in which he referred to a phrase in the poem “Tommy”: A humanitarian is always a hypocrite, and Kipling’s understanding of this is perhaps the central secret of his power to create telling phrases.
It would be difficult to hit off the one-eyed pacifism of the English in fewer words than in the phrase, ‘making mock of uniforms that guard you while you sleep’.
O makin’ mock o’ uniforms that guard you while you sleep Is cheaper than them uniforms, an’ they’re starvation cheap; An’ hustlin’ drunken sodgers when they’re goin’ large a bit Is five times better business than paradin’ in full kit.
Orwell was aware of the above verse, and he was sympathetic to some of the sentiments that it expressed.