The brutal story of British empire continues to this day

The British Empire?

  • A Vile enterprise that raped and looted the entire world

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • A worthwhile enterprise that largely spared the world from the French language

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • A major factor in the employment of dogmatic revisionists in the UK

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Wrong because my media studies lecturer at Polytechnic told me so

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Flawed because the scale of it legacy allows Clair Short and Tony Blair a world stage

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters
    1
#1
Ladies and Gentlemen may I present another superbly researched and balanced piece in that bulwark of British values the Guardian:

Choice quotes include -

'Many of the present conflicts in the world take place in the former colonial territories that Britain abandoned, exhausted and impoverished'

'Top of the list is Palestine, a settler colony that Britain abandoned in 1947 after barely 30 years, having imposed a population of mostly European settlers on the indigenous people - one of the typical characteristics of imperial rule'

'A similar imperial trouble spot is Sierra Leone, another settler colony where the British imposed an alien, largely Christian, black population from Britain and Canada on to a congeries of native peoples already in thrall to Islam.'

http://www.guardian.co.uk/comment/story/0,,1826361,00.html

Richard Gott is writing a book about 'imperial resistance' (hopefully about the Falklands War), as you can see from his article he is a celebrated comedian and fantasist.

He welcomes feedback via - Rwgott@aol.com
 
B

Biscuits_AB

Guest
#2
I can't see how we can disagree. Our foreign policy was the same all over then. Take them for every penny they had, enforce our ways upon them, particularly in Victorian times, make them do our dirty work for us. I don't think that we could disagree that our anscestors were responsible for some of the sh*te that is going on today. Mind you, had they not done it, the Germans or French would have.

I get sick to death though with the apologists of today. WHo the f*ck do they think that they are? That recent sh*te about Liverpool council wanting to change the name of Penny Lane as the street had been named after a white slaver and that pr*ck from Bristol apologising for his city's part in the slave trade.
 
#3
We are all now paying for our foreign policies around the globe.We are keeping the Commonwealth countries going in cash that is badly needed here in the UK.When will it end?We are still paying millions to former bases in the world like Aden,Singapore,Hong Kong,Malta,Bahrain,Oman,Kenya,Cyprus,Gibraltar,Gan,Malaysia and other smaller bases we used to occupy.
 
#5
Britains part in the slave trade, hmmm. Slavery made the cultivation of sugar possible, profits from the sugar trade made the industrial revolution possible, the industrial revolution made the society in which we live with its high levels of health and general wealth possible.

The British banned slave trading and then slavery at a time when the economically it still made sense and took the risk on moral grounds. The Royal Navy then spent the next hundred years acting as the greatest anti slaving force on earth.

Even fatty Prescott has heard about Wilberforce.

Slavery happened, we can't change that fact but we can look at the whole awful business with objectivity and some pride that having beeh the worlds foremost purchasers of slaves from Africa we did our best to stamp it out.

There is still an anti slavery society and it still has work to do in certain parts of Africa and the Middle East.
 
#6
mushroom said:
There is still an anti slavery society and it still has work to do in certain parts of Africa and the Middle East.
And Asia. We can't forget sex slaves in Thailand
 
#7
I like the way that we can be blamed for the world's ills.

It's not actually our fault that the Aboriginal population of Australia has become the main source of STDs, deprivation and alcoholism - they did that to themselves. But we're a convenient scapegoat.

The problems in Sierra Leone were a spillover from the countries surrounding.

Palestine/iraq/middle east - at the break up of the ottoman empire those countries were in an absolute state and the british forces there were seen as a stabalising influence by many - and hated by others. Not much changes...

What really really gets me though is that he continues to lay into us for the actions of our ancestors 500 years ago. Northern Ireland/Ireland situation. America and Canada were colonised by us as well - are they in a terrible situation?

Zimbabwe - the times at which that country has been most stable were when there was a ex-governer in charge, a white Brit who cared about the country and knew how to run it. Can an african despot leader be our fault?

Swaziland - Basically the zulus, yes we killed a lot but we didn't colonise. That country has an HIV positive rate approaching 40% and the King has palaces and drives around in Limos - while the population is one of the poorest in the world. That's what happened without any discernable interference from us.

Since when was Cyprus our problem? Greece vs Turkey....but we have soveriegn bases there so it's our fault - heaven forbid there are troops there as part of the UN peacekeeping force.

India and Pakistan - Religious differences it would have been impossible to avoid - the slaughter was avoided under British rule because the local warlords mainly knew their place. Without the British there the slaughter would have just been earlier, lasted longer and - as now - still be going on. Kashmir is something that claims will be laid to for centuries, there was never one group with the majority claim - so we see the problems we have today.

I suggest the writer looks at colonialism through the ages - not just with reference to Britain but also to Spain/France etc. Without Britain Spain or France would have been too strong and vice versa. We only did what others would do - and we have a greater sense of duty to our ex-colonies than the dutch or spannish do; demonstrated by Sierra Leone.

Also some research into the ethos and thoughts of the people at the time - combined with the state these countries were in when we colonised - again combined with their morality (not condoning the slave trade but the slaves shipped to the Americas were BOUGHT off the tribes in Africa, not "stolen" etc. They were usually PoWs from inter-tribe warfare and the african subcontinent heirarchy was just as into slaves as european settlers.
 
#8
Chief this is the wrong audience to talk about Thai ' sex slaves' mate
 
#9
The right-on 'blame the empire' brigade are themselves guilty of the racism they are so quick to accuse others of. They seem to accept the fact that people of different ethnic groups in the former colonies cannot be expected to live together peacefully without shooting, bombing or hacking each other to death. Would they accept the argument of some skinhead that he beats up 'efnicks' beacause he can't be expected to live alongside a different ethnic group? I doubt it.

Do the likes of Richard Gott accept that culturally, econmoically and politically a lot of Africa and the MIddle East is simply still in its version of the Middle Ages, exactly as Europe was, with the attendant violence and disregard for human life or do they expect the same standards of behaviour and humanity form Sierra Leonians, Palestians, Iraqis and Afghanis that they expect from Europeans?
 
#10
yes we were the biggest barstards on the planet you don't get to paint 1/3rd of the planet a tasteful pink (wtf was that about ) because you nice people.
Don't see french beating themselves up about there former colonys apart from algeria
 
#11
crabby said:
Palestine/iraq/middle east - at the break up of the ottoman empire those countries were in an absolute state and the british forces there were seen as a stabalising influence by many - and hated by others. Not much changes..
Seriously bad history annoys me, Dandy! Do you actually even know anything about the Ottoman Empire and its break up?

India and Pakistan - Religious differences it would have been impossible to avoid - the slaughter was avoided under British rule because the local warlords mainly knew their place. Without the British there the slaughter would have just been earlier, lasted longer and - as now - still be going on. Kashmir is something that claims will be laid to for centuries, there was never one group with the majority claim - so we see the problems we have today.
Local war lords? I would also suggest that you do simple search on the origins on the Kashmir dispute!

Books that maybe of interest (I don't know if they have pictures in them)

Hourani, A., P.S. Khoury and M. Wilson M (eds.). The Modern Middle East (London, 1993);
Fromkin, D. A Peace to End All Peace: The Fall of the Ottoman Empire and the Creation of the Modern Middle East (London, 2001)
French, P. Liberty or Death: India's Journey to Independence and Division (London, 1998)
 
#12
castlereagh said:
crabby said:
Palestine/iraq/middle east - at the break up of the ottoman empire those countries were in an absolute state and the british forces there were seen as a stabalising influence by many - and hated by others. Not much changes..
Seriously bad history annoys me, Dandy! Do you actually even know anything about the Ottoman Empire and its break up?

India and Pakistan - Religious differences it would have been impossible to avoid - the slaughter was avoided under British rule because the local warlords mainly knew their place. Without the British there the slaughter would have just been earlier, lasted longer and - as now - still be going on. Kashmir is something that claims will be laid to for centuries, there was never one group with the majority claim - so we see the problems we have today.
Local war lords? I would also suggest that you do simple search on the origins on the Kashmir dispute!

Books that maybe of interest (I don't know if they have pictures in them)

Hourani, A., P.S. Khoury and M. Wilson M (eds.). The Modern Middle East (London, 1993);
Fromkin, D. A Peace to End All Peace: The Fall of the Ottoman Empire and the Creation of the Modern Middle East (London, 2001)
French, P. Liberty or Death: India's Journey to Independence and Division (London, 1998)
Sorry - it's early morning and I've been confusing myself. I'm currently concentrating on 1500-1750/1800 in the Americas and India, without too much reference to Kashmir, as I only have so much time for reading. My comments on "local warlords" failed to link it to the scale of the problem. But basically I'm still claiming we're not all bad.
 
#13
Top of the list is Palestine, a settler colony that Britain abandoned in 1947 after barely 30 years, having imposed a population of mostly European settlers on the indigenous people - one of the typical characteristics of imperial rule. Unfortunately for the settlers, arriving during the imperial sunset, they had insufficient time to achieve the scale of defeat of the local people, amounting to extermination and genocide, that characterised the British conquest and settlement of Australia.
Palestine was governed by the British under a mandate of the League of Nations. It was never a British colony, as I understand.

Britain didn't impose a population of mostly european settlers. Immigration quotas were part of the LoN mandate. Britain actually reduced the rate of immigration, but illegal Jewish immigration continued throughout WWII and the immediate post-war years.

The extermination and genocide that took place in Palestine wasn't at the hands of the British; it was chiefly at the hands of illegal Zionist terrorist organisations. There had been Arab/Jewish conflicts throughout the time of the British governorship that were policed by the British - both sides saw the British policing as unfair, ergo it must have been fair.

Elements of both Arab and Jewish communities sought to side with the Nazis against Britain during WWII, these factions preferring Nazi rule to British, and fought against the British (as well as each other) at this time.

Britain didn't abandon Palestine in 1947. The mandate expired. The US (so I'm led to believe), under internal US Zionist pressure, coerced member nations of the UN Security Council to adopt the state of Israel, some of these nations apparently receiving threats of economic sanctions.

Jordan was part of the British protectorate of Palestine, but was not involved in the Israel partition carve-up, and doesn't seem to vilify Britain's actions.

A final quote from Wiki:

Before the end of World War I, Palestine was a part of the Ottoman Empire. The British, under General Allenby during the Arab Revolt stirred up by the British intelligence officer T. E. Lawrence, defeated the Turkish forces in 1917 and occupied Palestine and Syria. The land was administered by the British for the remainder of the war. The British military administration ended starvation with the aid of food supplies from Egypt, successfully fought typhus and cholera epidemics and significantly improved the water supply to Jerusalem. They reduced corruption by paying the Arab and Jewish judges higher salaries. Communications were improved by new railway and telegraph lines.
Clearly, it's all Britain's fault and we should apologise. :roll:
 
#14
armchair_jihad said:
Chief this is the wrong audience to talk about Thai ' sex slaves' mate
Perhaps so. Anyway, as an outsider (not actually british) it doesn't mean much, but I think that this guy is a tosser. He has some valid points, but like it was said earlier, the French aren't weeping with remorse for the things they did as colonists. We definitely don't see Spain feeling bad about anything. British colonialism was bad because colonialism is bad, but it was simply a part of the era's political climate, it's just the way things went.
 
#15
For the benefit of Crabby, the UK does bear a heavy responsibilty for the Cyprus problem. It was a British colony, and its independence after 1960 was guaranteed by 3 nations-UK, Turkey and Greece. It was felt, as the UK was the most powerful, she would keep other 2 in check. Due to a combination of Realpolitik, economic problems and ultimately US pressure, UK backed off pressure on Turkey to halt the invasion in 74. For the US, it is suggested partition of the island was the best solution. UK bears a responsibilty but the US more so.
 
#16
Northern Monkey said:
For the benefit of Crabby, the UK does bear a heavy responsibilty for the Cyprus problem. It was a British colony, and its independence after 1960 was guaranteed by 3 nations-UK, Turkey and Greece. It was felt, as the UK was the most powerful, she would keep other 2 in check. Due to a combination of Realpolitik, economic problems and ultimately US pressure, UK backed off pressure on Turkey to halt the invasion in 74. For the US, it is suggested partition of the island was the best solution. UK bears a responsibilty but the US more so.
As I understand, Turkey retained the right to defend it's citizens, therefore the invasion wasn't technically illegal. They didn't advance beyond their limits of responsibility. It's just that having arrived, the Turkish forces didn't leave.
 
#17
Northern Monkey said:
For the benefit of Crabby, the UK does bear a heavy responsibilty for the Cyprus problem. It was a British colony, and its independence after 1960 was guaranteed by 3 nations-UK, Turkey and Greece. It was felt, as the UK was the most powerful, she would keep other 2 in check. Due to a combination of Realpolitik, economic problems and ultimately US pressure, UK backed off pressure on Turkey to halt the invasion in 74. For the US, it is suggested partition of the island was the best solution. UK bears a responsibilty but the US more so.
I don't deny UK responsibility. However I do challenge the way he presented it. In the article it was presented that the reason for troubles in Cyprus are due to the UK maintaining two spying sovereign bases. It also opens up the question as to whether it is our responsibility to be "peaeckeeper". For Cyprus - with its colonial past I do believe the UK should be involved and should be held accountable - but only so much so as is relative. Not just the US either. Remember the war, and ill-feeling, that continues to this day is between Turkey and Greece - two countries you'd hope are grown up enough to sort their problems out.

Or we could just blame the US for everything - their political pressure after WWII has helped caused many of the problems we see today with the crumblings of empires.
 
#18
Words fail me...historians as polemicists are just so nineteen seventies! I would like for once to pick up a "history" book and learn something, see an insight into the times and mores rather than have a remote period reflected through the mirror of a modernist, liberal (usually but not always) and humanist intellectual set of values which are best confined to north london or the inner sanctum of some of the less well regarded universities of this once fair land...
 
#19
Cuddles said:
Words fail me...historians as polemicists are just so nineteen seventies! I would like for once to pick up a "history" book and learn something, see an insight into the times and mores rather than have a remote period reflected through the mirror of a modernist, liberal (usually but not always) and humanist intellectual set of values which are best confined to north london or the inner sanctum of some of the less well regarded universities of this once fair land...
Ahh, Cuddles, but not to be a liberal poser would mean no access to all those gullable female students, free dope and booze...wouldn't you spout bulldust for those?
 
#20
I realy think the time has come to look forward and stop judging our great empire by todays standards.

So many do this and it is wrong to do this.
 

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