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What is now Bangladesh was one of the richest parts of the world before the British arrived and deliberately destroyed its cotton industry. When India's Andaman islands were devastated by December's tsunami, who recalled that 80,000 political prisoners had been held in camps there in the early 20th-century, routinely experimented on by British army doctors? Perhaps it's not surprising that Hitler was an enthusiast, describing the British empire as an "inestimable factor of value", even if it had been acquired with "force and often brutality" (Milne).   Share:  
Thrust of argument: In 2015 Seumas Milne wrote << Speaking four months earlier at the British Museum, an Aladdin's cave of looted treasures from Britain's former colonies, Brown insisted: "We should be proud . . . of the empire" (2). Even Blair, who was prevailed upon to cut a similar line from a speech during his first successful election campaign in 1997, has never gone quite this far (3).

Brown's extraordinary remarks passed with little comment in the rest of the British media. But the significance of a Labour chancellor's support for what would until recently have been regarded as fringe rightwing revisionism was doubtless not lost on his target audience. This is a man who, despite his neoliberal enthusiasms and tense alliance with Blair, has always liked to project a more egalitarian, social democratic image than his New Labour rival. His imperial turn will have given an unwelcome jolt to anyone hoping that a Brown government might step back from the liberal imperialist swagger and wars of intervention that have punctuated Blair's eight-year premiership. By the same token, his determination (in advance of his own expected leadership bid) to wrap himself in the Union Jack - dubbed "the butcher's apron" by the Irish socialist James Connolly - will have impressed sections of the establishment whose embrace he is seeking. >>
Direction of resistance / implied resistance: Milne points out: << It would be interesting to hear how Roberts - or Brown - balances such grotesque claims with the latest research on the huge scale of atrocities committed by British forces during the Mau Mau rebellion in colonial Kenya in the 1950s: the 320,000 Kikuyu held in concentration camps, the 1,090 hangings, the terrorisation of villages, electric shocks, beatings and mass rape documented in Caroline Elkins's book Britain's Gulag (8) - and well over 100,000 deaths. This was a time when British soldiers were paid five shillings (equal to $9 in today's money) for each Kikuyu male they killed, when they nailed the limbs of African guerrillas to crossroads posts. And when they were photographed holding severed heads of Malayan communist "terrorists" in another war that cost over 10,000 lives.

Even in the late 1960s, as veterans described in a recent television documentary (9), British soldiers thrashed, tortured and murdered their way through Aden's Crater City; one former squaddie explained that he couldn't go into details because of the risk of war crimes prosecutions. All in the name of civilisation. The sense of continuity with today's Iraq could not be clearer.

Such evidence is a timely corrective to the comfortable British mythology that, in contrast to France and other European colonial powers, Britain decolonised in a peaceful and humane manner. It's not as if these end-of-empire episodes were isolated blemishes on a glorious record of freedom and good governance, as Ferguson and other contemporary imperial torchbearers would have us believe. Britain's empire was in reality built on genocide, vast ethnic cleansing, slavery, rigorously enforced racial hierarchy and merciless exploitation. As the Cambridge historian Richard Drayton puts it: "We hear a lot about the rule of law, incorruptible government and economic progress - the reality was tyranny, oppression, poverty and the unnecessary deaths of countless millions of human beings" (10).

Some empire apologists claim that, however brutal the first phase might have been, the 19th- and 20th-century story was one of liberty and economic progress. But this is nonsense. In late 19th-century and early 20th-century India up to 30 million died in famines, as British administrators insisted on the export of grain (as they had done during the Irish famine of the 1840s) and courts ordered 80,000 floggings a year. Four million died in the avoidable Bengal famine of 1943 - there have been no such famines since independence. >>

 

 

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Removal of resistance: Milne draws attention to the key problem here: << There has been no serious attempt in Britain to face up to this record or the long-term impact of colonialism on the societies it ruled, let alone trials of elderly colonial administrators now in Surrey retirement homes. The British national school curriculum has more or less struck the empire and its crimes out of history. The standard modern world history textbook for 16-year-olds has chapter after chapter on the world wars, the cold war, British and US life, Stalin's terror and the monstrosities of Nazism - but scarcely a word on the British and other European empires which carved up most of the world, or the horrors they perpetrated.

What are needed are not apologies or expressions of guilt so much as education, acknowledgment, some measure of reparation and an understanding that barbarity is the inevitable consequence of attempts to impose foreign rule on subject peoples. Like most historical controversies, the argument about empire is as much about the future as the past. Those who write colonial cruelty out of 20th-century history want to legitimise the new imperialism, now bogged down in another colonial war in Iraq - just as those who demonise past attempts to build an alternative to capitalist society are determined to prove that there is none. If Brown really wants to champion British fair play, and create a new relationship with Africa, he would do better to celebrate those who campaigned for colonial freedom rather than the racist despotism they fought against. >>
Unification: Yet only today I saw a white male facebook user tell a non white facebook user that he lived in a 'third world shit-hole' and basically talked down to him on the basis of that.

Here's the whole thing:

<< Aamar Dastgir-Sheikh The USA is screwed up.

A laughing joke of the world

James Keith Harwood II Aamar Dastgir-Sheikh but you and your third world shit hole can't whoop us though chump.

>>

So those here who refuse to talk about what a serf EVERY PRIME MINISTER in living memory Britain has had has been to the US president and corporations, you must understand that you may pretend that James Keith Harwood II is not you, that you don't "think like him" - but he and his ilk have operated for decades, carrying out genocide, ONLY because of your support and failure to join people like me and Corbyn in opposing him and other Hitlers like him. You pretend that you believe in honour and courage, but it really is only that, and anyone who has it knows that about you!
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(TVhobo's estimated size of readership since 2013, mainly in the UK and USA, with Germany in third place:
over 200,000 readers across approximately 200 cities/towns

 

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https://www.globalpolicy.org/component/content/article/155-history/25985.html

 

 

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Simple text version.

What is now Bangladesh was one of the richest parts of the world before the British arrived and deliberately destroyed its cotton industry. When India's Andaman islands were devastated by December's tsunami, who recalled that 80,000 political prisoners had been held in camps there in the early 20th-century, routinely experimented on by British army doctors? Perhaps it's not surprising that Hitler was an enthusiast, describing the British empire as an "inestimable factor of value", even if it had been acquired with "force and often brutality" (Milne).

In 2015 Seumas Milne wrote << Speaking four months earlier at the British Museum, an Aladdin's cave of looted treasures from Britain's former colonies, Brown insisted: "We should be proud . . . of the empire" (2). Even Blair, who was prevailed upon to cut a similar line from a speech during his first successful election campaign in 1997, has never gone quite this far (3).

Brown's extraordinary remarks passed with little comment in the rest of the British media. But the significance of a Labour chancellor's support for what would until recently have been regarded as fringe rightwing revisionism was doubtless not lost on his target audience. This is a man who, despite his neoliberal enthusiasms and tense alliance with Blair, has always liked to project a more egalitarian, social democratic image than his New Labour rival. His imperial turn will have given an unwelcome jolt to anyone hoping that a Brown government might step back from the liberal imperialist swagger and wars of intervention that have punctuated Blair's eight-year premiership. By the same token, his determination (in advance of his own expected leadership bid) to wrap himself in the Union Jack - dubbed "the butcher's apron" by the Irish socialist James Connolly - will have impressed sections of the establishment whose embrace he is seeking. >>

Milne points out: << It would be interesting to hear how Roberts - or Brown - balances such grotesque claims with the latest research on the huge scale of atrocities committed by British forces during the Mau Mau rebellion in colonial Kenya in the 1950s: the 320,000 Kikuyu held in concentration camps, the 1,090 hangings, the terrorisation of villages, electric shocks, beatings and mass rape documented in Caroline Elkins's book Britain's Gulag (8) - and well over 100,000 deaths. This was a time when British soldiers were paid five shillings (equal to $9 in today's money) for each Kikuyu male they killed, when they nailed the limbs of African guerrillas to crossroads posts. And when they were photographed holding severed heads of Malayan communist "terrorists" in another war that cost over 10,000 lives.

Even in the late 1960s, as veterans described in a recent television documentary (9), British soldiers thrashed, tortured and murdered their way through Aden's Crater City; one former squaddie explained that he couldn't go into details because of the risk of war crimes prosecutions. All in the name of civilisation. The sense of continuity with today's Iraq could not be clearer.

Such evidence is a timely corrective to the comfortable British mythology that, in contrast to France and other European colonial powers, Britain decolonised in a peaceful and humane manner. It's not as if these end-of-empire episodes were isolated blemishes on a glorious record of freedom and good governance, as Ferguson and other contemporary imperial torchbearers would have us believe. Britain's empire was in reality built on genocide, vast ethnic cleansing, slavery, rigorously enforced racial hierarchy and merciless exploitation. As the Cambridge historian Richard Drayton puts it: "We hear a lot about the rule of law, incorruptible government and economic progress - the reality was tyranny, oppression, poverty and the unnecessary deaths of countless millions of human beings" (10).

Some empire apologists claim that, however brutal the first phase might have been, the 19th- and 20th-century story was one of liberty and economic progress. But this is nonsense. In late 19th-century and early 20th-century India up to 30 million died in famines, as British administrators insisted on the export of grain (as they had done during the Irish famine of the 1840s) and courts ordered 80,000 floggings a year. Four million died in the avoidable Bengal famine of 1943 - there have been no such famines since independence. >>

Milne draws attention to the key problem here: << There has been no serious attempt in Britain to face up to this record or the long-term impact of colonialism on the societies it ruled, let alone trials of elderly colonial administrators now in Surrey retirement homes. The British national school curriculum has more or less struck the empire and its crimes out of history. The standard modern world history textbook for 16-year-olds has chapter after chapter on the world wars, the cold war, British and US life, Stalin's terror and the monstrosities of Nazism - but scarcely a word on the British and other European empires which carved up most of the world, or the horrors they perpetrated.

What are needed are not apologies or expressions of guilt so much as education, acknowledgment, some measure of reparation and an understanding that barbarity is the inevitable consequence of attempts to impose foreign rule on subject peoples. Like most historical controversies, the argument about empire is as much about the future as the past. Those who write colonial cruelty out of 20th-century history want to legitimise the new imperialism, now bogged down in another colonial war in Iraq - just as those who demonise past attempts to build an alternative to capitalist society are determined to prove that there is none. If Brown really wants to champion British fair play, and create a new relationship with Africa, he would do better to celebrate those who campaigned for colonial freedom rather than the racist despotism they fought against. >>

Yet only today I saw a white male facebook user tell a non white facebook user that he lived in a 'third world shit-hole' and basically talked down to him on the basis of that.

Here's the whole thing:

<< Aamar Dastgir-Sheikh The USA is screwed up.

A laughing joke of the world

James Keith Harwood II Aamar Dastgir-Sheikh but you and your third world shit hole can't whoop us though chump.

>>

So those here who refuse to talk about what a serf EVERY PRIME MINISTER in living memory Britain has had has been to the US president and corporations, you must understand that you may pretend that James Keith Harwood II is not you, that you don't "think like him" - but he and his ilk have operated for decades, carrying out genocide, ONLY because of your support and failure to join people like me and Corbyn in opposing him and other Hitlers like him. You pretend that you believe in honour and courage, but it really is only that, and anyone who has it knows that about you!



https://www.globalpolicy.org/component/content/article/155-history/25985.html