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UK Backbenchers’ Political Survival through Sri Lanka

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Editorial

The UK House of Commons spent hours yesterday discussing the human rights and economic situation in Sri Lanka. Although they say they are talking about Sri Lanka, they seem to have taken it as an opportunity to express their “overwhelming love” for the Sri Lankan Tamil people living in the United Kingdom in order to preserve their political clout. It is quite ironic how a new generation born to a generation of ancestors who plundered countries including Sri Lanka psychologically, physically and in every other aspect for hundreds of years is not only bragging about human rights but also commanding other nations who are poor just because their wrongdoings how to protect human rights. We were watching carefully the fake performance that was carried out yesterday by that group of hypocrites calling it a debate but in the real sense, they have ridiculed the principles of humanity.  However, we should be glad to watch such entertaining plays of this nature especially in a socio and political context, where a man who has represented an ethnic group which was largely discriminated against by the common psyche of the United Kingdom was finally chosen as their new “Raj”. Their “overwhelming love” for the Tamil people to retain their political power is clearly visible through such dramas. We suggest that it should be capitalized very well by the Tamil community in the UK because, in another ten years or so, a person of Sri Lankan origin can open the path to rule the United Kingdom.

The so-called debate held by British politicians yesterday was a pathetic attempt to offer a legal framework for the alleged genocide in Sri Lanka that should be carefully looked at. No Genocide, but yes, there were some violations from both sides that should be investigated and prosecuted domestically. The real genocide was committed by the British colonialists. They have not yet paid compensation for that. At least they should return stolen valuables. Who can say that it is wrong to vanquish a brutal dictator and his gang who were oppressing unarmed civilians, expelling fellow folks of ethnicities who lived harmoniously within 24 hours and forcing their children into child soldiers? Do you know that we have experienced this heinous reality in our real life, Right Honourable Members? Tell us, will you allow someone to grab your kids and install them on war fronts? Tamil people contributed the most to this humanitarian operation because it was right. That is the truth. That is why these ladies and gentlemen who shed crocodile tears about human rights should stop betraying the noble principles of these subjects for their political survival. They talked about Sri Lanka at length based on secondary information and rhetoric. Anyone who has a simple understanding of the situation in the country will understand that these backbench MPs are continuously trying to fabricate blatant lies for their political survival.

The basic idea presented by a young politician was that since Sri Lanka is a member country of the Commonwealth of Nations, strict measures should be taken against Sri Lanka. We have no idea what the common in wealth of those members of the so-called “commonwealth” is, but we see the wretched inequality between us and them. They robbed us to enrich themselves. Then they tell us, you are a part of “the commonwealth”.  Truth is there is nothing in common, but we are a substantive part of their wealth.  Not only Sri Lanka but many other nations were deceived by the nominal commonwealth until the power of the degenerate colonial master faded in recent times. The inconsistency here is that this whole event is labelled a “debate”. From school we are taught that debate is about at least one side opposing the other side’s point of view and letting the public/jury decide who does better. The irony is that the British taught us the culture of debate in the formal education system implemented during the period when they administered Sri Lanka as a subordinate state. But in this so-called debate, nothing was said that contradicted any point that one was trying to establish for his or her political existence. No opportunity for other side of the story. Is it fair in democracy? What is important is accurate data, not rhetoric based on assumptions. So do we need commentary to understand this usual fake play?  Do they really worship the principles of democracy or the legacy of Joseph Goebbels? Over to you, Right Honourable Members?

Exclusive: Let us Work as Partners – Sri Lanka’s Foreign Minister to UK

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Commenting on the scheduled debate on the human rights situation and economy in Sri Lanka to be held tomorrow in the UK parliament, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Sri Lanka asked the UK to work as partners.

“My message ( to the UK) is very clear, let us work as partners and not be misled by a few who have ulterior motives and hidden agendas for their political gains. Let’s work together,” Minister Ali Sabry PC told the Sri Lanka Guardian in an exclusive interview at his residence in Colombo.

“Sri Lanka’s relationship with the UK is longstanding. We have a lot of similarities among us. We are requesting the new Prime Minister look at the larger picture of Sri Lankan democracy. Sri Lanka has thrived in democracy since 1931. Our elections are free and fair. None of the government leaders stays beyond their mandate,” he added. 

The full interview with the Minister is to be published soon.

UK to debate on human rights in Sri Lanka Tomorrow

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The parliament of the United Kingdom will hold a debate on Wednesday 9th November on the UK’s response to the human rights and economic situation in Sri Lanka.

The UK Parliament said the Backbench Business Committee which consider requests for debates from any backbench Members of Parliament has organized the debate.

MPs Elliot Colburn, Sarah Olney, Sir Stephen Timms and Theresa Villiers have put forward this debate.

A full transcript of the debate will be available three hours after the debate on Commons Hansard, UK parliament said.

Life and times in England today?

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There is so much going on in England that it is hardly necessary to describe the plight of the British.

One of Cornwall’s most beautiful beaches was unrecognisable at the weekend after a huge sewage and mud spill, according to The Times, tainted the environment.

“Last Sunday morning showed the usually pale blue water transforming into a murky shade of brown.Environmental groups have described the scenes as shocking and the government is being called on to review its sewage action plan.South West Water confirmed that the storm overflow at Agnes, in Cornwall, had triggered ‘briefly’ but claimed that mud dislodged by heavy rain had also contributed to the discolouration of the water”.

Inside the House of Commons, and on the front pages of most major papers and news websites this morning, embattled Home Secretary, SuelaBraverman, literally “came back from the dead on Halloween”. She has come under fire for her handling of the migrant boats of Albanian economic migrants crossing the English Channel from the French coast. She sparked outrage for calling the situation “an invasion”, deemed unwarranted by the Labour Opposition. Refugee charities and pressure groups have also accused her of overcrowding these economic migrants at Manston, in Kent, and allowing them to sleep on the floor, while awaiting processing.

It is well known that over 30,000 Albanian economic migrants have flooded into UK in the past year, after working on parts of the Continent including France as cheap farm labour, flooded with cash to find a home in England. 

To avoid the accusation of bias against the Home Secretary, past Prime Minister, Liz Truss, has been blamed for a security breach on her phone being tapped by outside agents. Blame is the name of the game.

Does anyone want to be Prime Minister of UK at this time?

An elderly woman patient at Kingston Hospital in Surrey confronted Prime Minister, Rishi Sunak, during hisplanned visit to her ward recently. She warned him to pay nurses more and when the Prime Minister said ‘the NHS is important to him and to the country’, she retorted, “yes, you are not trying, you need to try harder”.

People generally want to “shove the blame” for all the ills of England, on to the English born, first Asian Prime Minister. Is there a taint of prejudice, who knows? So why is the Prime Minister working all the given hours of the day to put things right? Why is he wanting to turn Britain around, what his motive to prove himself capable, while people name him as Rishi, and not call him by his official title as “Prime Minister”?

Whilst all this is happening, is there is a hidden agenda?

There is a“method in the madness”?  The Chancellor of the Exchequer, John Hunt is eying ways to cover  a multi-billion hole,(£60 billion on estimate fiscal black-hole) with plans that vital public services could be cut on the 17 November 2022 Mini Budget Statement. This is argued is close to the heart of the Prime Minister.

The English are thought to detest the French “froggies,” but want a French speaking Mauritian- Indian, Home Secretary, SuelaBraverman, to broker a deal with her French counterpart, to help curb the flood of migrants across the English Channel. She too is working round the clock to prove that she can deliver, and/or better the English “speaking French with the French”, by stopping criminal Albanian drug economic migrants flooding into UK.

People smugglers are being watched after the Home Secretary’s intervention, now more closely monitored by the French and British authorities. In fact, the Home Office may sooner than later, pay a sum to the French authorities, to curb the migrants coming across from France, rather than accommodating migrants at hotels at state expense.

The Battle of the Wits

While the Asians in high office are keen on showing off their talents, it is not strange that the English are being driven to work harder to survive. Most working people first want to go on strike to claim better wages. Understandably, they are worried that there could be cheap labour flooding in from abroad, such as Nursing Staff and other factory workers, plus boat loads of migrants, to accept low pay and conditions. Doctors and surgeons, in specialist hospitals in England, are thus performing more operations per day with the assistance of Anaesthetics, to clear the backlog due to COVID-19.

The Nurses at Hospitals are soon to ballot their members, as walk-outs are looming. They like the Train drivers want to hold the country to ransom, by demanding higher wages amidst soaring inflation and the oncoming winter.

Civil Service administrators are also worried that the new Chancellor may use his axe to chop top heavy government departments.

The one thing is for sure, there is a hue and cry for more wages as inflation soars. At the same time, market forces are demanding to cut to size of the economy, which is the vision of both the Prime Minister and his Chancellor of the Exchequer. Clawing back the excessive profits made in recent days and months by the Energy Companies in UK, is sooner than later envisaged by the Government and is welcome by both the Opposition and the general public.

India’s Moment in West?

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When the announcement was made that Indian origin Rishi Sunak has been elected as the next Prime Minister of Britain, the euphoria was seen in India with Indian media and several Indians hailing the event, as if an Indian citizen has achieved this feat.  Ridiculous comments have been heard such as ” India was ruled by the British earlier and Britain will now be ruled by India”.

Similarly, when Indian origin Kamala Harris was elected as Vice President of the USA, many celebrations happened in India and residents of the village in Tamil Nadu, which was supposed to be native village of the family of Kamala Harris, even organised thanksgiving offerings in the local temple.  One is not sure whether Kamala Harris has visited this village at all at any time in her life.

There are so many other Indian families and individual Indians who have migrated to the USA, Canada and European and other countries in the last several decades and have surrendered their  Indian citizenship and become full-fledged citizens of the countries to which they migrated.  Quite a number of them are occupying top positions in governments, and corporate undertakings and a few of them have even been awarded the  Nobel Prize.

 It is often heard in India that the success of the former citizens of India who have migrated to other countries and who are termed and described in India as persons of Indian origin, proves the capability of Indians. 

When someone becomes a full-fledged citizen of another country by giving up Indian citizenship, obviously their loyalty and duty is to the country to which they have migrated and in effect, they have cut off their bridge with India. It also reflects the mindset of such persons that the value of the citizenship of the countries to which they have migrated are much more than the value of citizenship of India, which they once held.

As a number of such families of migrated persons have been living in the migrated countries for several decades now, the second and third generation of people in the families may not have visited India at all and may not have much information about India and most probably may not care about the culture and traditions of India any longer.

We often hear such first-generation migrated persons claim that they are emotionally attached to India, but this should not be as they are no more Indians and are the citizens of migrated countries to which they should be emotionally attached.

It appears that some people in   India think that Rishi Sunak being the Prime Minister of Britain and Kamala Harris being the Vice President of the USA would provide several benefits to India.  This can never happen, as they are not Indians anymore.

There is nothing wrong in Indians migrating to other countries of their choice and becoming full-fledged citizens there. Some Indian citizens may consider such people as privileged and think that   Indians should be proud of them.   Then, in such cases, it may create suspicion about the mindset of such Indians and their thought process. 

Let those who migrated to other countries as full-fledged citizens be loyal to the migrated country and let them not claim that they are proud of India and its value systems. Obviously, they should not be, since they have given up their Indian citizenship voluntarily, preferring another country for citizenship.

Story of a Troublemaker: Boris the Chaos

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The following experts adapted from the author’s latest book, Boris Johnson: The Rise and Fall of a Troublemaker at Number 10, published by Simon & Schuster, Inc.

‘Success is the child of Audacity.’ ~ Benjamin Disraeli, prime minister in 1868 and from 1874 to 1880, in The Rise of Iskander, published in 1833

On the morning of Tuesday 7 April 2020, I was commissioned by the Daily Mail to write Boris Johnson’s obituary. At 7 p.m. on Monday evening the prime minister had been admitted to the intensive care unit at St Thomas’ Hospital, and nobody knew whether he would pull through. Death laid its icy hand on him, and opinion polls show he received greater public approval and sympathy than at any time before or since. For a few days Johnson was no more the hated Brexiteer, unscrupulous populist and brazen liar, but a fellow human being, equal with any other victim of the pandemic, mortal like the rest of us.

Your eye may have slid smoothly over the last phrase, but you, dear reader, will die soon enough, as will the author of this book. The glories of our blood and state are shadows, not substantial things. So says the poet, and I have tried while writing about Johnson, as insatiable a glory-seeker as our times can show, to bear in mind that he is also a man.

But an extraordinarily difficult man to write about. When I asked my children, then aged twenty-five, twenty-one and nineteen, if I could dedicate this book to them, provided I put in a line about their having slight reservations about Johnson, one of them replied: ‘Only if you say we think he’s a vile, disgusting human being.’ Boris Johnson inspires in many people a profound and implacable aversion; in many others the warmest affection and support. I do not aspire to change anyone’s mind about him: that would be a vain endeavour. But I do hope, perhaps just as presumptuously, to write a book which partisans on both sides will reckon is fair, and can read with amusement.

A great, maybe insoluble problem at once arises. As soon as I start to explain why Johnson has not, at certain times in his career, been a total failure, I open myself to the charge of seeking to ignore or extenuate his faults. But any sympathy that I extend to him (and I do not think he can be understood without a degree of sympathy) is liable to be dismissed by his admirers as pitifully inadequate.

There was no time to worry about all that while writing his obituary for the Daily Mail, which at a time of national shock and mourning would expect, I assumed, an account which at least ended on a relatively favourable note. This, roughly speaking, is what I sent them:

Boris Johnson loved the Chumbawamba song, ‘I get knocked down, but I get up again. You’re never going to keep me down.’ He was often knocked down, but until his life was cut short by Covid-19 always got back up again. Johnson was far less cautious than the usual run of career politician, took risks which onlookers regarded as mad, but came back from blows which would have crushed a less resilient figure.
On entering the Commons in 2001 as MP for Henley, he decided, in defiance of all prudent advice, to remain editor of The Spectator. Senior politicians and pundits warned him that riding two horses was bound to end in tears. He defied their predictions, and at first all went well. He became more and more famous, and at the start of September 2004, Vanity Fair billed him as ‘the Tory MP who could one day be Britain’s prime minister’.

Michael Woolf, who wrote that magazine’s profile, likened him to two famous actors who had gone into politics: ‘He is, it occurs to me, as he woos and charms and radiates good humour, Ronald Reagan. And Arnold Schwarzenegger… He is, I find, inspirational.’ No other Conservative MP could have been compared to Reagan, one of the most successful (though at first derided) post-war American presidents, or to Schwarzenegger, then serving as governor of California. Johnson had an astounding ability to connect with the wider public. He had star quality, and the Conservatives began to think he might be the leader who could end Labour’s decade of success under Tony Blair.

In the summer of 2004 I started work on my first volume about Johnson, published in 2006 and updated in 2007, 2008, 2012 and 2016. As recounted in the introduction to that work, he was at first tremendously keen on the idea of a book all about him (‘Such is my colossal vanity that I have no intention of trying to forbid you’), but then got cold feet (‘Anything that purported to tell the truth really would be intolerable’) and offered me £100,000 to abandon the project, which I, annoyed by his assumption that I could be bought, turned down.

In October 2004, The Spectator published an editorial in which it abused the people of Liverpool and made several atrocious mistakes about the Hillsborough disaster. There was uproar, and Michael Howard, the Conservative Party leader, who was a Liverpool fan, was warned that the next time he went to a game he would be booed. Howard was furious and ordered Johnson to go and apologise to the people of Liverpool, speaking only to the local media. This Johnson did, but the national press were determined to cover the story too, and during his visit to the city a media scrum developed which amused the watching nation, but made Howard look ridiculous.

Worse soon followed. Johnson dismissed press reports of his affair with Petronella Wyatt as ‘an inverted pyramid of piffle’, the press proved he was lying and Howard, who had only a few months previously promoted him to the post of shadow arts spokesman, now sacked him. By the end of 2004, Johnson’s political career lay in ruins. Many of his fellow Tory MPs, jealous of his fame and angered by his neglect of parliamentary duties, had concluded he was hopelessly dishonest and unreliable.

So when Howard lost the 2005 general election to Blair, and resigned the Tory leadership, Johnson was in no fit state to mount a bid for the vacant post, and instead supported David Cameron, who came through and won. Cameron had been junior to him at Eton, junior to him at Oxford, had a less original mind and, until becoming leader, was less famous than Johnson, who had reached the wider public by giving a series of brilliantly amusing performances on Have I Got News For You.

Click here to order your copy of this book

Breaking: PM Truss to Abdicate

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Liz Truss has announced that she is resigning as Prime Minister, triggering a fresh Tory leadership contest which will be concluded “within the next week”, a London-based daily newspaper, The Telegraph has reported.

The report further reads as follows;

Speaking outside 10 Downing Street, she said she had come to realise that she “cannot deliver the mandate on which I was elected by the Conservative Party”.

She said: “I have therefore spoken to His Majesty The King to notify him that I am resigning as leader of the Conservative Party.

“This morning I met the chairman of the 1922 Committee Sir Graham Brady. We have agreed that there will be a leadership election to be completed within the next week.

“This will ensure that we remain on a path to deliver our fiscal plans and maintain our countries economic stability and national security. I will remain as Prime Minister until a successor has been chosen.”

Sir Keir Starmer responded to Ms Truss’s resignation by repeating his call for an immediate general election as he said the “British public deserve a proper say on the country’s future”.

Source: Telegraph, London [ Click here to follow the live update)

Of MP’s and Markets in Britain?

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Pound Sterling has “skidded” by more than one US Cent to below $1.10 after the announcement that the Bank of England was pulling out of its intervention in extending its £65 Billion emergency arrangement to prop up the pound, beyond 14 October 2022. But, it will intervene, if found necessary?

MP’s in Parliament were also relieved after the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rt. Hon. Kwasi Kwarteng announced he was “rushing forward” his Debt Cutting Plan almost a month earlier than planned. This is in a bid to reassure jittery markets following weeks after his “Fiscal Event Statement,” which he made on 23 September 2022. 

The markets may be calmed when the Chancellor sets out more details about how he “intends to manage or massage the public finances”.

We are told, he will then release the forecasts on the State of the Economy from the Office of Budget Responsibility (OBR) by 31 October 2022. 

Supply-side Economics

Supply-side economics, now also named “Trussonomics” by journalists, is based on the idea that the supply of goods and services within an economy is the main “driver of growth”. For many laymen, it is based on the idea that targeted tax cuts are more effective than general tax cuts to boost a falling economy, along with further post-Brexit deregulation of financial services. 

Many will know this same theory was tried out in Sri Lanka, of lowering tax rates to boost government revenue, through higher economic growth during the years of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa. I need hardly state that it faltered and failed. It benefitted none other than the rich, who got away with paying fewer taxes, while those others who should have been liable, got away without, using the known excuses, only to us.

With markets in command today, there is little that the Bank of England or for that matter any Central Bank can do, like what our own Central Bank of Sri Lanka did until recently by “Quantitative Easing” (Q.E). We know the Bank of England dare not print more money for circulation. 

What are the options available?   

Every new government wants to better the previous government “testing out” innovative ideas, to curb inflation. But how much of it is achievable?

The Truss Government has repeatedly stated that what it wants is “delivery”. That “it’s plan will work”. We all know it is “doable” in normal times, but need I say these are not normal times? It is well known that governments as much as its citizens can take recourse in the fact that these are turbulent times, requiring the tried and tested, even though innovative ways are necessary, but take longer. 

Commentators are all ganging up on the Truss Government, perhaps, as a woman, they “think” she can be manipulated. But still, others know, “she is not for turning,” Some MPs of her party are at her throat now, because she rewarded those loyal who stood by her and may I say appeased others who contested her. Apparently, she has won over the voters in the Conservative Party in the country, but not her own MPs who “think of none other than the next election” and don’t see her leading them “up the hill” to victory. 

P.M. Liz Truss has been entrusted with a poisoned chalice. Besides, she has upset both President Joe Biden with her stance on Northern Ireland and of course President Putin. Like in Sri Lanka, you cannot please all the people all the time.

By trying to stimulate the British economy at a pace it is not ready, she has got a coloured Chancellor, to take on “more than he can chew and renegade on his fiscal statement”. Besides, she has got a Home Secretary, SuellaBraverman, to repel migration, who for what reason we don’t know, has criticised migrants from India. This has rightly angered India and according to reports (unverified), UK’s Trade Deal negotiated by Boris Johnson is on the verge of collapse.

Now, who knows, the Brits will be easily placed to blame others for all the blunders, including the IMF for chastising the Government for its intransigence.

The Brits, as far as I know, will always have a way out strategy, to get out of the mess. It was all planned well in advance not to have the OBR oversight along with the Fiscal Statement made by the Chancellor of the Exchequer. Now the OBR will try to undo his overly anxious and ambitious plans to save the situation. Alternatively, there will be another “fallback strategy” as a diplomatic cover-up to the war in Ukraine. Who knows, they have a plan for the production of armaments, during the extended “Cold War with Russia?

The Apology That Never Came

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How should we remember Queen Elizabeth II and her 70 years on the British throne? It’s perhaps better to consider after the media parade about her funeral is in the rearview mirror.

A number of people have reacted to the glorification of her rule, pointing out the British Royals’ direct connection to the slave trade, Britain’s colonial massacres, mass famines and its loot from the colonies. Britain’s wealth—$45 trillion at current prices from India alone—was built on the blood and sweat of people who lost their land and homes and are today poor countries. Lest we forget, the slave trade was a monopoly of the British throne: first, as the Company of Royal Adventurers Trading into Africa in 1660, later converted to the Royal African Company of England. The battle over “free trade” fought by British merchant capital was against this highly lucrative Royal monopoly so that they could participate in it as well: enslaving people in Africa and selling them to plantations in the Americas and the Caribbean.

According to western legends of the European Age of Discovery, co-terminus with Enlightenment, was what started it all in the 16th century. Explorers such as Vasco de Gama, Columbus, and Magellan went across the world, discovering new lands. The Enlightenment led to the development of reason and science, the basis of the industrial revolution in England. The Industrial Revolution then reached Europe and the United States, creating the difference between the wealthy West and the poverty-stricken rest. Slavery, genocide, land expropriation from “natives” and colonial loot do not enter this sanitized picture of the development of capitalism. Or, if mentioned, only as marginal to the larger story of the rise of the west.

Actual history is quite different. Chronologically, the Industrial Revolution takes place in the second half of the 18th century. The 16th-17th centuries is when a small handful of western countries reached the Americas, followed by the genocide of its indigenous population and enslaving of the rest. The 16th-17th centuries also see the rise of the slave trade from Africa to the Caribbean and the Americas. It destroys African society and its economy, what Walter Rodney calls How Europe Undeveloped Africa. The plantation economy—based on slavery in the Caribbean and Continental America—created large-scale commodity production and global markets.

While sugar, the product of the plantations, was the first global commodity, it was followed by tobacco, coffee and coca, and later cotton. While the plantation economy provided commodities for the world market, let us not forget that slaves were still the most important “commodity”. The slave trade was the major source of European—British, French, Dutch, Spanish and Portuguese—capital. Gerald Horne writes, “The enslaved, a peculiar form of capital encased in labor, represented simultaneously the barbarism of the emerging capitalism, along with its productive force” (The Apocalypse of Settler Colonialism, Monthly Review, April 1, 2018).

Marx characterized it as so-called Primitive Accumulation and as “expropriation,” not accumulation. Capital from the beginning was based on expropriation—robbery, plunder and enslaving of people by the use of force; there was no accumulation in this process. As Marx writes, capital was born “dripping from head to foot, from every pore, with blood and dirt.”

The British Royals played a key role in this history of slavery and the so-called primitive accumulation. Britain was a second-class power at the beginning of the 17th century. Britain’s transformation was initially based on the slave trade and, later, the sugar plantations in the Caribbean. Its ships and traders emerged as the major power in the slave trade and, by the 1680s, held three-fourths of this “market” in human beings. Out of this, the Royal African Company, owned by the British Crown, held a 90% share: the charge for Britain’s domination of the slave trade was led by the British Royals.

Interestingly, the slogan of “free trade,” under which slogan the World Trade Organization (WTO) was created, was the British merchant capital wanting the abolition of the Royal Monopoly over slave trade. It was, in other words, the freedom of capital to enslave human beings and trade in them, free of the royal monopoly. It is this capital, created out of slave trade and outright piracy and loot, that funded the industrial revolution.

While slavery was finally abolished, in Britain it was not the slaves but the slave owners that were paid compensation for losing their “property.” The amount paid in 1833 was 40% of its national budget, and since it was paid by borrowings, the UK citizens paid off this “loan” only in 2015. For the people of India, there is another part to the story. As the ex-slaves refused to work on the plantations they had served as slaves, they were replaced by indentured labor from India.

To go back to the British Royalty. The Crown’s property and portfolio investments are currently worth 28 billion pounds, making King Charles III one of the richest persons in the UK. Charles III personal property itself is more than a billion pounds. Even by today’s standards of obscene personal wealth, these are big numbers, particularly as its income is virtually tax-free. The royals are also exempt from death duties.

In the three hundred years of the history of British colonialism, brutal wars, genocide, slavery, and expropriation were carried out in its name and under its leadership. After the industrial revolution, Britain wanted only raw materials from its colonies and not any industrial products: the slogan was “not even a nail from the colonies.” All trade from the colonies to other countries had to pass through Britain and pay taxes there before being re-exported. The complement of the industrial revolution in Britain was de-industrializing its colonies, confining them to be a producer of raw materials and agricultural products.

Why are we talking about Britain’s colonial past on the occasion of the death of Queen Elizabeth II? After all, she only saw the last 70 years when the British colonial empire was liquidated. This is not simply about the past, but that neither the British Crown nor its rulers have ever expressed any guilt over the brutality of its empire, and its foundation based on slavery and genocide. No apology for the empire’s gory history: not even for the massacres and mass incarcerations that took place. In Jallianawala Bagh, which Elizabeth II visited in 1997, she called the massacre a “distressing episode” and a “difficult episode”; not even a simple “We are sorry.” Prince Phillip even questioned the number of martyrs.

How do we reconcile the anger that people who suffered from Britain’s colonial empire feel about their leaders making a bee-line to pay homage to the Queen? Does it not shame the memory of those who laid down their lives in the freedom struggle against the British Crown that India lowered the national flag to half-mast to honor the Queen?

One can argue that this happened long before Elizabeth II took over the Crown, and we cannot hold her personally responsible for Britain’s colonial history. We should: she as Queen represented the British state: it is not Elizabeth, the person that people want an apology from, but the titular head of the British state. That is why Mukoma Wa Ngugi, the son of Kenya’s world-renowned writer Ngugi wa Thiong’o said, “If the queen had apologized for slavery, colonialism and neocolonialism and urged the crown to offer reparations for the millions of lives taken in her/their names, then perhaps I would do the human thing and feel bad,” he wrote. “As a Kenyan, I feel nothing. This theater is absurd.”

Mukoma Ngugi was referring to the Mau Mau revolt for land and freedom in which thousands of Kenyans were massacred, and 1.5 million were held in brutal concentration camps.

This was 1952-1960; Queen Elizabeth II came to the throne in 1952, very much in her lifetime!

This article was produced in partnership by Newsclick and Globetrotter.

What two Labour Women MP’s said at the “Labour Party Conference”?

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I quote the report by PA News Agency in today’s National Scot for my readers:

“Labour deputy leader Ms Rayner took aim at the Conservative prime ministers since 2010 during a joke-laden speech to close her party’s conference in Liverpool. In a bid to rally party members, Ms Rayner ran through the policy pledges made in recent days and insisted Labour would be “radical, responsible, realistic” in power.

“By contrast, she described Liz Truss’s new Government as a “ministry of all the talentless”, adding: “When I looked at the benches opposite last week, I thought the clowns had escaped the circus.

“On Mr Johnson, ousted from Number 10 after a series of scandals which included lockdown-busting events in Downing Street, Labour MP Ms Rayner said: “I do owe him one apology.

“I said he couldn’t organise a booze-up in a brewery. Turns out he could organise a booze-up pretty much anywhere, just a shame he couldn’t organise anything else.

“We’re a party with a serious plan, he had a plan for a serious party.

Taking the mickey

“I’ll miss one thing though. As inflation ran out of control, at least his jokes were one thing that got cheaper every week.“But the real problem wasn’t that his jokes were so cheap, it was that his mistakes were so expensive.

“He ended his time claiming he was forced from office by the ‘deep state’. The only deep state that forced him from office was the one he left our country in.

“Sorry conference, I had to use all my Boris lines now while he’s still remembered and while everyone knows who he is before he becomes a footnote of failure in the history books. “At least that’s what the new Prime Minister must be hoping for because he’ll be sat on the backbenches plotting his comeback, with a glint in his eye, thinking: ‘I wasn’t so bad after all was I?’

“What a sorry state of affairs.”

Ms Rayner earlier mocked Ms Truss for having “crashed the pork market”, a nod to the Prime Minister’s enthusiasm for the sector when environment secretary.

She said of the Conservatives: “Tough on crime? They brought crime to Number 10. “Defenders of the free market? The market’s in free-fall. England’s green and pleasant land? Frack it. From the party of stability to causing earthquakes. From the party of business to a slap down from the IMF. From the party of serious government to the party of parties. “Liz Truss has even crashed the pork market. Now that is a disgrace. You’d think that snouts in the trough was the one thing they could manage.”

Labour’s conference concluded with renditions of The Red Flag and Jerusalem, with Ms Rayner and Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer joining in” –unquote.

A hilarious event, it could happen only in England?

Whilst the above enthralled the Labour Conference at Liverpool, I call it another hilarious incident, that took place at a Fringe Labour Event entitled: “What’s next for Labour’s Agenda for Race,” on Monday 26 September 2022.

Ms RupaHaq, Labour M.P for Ealing Central and Acton, of Asian origin, while addressing this Fringe event was quoted by The Guardian, to have said,(about, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rt.Hon. Kwasi Kwarteng,) “he is superficial, he is a Blackman, but again he’s got more in common – he went to Eton.”

Ms Haq has since apologised direct to the Chancellor, but it has opened up a hornet’s nest. She has been suspended from the Labour Party Whip in the Commons.

Responding to the controversy, MP Haq is also reported to have told “The Guardian”: her comments were made while praising the recent ethnic diversity in Parliament. She is quoted to have commented: “Obviously, I know you can be brown and be a Tory – I’m not that stupid”.

We know there are occasions when coloured people become the scapegoat for racist remarks. Taking the mickey on native English is acceptable, but “taking the mickey, on others, is sacrosanct.”