The British Empire is a legacy of violence

Opinion: The British Empire: A legacy of violence?

In this week’s Opinion piece, “A legacy of violence,” the Independent’s Mark Kitto argues that our Empire – Britain’s imperial enterprise – is built on “violent history” and poses “a threat to the international order.” But, he writes, he is not convinced that empire is a “bad” policy, and – importantly – not so sure it is “a good one.”

Let’s be clear: the British Empire was a violent enterprise, and one that was – and still is – committed to establishing the primacy of the British world-view over every other.

I am against the death, destruction or imprisonment of anyone who is opposing Western supremacy, and who is not – by definition – on the same side. A death sentence for the British citizen who is not a paid lobbyist for the West is an act of the state – on behalf of the citizens of a country that is not being colonized by the West.

But when it comes to the question of the violence and violence-like tactics commonly employed by Western agents in their quest for domination and control, the British Empire was hardly a paragon of virtue but – in the words of former editor of the Guardian Paul Johnson – a “strictly bloody business.”

The British Empire was founded on the basis of “conquest and not consent,” as the late Oxford historian Professor R.A.C. Parker put it, and was supported by a military and economic system that is still in place today. What is called the British Empire was, and remains, a colonial enterprise.

Yet, despite this violent and bloody history, a legacy of violence is also woven into the fabric of our country.

For every one of the 60,000 Indian civilians who died in the First Indochina War for Independence, for every one of the 5,000 soldiers of the Pakistan Frontier Force who were killed in the Battle of Nowshera in December 1919, for every one of the 1.5 million Muslims that were slaughtered in Gujarat and elsewhere between 1947 and 2002, for every one of the

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