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As I wrote in a previous article, when I was at school the British Empire was coloured red on the map of the world, demonstrating the truth of the saying that the sun never set on the Empire.  This is now long gone,and one can well ask why.

The reason for its global colonisation was the class system in England, which developed out of the feudal system of landlord and serf in the Middle Ages into the class system, at about the time of the Industrial Revolution.  There were the upper, middle and lower classes, distinguishable by their accents.  The upper class included the aristocrats, landed gentry and people of wealth and influence; the middle class included shopkeepers, lawyers, book-keepers and the like; the lower class included the workers and the indigent.  Non-whites were considered inferior to the white race and were barred from the country.

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The upper class sent their sons to exclusive so-called public (really private) schools such as Eton and Harrow, and then on to Oxford or Cambridge Universities, or to institutions such as the Royal Military Academies at Sandhurst and Woolwich.

Initially during the Industrial Revolution, entire families of the lower class, including women and children as young as five were employed in the coal mines for up to twelve hours a day.  A law was later passed in1844 restricting the ages of child labourers to ten and prohibiting the employment of women. The lower class also provided the troops for the military and manual labour generally.

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"Child Labour In The Industrial Revolution" courtesy of Pinterest

Although ameliorated over time, this was the system under which the British Empire flourished. The upper-class young men were sent out to colonise and civilise the world. 

In the words of Rudyard Kipling written in 1899:

Take up the White Man's burden,

Send forth the best ye breed,

Go bind your sons to exile,

To serve your captives' need,

To wait in heavy harness,

On fluttered folk and wild,

Your new-caught, sullen peoples,   

Half-devil and half-child.

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Kipling is also credited with the origin of the phrase “Mad dogs and Englishmen go out in the midday sun" made famous by Noel Coward in a song of that name.

Typical products of the British caste systems were, among many others:

Major-General Robert Clive of India (1725-1774) was famous for setting in motion British control of India, including retaliation against the Nawab of Bengal for the “Black Hole of Calcutta” - a cramped dungeon in which around 100 British prisoners of war died overnight of suffocation, and a decisive victory in the Battle of Plassey against the forces of the Nawab, both in 1757;

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Major-General Arthur Wellesley First Duke of Wellington (1769-1852) was one of the greatest ever British military commanders and won numerous battles. He attended Eton and was twice Prime Minister of Great Britain.  He was victor over Napoleon at Waterloo following Napoleon's escape from Elba.On re-visiting Eton following Waterloo, Wellington is reported as having said "It is here that the battle of Waterloo was won.”

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Major-General Charles “Chinese” Gordon of Khartoum (1833-1885) famous for leading the Chinese Emperor’s troops to victory over the Taiping Revolutionaries, and who following a stint as Governor-General of Sudan, returned to Sudan on the instructions of the British Prime Minister Gladstone to evacuate Egyptian nationals from Khartoum to escape the fundamental Islamic revolutionary Muhammad Ahmad, the self-proclaimed “Mahdi” or “the successor of the Prophet”, sent to convert all to Islam at what was supposed to be the end of time.  Gordon vacillated, and by the time he had evacuated about 2,000 civilians to Egypt, which was in effect a British puppet state, the Mahdi’s force of 50,000 who had held the starving city under siege for nearly one year, closed in and killed Gordon and about 10,000 others.

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Field Martial Lord Horatio Kitchener (1850-1916) was the quintessential badass British commander who retook Khartoum from the Islamic revolutionaries in 1898 at the Battle of Omdurman (now a suburb of Khartoum), following which the Mahdi’s tomb was blown up and his remains scattered, and over 10,000 of his followers taken prisoner and slaughtered, supposedly in revenge for the death of Gordon.  The British lost 500 troops. The final mopping up by Kitchener was at the battle of Battle of Umm Diwaykarat in 1899.

 

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Kitchener initiated the “scorched earth” policy during the Boer War in 1902 and set up the first concentration camps in which thousands of civilians, mainly children, died from disease and starvation. He supposedly gave the “take no prisoners” order which was obeyed, among others, by Lieutenants Harry “Breaker” Morant and Peter Hancock who executed some prisoners and were then court-martialled and shot on his orders, in order to shift the blame for the excesses to the Australians.

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Kitchener was British Secretary of State at the commencement of WWI, and on visiting Gallipoli in 1915 recommended that the troops be withdrawn. He met his end in 1916 when the ship in which he was travelling to Russia in order to meet with Tsar Nicholas II was sunk by a German mine.

Although it would seem racist and hierarchical today, the might of the British Empire, in the last days of which we oldies were born, was based on the belief in the superiority of the white Anglo Saxon, and that the lower class were there to suffer deprivation and to serve the upper class.  When I see what our country has become today – abortion legalised, homosexual marriage recognised legally, so-called multiculturism, selling off the country to China, and advance of cultural Marxism as demonstrated by the COVID lockdowns and coming vaccination passports, I wish that the old days were still here when we stood up for God Save the King at the pictures (not called movies in those days) and rolled Jaffas down the aisle.

Here is the full poem:

TAKE up the White Man's burden -
Send forth the best ye breed -
Go bind your sons to exile
To serve your captives' need;

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To wait in heavy harness
On fluttered folk and wild -
Your new-caught sullen peoples,
Half devil and half child.

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Take up the White Man's burden -
In patience to abide
To veil the threat of terror
And check the show of pride;

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By open speech and simple,
An hundred times made plain,
To seek another's profit,
And work another's gain.

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Take up the White Man's burden -
The savage wars of peace -
Fill full the mouth of famine
And bid the sickness cease;

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And when your goal is nearest
The end for others sought,
Watch Sloth and heathen Folly
Bring all your hopes to nought.

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Take up the White Man's burden -
No tawdry rule of kings,
But toil of serf and sweeper -
The tale of common things.

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The ports ye shall not enter,
The roads ye shall not tread,
Go make them with your living,
And mark them with your dead !

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Take up the White Man's burden -
And reap his old reward,
The blame of those ye better,
The hate of those ye guard -

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The cry of hosts ye humour
(Ah slowly !) towards the light:-
"Why brought ye us from bondage,
"Our loved Egyptian night ?"

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Take up the White Man's burden -
Ye dare not stoop to less -
Nor call too loud on Freedom
To cloak your weariness;

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By all ye cry or whisper,
By all ye leave or do,
The silent sullen peoples
Shall weigh your Gods and you.

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Take up the White Man's burden -
Have done with childish days -
The lightly proffered laurel,
The easy, ungrudged praise.

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Comes now, to search your manhood
Through all the thankless years,
Cold-edged with dear-bought wisdom,
The judgement of your peers.

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 The life we had and the life we knew

Known, these days, to just a few.

The hush and the hit if a ball well hit

What a joy we shared it - for only a bit. 

So quiet the crowds 

when covid ... well shit

Australia. alas, is now out on wickets

I suspect that our world

hears nothing but crickets

 

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