Should We Hope for an Apology from Britain?

An increasing number of voices are being heard demanding that Britain apologize for the unprecedented witch hunt being conducted against Russia under the utterly false pretext of the “Skripal incident.” However, Russian President Vladimir Putin has bluntly stated:

“We do not hope for anything other than for common sense to eventually prevail and for international relations to avoid the setbacks we have seen recently.”

It is clear that on an official level Moscow is not going to dig in its heels and demand an apology from London as a prerequisite for the resumption of communication, although that sort of dialog would be possible with the leaders of other countries. For example, in November 2015, after the Turkish air force shot down a Russian jet, the Kremlin held Ankara accountable by cutting off not only all top-level contacts, but also the Russian-Turkish relationship in its entirety. Only Turkish President Recep Erdoğan’s letter of apology nine months later to Russian President Vladimir Putin resuscitated that relationship.

Why is it impossible to have a dialog like that — direct and open, albeit unflinching — with the British government?

Because the Anglo-Saxon elite that has ruled Britain and half of the world for the last three centuries sees itself as a special caste entitled to special rights. They have never been in the habit of apologizing to anyone.

Actually, they enjoy quite a long history of feeding their own people to sheep. The enclosures erected in the English countryside in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries were at their heart a means of forcibly depriving the English peasantry of their access to arable land, which was then turned over to big sheep farms. Tens of thousands of people were driven from what had been common land to become vagabonds and beggars. Many perished from hunger and disease. But instead of doing battle against the poverty it had created, the government battled against the poor themselves. Specially drafted laws against vagrancy demanded that those who fell afoul be cruelly beaten, enslaved, and executed. Seventy-two thousand people were put to death in England in just the first half of the 16th century.

King Henry VIII
King Henry VIII

Likely this treatment of their own population can be explained by the fact that peasants in England belonged to an entirely different ethnic group than that of the aristocracy, who were descended from the Norman army that conquered that island in the 11th century and also the Saxon nobility, which later emerged as the ruling dynasties. The Anglo-Saxon elite developed not just a contemptuous, but a downright racist attitude towards their subjects, elevating themselves into a special caste with a special law of morality.

The genocide of the Irish, which the English carried out for centuries, certainly deserves special mention. When Oliver Cromwell‘s troops invaded Ireland in 1649 that was only one of the most egregious episodes from that history. Over 40% of the Irish population died as a result of that campaign.

In the 17th century — the early days of Britain’s growing maritime and colonial empire — London began a pattern of horrifying abuse of the indigenous populations of its conquered countries, almost to the point of their physical extermination. The British aristocracy considered the native peoples of the Americas, India, Africa, and China all to be races of a lower order. No rules or laws protected them.

Millions of members of the aboriginal communities were butchered in the English colonies in North America, Asia, Africa, and Australia. The mass slaughter of aborigines raised no more eyebrows than did hunting. In Tasmania in 1830, British soldiers orchestrated a massacre of native inhabitants who had the effrontery to be “bad-mannered.” First they gunned down the men and then beat the women and children to death.

In the 1950s, reacting to what is known as the Mau Mau Uprising waged by the natives of Kenya against the English regime to protest their seizures of land from the indigenous inhabitants, the British massacred about 300,000 Africans and drove another 1.5 million into concentration camps. It is worth noting that the world’s first concentration camps were established in South Africa by Britain’s Lord Herbert Kitchener to imprison Boer families during the Second Boer War of 1899-1902.

London’s predatory colonial policies often created genuine humanitarian disasters in the countries under British occupation. In India, tens of millions died from mass starvation, which became a commonplace event under British rule. The British attitude toward it all was eloquently expressed by Sir Winston Churchill himself, who in 1943 had this to say about the famine in Bengal: “I hate Indians. They are a beastly people with a beastly religion. The famine was their own fault for breeding like rabbits.”

1876-1879 Famine in India
British government continued its policy of “forced export” of food from India in 1876-1879, while the famine swept among its people. Estimated 10.3 million people starved to death most of which were in South India.

In the 19th century, London began a brisk trade of selling opium to China, making huge profits while simultaneously undermining Chinese society and government. In an attempt to rescue his country, the Chinese emperor began to seize and destroy those caches of opium in 1839. London reacted by launching a war in which China was defeated and forced to accept the crippling terms offered by the British state-sponsored drug mafia. The British elite, including the British royal family, made a fortune off of this. But China paid a horrifying price — entire generations perished in a narcotic haze that mentally and physically degraded the Chinese people. However, London’s official narrative would have us believe that the opium wars laid the foundation for the development of democracy in China.

Do you think that London ever apologized to the Chinese for the opium wars or for its policy of doping up their native population? Even in 1997 when Hong Kong was returned to China? On the contrary — in his private correspondence, which was later leaked to the press, Prince Charles referred to China’s leaders at that time as “appalling old waxworks.”

One would have to be very naive to expect an apology from the British elite. The former Labour PM, Tony Blair, who orchestrated the Iraq War along with George W. Bush, never apologized for the invasion of that country in 2003. He never said he was sorry even after it had been proven that Baghdad possessed no weapons of mass destruction, which had been the pretext for the attack by the Western coalition. When, after many years of trying to bring Blair to justice, he finally did express his regrets, it was only for “some mistakes he made in planning the conflict … and its aftermath,” but never for having deliberately exaggerated the intelligence findings in order to unleash a war that ultimately destroyed Iraq and resulted in chaos, terror, and hundreds of thousands of dead.

Of course, some decent and honorable people have always been part of British political circles. It’s just that as a rule the “free” British press tries to turn them into whipping boys or mad hatters or to dismiss them using that handy label of “odd man out.”

Jeremy Corbyn is one member of the British elite who fits that bill today.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn

The fact that he is now the leader of the linchpin of the opposition, the Labor Party, which has outstripped the ruling Conservatives in popularity, is a unique situation that reflects the deep crisis into which British politics has stumbled. His success was as big a surprise for the British elite as Donald Trump’s rise to power was for their American counterparts.

The fact that Corbyn currently only holds the reins of power in his own party and would have to win the parliamentary elections at a minimum in order to take the helm of his country is another issue. If the Brexit talks become deadlocked or Parliament votes down the agreement that May’s cabinet will have to sign this year with the European Union, Great Britain may be looking at a snap election. And at that point, the Corbyn-led Labour Party has a chance of winning.

That is why we have seen such aggressive attempts to depose this political figure. One of those attacks “oddly enough” coincided with Corbyn’s statement on the “Skripal incident.”While supporting May’s position against Russia, Corbyn also raised the question of whether there was any real proof of Russian fingerprints. Soon the press began a campaign to accuse Corbyn of … anti-Semitism.

Jeremy Corbyn might well become the prime minister of Great Britain — and then one British political tradition could be shattered. Because then the whole world would have to deal with someone who is not a representative of the usual British elite, reflecting the interests of an extremely limited stratum of society, but rather the foremost representative of his country, a man who has the support of a majority of its citizens, a man of honor who is ready to reliably defend their interests and respect his nation’s partners in international discourse.

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