British yet to deal with legacy of empire?

Richard Gott seems to have annoyed quite a number of people with his piece in the Guardian where he argues that many of the present conflicts in the world take place “in the former colonial territories that Britain abandoned, exhausted and impoverished”. He calls Palestine a “settler colony” and goes on to describe “tragic statelet” Northern Ireland as a victim of “settler colonialism where unresolved problems survive from the time of empire include South Africa, Zimbabwe and Kenya”.

  • JR

    It’s a legacy that Britain should be ashamed of.

  • Fanny

    Mr Gott is on shaky ground. For every ill that Britain (and other European nations) visited on other nations one might come up with dreadful practices which the colonists put a stop too. Suttee is one that comes to mind at once.

  • Gotty’s just bitter coz his KGB pension scheme has gone tits up.

  • fair_deal

    The 60’s left never dies it just keeps proving its irrelevance to 21st century debate.

  • Fanny

    Fair Deal, let’s also not forget that the 60s’ left paved the way for yob culture too. They have a lot to answer for.

  • Nevin

    Gott is obviously a man of principle, a fearless opponent of the Establishment:

    [i]I returned to the Guardian, but later that year [b]went into exile[/b], accepting an invitation with John Gittings to work at the University of Chile in Santiago, [b]with our fares paid by the British Council[/b]. Peter Preston, then the Guardian’s diarist and later its editor, wrote that opinion in Whitehall was divided about this modest outlay. Some were horrified, others thought Chile suitably remote.[/i]

  • The truth hurts

    “Mr Gott is on shaky ground. For every ill that Britain (and other European nations) visited on other nations one might come up with dreadful practices which the colonists put a stop too. Suttee is one that comes to mind at once. ”

    People in England used to hanged, drawn and quartered but hey, guess what? They don’t do that anymore. As time went by the country developed and became more ‘civilised’. Other countries were not so lucky and never had the chance. How can anyone defend the British Empire (or any empire)?? The truth hurts for some I think.

  • dodrade

    An extremely unfair article. Britain did not plant jewish settlers in Palestine, they had been coming of their own accord even before Britain took control. Yes, Britain did make two mutually incompatible promises to the jews and palestinians, and subsquentially fell between two stools, as both sides pulled British policy this way and that. Perhaps if the planned pre war partition had happened things would not be as they are today.
    Sierra Leone was a haven from slavery and nothing to be ashamed of, and if anything Zimbabwe’s history has completely vindicated Ian Smith. If we had supported his internal settlement with Muzorwewa the country would not be in the sorry state its in now.
    As for India, the British didn’t want partition, but it sadly became inevitable by 1947. yes there were mistakes in Britain’s imperial past, but to say imperialism was a wholly bad phenomenon is no more true to say than to claim it was all sweetness and light. No country has a blameless past.

  • Brian Boru

    A correct article. A lot of this trouble stems from colonisation and the attempt by the colonists to deny equal rights to the natives. He is just calling a spade a spade.

  • audley

    It is estimated that the British Empire resulted in the deaths of 12 million people worldwide in the last century alone (around 90 million in total). Certainly its most ravaged colony is right here on its doorstep. That legacy continues, conflict fuelled by the settlers Britain dumped on this lovely island. Britain should at least have the decent to clean up the mess it left behind.

    What a disgusting and blood stained flag the Union Jack is. Those who wave it have the blood of 90 million people on their hands.

  • Fanny

    “People in England used to hanged, drawn and quartered but hey, guess what? They don’t do that anymore. As time went by the country developed and became more ‘civilised’. Other countries were not so lucky and never had the chance.”

    I’m not sure what “luck” has to be with civilization. Iran (to name one country) still stones women to death. By what stroke of luck can this hideous practice be halted I wonder.

  • And as if by magic, the contrarian view. Richard Gott on the ‘original sin’ of settlerism.

    I wouldn’t imagine that Britian’s former colonies are alone in dealing with the legacy of imperialism; the Democratic Republic of Congo (former Zaire) has arguably still not recovered from the lethal regime of Leopold of Belgium, and modern Algeria, or frankly much of West Africa is hardly an advertisement for the “bon regime” of French adventurism. Is Namibia a happier place for its German period?

    In that respect at least, Gott’s analysis appears to my myopic.

    Nor can I concur with the ‘noble savage’ patronising of the ‘nativist’ populations. The fate of the indigiounous Australian population is indeed tragic, but the situation in the Middle East is far from black and white; indeed there has to my mind rarely been such a confluence of villany, and absence of heroes.

    The entire article appears as much an argument for ‘national tribalism’ as anything; that no stable state can survive a divergence of ethnicity. But if Eratz Israel is doomed as he suggests (and I for one find that unconvincing) wherefore the country’s six million Jewry, a huge proportion of which have no other nationality?

    And I’m not entirely certain how a ‘recognition’ of past wrong, however desirous, actually solves any of the problems he lists.

  • peter fallow

    We who are fortunate enough to live in the UK should be rightly proud of the Union Jack. We brought civilisation to many parts of the world and left those countries in much better shape than when we arrived. Ireland definitely included! Shame about your inferiority complex, Audley – but it’s only a natural response to the weakness of your country (or ‘lovely island!), I suppose. Bad luck, old chap.

  • fair_deal

    Is its Britains inability to deal with the legacy of empire or the inability of the former parts of the empire to get over it?

    Anyway this entire line of argument is ridiculous. Your country did X 150 years ago so it means that you must feel guilt and side with the group your ancestors allegedly wronged. The rights and wrongs of the situation and actions of the groups since then are to be ignored, the sole thing to be focused on is one particular part of history and nothing else.

  • And as if by magic, the contrarian view. Richard Gott on the ‘original sin’ of settlerism.

    I wouldn’t imagine that Britian’s former colonies are alone in dealing with the legacy of imperialism; the Democratic Republic of Congo (former Zaire) has arguably still not recovered from the lethal regime of Leopold of Belgium, and modern Algeria, or frankly much of West Africa is hardly an advertisement for the “bon regime” of French adventurism. Is Namibia a happier place for its German period?

    In that respect at least, Gott’s analysis appears to my myopic.

    Nor can I concur with the ‘noble savage’ patronising of the ‘nativist’ populations. The fate of the indigiounous Australian population is indeed tragic, but the situation in the Middle East is far from black and white; indeed there has rarely been such a confluence of villany, and absence of heroes.

    The entire article appears as much an argument for ‘national tribalism’ as anything; that no stable state can survive a divergence of ethnicity. But if Eratz Israel is doomed as he suggests (and I for one find that unconvincing) wherefore the countries six million jewry, a huge proportion of which have no other nationality?

    And I’m not entirely certain how a ‘recognition’ of past wrong, however desirous, actually solves any of the problems he lists.

  • Fair Deal

    I would caution against the flippany inherent in the phrase “get over it”.

    As I’ve already stated, I’m not sure how collective guilt, or breast-beating can solve any of these issues. But by the same token, collective denial is not necessarily useful either.

    I’m certainly sypathetic to the notion that former colonial masters do bear ‘some’ responsibility for helping the colonies they left behind, unless they left them in the state they found them; and few did.

  • fair_deal

    TBT

    A reasonable criticism, duly noted.

  • FD

    A fair response, thankfully noted 😉

    I would only reiterate that trying to find a solution to the Middle East based on ‘rewarding the nicer guys’ is craziness writ large. There are no heroes, or at beat a relatively even scattering of them amid the seas of villany.

    So we are thrown back, if not on the personal virtue of a combatant, then on to pragmatism, and principle.

    If there is no White Hat, then we have to find another principle to rely on, whether the Montevideo Conventions, the UN Human Rights provisions, the principle of non-internvention, or the best option for ourselves. The last is the least principled, the most pragmatic, and almost certainly where the weight of the US, and the UK, will finally lie.

  • Cynic

    Strangely, while deeply analysing British alleged wrongdoing in the 17th to 19th centuries he misses out a few more relevent and recent little episodes like the USSR’s activities in Afghanistan and the way in which the Soviet Empire promoted civil wars or sold huge amounts of arms to some very dubious regimes in South America and Africa.

    But no. British Colonialism is the source of all current evils!! Oh dear.

    It’s a warm day – are you drinking enough fluids?

    Oh well….if I’d spent my entire life promulgating the benefits of liberation for South American countries only to see the Soviet Union implode and communism exposed as just another side of fascism, I’d probaly end up just as bitter.

  • mickhall

    fair deal,

    If we on the left are such an ineffectual hopeless bunch as you claim, why do we offend you so much, surly if you really believe what you claim, you should be working for a museum so that we 60s leftists can sit in it, endlessly pontificating as a warning to future generations.

    Maybe you could get a section of the old maize set aside for us, we will only charge the going rate for out time, £500 per day the latest education quango put forward by the Viceroy would be just fine. Let me when you want us to make ourselves available, don’t worry [at that rate of pay] we will give our time generously.

  • Keith M

    Oh please spare us this all too ill-informed self flagelation, there are far more real problems that need to be dealth with.

  • Fanny

    “Maybe you could get a section of the old maize set aside for us”

    Is this anywhere near Cornmarket? 😉

  • fair_deal

    mickhall

    “such an ineffectual hopeless bunch as you claim, why do we offend you so much”

    Where did I say I found such views offensive?

    “surly if you really believe what you claim, you should be working for a museum so that we 60s leftists can sit in it, endlessly pontificating as a warning to future generations.”

    Huh? I honestly think that is the most curious claim I have ever seen on a comment I have made on slugger. I work in economically and socially deprived areas to try and help people improve their lifes. I find that sufficiently rewarding that I am not seeking a new career.

    “Maybe you could get a section of the old maize set aside for us”

    It would be a better use than the proposed new stadium and that “conflict resolution” proposal. However, I have no desire to see you interned.

    “we will only charge the going rate for out time, £500 per day the latest education quango put forward by the Viceroy would be just fine. Let me when you want us to make ourselves available, don’t worry [at that rate of pay] we will give our time generously.”

    I take it from that comment that solidarity with the masses is dead.

  • mickhall

    “I take it from that comment that solidarity with the masses is dead.
    posted by fare deal”

    FD

    Ouch 😉

    Mick

  • lib2016

    The Guardian has had a somewhat questionable role in providing an ‘enlightened liberal’ voice to defend the British role in Northern Ireland.

    In the seventies it was one of the few voices on the left which upheld the sectarian introduction of internment, for which it’s editor John Cole was rewarded by a senior role in the BBC despite many English people being completely unable to understand his accent.

    More recently it provided a platform for Martin Ingram to establish his ‘rogue intelligence’ persona with a series of excerpts from his first book. Only last week it had a story complimenting a certain solicitor from Dromore for his role in the Orange Order without mentioning certain other connections he has been alleged to have had. Don’t they have Google at the Guardian?

    The establishment are preparing the great British public for their departure from Ireland – it’s to be expected now that the troops are actually leaving and certainly nothing anybody in Northern Ireland should get excited about.

  • true republican

    The willingness of some to claim that British withdrawal is close when it is in fact further away than it has ever been astonishes me. I suppose it’s easier than facing the unpalatable completely obvious – the union is completely safe. The British did not leave Ireland when Downing Street itself was under attack they are hardly going to do so now they have completely neutered physical force republicanism. The Provos were once the world’s leading insurgent group, now the Brits have secured their total surrender (including weapons bought with the people’s money and lives) without ANY of their core goals achieved or now in any way achievable. The Brits are building a massive MI5 HQ in North Down. Is this the sign of a state planning on ending its occupation?! Wise up. The Shinners sold us all out for dinner in Downing Street and the chance to have their pictures taken with Geroge Bush. So they could beg Paisley to return to Stormont to administer British rule. For a couple of cross border bodies on inland waterways. It’s pathetic.

  • lib2016

    “The Brits are building a massive MI5 HQ in North Down”

    Heh! Heh! Twentynine million quid for a ‘massive HQ’? How much do they save by closing down Bessbrook helicopter base – the largest such base in Europe apparently?

    Peanuts, sonny. But then we’re dealing with monkeys since all the real brains are off in Afghanistan and Iraq.

  • true republican

    Well, duh: they don’t NEED anyone but monkeys here any more and they certainly don’t need chopper bases since the Provos sold us all out for basically NOTHING. No return to Stormont? No decommissioning? No acceptance of the unionist veto? All of this is hardly surprising though given the level of infiltration evidenced by traitor in chief Scappaticci, Donaldson and all the others we have yet to find out about. I find it equally astonishing that a nationalist or republican can be so unperturbed by the building of a spook centre which will staffed by hundreds of British agents.
    They’ll be co-operating with the PSNI / RUC within a year. It IS pathetic. The Brits aren’t going anywhere.

  • lib2016

    “The Brits aren’t going anywhere.”

    Two years before they left Cyprus they claimed that they were staying permanently. India was given only six months. We’re lucky that they will be leaving here in a reasonably tidy and orderly way.

    There is a police service which is far too large for normal police duties in a relatively peaceful part of the world, one which is no longer under unionist control. The war’s over years ago and any credible unionist powerstructure has been dismantled. It’s over, grow up and accept that we are all going to have to learn to deal with each other peacefully.

  • true republican

    Typical SF Orwellian doublespeak thrown up like sand into the eyes of a voter base who can’t bring themselves to accept that they were fooled by their own leadership into gladly accepting defeat.

  • the truth hurts

    “I’m not sure what “luck” has to be with civilization. Iran (to name one country) still stones women to death. By what stroke of luck can this hideous practice be halted I wonder.”

    How on earth would the abolishment of stoning, for example, excuse the invasion of a country, enslavement of its people and the plundering of its natural resources?

  • English

    A lot of English people are ashamed of Empire, and we are also ashamed of the foreign land mass that is Northern Ireland still being part of Empire, but this will change in time.

    We are by and large also outraged by continued modern day imperialism of Bush and Blair in Iran and Afghanistan.

  • JR – It’s a legacy that Britain should be ashamed of.

    Brian Boru – …A lot of this trouble stems from colonisation and the attempt by the colonists to deny equal rights to the natives.

    Question: Does anyone believe that if any other country had been in the same position as England / GB during these times (1400s – 1800s), that they would have acted differently?

  • peter fallow

    And Hidden Gem hits the nail squarely on the head.
    Of course they wouldn’t. And blaming nations for not acting in a 21st century fashion 200-300 years ago is the impulse of simpletons / opportunists who just want to bash the Brits.
    The British Empire, while not perfect (in modern terms), was the most egalitarian and progressive of any in history. Places like Ireland should be grateful for its intervention in their otherwise backward, primitive societies.
    Irish nationalism’s petulant, all-pervading inferiority complex is a particularly unedifying spectacle to behold. At least it is justified in having that complex though.

  • Cynic

    I suspect that it’s not that they don’t have Google and more that they will give a voice to any left wing cause / commentator, never mind how extreme or, let’s face it, in come cases simply barking mad. A bit like an alter-ego for the Daily Mail but still yearning to fight the intellectual battles of 1919- 90 – the golden years. Oh well, its still entertaining isnt it. look how many people here got wound up…and all on a Sunday too.

  • P O’Neil

    The British Empire, while not perfect (in modern terms), was the most egalitarian and progressive of any in history. Places like Ireland should be grateful for its intervention in their otherwise backward, primitive societies.

    Typical Brit apologist. The eradication of an entire way of life, ethnic cleansing of a native population, lands stolen and planted by colonial tyrants…. Why thank you Britain, thank you for turning my country into a shithole that mirrors Britian. Its to our great benefit that we were colonised by a culture and ‘civilisation’ that is inferior in every way. Why, thank you.

    What goes around comes around, and if there is any kind of Karma out there, I (and I am sure plenty of others) cannot wait for the day that all the evils perpetrated by Britian is visted upon its own doorstep, and she finally gets the ass raping thats long over due.

    PS for all you ignorant, dumbed-down British flag wavers out there the 7/7 bombings were an INSIDE job, to dupe you sheeple into mindlessly standing behind Britain in its darkest hour (blah, blah, blah, yawn, yawn, yawn – heard it all before).

    If there were any veracity to the supposed ‘war on terror’ and not the thinly veiled smoke-screen for Anglo-American Empire building that it is, London would be a smouldering pile of ruins, as Britian via the City of London, is the leading sponsor of terrorism, state and otherwise. If you Brits are really serious about combating terrosism, then DONT pay your taxes – as simple as that.

  • Prince Eoghan

    “What goes around comes around, and if there is any kind of Karma out there, I (and I am sure plenty of others) cannot wait for the day that all the evils perpetrated by Britian is visted upon its own doorstep, and she finally gets the ass raping thats long over due.”

    Guess that Macdonalds restaurants, Ronnie Reagan, The Bush’s father and son and neo-cons(holy ghost), bling and creating stardom for monosyllabic non-entities should count as karma. To many Brits though the worst thing that has happened to them is the multi-culturism that has been foisted on them. The empire has came home to roost literally.

  • Fanny

    “How on earth would the abolishment of stoning, for example, excuse the invasion of a country, enslavement of its people and the plundering of its natural resources?”

    You tell me, The truth hurts. I implied no such thing.

    You posted earlier that “As time went by the country [England] developed and became more ‘civilised’. Other countries were not so lucky and never had the chance.”

    I couldn’t follow your logic; still can’t. Perhaps you’ll explain why the English managed to abolish hanging, drawing and quartering within a couple of hundred years and certain Middle Eastern countries still haven’t shaken off vile practices that belong in medieval times.

  • P O’Neil

    Was angling for something more Apocalyptic. Another ‘Great Fire’ would be nice, then we could all sit round and break out the marshmallows.

  • P.O.Neill’s delusional rant is a reflection of the SF Spin Machine.

    I am guessing he/she won’t like to be reminded that SF are still a very small party in the South. (Though I am sure he/she would be quick to tell us that SF is the oldest on this island and SF is the largest nationalist party in the North with the fastest growing in the South)

    Another ‘Great Fire’ would be nice Is he/she serious or is this just a sick joke?

    Clearly P.O.Neill hasn’t seen enough death and destruction yet! Does this sound like the voice of a confident, forward-looking and progressive Irish Republican or that of an anal gazing, insular paranoid who is begrudging of those who have achieved what he/she still aspires to? Oh dear! And so it goes on….

  • P O’Neil

    As far as I an concerned (and heartening enough so are a lot of researchers in various fields)London is the epicentre of an altogether more sinister conspiracy.

    Before you start your Taig / Fenian / Rupblican / SF spin BS, I suggest you go read a book.

    Take for example the AIDS virus, as clearly highlighted by Dr Len Horowitz, the AIDS virus was created as part of the American biological warfare program during the 1970s, and intenionally released into the population. Funding for the program that developed the virus was be traced back to London and the Coven of Windsor. Said virus was unleashed on the African population via contaminted ‘Smallpox’ vaccines (Hep B vaccines used to infect gays in San Fransico 1982), and distrubed via the WHO, and again funded by London. Funnily enough I remember reading that Prince Philip said he would like to be reincarnated as a virus, so that he could wipe out the Africans….

    It should be clear to anyone who wants peace, and I mean REAL peace, not the psudo-peace that the British are trying to offer then London is going to have to go.

    Nero fiddled when Rome burned – I’ll be doing a jig when London goes up.

  • K Doherty

    P O’Neil

    My advice to you would be to go home, turn off the lights and continue taking the tablets.

  • The truth hurts

    “You tell me, The truth hurts. I implied no such thing”

    “For every ill that Britain (and other European nations) visited on other nations one might come up with dreadful practices which the colonists put a stop too”

    What did you mean by that statement Fanny? Are you not making excuses? Apparently Mr Gott is on shaky ground because Britain, France etc, did as much good as harm? Is that not what you are saying?

    “I couldn’t follow your logic; still can’t. Perhaps you’ll explain why the English managed to abolish hanging, drawing and quartering within a couple of hundred years and certain Middle Eastern countries still haven’t shaken off vile practices that belong in medieval times”

    The point I was trying to make is that colonised countries were never given the chance to develop their own civilisation. Here is a fine example of of Britains achievements in their empire. Not quite medieval times I think.
    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,2102-1426736,00.html

  • Gordon

    “The eradication of an entire way of life, ethnic cleansing of a native population, lands stolen and planted by colonial tyrants….”

    Hmm sounds like the invading Scotti from Ireland. There is no record left of the Pictish culture that was destroyed by Gaelic imperialist invaders. The only difference being the technology of from the middle ages onwards the technology to record history and collective conciousness.

  • DavidD

    TTH says “The point I was trying to make is that colonised countries were never given the chance to develop their own civilisation”

    Just what civilisations were these? For century after century the populations of Africa and Asia were static. There was not the slightest hint of any progress. Europeans ruled most of Africa for only about 70 or 80 years, yet by the introduction of western technology and medicine the population has subsequently risen by leaps and bounds. The social order had likewise been marked by slavery, which was endemic, and by destitution. In fact had someone in Europe mentioned the problem of slavery 300 years ago it would automatically have been assumed they were talking about the raids of Barbary pirates on the shores of Europe. Even in Asia the long-term effects of colonisation on the recipient societies were trifling. The two largest countries, India and China, were left barely touched.

    As far as Israel is concerned, a large proportion of the Jewish settlers were from Arab countries from where they had been expelled with no ‘right of return’.

  • P O’Neil

    “Hmm sounds like the invading Scotti from Ireland. There is no record left of the Pictish culture that was destroyed by Gaelic imperialist invaders.”

    Nonsense, plenty of records and artifacts etc left from the Pictish culture. In fact there are dozens of carved ‘Pictish’ stones in the Highlands, some dating as late as 1200’s (some 600+ years after the Scotti invasion). I’ve lived in the Highlands for years, seen stones, been at forts etc..

    So before your open your mouth and let your arse do the talking, do some fact finding or reserach, ignorant Brit.

  • P O’Neil

    In fact first King of Scotland Fergus Mor, his mother was Pictish… So therefore, line of Scots Kings is of Pictish origin….. Again go read a book or something.

  • Fanny

    The truth hurts:

    I’m not for one moment defending colonists. Invasion and colonization is wrong, end of story. And yes, the story of Kenya is chilling and must be told and retold to remind Britain that the cosy institution known as the Commonwealth is the Disney kid’s version of the brutal regime known as the British Empire.

    But … and believe me it pains me to have to say “but”, we must not lose sight of the fact that men have shown throughout history to have a predilection towards battle and enslavement. White men, brown men and black men. Men are still primitive under the skin.

    I don’t for a moment believe that left to itself a colonized nation would have made tremendous strides. You cite an African nation; consider another. Would Zimbabwe be better or worse had it carried on as Rhodesia? Hand on heart now.

    Let’s look at the Middle East because that’s topical now. Did Iraq, Iran and other states improve when the colonists left? And who put a stop to slavery? Certainly not the Arabs.

    And what’s your position on suttee, female circumcision, honour killing and polygamy, to mention a handful of delightful practices favoured by primitive, non-colonized man?

  • Gordon

    I see you resort to personal insults as quickly as you believe any conspiracy theory. Just because someone disagrees with your view on life doesn’t necessarily mean they disagree with everything you believe in. I’m a averagely informed Scot not an ignorant Brit. In your tour of my country you seemed to have missed out on the rest of the MacAlpin history.

    “It was this rare form of succession which in the year 845 A.D. gave the crown of Alba and the title Rex Pictorum to a Celtic Scot, son of a Pictish princess by the name of Kenneth, Son of Alpin. This Kenneth MacAlpin, whose father’s kingship over the Scots had been earlier taken over by the Pictish king Oengus, who ruled as both king of Picts and Scots, and who possibly harbored a deep ethnic hatred for the Picts, and in the event known as “MacAlpin’s Treason” murdered the members of the remaining seven royal houses thus preserving the Scottish line for kingship of Alba and the eventual erasure from history of the Pictish race, culture and history.”

    Can you describe to me the Pictish culture? Can you describe the records of the music, the social interaction? The culture has gone without the equivalent record of later cultures. Obviously, you don’t understand my point which is anthropological, it is easy to make judgements about modern european colonisation because it is so well recorded.

    Now can you give me a detailed explaination of the loss or integration of the Pictish culture into Scottish culture from your vists to the stones? an equivalent to the records of the British empire they just aren’t detailed because the technology didn’t exist.

    BTW: I don’t any feel guilt at the British empire because it had nothing to do with me in the same way that I feel no guilt that many of my ancestors overwhelmed Pictish culture.

  • P O’Neil

    Gordon,

    I was born in the Highlands. Sorry about the Brit thing, was educated at Oxford, so I know what the Britsh ruling class are like – why I detest them, and at the moment every Englander and self-proclaimed Brit I slot into the same category of complete and utter ignorace, until proven otherwise.

    Was always led to believe (‘safe’ history at school)that after the Gaelic migration through Arglye, the Highlands and Islands, and like the Danes etc, all cultures and people eventually merged. Saying that, in Inverness there was (dont know if its still there) a folk music house, a lot of the live music they played was said to be Pictish. Was even a local band ‘Wolftones’ they claimed that their influences were Pictish as opposed to Celtic / Gaelic. A lot of Pictish standing stones and carved stones in the Highalnds, a few ruined forts as well.

    I remember from a Forensic Anthropology / Archaeology seminar that there are still pockets of people in the Highlands who claim ‘pure’ Pictish lineage. In the end probably hard to say, because a lot of the early history of these Isles has been written and re-written so many times, with each subsequent victory adding their own spin. According to the Declaration of Arbroath, De Bruce claimed the “Picts were utterly destroyed” and then claimed that “In their kingdom there have reigned one hundred and thirteen kings of their own royal stock, the line unbroken a single foreigner.” (if that were the case then the line would trace back via Fergus Mor), but De Bruce also claimed that we’re Israelites “Thence they came, twelve hundred years after the people of Israel crossed the Red Sea, to their home in the west where they still live today. The Britons they first drove out, the Picts they utterly destroyed..” (interesting point of note the OO think they are of the Tribe of Levi).

    Interesting enough, whilst writting this I visted her Maj’s website. According her spin Scotland’s monarchy was founded in 842 (Fergus was circa 550) and England’s in 802, thus making the English monarchy one of the oldest in the world, by ignoring 300 years of Scots history, and ignoring Irish history altogether.

    Sorry about the rant / diatribe, but its harvest time in Jamaca.

  • Dread Cthulhu

    mickhall: “If we on the left are such an ineffectual hopeless bunch as you claim, why do we offend you so much, surly if you really believe what you claim, you should be working for a museum so that we 60s leftists can sit in it, endlessly pontificating as a warning to future generations. ”

    Aren’t those places called “universities?” — places where 60s lefites sit around, endlessly pontificating?