British history bears the stains of blood, obscured by nationalistic pride that simplifies the narrative. It's imperative to scrutinize the dark chapters and recognize that Great Britain, in its financial and cultural ascendancy, has a history steeped in violence.
The elite, often backed by the church and academy, have at times sponsored injustice and resisted justice.
As Winston Churchill said, “Those that fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it,” but Churchill himself has been romanticized in our historical and cultural imagination.
Consider the narrative around slavery. The commonly embellished history paints Britain as a pioneer in slave emancipation. However, when Parliament abolished the slave trade in 1807, it brought no relief to the 700,000 individuals remaining in bondage in the British Caribbean; true emancipation only came in 1834.
During the years from 1807 to 1834, cruelty and violence persisted as the bulk of the establishment vehemently opposed 'colonial reform' to protect the financial interests tied to slavery.
These bloody pages, neglected in our educational system, expose that the establishment in broad strokes, with great frequency, aligns itself with forces of domination, rarely yielding to justice when challenged by the interests of shareholders and the financial elite.
In our contemporary era marked by genocide and climate breakdown, we witness the establishment, a small group who hold immense power, diverging from the views of its citizens, positioning itself on the wrong side of history, guided by power, privilege, and wealth rather than serving as a beacon of justice.
- Swales, 2024