The Sun Never Sets 13


I first read Byron Farwel through his biography of Sir Richard Francis Burton. lt was the peculiar fact that there are six modern biographies of Burton and only one very slight one of Alexander Burnes, which spurred me on to my current project. I came across this Farwell quote today while researching:

“It is difficult for anyone to understand the reasoning behind the extraordinary British attitude to Afghanistan; the Afghans must have found it impossible. While always protesting friendship, the British repeatedly invaded the country and shot at its inhabitants.” (Queen Victoria’s Little Wars, 1972, p.4)

Forty years on, Farwell might be surprised how completely true his analysis remains. I am still firmly of the view that the only way to throw off the imperial aggression of the United Kingdom once and for all, is to split it back to its constituent nations.


13 thoughts on “The Sun Never Sets

  • Paul Johnston

    Sorry if this sounds like an advert 🙂

    Not surprising the number of books about Burton he really was a fascinating character.
    I have the "A Rage to Live" biography which I really enjoyed.
    As an aside I really like the books you can get from http://www.bibliolabs.com/
    Regarding Burton they do Vikram and the Vampire.
    I am a great admirer of Nansen and got his "In Northern Mists" also from them.
    It's good that you can get reprints at a reasonable price these days.
    End of advert

    • Craig_Murray

      Paul,

      I am an avid Burton fan (although it is amazing that such a dashing adventurer himself wrote such turgid prose. Burton is much better to read about than to read. My point is not that Burton has been over-written, but that Burnes has been unfairly neglected.

      Incidentally, in Scinde or the Unhappy Valley and elsewhere, Burton shows a keen desire to criticise or contradict his predecessor Burnes. He was obviously conscious they would be compared.

      • ed h

        "Burton shows a keen desire to criticise or contradict his predecessor Burnes. He was obviously conscious they would be compared."

        perhaps Burton thought he was an clown ?

  • DRE

    Nonsense – the British forces would be nothing without Celts and particularly Scots. You’ve been chibbin your way around the world for hundreds of years, why would devolution into petty nationalism change this?

  • Michael Culver

    Kabullshit Year 10____Now we're killing them with kindness for that's just what we do to help them redevelop and even have a Zoo.__Killing them with kindness when we drag them out of bed cuff little hands behind and shoot them through the head.__Now we're killing them with kindness for that's just what we do if they're Uzbek or Hazara, Pashtun or Tajik__It really doesn't matter if they play hide and seek as we'll bomb all their weddings and their funerals too__For that's just, well that's just what we do.__Oh we're killing them with kindness, killing them with kindness__And if you hear we slit pricks at Bagram or elsewhere do remember that it's done with tender loving care,__As we're killing them with kindness for that's just what we do to help them redevelop and even keep that Zoo.

  • joe kane

    "I am still firmly of the view that the only way to throw off the imperial aggression of the United Kingdom once and for all, is to split it back to its constituent nations. "
    – As usual Craig, you are the voice of reason.
    On May 5th, remember to vote SNP in the elections to the Scottish Parliament, Holyrood, Edinburgh.

    • Vronsky

      ..and why not come up and join the party? Travel to the North (as the English define it) then go a little farther in the same reckless direction and you'll find us – the Hyperboreans, the people from beyond the North. You're trying to make a silk purse out of a putrescent old pig's ear in the 'Liberal' 'Democrats' – you can't fool me, young man – it's Cleggs all the way down.

      And we have lovely long twilights at this time of year.

  • Courtenay Barnett

    Have you ever thought Craig, being the historian that you are – that Britain's imperialist tendencies and actions relate to the fact that Britain is truly an imperialist nation ( be this as England or operating as England with it component parts)?

  • Courtenay Barnett

    Doesn’t DRE’s post support my very point about an irredeemable imperialist Britain?:-

    “Nonsense – the British forces would be nothing without Celts and particularly Scots. You’ve been chibbin your way around the world for hundreds of years, why would devolution into petty nationalism change this?”

  • pinhut

    Great post, Craig, the historical parallels are instructive.

    The comment system, are there any instructions? How do you reply to a specific comment?

  • mary

    What a nice friend the Prince of Wales has in Joe Allbritton of Riggs Bank which has connections to Pinochet, Saudi Arabia and Equatorial Guinea. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Riggs_Bank

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-13161172

    Prince Charles to fly to US in borrowed private plane

    The Prince of Wales is to try to cut travel costs by using a personal friend’s private plane for an official visit to the US, his spokesman says.

    It is thought to be the first time the heir to the throne has used an aircraft provided by a private individual for an official visit.

    US financier Joe Allbritton offered him the use of his aircraft.

  • Anon

    “split it back to its constituent nations”

    I don`t think that would be the answer Craig!. It would be at the end of the day, business as usual. Can someone tell me, how many scottish PM`s has the UK had ?. The last one was an unmitigated disaster!!!, hmmm, still he was better then the one we have now.

  • five fingers of spam

    Nonsense – the British forces would be nothing without Celts and particularly Scots. You’ve been chibbin your way around the world for hundreds of years, why would devolution into petty nationalism change this?

Comments are closed.