One of the worst atrocities of the British Empire occurred well within my own lifetime – the removal of an entire people, the Chagossians, from their homeland. Uprooted and deposited across the seas hundreds of miles away, many died from the physical and psychological effects of this crime against humanity. The thing is, it is still happening. The survivors have clung together as a community, and the British government are still actively preventing their return to their homeland – all to make way for an American military base on Diego Garcia. There is no reason other than simple Imperialism for America to maintain a military base in the middle of the Indian Ocean.
Probably the most breathtaking piece of hypocrisy in modern history was when New Labour proudly announced that they had demarcated the waters around the Chagos Islands as the world’s first total marine conservation area – purely so they could make it impossible for the fishing based island community ever to return.
It is of course another example of the unparalleled talent for hypocrisy of the British state that the same politicians who declare their willingness to fight and die for the right of self-determination of the Falkland Islanders, will defend the deportation of the Chagos Islanders and their continued exclusion from their own islands. Again I would stress that Labour have been at least as guilty as Tories. The entire British state is complicit in this atrocity.
I would urge everybody who reads this immediately to use this link to send a message to your MP. I should welcome feedback through the comments section on any responses received.