Boris Johnson and the Relics of Empire 50

Boris Johnson is flying in to the hurricane ravaged British Caribbean territories to play benevolent colonial master. Hurricane Irma plays in to the fantasies of the Tory Brexiteers – Britain as world-bestriding Empire, with great interests around the globe. Hurricane Irma caused death and huge deprivation to local people.

Individuals were cowering behind furniture and preparing for emergency flights out. These latter were the ultra-wealthy in London who were terrified that the rooves would be torn off company registries and their tax haven secrets scattered abroad by the hand of God.

Despite having all the Tory fantasy elements of patrician benevolence, warships, colonies, subjects and soldiers, the Tory instinct of meanness remains overriding. Some of the British overseas territories in the Caribbean have suffered enormous damage to their infrastructure, with power, water, hospitals and schools out of action. But the British government response so far has been to provide a paltry £32 million in aid of which it claims £28 million is already spent.

You cannot help but feel that some parts of the Tory Imperial vision are more valued in the Tory hierarchy than others. What do you think the Falkland Islands or Gibraltar would have been given if they had suffered massive losses of power, water, health and education infrastructure? There is a definite hierarchy of colonies in Brexiteer eyes, depending on their place in military jingoism and (whisper it softly) the skin colour of the inhabitants.

Britain has sent 500 squaddies to assist. Cuba, despite itself suffering terrible damage, has managed to send 1,000 extra doctors and nurses to other Irma hit islands. The much maligned government of Venezuela has sent more aid than the UK. But of course they have not sent Boris Johnson on a publicity seeking trip. I am sure Boris is much more valuable than a repaired school or a tent to live in or the other boring stuff the Venezuelans are doing.

A constant theme of my writing has been the deliberate blindness of the Western establishment and media in ignoring the long term causes of conflicts, and instead choosing sides as “goodies” and “baddies”, as though large groups of human beings are suddenly motivated by nothing but spontaneous evil. The tribal divisions which beset Kenyan policies today were largely caused by British seizure of the best farming land for white settlers, and displacing the inhabitants onto the lands of other tribes. The root of the civil wars in both Sierra Leone and Liberia owed much to the transplantation of large colonies of freed slaves, who came to form the basis of a coastal elite that dominated trade, politics and corruption. The Rwandan genocide was in large part triggered by a CIA sponsored Tutsi insurgency.

None of this excuses, in any way, individual or mass acts of violence, oppression, looting or depravity. But it must be understood that events have causes. The appalling massacres of Rohingyas in Burma can in no sense be excused. But they are a direct result of the British Empire. The British deliberately imported the bulk of the Rohingyan population during the 19th century to increase the pre-existing Muslim population and provide a local class that would be more “dependable” than the native Burmese, who were extremely difficult to subdue militarily and culturally resistant to the “benefits” of British Imperial rule. Rohingyans were a key component in British occupying military forces, in which for long periods (including World War II) other Burmese were not entitled to enlist.

None of this makes the current attacks on the Rohingyas any less of a crime. Nor does it lessen the responsibility of Aang San Suu Kyi to restrain her military and prevent attacks. But it is essential background. This is yet another conflict caused by the British Empire. It is most improbable the mainstream media will tell you that.


I continue urgently to need contributions to my defence in the libel action against me by Jake Wallis Simons, Associate Editor of Daily Mail online. You can see the court documents outlining the case here. I am threatened with bankruptcy and the end of this blog (not to mention a terrible effect on my young family). Support is greatly appreciated.

Craig Murray Defence Fund

On a practical point, a number of people have said they are not members of Paypal so could not donate. After clicking on “Donate”, just below and left of the “Log In” button is a small “continue” link which enables you to donate by card without logging in.

For those who prefer not to pay online, you can send a cheque made out to me to Craig Murray, 89/14 Holyrood Road, Edinburgh, EH8 8BA. As regular readers know, it is a matter of pride to me that I never hide my address.

Allowed HTML - you can use: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

50 thoughts on “Boris Johnson and the Relics of Empire

  • nevermind

    France sees all of its dependencies as part of France and is allocating equal funds to its island colonies, per heads of populations, than at home. The English, although wanting to park their stale cash in these offshore havens, are doing no such thing, they see these countries as aid cases.

    Maybe BOJO is there to announce a Government fiscal measure, to allocate some 3% of all offshore funds held there, funds that have bypassed the exchequer, to be used for the reconstruction of these island, strong and stable reconstructions, not wooden sheds and shacks worse than that of the three little piggies.
    Richard Branson is also calling for an emergency fund to be established. easy done Richard, just take 3% of your offshore holdings and put it in a pot, then ask your mates to put their hands in their pockets for more than just stroking themselves.

  • nevermind

    PS I have left a link to an interview with Snowden on the last thread, it toop one year to arrange.

  • Laguerre

    My impression is that Johnson’s trip to the Caribbean was driven by being shamed by the much greater French effort to support their people there. Though they too are being colonialist in shipping all the whites back to France, while leaving the blacks in place. There was much footage on the tele yesterday evening of whites trailing back through Orly arrivals, with just the occasional darker skin.

    Macron was there on St Martin yesterday. Like it or not, it’s the current fashion for the head of state to be on-site to sympathise in the case of disasters, e.g. Grenfell. But in this case, the Brits thought a relative junior was sufficient (yes, I know BJ is foreign secretary, who used to be important).

    The French have also put more troops in, around 1,500. How much money, I don’t know for the moment.

    • Ishmael

      “The French have also put more troops in”

      Look it’s a nail. …But seriously, China has the right idea. Invest in these places, create infrastructure jobs etc.

      ‘We’ have a hopelessly reactionary, posturing approach based on vacuous momentary images in order to glorify individuals sense of power. Apart from when the devastating consequences come flooding out of their destroyed homeland, then ‘we’ say, ‘Look, all these people?’ ‘Go away’….

      Some even come on this blog as say those poor and destitute people are a “genocide” on people of the UK? Can you believe it? …

  • Pyewacket

    It will be interesting, in say a couple of years, to see what got repaired and/or replaced. I see there is already some talk of doing up the touristy bits first, which in one way does make some sense, as that’s a big driver of the local economy and provides employment for many local people. I suppose it all depends on how much the effort is skewed towards the tourist industry at the cost to the local infrastructure and assets that the local people rely on too. I am minded of a travel anecdote from a friend of mine who visited New Orleans a couple of years following the visit by H.Katrina. He checked out all the usual tourist sites, and found these had all been pretty fully restored. Then he went for a bit of a walkabout, where the tourists don’t usually go, and found these parts to still be totally wrecked, and uninhabited. He was told that the former residents had all been shipped out to trailer parks, some as far as 200 miles away. It would appear that Environmental disasters can prove great opportunities for Social Cleansing and Re-development at bargain prices.

  • Ba'al Zevul

    Bit of a damned-if-you-do/don’t scenario there. Johnson isn’t my favourite Etonian jolly good chap, but if we didn’t get some immaculately cobbled Establishment brogues on the ground to utter their concern, no doubt the usual suspects would be apostrophising the UK’s callousness. And I speculate, depressingly, on the prospects of the devastated islands had there not even been the sad remnants of a failed empire on hand to help rescue and reconstruct.

    Moral (1) Independence from evil colonialists might not be an unmitigated pleasure, especially if you live in the hurricane belt
    Moral (2) Building practice adapted to local conditions is desirable, especially if you live in a hurricane belt.
    Moral (3) With a maximum of seven capable RFA ships available worldwide, and considerable commitments outwith our old sphere of influence, perhaps it’s time the evil paternalistic imperialists revised their opinion of the MoD as disposable. They don’t have the guns, and they don’t have the troops, and those aren’t just Tory toys.

      • Ishmael

        Fair enough, but action must be more than a reactionary thing. If we don’t start thinking into the future it won’t be long before they are used for arguably less desirable activates.

        My issues is that going from one disaster to the next is in fact a result of a hopeless overall strategy, & one that cost more than if we where pro-active in the first place. In many areas including at home. They imo don’t care. If they did most homes in the UK would now be largely solar powered, and we would not be fretting about our energy. Same with land reform, if people had more control over what they need the effects of change, be it climate or or geopolitical would not be so harmful.

        They want people dependent. That’s the Tory ideology, we & those people abroad are the cow they milk as they sit of their fat capitalist behinds lapping up the milk. I’m afraid I don’t regard any of them as much beyond the prime cause of the inability of people have the protections they need. It’s a false scarcity we have to the “advantage” to a TINY few.

        (How any human can call this advantage, clearly they don’t regard themselves as any meaningful part of the human race, they are very twisted individuals if they do so given their actions. This kind of rare foray into humanitarian stuff is clearly antithetical to their whole ideology and how they live most of their life)

  • Loony

    The disgusting behavior of the British FCO is not confined to victims of hurricanes and has nothing to do with race. The FCO despises all people equally, but most especially it despises people in distress.

    Take for example “express kidnapping” – a popular pastime in Bolivia. The basic idea is that you kidnap people off the streets, generally terrify them in order that they give up their valuables and then dump them in a remote location leaving them with only their underwear. The idea being that slows down their ability to report what has happened to them and provides the kidnappers time to put distance between themselves and their victims.

    If you happen to be British then in order to leave Bolivia you will need a new passport – something that can only be provided by the FCO. The British resolutely refuse to help such people until such time as they pay a small fee to the embassy – which is something of a problem for people who have been robbed of all of their possessions including their clothes. So step forward the Dutch who have been known to lend money to British citizens so that they can pay the fee demanded by the FCO.

    I have met the British all around the world and it gladdens my heart that I never need to deal with such a brutal and uncivilized organization such as the FCO. Yet when they want something what a lovely bunch of jolly old chaps they are indeed.

  • S Mackenzie

    Dear Mr Murray,
    I sent a cheque last week for your legal costs fundraiser and will send another if it is needed. Could you say what the deadline is for contributions and how far off from the £140,000 [?] target you are?
    Thank you.

    • craig Post author

      Hi. I was giving regular updates but have been advised to stop lest the opposition move to have all the funds paid into court against their costs should they win (leaving me with no funds to fight the case). This is somewhat frustrating, but I can tell you the quite astonishing fact that over 4,000 people have donated. We are still substantially short of what we need.

      Very many thanks for your assistance!

      • Node

        Craig, have you considered making available your bank account number and sortcode to enable donations by direct bank transfer? It’s secure for you and quick and easy for the donor. If you also suggest a reference code (eg “LEGALFUND”) to be included, the donations will be easy to identify on your bank account.

        While I’m at it with the advice, you should frequently transfer the balance of your PayPal account to your bank account. It is not uncommon for PayPal to freeze accounts (on the grounds of possible money-laundering) if there is an inrush of funds. The onus is then on the PayPal account holder to prove his bone fides and it’s difficult and time-consuming.

        • craig Post author

          Too late! Unfrozen now, though. To be fair they were very sympathetic and efficient, and one of the staff concerned donated to the fund!!!!

      • S Mackenzie

        That is a shame – yet another trap placed in your way.

        I have been told that Mydonate don’t charge fees for fundraisers. Perhaps you could use them?

      • Lincolnite

        Craig, you haven’t seen the half of it yet. I had the misfortune to be a third party observer of a case with similarities to the detail you have published. The defendant had immediately reposed all their assets into his wife’s name in an effort to protect what could be protected and still needed to declare bankruptcy. To forstall a subsequent attempt to seize those assets in his wife’s name as assets being deliberately hidden, all that he could finally do was to divorce his wife to achieve sufficient separation. The Official Receiver offers protection for a woman with children. Even then the lawyers involved were instructed to pursue him to achieve certainty there were no assets still exposed. His case never came to court as he was advised to seek a settlement as the costs plus the risks of a losing parties share of costs made it not a sensible option to proceed to trial. The net result was that what was claimed as libellous was never tested in court, but then I believe that wasn’t the true objective of the libel suit, it was punishment for challenging. What I have set out is observed experience shared and I’m sure you have access to very good advice for your own particular circumstances.

        • craig Post author

          Yes, that is exactly where we are, except we are not doing the divorcing bit. We just have to win the case. I am receiving very strong advice to settle out of court, but that would be to acknowledge I was wrong, to betray those who donated to the defence who did not expect their money meekly to be handed over, and to have the settlement misrepresented everythwere as an admission of anti-Semitism.

          Sometimes there are challenges you just have to fight through.

          • Lincolnite

            Remember it is a Legal System, not a Justice system is a useful homily Craig. I truly wish you well.

          • M.J.

            I’ve put a modest donation in your tin because I think you’re saying some things that need to be said, but your advisors may have a point. Still, if you do fight it out I suppose I would go to town on the distinction between Israel and its “theological overlay”, and take full opportunity in the witness box to say anything you pleased without fear of being sued for that. If your detractors felt that, if the case went to appeal, there would plenty more where that came from, they might not be so inclined.

          • Ba'al Zevul

            Countersue…and then settle?
            Or insist on an prominent apology in the M**l for the imputation of antisemitism, which is demonstrably inapplicable to you, as a condition of settlement? I imagine you are content to acknowledge that you did call Simons a liar, and that’s the actual point at issue. “Strong advice” sounds like “They’ve got you by the short and curlies, Sir,” to me.

            Still, you’ll do your own thing, I suppose, and with our continuing support.

      • fwl

        You are a UK / EU citizen and not a company and so I can’t see how any such application for security for costs could succeed against you.

  • Trowbridge H. Ford

    The US, though not treated as a empire, made conditions much worse for Cuba whose embargoes prevent it from borrowing money from the World Bank and IMF, and private lending institutions to deal with the chaos, and the center of the Category Five hurricane destroyed the most developed tourist areas, and the airport to be used for their arrival in anticipation of it starting in November.

    Little wonder that the authorities spent more attention on counter-revolutionary activities, as overthrowing the regime was the target of the man-made disaster.

    Tough shit for other territories which got hit too. Washington will kill us all it it becomes convenient for its global plans.

    • Trowbridge H. Ford

      Sure am, especially the Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, the first to help promote the building of the wall with Mexico for the zenophobicTexans and cut the taxes for the rich and corporations, and the latter to get rid of the last bits of the Castros.

      Hope you finally get up to speed about what HAARP is up to.

  • M.J.

    Sorry, but having clicked on the donate button, I didn’t see any small “continue ” link just below and left of the “Log In” button.

    • craig Post author

      Oh – I just checked again and it is there, just very tiny. If you are on line it should show up blue and underlined.

      • M.J.

        It must be very tiny because I magnified the page to the maximum and still can’t see it (I tried pasting the snip here but it won’t let me). Tried both Internet Explorer and Firefox – same result.
        I could send a cheque by post, of couirse, but I suppose you’ve considered setting up a JustGiving site?

        • MJ

          In my browser (Firefox) the the link to which Craig refers is also not present, but the means to pay by card without going via Paypal is already there on the page. Just type in your details and away you go.

          • M.J.

            Thanks, that seemed to have worked. So I’ve put a modest donation in the tin, for what it’s worth.

      • Jon

        It’s worth noting that the PayPal website can change depending on a number of variables. For example, since they operate in a number of different countries, they can change it based on the country you are visiting from. I’ve seen that sometimes the Guest Checkout feature is not available for some countries.

        Of course, PayPal will try to present their interface in order for most people to believe they must have an account in order to pay over the web. They want people to be registered members so they can send marketing material.

  • morag

    I thought they were sending the idiot with the biggest pockets to collect all the cash some of the Tories have “invested” there?

    BTW I am most decidedly NOT related to the RB mentioned… ;D

  • Trowbridge H. Ford

    Now Uncle Sam is allegedly turning away boats loaded with evacuees from the British Virgin Islands from gaining entry in the American ones.

    Trump has finally accomplished something: making Boris look like a saint.

  • Tony_0pmoc

    “Individuals were cowering behind furniture and preparing for emergency flights out. These latter were the ultra-wealthy in London who were terrified that the rooves would be torn off company registries and their tax haven secrets scattered abroad by the hand of God.”

    I would be delighted if the “the rooves would be torn off company registries and their tax haven secrets scattered abroad by the hand of God.”

    However, I suspect that the vast majority of the “the ultra-wealthy in London”, spend very little time in The Carribean, during the hurricane season especially when such events were exceedingly well forecast many days in advance.

    i don’t have a problem with The British response, except for the fact, that the British FCO obviously failed to negotiate with either the countries of the EU – or the Americans reciprocal agreements to evacuate British Nationals (working class plebs like me on a cheap holiday) from none British connected territories. Its as if The British are now perceived as The Equivalent of Millwall Supporters, merely because of the fact that we are escaping from the American controlled EU dictatorship.

    Meanwhile the EU continues being a lap dog of The Americans – with the launch of an outrageous disinfo official Propaganda website.. I have read some of it, and its version of events in The Ukraine are a series of total lies.

    “EU launches new ‘single resource’ website to counter ‘Russian propaganda’”


  • Tony_0pmoc

    The issue of Free Speech, is far more important than political differences, and despite the fact that Craig Murray keeps accusing me of being a racist, for voting for BREXIT, which really gets up my nose, and continues to do so, I have changed my mind.

    Not only women change their mind, some men do too, and whilst Craig Murray is still almost certainly going to be crucified, and everything raised in his defence is likely to go to his opponents to help in his crucifixation, I have sent him some money. It’s not an enormous amount, in fact it is less than 10%, of what I discovered today, has fraudulently been extracted from me. I am determined to get that money back, and if I don’t by laying out the facts, then I will take the buggers to court.

    Craig can keep my small donation, and do with it whatever he wants. I don’t want it back.

    And please do not thank me, or acknowledge my gift, or I’ll slag you off even more.


  • gyges

    “Hurricane Irma plays in to the fantasies of the Tory Brexiteers ” … can’t you do better than identity politics, Craig?

    • craig Post author

      “Tory Brexiteers” means those Brexiteers who are Tory, not that all Brexiteers are Tory.
      They are all useful idiots for the Tories, mind you.

  • DtP

    Dear Craig

    Do you recognize that Juncker is mental?

    (You did go totally Bono last night – none of my business but….)

    Just negotiations buddy – any pastries?

  • Mary Thomson

    Agree with all you say. The British Empire is the cause of so much damage with it’s greed and exploitation. The drawing of arbitrary lines on a map. It worries me that that mind set is still alive and well in Westminster.

  • Brian

    Beautifully juxtaposed on BBC News. Florida…white westerners, post Irma, complaining the Supermarket wasn’t open yet, and Bangladesh where people fleeing from Myanmar were fighting over handfuls of rice to feed their children.
    Florida took precedence.

  • Bibbit

    Just a thought but our household has an old tent (sleeps 4) which we used once and then packed away. How many other UK households have similar unwanted tents? Couldn’t someone, anyone (Blue Peter)? start an appeal for the UK’s unused tents, to ship to Bangladesh & the Caribbean? There must be literally millions on such tents in the UK which will probably just rot and end up in landfill whilst millions have no protection from the elements, not even an old tent….

    PS Craig I have donated and will do so again. We will get you to that £150,000, never fear. (Have you tried the Rowntree Foundation? They were happy to give liar Alistair Carmichael thousands towards his legal court costs….

  • Tom

    Yes. And note the newspapers who want foreign aid abolished when it’s poor people involved baying for British taxpayers to bail out their tax-exile rich pals.

Comments are closed.