Thursday, April 25, 2024
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The great reparations scam


OVER the last year a largely disused word has began to creep back into use again: reparations, a term used to describe the requirement in the 1919 Treaty of Versailles for Germany to make substantial payments to the countries it had waged war against in the First World War.

If logic still existed in the world, it would be assumed that the obvious candidate from whom the rest of the world would be insisting on reparations would be Communist China. Whatever stance one takes over Covid-19, the role of China and those in international institutions, governments, academia and the media who choose to align themselves with China, has been disreputable and suspicious in the extreme. For over a year it was not permitted to mention that the most likely source of Covid was a laboratory in Wuhan, China. Any mention of it was guaranteed to get the offending user pilloried or even banned on social media and being labeled a conspiracy theorist. That is until a report commissioned by the Biden administration confirmed in August 2021 what was abundantly clear from the start.

That debate has now shifted to whether the leak was an accident or deliberate. Either way, it is surely undeniable that China launched an avalanche of disinformation to try to cover its tracks and was negligent in both failing to take effective containment measures in the earliest days of the virus and in alerting other countries to the threat.

Worse, the economically and socially destructive measures subsequently taken by China, including severe repression of individual liberties, came to be championed across the world. Strikingly it became apparent that many international and national organisations seemed to be controlled by people with the same mentality as Communist China. They all seemed only too willing to both cover up for China and to advocate or implement ultimately futile repressive lockdown measures themselves. Just about all these people remain in their positions.

However, far from the case for reparations being pursued against China, the reparations debate has moved in an entirely different direction. Surprise, surprise, the supposed villain to be pursued is Great Britain. Even more perversely, as well as getting off the hook, China stands to be a major beneficiary of such arrangements.

Britain has been put in the dock over both the Industrial Revolution and over historic slavery and colonialism excesses. More worryingly, very few British politicians seem willing to push back, even though it should be intellectually easy to do so.

Firstly, it is the Industrial Revolution that makes the modern world possible. Without it, how would it be remotely possible to sustain a world population of 8billion people? Further, the possibility of easy travel around the world and the ability instantly to communicate with people in far-off lands would be non existent.

If anything, a debt of gratitude is owed by the world as a whole for the Industrial Revolution. Further, even by the terms of the accusers’ own argument, criticism is being directed at the wrong target. For although the Industrial Revolution began in Britain some 250 years ago, China has been shown to have pumped out more pollution in just eight years from 2012 to 2020 than Britain did in 250 years, and continues at the same rate today.

Worse, when the subject of ‘Climate Reparations’ came up at the recent COP27 gathering in Egypt, instead of pushing back, British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak meekly agreed, setting an ominous precedent for how this narrative will play out in the future.

A major beneficiary of these projects naturally will be China as the funding for these projects, instead of bringing more opportunities and involvement for British businesses, will be siphoned off to top up or complete suspended Chinese ‘Belt and road’ funded involvement in them.

How the Chinese must be laughing at the ease with which they have hijacked the reparations debate, but this is far from the only such example.

The second area of controversy over reparations centres around historic slavery and colonialism. The merits or otherwise of colonialism, and past abuses, is a complex subject, yet to listen to this debate raging one would be forgiven for thinking that Britain was the only country to have an empire and the only country with any connection to slavery, apart perhaps from the United States.

Certainly the role played by Britain in bringing slavery to an end well in advance of all other major countries and in stamping out the transportation of slaves across the oceans of the world is conveniently overlooked.

The involvement of other empires in slavery is curiously overlooked too. No mention of the Ottoman Empire, other European nations, Brazil (which did not abolish slavery until 1888), the Barbary corsairs who used to raid the coasts of Britain, Ireland and Iceland for suitable girls for their harems in North Africa, the widespread use of slavery in centres such as Zanzibar, Benin and the Sudan (in many cases local populations rioted when the British turned up to shut down their slave empires, Gordon of Khartoum being one of the notable casualties in one such uprising), and throughout the Middle East and Asia, including China.

Conveniently, the fact that the vast majority of the British population neither took part in the slave trade nor benefited from its proceeds is overlooked. Indeed many worked or existed in conditions not far removed from slavery themselves.

Further, slavery within the British Empire generally took place beyond the remit of the government, far away from Westminster and Whitehall, and was conducted by private individuals and businesses for their own gain, not as direct aspects of government policy. For many decades before the Abolition Act was passed, many politicians and statesmen called for direct intervention to end slavery. Indeed if any slave owner brought a slave into England from overseas the expectation was that the slave should be freed.

It could be argued that the African kings and chiefs who traded the slaves were every bit as culpable themselves. The slaves never had to be forcibly captured by the transatlantic slavers; they were merely purchased from their existing owners. Still a repulsive act, though one which shifts culpability to be shared where it is properly due. Plus there is ironic amusement to be had when prominent activists on these issues occasionally are outed as descendants of long forgotten slave-traders or owners.

Or perhaps it is better for bygones to be bygones, to accept that this is a nuanced subject and instead of apportioning blame suggest that everyone should move on with developing a better world rather than refighting the battles and wars of yesterday. Such a policy had existed for decades and seemed to be working rather well until the last few years. That of course didn’t suit the grifters who have hijacked race relations for their own ends and who seek to profit from creating even more division, and at our expense too, with their so-called decolonisation and diversity agenda. They have a vice-like grip on the narrative and mean to keep it that way.

Small wonder that serious study of our history has declined so massively in our schools, colleges and universities. Far easier is it to manipulate gullible youngsters into hating their own country and their forebears with a few emotive topics taken entirely out of context. Far easier too, if they don’t know any better, to take away their money, their constitutional liberties and indeed their country once enough of those who are older and wiser have died off. How Communist China and their odd, globalist multi-billionaire bedfellows and corporations who profit from the collapse of national identities, billionaires who grow ever wealthier, greedier and more controlling, must be laughing at how easy it has been to pull it all off. Worse, not a single prominent British politician seems willing to fight back. I wonder why?

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Patrick Clarke
Patrick Clarke
Patrick Clarke was briefly active in politics during the 1970's before leaving to 'get a life'. You can read more articles from Patrick Clarke in his Substack column.

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