For many centuries, the good, clean living Brits have been exploring foreign lands and taking home the booty, eg the piracy of the Elizabethans, Sir Francis Drake and Sir John Hawkins. Both men were knighted for their noble efforts and for making their own personal fortune on the backs of the foreigner. Some of their wealth – and ours - came from human trafficking with the iniquitous slave trade. This was a lucrative activity in the organised abuse of black Africans. Our whole nation allowed either one or two million to die or killed them, out of the 12 million carried off as prisoners. It lasted from the 16th to the 19th centuries. The foreigner well and truly got it in the neck at the hands of the whites and the church-going, good Christians of the UK.
When the Quakers started pointing out the sheer immorality of this systematic, large-scale abuse of our fellow humans, the Christians and the small minority who were not, argued that the British economy would so seriously suffer that we could not possibly afford to give up enslaving the foreigner!
Eventually, the Church and Parliament abolished the trafficking of Africans but it took another 25 years to end slavery in our glorious and civilising Empire. Much to their credit, the Church of England did acknowledge their major role in slavery, repented and apologised to today's descendants of the slaves.
For many more centuries than the British slave trade lasted, our numerous wars around the world – 7 or 8 against France alone – have killed many more foreigners than British slavery. Certainly, since 1945, 16,000 Brits have died on foreign battlefields but, very many more than 16,000 foreigners have been bumped off by our so beautiful bombs and bullets and righteous rockets. For example, in our war in Vietnam from 1959 to 1975, our good friends and compatriots, the Americans suffered 58,000 deaths in the process of killing an unknown number of Vietnamese whom we labeled as evil, godless Communists. Different encyclopaedias put the figure between 2-4 million. This is genocide of foreigners for which our side is wholly responsible. Both during our war in Korea and during the Cuban missile crisis, the hawks on our side were urging the use of nuclear weapons. Our General Macarthur wanted to nuke a 30 mile wide zone between China and Korea to make it de-militarised (and pulverised and barren!)
The tumultuous end of our Empire in India resulted in the slaughter of over one million Muslims, Hindus and Sikhs and over two million who fled their homes.
Our present major wars in Iraq and Afghanistan always give the fatalities on our side but, rarely, any indication of the casualties amongst Iraqis and Afghans. It appears that their casualties are many times more than ours. But, then of course, the lives of our soldiers are far more valuable, as they have always been, than that of the foreigner.
Having made Iraq and Afghanistan not the most congenial of places in which to live, we then get all hot and bothered when a few of these foreigners finish up our shores. Most of the two millions who have fled are taken in by the rather more welcoming Jordan, Pakistan, Iran and Syria.
Indeed, I think, after centuries of not so noble British history, too many remain as racist, prejudiced and as anti-foreigner as ever. We can war on their shores but we don't like it when these foreigners come to our shores. We can go where we like but they can't come here!
Our enslaving, our imperial ways and our warfare against foreigners is a shocking stain on British history. We remain shameless, unapologetic and unmoved. That is not so funny.