The starvation empire

History forgotten is a betrayal.

The relationship between famine and the British Empire appears to be more than coincidental.

Indeed, it could be argued that it was a highly developed policy of colonial control.

Certainly when the British flag flew over the Indian sub-continent millions starved while there were adequate local food supplies.

The last one was the Bengal Famine of 1943 just a few years before the Brits packed their colonial bags.

Recently declassified papers show the genocidal contempt that Churchill had for the starvelings of Bengal.

Lest we forget…

Therefore, my thoughts were taken to those shameful events this morning when I read of the comments of British politician Priti Patel.

Ms Patel’s parents were originally from Gujarat which was the scene of another British manufactured famine in 1899-1900.

Like at the time of An Gorta Mór this island has bountiful supplies of food and we also have our gallant allies in Europe.

When the Phase One section of the Brexit talks were stuck in December of last year Brussels needed Dublin to sign off on the talks.

For the first time in centuries, a polity on this island held sway over the British state and it did not take long for the old anti-Irish sentiments to emerge at Westminster.

It reminded me of the signs that my father frequently saw in the Britain of the 1950s.


In the Britain of my youth  TV light entertainment was littered with chaps who did a roaring trade in “thick Paddy” material.

The narrative was that the denizens of this island were congenital imbeciles to be mocked and pilloried.

This is what racists usually find out about their victims.

Of course, the reality could not be further from the truth.

The generation of Irish people who perfected a new form of warfare and took on a global superpower was not stupid.

Moreover, they had been born in the late 19th century amid the folk memory of the Irish holocaust.

Shamefully, the British state is still using hunger as a tool of social policy in 2018.

I cannot think of any other explanation for the crime that is Universal Credit.

Children will go hungry this Christmas in the fifth largest economy in the world simply because of decisions that were taken by well-fed privately educated ideologues who hate the poor.

Looking over the hedge from here in Donegal it is clear to me that the British political class are in a chaotic muddle over Brexit.

Last year I used the term “slow-moving Suez crisis” to describe the entire shambles.

I will stick with that.

Ireland starved during Black 47 because we had no control over our own destiny.

That was also the case in the land where Ms Patel’s parents hail from.

I doubt that very few people in India today would want to be ruled by the British again.

History remembered is a weapon.


Discover Phil’s dramatic play Rebellion