When civil servants in the United Kingdom first started referring to the country’s post-Brexit economic strategy as the “Empire 2.0” plan, it was used as a slightly tongue-in-cheek shorthand for enhanced international trade outside and in competition with the European Union. The term was not intended to be taken literally. Unfortunately for Europe when some in the UK’s anti-EU movement became aware of the Whitehall and Downing Street phrase they failed to detect the deadpan humour behind it. For many ardent Brexiteers the establishment of a mercantile empire via the British Commonwealth of Nations seemed to be a perfectly reasonable objective to strive for. After all, what former territory of the “Empire 1.0” would reject the opportunity to buy goods and services from Britain or to ignore the wisdom of London on matters of international importance? Especially when the world is actually crying out for the steadfast leadership and common sense of England to guide it?
From The Daily Telegraph:
Britain will open two new military bases in the Caribbean and South East Asia as the country looks to step up its military presence overseas after Brexit, Gavin Williamson has revealed.
The Defence secretary urges Britons to stop downplaying the country’s influence internationally and recognise that the UK will stand tall on the world stage after leaving the European Union.
In an interview with The Telegraph in his Ministry of Defence office, Mr Williamson says: “We have got to be so much more optimistic about our future as we exit the European Union.
This is our biggest moment as a nation since the end of the Second World War… we can actually play the role on the world stage that the world expects us to play.”
The statement by the UK’s Secretary of State for Defence follows on from last October’s announcement of a £1.8 billion increase in targeted military spending, much of it aimed at progressing the country’s stalled ballistic missile submarine replacement project, aptly named in the era of imperial fantasies, the Dreadnought class. However that budget top-up pointedly ignored the predicted £7 billion to £15 billion gap in Britain’s widely derided ten-year rearmament plan, which requires the country to buy new warships, aircraft and armoured vehicles with money it doesn’t have.
well i suppose they will return to form as they attempt to plunder and rob other poor countries off their resources, O I forgot this is the 21st century not the 15th/16th/17th/18th/19th where they raped and plundered the world
This is meant to be serious, isn’t it? Or is New Year’s day the new April Fool’s Day? I love the image you chose to accompany the story.
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It reminds me of a lot of Russian post-Soviet satire where a line from an old Patriotic Soviet Song is paired with a picture illustrating how much the power of the the state had fallen. One example had the quote in Russian “The Red Army is All Powerful/Strongest” (loosely translated) with a drawing of a guy in a Red Army uniform on a broomstick horse.
Serious question one. Why do they think Brexit is a pre-requesite to any of this? France is pretty interventionist while also being in the EU.
Second question. What was so great about having The British Empire? During that time most of England was a land of soot, smog, scurvey, and child labor. Except for a small minority who were posted abroad and lived like kings, the average British person is better off today, than his or her counterparts in the days when “The Sun Never Set on the Empire”.
Even during the 19th-early 20th century, Britain actually enjoyed much more trade with Europe and North America than with the colonies. Even many South America countries would have given most British coloines at least a good run for their money in terms with actual trade with Britain.
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Ah reality! How dare you (sarc)! Not exactly the place britz are living in right now. It’s the same small minority that hopes to regain their former status of exaltation. Judging from the renewed (quite senseless) adoration of the wealthy and powerful there, they are getting what they want.
It is a matter of absolute fact that many of the Brexiteers actually see Great Britain becoming great again.
Quite how a middle sized country slipping down the economic charts can see it taking over the world again is difficult to understand.
But Britain won the war and it will in its restored belligerence do so again. Or so it thinks!
That makes for a very dangerous animal.
The UK however is not the beast that it was and in taking on the EU, and the wider world beyond, it may find a beast or beasts, bigger and better than it.
It may even find that nearer to home the tearing up the GFA and disbanding the NI Assembly may actually facilitate the break up of its sacred United Kingdom.
From a Scottish perspective a separation is long overdue, and from an Irish one, even longer overdue
In the current chaos having a hard border translocated to the Scottish / English border would be a small price to pay. It would certainly open Ireland through Scotland to Europe. And that could be closer than we think.
The busted belligerence of the Brexiteer is however going to be economically costly, even if it is cancelled.
The UKs Hostile Environment is very much alive. The UK is not a good place to be if you are not British, and more so if you are poor or have a bit of colour about you.
Many of Irish extraction know only too well about that sentiment. But the Brits now have their new foreigners to abuse, and the EU and beyond, knows it.
So in all this madness good may come out of it. A united and peaceful Ireland, an independent Scotland and an rUK left to its own devices.
Let us hope so.
Bliadhna Math Ur.
Honestly, if I was an Englishwoman: I would want to see my country undergo major political reforms. Then rebuild the educational system from scratch, and make a major effort to pursue international excellence on fronts being as ahead on renewable energy as it once was with basic industrialization and producing more than its share of thinkers and scientists.
But then again, maybe if I’d been raised English, I would think differently.
An eye rubbing moment, they can’t even count on the army propping up police after the end of March.
They have a £1.8 Trillion debt and growing, they cannot bully former colonies for cheap food and sell on shoddy goods at high prices as they did in the past. Brexit will put pay to their imperial delusions, China was a poverty-stricken backwater in 1973, and now a world power should be fun watching it develop.
A possibly off the wall question. Does the Irish language or Scottish Gaelic have a translation for the term “Redcoats”. Does it literally mean that? And was it often used historically? Or was their some other term for them?
Saighdear-dearg (literally ‘red soldier’)
Còta-ruadh (lit. ‘ruddy-coat’)
Giomach (lit. ‘lobster’ !)
Calling the redcoats “lobsters”, that’s a hoot.
But that said, I was given the literature and websites from some British Republicans. They seemed like a pretty together bunch on the whole. They seem like they represent a minority opinion on the whole, but they appear to be banking on the coronation of Prince Charles as King to shift public opinion their way. I’d be amazed if it didn’t, as nobody seems to like Prince Charles. (The popularity of William and Kate might also work against them unless something else happens.)
The arguments they had were pretty sophisticated in terms of saying what they did want, with a written Constitution and more spelled out balance of power. They clearly wanted more Democratic checks and balances rather than just hating on the Royal Family. They advertised their wishes as “A very British Republic” and “not a system like the US or France”, which I understand as probably a mix of true sentiment and necessity.
I have to say I’m sympathetic both to their wishes and the uphill battle they have.
Irish has Casóga Dearga “Red Cassocks (Coats, Jackets)” since the 16th and 17th centuries, also appearing in Latin and latterly French equivalents, usually referring to soldiers serving the English state in Ireland. But it was usually used as more of a descriptive term than a specific singular or collective noun, at least at an early stage.
Funny. I was asking because I was watching this Sicilian linguist & historian talk about how while the Roman legions didn’t necessarily favor only one color in their tunics, (blue was naval and some other groups wore white), that many soldiers clearly did wear red. He said this was likely because before modern chemistry substances like Rose Madder was among the cheapest colorings. (Crimson from an insect was costly).
As he pointed out towards the end, these pragmatics were there until the late 19th century and “Another major world Empire dressed its army in red centuries later.”
Crazy how the availability of a European herb could determine such things isn’t it?
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The Redcoat first appeared with Oliver Cromwell in 1645, the New Model Army, red dye was cheap and only needed one application to colour material.
Pretty much everything that comes out of the mouth of the UK gov is propaganda.
This Telegraph article is no different.
The UK is not a democracy, it is a feudal system.
And the old empire didn’t exactly crumble, it was just very carefully re-branded.
To get a little bit of an insight into that watch the documentary The Spider’s Web.
We have to ask basic questions here, for example;
Why would a UK Defence Secretary tell the world about new military bases?
Is it an advertisement?
Is it a threat to other countries?
Is it suppose to “boost moral”?
Considering the role of the military in the world in general, it’s probably safe to assume that there’s some bullsh*t involved.