“Britain Shall Never Surrender!”
Posted by Jack Stephens on March 25, 2007
Today, such past apologetics for the slave trade and slavery are quietly hushed up – the complicity of the whole British ruling class in the affair – the worst crime in British history – is distinctly embarrassing. ‘Stop apologising!’ screams the Tory commentator Simon Jenkins, describing how he ‘cheered when a descendent of the Bristol slaver, Pinney, refused to apologise for the deeds of his forefathers’. What conservatives of all stripes want us to do is forget the whole affair – they know above all that ‘Great’ Britain, or their green and pleasant land of England, might be tarnished or complicated by such unpleasant and brutal realities. Nationalism is an ideology which has to be constantly produced and reproduced to survive – it depends on myths, on the ideal of national unity – despite that fact that nations are always imagined communities designed to help the powerful shore up hierachical divisions of race, gender and class.