How Do I Hate Thee?

Let me count the ways...

There are many reasons why we should feel rage, if not actual hatred, towards most of our trusted leaders. They have, after all, ruined our country and now, having realised that the ship is going down, are presiding over the final plundering of whatever meagre pickings are left before the bandits finally ride out of town for the no-doubt sunnier climes of whichever tax-havens they’re using to stash their ill-gotten loot. But in addition to that there are also their unspeakably repulsive foreign policies which are more than enough to deserve every bit of bile we’re capable of flinging in their direction. There’s nothing new in this of course. The repulsive foreign policies of the British government are hundreds of years old, and to be fair those policies are not exceptional or unique to the rulers of these islands: variations of them are abundant in the histories of every empire that’s ever existed, including of course today’s global hegemon which has quickly learnt from history and adopted the principles with gusto and adapted twenty first century technology to advance the art of empire-building with true creative genius. So although these remarks are aimed mainly at British leaders, they’re equally true of many “great” leaders from several other countries.

For example, we can point to the fact that British armed forces, acting on the orders of great trusted leaders, have been directly responsible for murdering millions of defenceless innocents. That’s more than enough by its own self to damn for all time the creatures that issue those orders, and who still issue them today – in the holy name of plunder. But there’s more – much more.

Think about the process that takes place when a young Briton joins the armed forces, in the genuine belief he or she is doing something noble: how often do you hear these words emerging from their gullible young mouths: “I want to serve my queen and country”? Think about how that young mind is slowly contaminated to the point where he or she genuinely believes that murdering defenceless people is somehow a noble action that somehow serves queen and country. Think about how often we’re told by the tear-stained relatives of these young people, when one of them occasionally comes to grief, how much they “loved their job” … of murdering defenceless people. Think about how many young minds are so defiled. Think about how the rest of the British population is brainwashed into believing that the act of sending all these young people to distant countries (that have neither the means nor desire to do us any harm) in order to murder defenceless civilians there is somehow “heroic” and deserving of great patriotic parades and the showering of medals and honours. Think about how our trusted leaders oversee this institutionalised brainwashing of our entire population in general and all those young people in particular who genuinely believe they’re doing something noble, serving queen and country. But there’s more, much more.

Britain is one of the biggest arms-makers in the world. Like all the rest of British industry this too is in decline (thankfully in this case); but Britain is still a major player in this revolting trade. Throughout the country there are tens of thousands of British workers, many of whom are highly skilled technicians, engineers and scientists, who could be using their talents for the benefit of their fellow citizens but who choose instead to spend their entire working lives in creating machines whose sole purpose is to cause death, destruction and terrible injuries – seldom against people who would do us any harm, but which are used instead against defenceless innocents. Think about all the brainwashing of those workers who somehow manage to justify to themselves that working on machines that are going to kill defenceless people is O.K., providing the workers get a pay packet at the end of the week. Our trusted leaders not only permit this vile business to thrive, they actively promote it by encouraging as many third-world tyrants as possible to waste the economies of their countries by buying these revolting things.

Then there’s the catalogue of tricks and devices to manipulate the economies of weaker countries – such as imposing unwanted crippling loans, flooding third word economies with subsidised first world goods and imposing trade sanctions on those who would dare resist such “aid”.

So there are many many reasons to feel rage, if not hatred towards our trusted leaders. Compared with these many reasons the one I shall now mention is relatively trite, but it’s still pretty significant and important enough, I think, to qualify for inclusion in this list: the poisoning of our national prestige.

In the 1960s I was at school in Rhodesia. My best friend and next-door neighbour was a South African, and his family were South African. I was an English child with an English family. Although my friend’s parents were always pleasant enough to me there was nevertheless a certain reserved coolness which, as far as his grandmother was concerned, was more like thinly-veiled contempt. Not understanding the reasons I pretty much ignored it. My mother, on the other hand, returned the contempt and openly admitted her dislike of South Africans who she often said with impatience, as though they were behaving like spoiled children, just couldn’t forget the Boer War. She would tell stories of the days when my parents lived in South Africa – the late 1940s and early 50s – and the open hostility they often met from South Africans. I didn’t comprehend what she meant, and as a child didn’t really care; and to be fair to her I don’t know if she ever knew enough South African history to understand. It was only later when I started to learn about the horrors inflicted upon the South Africans by the British army that it began to make sense. Once I understood, I was overcome with a sense of shame that I was English and which, whenever I was in the company of South Africans, always made me feel like I should be apologising (at that time, as a young brainwashed racist – which is something else to hate my leaders for – I hadn’t yet learnt the full evils of apartheid). The point is that not even fifty years is long enough for a nation to forget those responsible for inflicting outrageous crimes upon it – such as the obscene concentration camps the British army used against the South African women and children during the Boer War – nor long enough for young people to cease being tainted by the crimes of their ancestors for which, although the young are obviously not responsible, they must still face the blame.

Whenever England plays almost any other country at any sport there is invariably more than just a little friendly rivalry involved, as so many countries have histories where animosity towards England is not only perfectly reasonable it’s fully deserved and justified. Take for example the always-moving “Fields of Athenry” whenever fifty thousand or more Irish voices raise the roof at England-Ireland rugby matches in Dublin, or when the Scots’ “Flower of Scotland” thunders around Murrayfield – both songs being deeply rooted in old English crimes. Part of the reason why these songs are still so moving and effective is because English government hasn’t significantly changed: it’s still run by exactly the same type of ruling elites that have plagued the 99% for a thousand years or more.

In other words, there are few places in the world where an English person can go and not expect to be met with contempt, resentment, and even open hostility – and usually with good reason. This is not to say that always happens of course; most people anywhere in the world are good people and are too polite to respond to strangers with anything other than courtesy and consideration. However, in the case of English travellers abroad they should never feel too surprised if locals are not always delighted to see them.

So, to the long list of justifiable reasons for feeling rage and even hatred towards our trusted leaders, let’s not forget the fact that it will likely be at least fifty years before young British people can wander around any part of the Muslim world without meeting contempt, resentment, and even hatred – and with very good reason.

John is a writer and political activist based in England. He can be contacted through his website. His main contribution comprises three free-to-use works-in-progress: The People’s Constitution, The School of Kindness, and EnMo Economics . Read other articles by John.