Women of Substance

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EMPIRES (BRITAIN)

AND

THE PERIL OF XENOPHOBIA (BREXIT)

By Brahima Mbodje

Years from today when historians reflect on the history of Europe (and of the world for that matter), it shall hardly be overstated that once upon a time there was a truly great empire named Great Britain, which ruled over more than a third of the entire world population and upon which, it was said, the sun never set.


However, through no faults of its own, but for the longing for freedom and self-rule by the various peoples it had subjugated, this empire would lose most of its (overseas) territories to independence.


Britain would nevertheless continue to exist as a great nation up until June 2016 when, in the midst of an unbelievable show of unspeakable xenophobia (not just against Africans, and Muslims, but also against Poles and Latvians who, like Britons, are themselves white and Christians), she decided to commit a most senseless hara-kiri; the so-called BREXIT. An attempt to rid herself, and her remaining appendages, of those folks she had branded as alien invaders.


As it later turned out, however, the English-Welsh alliance (that spearheaded the Brexit campaign) only succeeded in spiting Britain, more so than it had succeeded in punishing its so-called invaders. For indeed in the process, England and Welsh did manage to set in motion the final and irreversible dismantling of their beloved Great Britain. The lesson (if not the morality) here is that hatred is a pretty abominable thing even in politics. For indeed it has the potential to blind the hater to her own most vital self-interests.


England must have known this better, since about a year earlier the Scots (after the Irish) had nearly pulled out of what they had always considered to be essentially an English Empire (as opposed to an inclusive Britain).


Such was how GREAT BRITAIN managed at an utterly prohibitive price to rid herself of her invaders and to make herself GREAT AGAIN; or did she really? What was certain though was that the Empire (or what remained of it) would shortly after lose Scotland and Northern Ireland, and become ultimately circumscribed and reduced to LITTLE ENGLAND.


Certainly, a most vivid case of how a single instance of stupidity on the part of a deluded majority (in this case the English) can bring about the irrevocable demise of a great nation.


For those of us who had remained lovers of Great Britain (despite its past colonial sins and crimes), we say: what a self-inflicted tragedy it was.


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