Britain didn’t fight the second world war — the British empire did

Yasmin Khan’s superlative The Raj at War finally does justice to the crucial contribution of the Indian army to Hitler’s defeat, says William Dalrymple

25 July 2015

9:00 AM

25 July 2015

9:00 AM

The Raj at War: A People’s History of India’s Second World War Yasmin Khan

The Bodley Head, pp.416, £25, ISBN: 9781847921208

In 1929, when Edwin Lutyens handed over the newly completed building site of New Delhi to the Viceroy, Lord Irwin, many believed he had created a capital for a British empire in India that would last if not 1,000, then at least 100 years. It was, as Lord Stamfordham wrote, ‘a symbol of the might and permanence of the British empire’ that had been commissioned specifically so that ‘the Indian will see for the first time the power of western civilisation’.

The plan of New Delhi was deliberately intended to express the limitless power of the Viceroy. In the words of Sir Herbert Baker: ‘Hurrah for despotism!’ Every detail of New Delhi was meant to echo this thought — from the stone bells on the capitals, which could never ring to announce the end of British rule, to the sheer imperial monumentality of the scheme, which even Lutyens’s greatest champion, Robert Byron, described as ‘an offence against democracy’.

Yet just 18 years later, in 1947, Lord Mountbatten lowered the Union Jack and moved out of Viceroy’s House, and the first president of democratic, independent India, Dr Rajendra Prasad, moved in. At the same time, imperial India was partitioned, creating two independent nation-states, Hindu-majority India and Muslim-majority Pakistan. After 300 years in India, the British divided and quit.

Lutyens and his contemporaries were hardly alone in failing to see that they stood at the very end of both British colonial rule and of a united India. In 1929, independence had seemed very far away, and the idea of a breakaway Muslim state of Pakistan had barely even been mooted. How did such radical changes take place so quickly? As Yasmin Khan brilliantly demonstrates in her path-breaking study, The Raj at War, what changed everything was the second world war.

The British always liked to believe they stood alone in 1940, a plucky little island defying the massed ranks of fascists and Nazis. What we tend to forget, as Khan reminds us, is that ‘Britain did not fight the second world war, the British empire did.’ Nearly 20 years ago, Antony Beevor reminded us that for most of the war the majority of German troops were facing not westwards over the channel, towards Britain and the US, but eastwards towards Stalin’s Russia. Now Khan performs a similar service when she points out that no less than five million citizens of the British empire joined the military services between 1939 and 1945, and that almost two million of these, ‘the largest volunteer army in history’, were from South Asia. At many of Britain’s greatest victories and at several of the war’s most crucial turning points — El Alamein, Monte Cassino, Kohima — a great proportion of ‘British’ troops were not British at all, but Indian.

Yet India’s war was badly mishandled from the beginning. The Viceroy, the tactless and unimaginative Lord Linlithgow, declared war on behalf of India without even consulting India’s increasingly assertive nationalist politicians. As a result left-wing congressmen, such as Jawaharlal Nehru, who might willingly have supported the global fight against fascism, found themselves pushed into opposing a war they would otherwise have endorsed. Instead, they fell in line when, in 1942, Gandhi launched his ‘Quit India’ campaign even as the Japanese advanced towards India from Burma. Nehru, who memorably described Linlithgow as ‘heavy of body and slow of mind, solid as a rock and with almost a rock’s lack of awareness’, spent the rest of the war in prison in Ahmendnagar, writing his Discovery of India. By the time he and the other Congress leaders were released in 1945, the world had changed irrevocably, and nowhere more so than India.

Mohammad Ali Jinnah, who had been a relatively minor politician in 1939, had supported the war effort, and while his Congress rivals were locked up, he used the time to turn himself into the self-declared ‘sole spokesman’ for India’s Muslims. In 1940 he set out for the first time the goal of a separate Indian Muslim state called Pakistan. By 1945 Hindu-Muslim violence had spiralled out of even Jinnah’s ability to control it, and partition seemed the only alternative to outright civil war.

At the same time, war transformed the face of India. Indian factory owners and industrialists made huge fortunes providing military supplies, even as two million Bengali peasants died of starvation, partly as a result of war measures aimed at keeping the Japanese at bay. Khan writes:

Cities such as Karachi and Bangalore boomed, the infrastructure of airlines, companies and road networks were laid by wartime projects, and consumer imports from tinned food to fridges came onto the market. The Americans became more economically and socially influential than before. Middle-class women found new freedoms in work and activism. Nehru’s planned economy and the welfare-orientated developmental state that he tried to craft after 1947 had its roots in the Raj’s transformation of the 1940s.

By 1945, Britain was exhausted and bankrupt, and lacked either the will or the resources to maintain its empire. Realising that we had lost any remaining vestiges of control, on the afternoon of 20 February 1947 the new prime minister, Clement Attlee, announced before Parliament that British rule would end ‘no later than June 1948’. As Khan notes:

The war flattened out the pretensions of empire, making ceremonial and ritual excesses look archaic, challenging old compacts between king-emperor and the landed elites…. It heightened nationalism, both in Britain and India, so that older forms of transnational solidarity became dated and obsolete. The Raj was left in debt, morally redundant and staffed by exhausted administrators whose sense of purpose could not be sustained…. Ultimately, the war delivered decolonisation and the partition of 1947 — neither of which was inevitable or even foreseen in 1939.

The second world war is one of the most written-about episodes in all world history: every month sees a dozen new titles published. Yet, astonishingly, The Raj at War breaks new ground on almost every page. Based on years of intensive archive research in India and Britain, and written in beautifully polished and often moving prose, Khan’s book is the first detailed study both of the extent to which India — and two million Indian troops — changed the course of the war, and of how the war irrevocably changed India’s future. It succeeds brilliantly in illuminating both processes.

What is perhaps most remarkable is the way Khan has found of bringing into confluence two different kinds of historical writing. Her work has the detailed research, economic rigour and theoretical superstructure of heavyweight academic history; yet it also has the narrative momentum, prose style and humanistic and biographical insights of a more literary work.

With its wide-angled vision and breadth of interests, ranging from recruitment to land requisition to battles and brothels, The Raj at War acts as the perfect foil to another equally extraordinary book, coincidentally published in the same month. This is Farthest Field: An Indian Story of the Second World War by one of India’s most brilliant and talented young writers, Raghu Karnad (recently reviewed in these pages by David Crane). Farthest Field tells a similar story to Khan’s book, but through the lens of one family who lost three sons in different theatres of the war.

‘People have two deaths,’ writes Karnad; ‘the first at the end of their lives, when they go away, and the second at the end of the memory of their lives, when all who remember them are gone. Then a person quits the world completely.’ These two complementary books, superbly written acts of remembrance, recreate a world previously largely passed over by literature, and together they remind us how much we owe the forgotten Indians who died for our freedom during the second world war, even as we were only grudgingly moving towards granting them their own.

This review has been amended to correct the misattribution to Lutyens of quotes by Lord Stamfordham and Sir Herbert Baker. We regret the error.

Got something to add? Join the discussion and comment below.

Available from the Spectator Bookshop, £20 Tel: 08430 600033. William Dalrymple has lived part-time in India since 1989. His books include Nine Lives: In Search of the Sacred in Modern India and The Age of Kali.

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Show comments
  • Lorenzo

    “What we tend to forget, as Khan reminds us, is that ‘Britain did not fight the second world war, the British empire did.”

    With a little help from a former colony.

    • The Bogle

      The USA provided more than a little help to the UK and to the USSR, and for it we in the UK are very grateful.

      Does the USA acknowledge what would have happened in Europe and the world had Britain not held out until 1942 against Germany?

      The UK also ended that war bankrupt.

      • Lorenzo

        We certainly realize the consequences of Britain not holding out the way she did. I don’t know what would have happened if the Japanese had left Pearl Harbor alone for a couple of years or if Hitler hadn’t declared war against the US when the Japanese struck.

        The sad part is that the Soviets ended up ruling Eastern Europe. It’s a bitter irony that Poland, the reason Britain entered the war when it did, ended up in Stalin’s hands.

        • Bruce Lewis

          Britain never should have guaranteed Poland’s independence; had she not, communism and nazism might have been left to sting each other to death like two wasps in a glass jar.

          • The Bogle

            Guaranteeing Poland’s independence was an attempt to tell Germany that with its absorption of the Sudetenland, it had secured enough and that any further expansion would trigger a war. Britain could not defend Poland and even in 1944, aircraft flying from Italy could hardly make a return flight to Warsaw. Hitler successfully called Britain’s and France’s bluff.

            Had there been no war against Britain and France in 1939, it is interesting to speculate on the consequences of an earlier Operation Barbarossa, which probably was inevitable as Hitler wanted Lebensraum.

        • The Bogle

          Without a cause for entering the Second World War, the USA would presumably have maintained its neutrality and remained isolated or apart. However, with western Europe under German control Hitler could have devoted more weapons and men against the Soviet Union. Perhaps Japan would have risked invading the USSR from the east. Would America have been obliged to take sides eventually, i.e. on the side of the USSR, to prevent the spread of fascism?

          • right1_left1

            Germany devoted about 90% (possibly more ) of its military caoability to the attack on the USSR.

          • The Bogle

            It was able to do so once it gave up on Operation Sealion and had invaded Greece and so could divert more troops to the east. The delayed start of Operation Barbarossa meant that the German advance became bogged down in the wet Russian autumn and severe Russian winter.

            The other 10% of German forces were presumably stationed in the occupied countries of Europe or engaged in the Desert War in Africa.

          • right1_left1

            Operation Seelowe was a contingency plan.
            Germany had no need and never intended to implement it.
            I have heard it said that it would have been difficult due to the UK navy and the threat from the USSR.
            Dont invade the UK
            Attack the Soviet Union.

            btw the UK simply did not have the resources to keep fighting the war.
            I also believe ( speaking from memory ) we could not have kept the shipping lanes of the Atlantic open
            Uboots just to the west of mid atlantic ensured that.

            (By resources I mean the ability to manufacture items.
            The required machine tools mostly came from the USA.)

            Many in the UK population have it deep in their pysche that they were victorious in WW2.
            Just shows the power of propaganda.

          • The Bogle

            Without air superiority Germany could not have launched Operation Sealion. Once Germany failed to win the Battle of Britain Hitler prepared for the invasion of the USSR.

            Churchill admitted that he regarded the Battle of the Atlantic as a far greater danger to British survival than the Battle of Britain.

            Britain did play a significant part in WW2 and was fortunate to end that war as a member of the winning side.

          • mohdanga

            “Operation Seelowe was a contingency plan.
            Germany had no need and never intended to implement it.”
            If Hitler never wanted to invade Britain then why did the Luftwaffe attack British airfields, radar installations, and fighter plane production plants as well as draw up plans for the arrest of the usual ‘intellectuals, politicians, etc’ that would further the collapse after invasion?

          • mohdanga

            “Many in the UK population have it deep in their pysche that they were victorious in WW2.” So defeating the Germans and Japanese wasn’t a victory then?

          • Lorenzo

            “…on the side of the USSR, to prevent the spread of fascism.”

            We ended up doing that; Stalin ended up with Eastern Europe and he never even thanked us.

          • The Bogle

            Stalin also joined the Allies in declaring war on Japan (post-Yalta) and ended up seizing the Kurile Islands and the Japanese half of Sakhalin Island. Territorially the USSR did very well out of the Second World War.

            The West was fortunate to have the might of the USA behind it to prevent Stalin’s have designs beyond the Iron Curtain.

      • right1_left1

        Since large tracts of Europe were under German control and the UK CONFINED what do you mean by ‘Britain holding out’

        Is it your contention that the UK alone or with Empire troops could have defeated Germany ?

        • The Bogle

          Holding out meant resisting invasion and surviving despite all those supply ships of the merchant navy being sunk regularly until the entry of the USA into the War in December 1941.

          Britain and her Empire alone could not have defeated Germany, but by holding out, Britain could delay Germany’s eventual invasion of the USSR.

          Had Britain been invaded in 1940, Germany could have launched Operation Barbarossa earlier and only been fighting on one front.

        • WFC

          No, but nor could the USSR – or the USA – have defeated Germany if Britain hadn’t held out.

          If Britain had been subdued, all of the German supply constraints – especially oil – would have vanished overnight. There would have been no naval blockade, no strategic bombing of German cities and industries, no supply line to the USSR, no sideshows in North Africa, or the North Atlantic.

          Moreover, with plentiful oil supplies, the Germans would have found it easier to persuade the Japanese to attack the USSR, rather than Britain and the USA, thereby pinning down in the East, the troops which would eventually turn the tide in the West.

          It is highly unlikely that a USSR whose armed forces had been systematically hollowed out from within would have been able to survive past the first winter.

          As for the US, they would have had no foothold from which to attack Germany in Europe, whilst the Germans would have had the whole of Latin America to tempt into joining them.

          • Hugh Jeego

            And the Germans would have developed atomic weapons and the means to deliver them over intercontinental distances. There were an awful lot of Jews in the US, I doubt that Hitler would have been content with conquering Europe. Nazi Germany was literally a threat to the entire world.

          • WFC

            Yes … I’d forgotten about that.

            We know that they were developing atomic weapons – we bombed one of their heavy water facilities – and they were foremost in rocketry. (They had a V3 planned.)

    • davidofkent

      Whose Ambassador to Britain, Joe Kennedy, said that Britain should ‘do a deal’ with Hitler or risk annihilation in weeks. Britain paid for all the ‘aid’ it received from its former colony and that colony would never have entered the war had it not upset the Japanese and received ‘Pearl Harbour’ in return. The former colony was intent on destroying the old British Empire, just like the Japanese.

      • right1_left1

        Kennedy talked sense then ?

        Why do you think the USA should have entered WW2 ?
        What obligation to the UK do you think they had ?

        I have often wondered what might have happened had Adolph not declared war on the USA thus allowing the productive power and military strength of the USA to be tragetted wholly at Japan.

        Then if at the same time the USSR had buckled completely against the Wehrmacht the Brits would have got some basic lessons in real politik.

        In the UK the history of that conflict is cloaked in dishonest self serving piffle..

        • The Bogle

          Had Adolf Hitler not declared war on the USA, America would have had no reason to enter the European war. It would have continued to supply the UK with finished materials and food, but Britain would have simply had to hold out. For how long is a matter of speculation.

          The USSR would have fought to the death and again it is a matter of speculation whether it would have crumbled against Germany, though an earlier launch of Operation Barbarossa could have turned things in Germany’s favour.

          What would the consequences of a German victory over Europe have been, in your estimation?

          • MikeF

            We cannot say what ‘would’ have happened in any theoretical past instances though we can speculate all we want about what ‘might’ have occurred. If Hitler had not declared war on the US the US might have declared war on Germany as the result of attacks by U-boats on American escorts for the Atlantic convoys. If Britain had surrendered in 1940 then Hitler might not have got the chance to launch operation Barbarossa because the Soviets might have launched a pre-emptive trike against him.

          • The Bogle

            Thank you for these insights and your earlier one confirming that “the plucky little island” was no myth.

            Your view that the USSR might have anticipated a German invasion of its territory by launching a pre-emptive strike on Germany is a fascinating one. WFC rightly commented on how in 1940 the Red Army had been “hollowed out”. Stalin, ever the paranoid one, had ordered the execution of leading generals by 1940. Given how Finland had initially stood up to the USSR, what would the consequences of such a Russian pre-emptive strike have been with a lack of generals?

            It was only Pearl Harbour that triggered off the need to rearm on such an industrial scale in the USA, so America would surely not have achieved war readiness by 1940?

            While indulging in “What ifs”, do you think that if Malta had fallen to the Axis forces Germany would have defeated the British in Africa and the Middle East as well, with the result that there would have been no state of Israel today?

          • MikeF

            The notion that the USSR might have broken the Stalin-Hitler pact is not totally fanciful – I have read that the idea was apparently mooted in Soviet circles but as long as Britain remained undefeated then Stalin thought Hitler would not risk a war on two fronts. But then Hitler apparently toyed with the idea of a lightning attack on the Soviet Union immediately after the fall of France in 1940. All you can really say is that a war between Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union was close to inevitable.
            As for North Africa the ‘bus that Hitler missed’ to paraphrase Neville Chamberlain was not throwing significant forces in there in the Autumn of 1940. If he had done so instead of acceding to Mussolini’s demand that the Italians be allowed to fight the British by themselves then the consequences could have been disastrous. Rommel’s Afrika Korps was from the German point-of-view always too little too late.

          • The Bogle

            I think that Stalin also thought that war with Germany was inevitable. He even allied himself with the Nazis because he lost faith in France and Britain and perhaps secured the USSR some time.

            I note your conclusion about the effect of Hitler acceding to Mussolini’s demand. Another lucky break for Britain, just like Hitler’s decision to hold off the German panzers outside Dunkirk.

          • mohdanga

            William Stevenson’s “A Man Called Intrepid” (although 40 years old and probably considered over the hill by many) gives and excellent account of the political machinations faced by Roosevelt in trying to appease the ‘Isolationists’ in the US Congress while at the same time working to supply the UK in order to stop its defeat. It also details the German’s plan for the US (isolate politically and spread propaganda internally in the US using German funded and friendly organizations…..similar to what is happening under the watch of Mr. Hopey Changey with Muslim fundamentalism in the US, you know, “nothing to do with Islam”, “Islam is a peaceful religion”, etc). The Germans were very active in Central and South America trying to curry favour with some of the regimes there and trying to box the US in…make no mistake, the Germans were intent on destroying the US.

      • Lorenzo

        All the dead soldiers, sailors, and airmen from you former colony say, “You’re welcome”.

      • Lorenzo

        Your former colony’s dead soldiers, sailors and airmen say “You’re welcome”.

  • Jackthesmilingblack

    WWII allowed the US to destroy several empires, not least the Brirish empire.
    Oh, and by the way Bill, it’s Union Flag.

    • Abie Vee

      Or in common parlance, (Flagthesmilingblack), The Union Jack . Ja matta ne.

  • Blether

    Well, I hadn’t forgotten about the Empire troops – they’re all over it, as you say, if you read the history.

    On the other hand, I think Corelli Barnett’s right to say that Britain lost its empire by failing to partition Germany after World War I. World War II is a subsequent link in the chain, but rather more a symptom than a cause.

    And why leave Germany intact? As a bulwark against leftist power in the East. We could say that Britain forfeited its empire in the interests of elites..

    • The Bogle

      Germany was not left intact in 1919.
      Pre-Great War Germany was bigger in area than France, in no small measure due to its annexation in 1871 of Alsace Lorraine. Those territories went back to France in 1919 and Germany also lost a third of its territory in all under the terms of the Versailles Treaty, especially West Prussia, which became part of the newly restored Poland.

  • The Bogle

    The British Empire certainly fought for the United Kingdom in two world wars and we Britons should never forget this because, without our empire and its people, we should have lost in 1939.

    In 1939, Hitler was not taking on simply a group of offshore islands, poorly supplied with food and raw materials and with a population of less than 50 million, but the largest empire the world had known with an area of about a quarter of the world and a total population of over 450 million and rich in food and raw materials.

    We should continue to honour the sacrifices made in blood and treasure by the peoples of that empire and point out why the high commissioners of some many countries round the world lay wreaths at the Cenotaph on Remembrance Sunday on or near to the 11th of November each year.

    Those who are interested can visit the Australian and New Zealand war memorials near the Wellington Monument at Hyde Park Corner, walk through the Memorial Gates in Constitution Hill (commemorating the efforts of those from the Indian sub-continent, Africa and the Caribbean in two world wars) and go on to the Canadian war memorial in Green Park. Those who came from these countries came as volunteers.

    Lest we forget!

    • Abie Vee

      Well put fellow.

      • The Bogle

        Thank you.

      • Colonel Mustard

        The very last thing I am interested in is Abie Vee’s view of British history and “the British”. In fact I have no interest in that at all.

        • Abie Vee

          … the professional military mind is by necessity an inferior and unimaginative mind; no man of high intellectual quality would willingly imprison his gifts in a such a calling.

          • starfish

            Ah yes

            Napoleon, he was rubbish….

          • Abie Vee


          • Abie Vee

            In the end yes.

          • starfish

            all end in failure eh?



            hg wells was notable for his lack of military acumen

          • Abie Vee

            And Evelyn Waugh.

    • Yvonne Stuart-Hargreaves

      Correct. For the correct picture read David Egerton’s book , Britain’s War Machine. We were far from alone in 1940. Outspending the Third Reich and massively outgunning them well before the Yanks joined in. Hitler’s shabby little regime did not stand a chance. It was just a question of time.

      • The Bogle

        The pre-War policy of Appeasement had a lot to answer for. Hitler should have been stamped on when he marched into the Rhineland and the British government should done more to build up its armaments long before the Munich Agreement. David Egerton’s book nonetheless provides a counterbalance to the general impression that Britain was fortunate to survive in 1940.

    • emily dibb

      Thanks, Bogle – not to forget those from Rhodesia and South Africa whose deaths are currently unfashionable.

      • The Bogle

        Yes, those two countries also made a significant contribution, though back in 1967 or 1968 Harold Wilson refused to allow the Southern Rhodesian High Commissioner to attend the Remembrance Day gathering at the Cenotaph.

  • Bonkim

    Spot on but Khan misses the point that India was never a single entity but a conglomeration of diverse ethnicities, languages, religions and cultures – it was a subcontinent no different from say Europe – as such the partition of India was simply a natural division of people that were forced together by history and powerful Empires – the Mughals before the British – could never have lived together as one. Travelling from South to North or East to West – it still is a divided land and unlikely to change for anther Millennia. But yes WW2 was the catalyst for independence whatever its merit. Britan was weakened and bankrupt and the Empire had to end.

    • Abie Vee

      I don’t get it. Was “the point” that India was a diverse “conglomeration” which “[…] could never have lived together as one. “? Surely they did so for centuries, more or less in peace, under the Muslim Mughals?

      I thought “the point” was that diverse India fought for Britain, despite Britain’s bungling incompetence, which of itself led to partition.

      • saffrin

        The Japanese didn’t invade India because it was British, the Japanese invaded the entire are, including China.
        You fail to mention British troops, white ones, fought in India, along with their Indian allies.

        • Abie Vee

          ??? I think you must be replying to the wrong person.

      • Bonkim

        Social, economic, and political organisations are always evolving, history, religion, human migrations change people and cultures as it goes along. India as Europe consisted of many tribal kingdoms all battling with each other over the Millennia – no different from similar history being played out in Europe.

        Over a thousand years beginning 700AD the Arabs emboldened by Islam and later the Central Asian Mongols became the superpower of the old world – expanding both Westward and to the East, and also much of East and North Africa. Arabs on sea and the Mongols on land managed to conquer much of Asia and many parts of present day Eastern Europe.

        The Moguls were not Indians but Central Asian (Turkish/Afghan) tribe. As was the norm the common people wnt along with whoever was in power and set the law much of it arbitrary. No different in Europe where the Pope and the Kings set the pace in society, declared and fought wars using peasant armies as and when needed.

        In that context the East India Company managed play local politics and established their power later taken over by the British Parliament in 1850s because of mismanagement by the East india Co. Similar events in North Africa where the earlier Colony was established by the Hudsons Bay Co and there are similarities between history and developments taking place at both ends of the Empire as Britain went through the industrial revolution – the whole world set up was the beginning of today’s world trade systems and the same people that were involved in plantations, industries, and banking, shipping, even the slave trade feature in many of today’s industry and business organisations.

        You have to see the India of the 18 and 1900s as part of a worldwide Empire of diverse people, languages, cultures, and religions being managed by the Imperial power of Britain. Most people were happy as they knew their place in the pecking order went about with sharing in the economic and political stability offered by the rulers of the land – parallel developments across the Empire – education, legal systems, government and land administration, etc, provided a secure base – quite different from the arbitrary justice of previous rulers.

        The Indian Army of some 2 million was a volunteer Army and it was a good job – today’s British Army developed many of their traditions from their Empire history – the regimental system was essentially having regiments from tribal groups with common culture, language, food habits, etc that would fight as a cohesive unit.

        So going back to India in a peaceful state – never in history – before the British established in the late 18th century, history is a continuous story of battles, plunder and pillage. The Persians under Nadir Shah invaded, and plundered Delhi on two occasions as the Mughal Empire was weakening in the early 1700s and as the subcontinent disintegrated the Portuguese, French, Dutch, and the British were all angling to get a peace of the action – mainly to safeguard their trade. The Bitsh came on top and the rest is history.

        So No – India was not a homogeneous country with a defined culture, language or government as you would define a nation state today – it was a vast land mass stretching from present day Afghanistan in the West to Burma to the East over a thousand small and large kingdoms, various ethnicities, hundreds of languages, several major religions and hundreds of sects, tribal people that lived foraging in the forests outside the mainstream, etc, etc., It still is in many ways.

        • Abie Vee

          I got as far as “most people were happy” and quit.

          When you have a continuous history of being plundered, as you suggest, it matters not who does the plundering. The result’s the same: you’re shafted.

          The British were good at it.

          • Bonkim

            British Raj gave stability to India, and enabled administration, education, infrastructure and industry to develop in parallel to that taking place in Britain and North America.

            Britain also brought the rule of law and equality before the law to India which despite the deep-seated class and caste divisions prevailing (and still does) gave some sense of justice to the vast majority of Indians. Corruption levels were also low in British India particularly the All India organisations.

            What you are complaining about is the servile/deferential mentality that prevailed and still prevails in India and that despite the huge increase in GDP and rise of affluent Indians, over half the people don’t have clean water or toilet facilities, continue to be exploited – child and slave labour continuing, no practical access to justice for the vast majority of Indians, environment being degraded fast by industrial and mining interests, corrupt politicians and officials fleecing the average Indians, scams of various sorts widespread – you name the cancer – India has it –

            What you are also forgetting is that British India whilst the construct of the British was mainly run by indians at various levels – the Civil service, industry Captains, Land-holders, the Indian Armed Forces, etc, etc, were mainly Indian – even in the 1850s revolution it was mainly the Indian sepoys that brought the rebels to justice. It was a co-existence for mutual benefit and the Indians if they so willed could have brought down the whole edifice down – but they did not. Indians knew a good thing when they saw it and the plain fact is their own social organisation and systems were inferior in comparison and apart from occasional emotional outbursts unable to resist meaningfully.

          • Richard

            The idea of the Left seems to be that all peoples were happy and clapping and singing, and then the evil white man arrived and destroyed everything. No matter what we know about the scene onto which white people arrived, it was always happy. Somehow white people brought consciousness into the equation, and showed others their nakedness and primitivism, and so they became ruined. It is the old Biblical story, with white people as the snake, and the rest of humanity the paradise-inhabiting Adam and Eve, free of taint and sin. Very odd view of humanity, borne of excessive free time, wealth, and self-hatred.

          • right1_left1

            Even believe it or not the American Redskins were at one anothers’ throats.

            Can there be a more sacreligious thought than that ?
            Possibly many slaves in Africa were gathered and sold by African war lords ?

            The Zulus launched a genocidal attack on somebody or other .

          • Richard

            Black Africans committed genocide against the indigenous Bushmen. They originate in the Great Lakes area, and are interlopers in the south.

            Indians in the US were not that environmentally wonderful either. They killed loads more bison than they needed.

            There go two more of Rousseau’s “Noble Savages”…

          • Colonel Mustard

            Are you not British then?

      • right1_left1

        Partition of India was caused by the Brits.
        Beyond absurd. the division at root was religious

        How many Muslims were kiled by Hindus and vice versa and how many by the Brits.

        At partition i mean.

        Did not Pakistan and what is now Bangladesh split.
        How many wars have been fought over Goa

        Even today the Kashmir problem is potentially volatile.

        In general to name a few

        Nigeria split on tribal lines.

        Yugoslavia fractured when Tito departed the scene.
        The USSR has faced ‘tribal’ violence from Chechnya Georgia and the Ukraine.

        As for the Islamic invasion imposing peace by force in India.

        Splitting my sides.

        • Abie Vee

          Wow… a whistle-stop tour of ,er, wherever, in 14 easy lines.

          I lost the way after Goa… I must have south instead of north.

          Glad you’re having fun (whatever the reason).

          • right1_left1

            I am so obsessed with Islam i got carried away.
            The Goa conflict I had in mind was with Portugal.
            Islam got the boot about the 15th century.

            The whistle stop tour is to demonstrate that muticulturalism does NOT work and MORE than simply obeying the law.

          • Abie Vee

            It works in London. 50:50. It’s kinda been that way for along time.

            As I said 6 hours ago: Multiculturalism is the view that the various cultures in a society merit equal respect, equal treatment, and equal consideration under the law.

            Personally, I’m fine with that.

          • Colonel Mustard

            Says the arrogant so and so who thinks anyone who disagrees with his political view is a fruitcake.

            You lefties are such hypocrites. Apparently totally un-self aware.

          • mohdanga

            So why not have it all over the world instead of just in the West? After all, if enrichment is good for whitey it must be good for non-whites, right?
            Up until the 1960s, when multiculturalism and mass immigration was foisted on the public, Britain was 99.99% white and British culture was seemingly fine. Now, after 40+ years of ‘enrichment’ we’ve got Islamic ghettoes, white British in London a minority, politicians kowtowing to Islam, hate speech laws used to silence critics of Islam and minority cultures, massive taxes and spending needed to fund the ‘enrichment’ and on and on. I keep hearing how great multiculturalism is yet have not seen one good thing come of it.

        • Yvonne Stuart-Hargreaves

          ….and we are still enduring the chaos from the demise of the Ottoman Empire. Algeria, Libya, Syria, Iraq, Tunisia, Bosnia, Greece, Yemen, Sudan, Crimea, Kosovo, Palestine, Lebanon, Egypt… name it.

  • Mark

    in the Second World War people had to choose sides.

    The axis….nazi Germany, Fascist Italy, imperial Japan.

    Or the British Empire, later joined by the U.S. and the USSR.

    Gandhi in 1942 chose the axis yet he is honoured to this day (with a statue in London) whilst other axis collaborators like Vidkun Quisling or Philippe Petain are not.

    • sidor

      Petain was the founding father of the European Union based on the German-French alliance which he proclaimed in 1941. The idea survived WW2, and Britain eventually joined the enterprise.

      • JabbaTheCat

        You really should read up on Jean Monet…

        • sidor

          Yes. Monet worked for de Gaulle who was Petain’s subordinate and protege. In this way it was ensured that the idea of EU will survive any outcome of the war. The real idiot in that story was Churchill.

      • Abie Vee

        I think Napoleon beat him to it. And maybe Charlemagne. Not to mention the Romans.

        • sidor

          To be precise: it was Louis 14 who formulated the idea that France should reunify all the lands of the Empire of Charlemagne. It took them 300 years to achieve.

  • Hegelman

    What Dalrymple forgets is that the overwhelming majority of the human losses to the British Empire in the Second World War were Indian too.

    The Empire’s story is much more mixed than the British would like to think. Ireland was repeatedly devastated by famine and war under British rule: 40 percent of the population is estimated to have perished in the wars around the English Revolution….!

    And the mid nineteenth century Irish Famine that killed about one eight of the population was far worse than anything that happened in the Soviet Union under Stalin.

    So please don’t go telling the Irish (Catholics) that British rule was good for them. It is a disaster from which Ireland has never recovered even yet.

    In India the British united the place and built the railways and some other modern amenities but there were repeated terrible famines that are estimated to have killed about 25 million people in the nineteenth century. Mike Davis’ well known book “Late Victorian Holocausts” gives a good account of that.

    The last famine in India under British rule was under Churchill
    in 1943. One tenth of the population of Bengal (three million dead) perished when Churchill refused to send famine relief after years of draining India of food. He stopped the US and Australia sending any help either as they offered to. So Australian ships full of grain on his orders sailed past a Bengal where the dead and dying lined the roads and fields.

    In Calcutta the British gorged themselves in the Whites Only clubs while the streets were full of starving people. Some tried to get into hospitals but were thrown out on the orders of British doctors who said they were not ill but merely starving. Sounds like Ian Duncan Smith, does it not?

    Even Churchill’s Cabinet members were appalled by what he was doing. One of them, his Chief Military Adviser, Lord Alanbrooke, remarked : “Winston seems content to starve India while using it as a military base.” The British Viceroy in India, Lord Wavell, who desperately tried to get food out of Churchill for Bengal, asked bitterly in his published diary (The Viceroy’s Journal, 1970) if Churchill’s was the most contemptible Cabinet Britain had ever had.

    Churchill even stopped India using its own ships and money to get food, and later India was prevented from applying to the UN for famine relief because this would be bad for British prestige. So Indian contributions to the UN went to feed Europeans while Indians starved.

    A good book about all this is Madhusree Mukerjee’s “Churchill’s Secret War”. It has been well received and was highly praised by the major Churchill expert and Second World War historian Sir Max Hastings ( an ex-editor of the Daily Telegraph).

    Famines in India ended when the Union Jack was lowered in Delhi. Sadly, in India it was the Famine Flag.

    I regret the length of this post but you should know what British colonialism was really like when it was bad. Too many in Britain have a rosy view of it and of Churchill.

    • Mark

      With respect, famines and poverty did not end when Britain left India.

      Nor did war end.

      Indeed famine, poverty and war in India did not start with the arrival of the British either.

      • right1_left1

        re India :
        Multiculturalism doesnt work very well there either
        Much to my amusement and seemingly never noticed by lefty trendy wendys

        • Abie Vee

          Multiculturalism is the view that the various cultures in a society merit equal respect, equal treatment, and equal consideration under the law.

          Personally, I’m fine with that. If it isn’t working there “either” (?) then they haven’t got multiculturalism. We have, and it works.

          • ItinerantView

            ‘We have, and it works.’

            No it doesn’t, we ‘are sleepwalking into segregation’

            “Bradford’s communities lead parallel lives”

          • Bonkim

            What did you expect – total integration and Islamic beer and darts at the local Mosque?

          • ItinerantView

            As opposed to what- a multikulti EUtopia where supremacist Islamists live cheek to jowl with gay atheists?

          • Bonkim

            Supremacist bigots of any colour will need to eradicated – simple!

          • ItinerantView

            Will you set up camps?

          • Bonkim

            No Camps – people will have to fend for themselves.

          • Richard

            Are Ugandans black supremacists because there are very few others allowed into their country?

          • Bonkim

            Absolutely – ethnic conflicts form the basis of African society – Look at every African nation – but then Empires kept all such conflicts under control as any that stepped out of line were dealt with harshly.

            Regrettably ethnic/sectarian conflicts in Europe were a spent force in the 17th/18th centuries and the discovery and exploitation of the New World, new resources and industrial revolution managed old enmities and led to international competition – These natural readjustment processes essential for tribal societies to transform into the modern age did not occur in Asia/Africa which were under the control of Empires.

            I suppose these conflicts need to take place and blood need shedding for some of these societies to emerge and reorganize their societies.

            Processes that took place in the Americas with natural tribal balances being established in some fashion – The problem today is the UN and all its agencies trying to stop conflict and failing and provide humanitarian aid – nature is brutal and for order to be established the underlying causes have to play out through conflict and there are casualties in conflict.

          • Richard

            This is a view I have held for years, but impossible to express in modern Britain. The same with the shaping of groups of people by disease and mortality. The most notable of these is what occurred among Ashkenazi Jews, where mortality was highest among the least intelligent, and lowest among the most intelligent. That, combined with the greater number of surviving children brought into the world by the most intelligent, meant that within a few centuries they became extraordinarily adept and creative. This is the human equivalent of the breeding of dogs. To suggest that short-term benefit might be negatively prejudicial in the long-run is anathema, and so we we lurch from one crisis of immediate self-gratification to the next, heading down, and down, and down.

          • Bonkim

            In a world of equal rights and opportunities difficult to unleash nature to its ultimate brutal state as it did from the beginning of time. But you must also recognize that the weak and disorganized have been kept on life support by the more able simply as the alternative free for all would play havoc with international resource transfers, and trade, the mainstay of the present world order. The consequence of all out war between the larger groups equiped with the H Bomb is also unthinkable.

            Politicians think short-term.

            However nature will be the ultimate winner despite the brief pause. World populations are exploding, resources running out fast. Some large tribal entities – China, India and others are now overtaking the rest an cornering the remaining stores of essential material resources. The world is interconnected with transport and communication networks and become interdependent for survival – no getting out of the web.

            the consequences are not too difficult to forecast – human nature being what it is – will lead to the inevitable Arnageddon that the Bible prophesied two thousand years back – also reflected in the religious books of other faiths. Everything in nature has a life-cycle and that of the human species also too predictable even if you are not a believer of God and man-made religions.

          • Infidelissima

            start with mussies then!

            they are THE ONLY ONES who can not live with anybody:
            Jews, CHristians, Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Kurds, women, gays, AND EVEN THEIR OWN!

          • Bonkim

            Must make them unique!

          • Infidelissima

            uniquely turdish

          • balance_and_reason

            What we didn’t expect, and we have every right not to expect, is wholesale abuse of English minors in these towns.

          • Bonkim

            Those in charge failed their duty to safeguard these youngsters – their families did not care either. Now if you leave your valuables in the open, don’t blame the thieves who take them.

          • balance_and_reason

            not good enough….child rape as a culture is not really good news…I agree that marxist state centralism has offered certain parents an opportunity to offload their parental responsibilities…but often these kids were orphans.

          • Infidelissima

            no, but beheadings, 7/7, mass rape of little girls, Trojan horse, and god knows how many foiled attacks, is not the phacking gratitude we should expect from these parasitic useless cockroaches!

          • Bonkim

            Parasites have their human rights too!

          • Bonkim

            Utter Rubbish again – hotch potch of people living living in voluntary apartheid does not make for a unified and strong society. In India it is worse as the various ethnic, cultural, and linguistic groups live parallel lives – marrying within their closed castes and sub-castes, socialising amongst themselves and ignoring the common social responsibilities that people need to have in fighting social injustices.

            Multi-culturalism in Britain – that is a laugh.

          • Abie Vee

            Yesterday… all my troubles seemed so far away.

            You’ve just spent ten minutes telling me that you can’t cope with the modern world. Tough. But it’s the lesson of Darwin, you’ll die out soon enough, and the world will roll along without you.

          • Bonkim

            What has the modern world got to do with British Indian history? Look up a little and learn to link cause and effect.

          • Abie Vee

            Wrong question. What has the modern world got to do with you? Nothing.

          • Bonkim

            Breaking down and posting incoherent thoughts now are you?

          • Abie Vee

            It isn’t easy arguing with a deranged person. I’m asking myself, right now, why am I doing this? I’m not a doctor.

          • Bonkim

            Good question – may be you should consult a doctor!

          • Infidelissima

            so you often talk to yourself?

          • Bonkim

            I bet Indians bribe Darwin every day to pass their examination or get a job or rail ticket – survival of the fittest but you can always bribe someone in India to play your game and win.

          • Abie Vee

            It gets worse. I’m watching your slow-burn descent into madness.

          • Bonkim

            Good but watch out if Shiva opens his third eye – you will be blamed for the destruction.

          • Infidelissima

            opposing a pedophile death cult, seems more sane, than cheering it on

            you’re the insane one

          • Richard

            The Asian world, with no other races admitted. And the African world, with no other races admitted. And people will look at your grave – if you are white – and think, how odd these white people were! Loving everybody else and hating themselves.

          • Infidelissima

            the useful idiots die first, in case you haven’t noticed

            all the socialist luvvies, going to feed the poor mussies, get their heads cut off as a thank you
            it is not the mussie friend who survives, as they eat their own (like cockroaches), it’s the ones who fight against them the hardest

            In case you haven’t noticed, but Israel is doing extraordinarily well, especially considering they have oil, they are the tiniest country in the region, they have always been attacked.

            It’s because they don’t allow the cancer that is Islam to spread without absolute control. Same goes to Russia, China, and many other countries who have woken up to this fatal disease. It’s mussie friends who perish first.


          • John Thomas

            – But, surely, multiculturalism is also the belief (hope?) that the different cultures will all live together in a state of mutual respect, peace, and full recognition – but with some cultures present (I think of one in particular) this can never happen (the same fallacy is present in the idea of ‘two states’, Israel and Palestine: that can only work if there is mutual recognition, which will never come).

          • Abie Vee

            Much is made of the term by people with varying political agenda. I don’t really want to get into arguing semantics or swapping third-hand anecdotes with right-wing fruitcakes.

            To me it is as I posted. It boils down to little more than obey the law. I don’t actually think it’s possible to legislate for respect. But it is possible to legislate for behaviour and equality of treatment.

          • right1_left1

            Abie doesn’t want to debate with right wing fruit cakes.

            Here we have the problem in a nutshell: left wing idealistic nincompoops (LWIN) have never debated the issue of multiculturalism with anyone but themselves.
            On the rare occasions true debate happens LWIN’s lose.

            If Abie’s view is that all multiculturalism adds up to is obeying the law then quite frankly he/she is clueless.

            We have vertical apartheid in the UK ie a class system
            Introducing horizontal variation (race/religion/culture) fails everywhere and has done down throughout recorded history.

            I wonder were Abie lives in that he/she cant see or has never experienced the ghettoisation of the UK ?

            Probably the forkneys .

          • Abie Vee

            Yes. I’ve always found eugenics to be racist charlatanism of the very worst kind, a pseudo-science. That’s the territory where the fruitcakes like to pitch tent.

            Live? I’ll give you a clue: I’m 5 miles north of Trafalgar Sq, the ethnic mix is 64% white, 36% other and UKIP are nowhere to be found. A 3-bed semi costs you three-quarters of a million pounds, youth unemployment is low by national standards and by and large we all rub along without much fuss. But please don’t come here.

            Obey the law. Yes, that’s about it isn’t it? What else do we expect from people? Not much.

          • Bonkim

            Eugenics thriving in India – look at marriage columns – only the fair and better off have a chance – and demand for selective abortions rising – the disabled and unfit are eliminated before birth. Children enslaved and female children got rid off. Eugenics thriving in India in various forms. The poor/ill/disabled die young.

          • Richard

            He won’t like that. Oh no. It is only whites who are evil, surely you know that?

          • Bonkim

            I don’t like terms such as White, Black, Brown, yellow, etc – so 18th and 19th century. Indians, Chinese and other Asians are pretty racist and inward looking lot – history perhaps. Add to that an inferiority complex from the colonial era.

            Equally Britain had to invent multiculturalism, anti-racist rhetoric, etc, shrewd political thinking as that is the only way you avoid ethnic conflict and Britain had to maintain standards.

          • vetiarvind

            What are you talking about? Almost all my “dark” friends are married and well settled. You think it’s a racist dystopia out here? Granted there are incidents in a country with a billion people, but it’s generally a very peaceful country. You wouldn’t believe me of course, cuz you’d rather believe your biased media that glorifies all things western and caucasian, puts down everything coloured and then prides itself on it’s tolerance for multi-culturalism. Bah, bunch of hypocrites y’all are.

          • Bonkim

            You are good example of Indians that have a good life and shut their eyes to all the corruption, exploitation, civil conflicts and injustices going on in the country. but of course you are powerless to do anything about all that instead looking to getting married and settling down to the affluence that those in power have dished out.

            Get serious – 60% of Indians don’t have clean running water or hygienic toilets, 400+millions are classified amongst the world’s poorest and wanting in the basics of food, shelter and social security, get exploited by unscrupulous employers and local strongmen, or corrupt politicians. Legal system/courts moribund with cases taking decades by which time evidence is lost or past tits sell by date, the rich and powerful getting their own way in front of the Law – a joke.

            Sectarian riots, massacres continuing on a grand scale, people that look different from the North eastern states discriminated in delhi and the Southern states, women getting raped by Thigs in the capital, police and any others, Police and military thuggery rampant in the tribal lands giving rise to increasing civil order breakdown and separatist tendencies in Jharkhand, orissa, Assam/ Border states, etc. Sex-selection rampant in many parts, mixed ethnic or sect couples being driven out of villages and police reluctant to uphold Law, Police/Legal system reluctant to take any action in mass murders of Sikhs, and minorities over the last decades since independence, environment being ravaged by corrupt industries/mining interests with tacit support from politicians, etc, etc, the list is endless.

            you don’t need to read Western media for knowing about all these evils in Indian society – look up the Indian Press and other media. If you are an Indian – wake up and look around – travel about and see for yourself, but of course you and your mates are reaping hay and getting married, splashing out on the latest IPhones and holidays abroad – all is well as the Gods have showered their bounty on – the rest – who cares? the Gods are angry over them.

          • balance_and_reason

            Ah…the people’s republic of Islington…reality at the taxpayers expense.

          • Bonkim

            Or that he is living in his own Ghetto surrounded by his fellow Nobs that think everything in life can be bought at a price. Arrogant lot of no value to Britain.

          • Colonel Mustard

            I recently described the omnipotent lefty god who walks amongst us, Abie Vee, as follows:-

            “Another arrogant lefty big head who thinks he has the answer to everything and likes nothing better than the chance to demonstrate how clever he thinks he is.”

            None of his comments in this thread disabuse me of that assessment.

          • Bonkim

            Tell that to Indian in India – child marriage was legislated in India in 1929 – thriving in many states and communities today. According to UNICEF, 48% of women in South Asia are forced to marry before they are 18 and India dominates the statistics.

            Similarly Dowry is banned by Law but Dowry-burning is rife in many parts of the country particularly the Hindu Heartlands of the Northern and Central states that are also the most backward lands on earth – prevalent amongst the wealthier trading classes.

            Many other examples if you just google India and corruption or look up Indian newspapers and media any day.

            Obeying Law can easily be avoided if you have the right connections and a bag or two of Rupee notes and pray to your God morning and evening. Come again Abie Vee – Indians and rule of Law are mutually exclusive entities.

          • Abie Vee

            That’s the real problem isn’t it: your “one size fits all” mindset. We must all be like you. Perish the thought.

          • Bonkim

            Diversity is good but certain basic standards of social organisation and ethical behaviour non-negotiable. As you say the fit will survive and the exploited Indian will rise up one of these days to challenge the corrupt and privileged. As you said – survival of the fittest.

          • Richard

            Yes, it is good to burn witches as they do in Africa, or kill interlopers, as they do in Africa. And of course, have far more children than you can ever hope to feed, and pray that whitey will come along to help you out of your predicament. Those are all good, diverse ways of living.

            And of course we should not forget India, where helping the poor is seen a great deal as interfering with their karma, and so preventing their soul’s growing to the next stage through suffering. Much better there to leave a beggar to beg, or a legless person to push themself around on a little trolley.

            Ah, all these humane and wonderful ways of being human.

          • Abie Vee

            Within the law Doris, within the law. Tell me, is witch-burning still legal in the UK?

            The world’s a funny old place, and entirely beyond your control. Get used to it “Whitey”. What fantastic conceit is it that encourages your fanatical belief that you’re so superior?

            Would you like to direct your rage closer to home? Ever seen the sick and mentally ill vagabonds cowering in shop doorways at night along the Strand? What do you think about soaring child poverty in the UK? The unparalleled growth in soup-kitchens and food banks? The old people discarded by their immediate families to end their lives alone and uncared for. How about wage inequality, the millions on housing lists, the social-cleansing of London, the sink estates, the outer-region neglect, thieving corporate criminals getting off scot free, the trillions hidden in off-shore accounts, youth unemployment, the democratic deficit, the state onslaught against those least able to defend themselves, the sick, the poor and the disadvantaged?

            There’s enough here to worry your pea brain with before embarking on a moral crusade around the world, fix your own shjt-hole first. Thing is, you can’t!

            My Bible enjoins me to slay my neighbour if I see him mowing his lawn on the Sabbath.

          • Mr B J Mann

            So you’re sayin that even trendy-lefty, multi-culti, bleedin-heart “liberal” whitey can’t live together in peace and happiness with their trendy-lefty, multi-culti, bleedin-heart “liberal” whitey neighbour.

            In fact, you’re sayin that even trendy-lefty, multi-culti, bleedin-heart “liberal” whitey can’t live together in peace and happiness with their trendy-lefty, multi-culti, bleedin-heart “liberal” whitey brother.

            But you believe that they can with complete strangers and interlopers!

          • balance_and_reason

            Largely a result of the failed industrial welfare state and Labours vote buying immigration policy of the noughties.

          • Richard

            So, you live in North London, amongst Ahekenazi Jews (who are pretty bright and usually successful), probably affluent, with not a clue about reality outside the liberal Leftie world you inhabit. The last time I met people like you was in Africa, and they were running away as quickly as they could. No, hang on, I met some in Brighton, who had left London because their liberal vision for how London would turn out when there were larger numbers of blacks and Muslims. They couldn’t bear to see what their handiwork had caused, in other words, and so ran away to Brighton… to vote for the Greens and recreate everything from which they had run away.

            Trying to talk to you is impossible, in any real sense of discourse. Leftism and Islam (it seems to me that you are the latter) are both religions that are not falsifiable, meaning they have no actual meaning. They are simply self-contained and self-congratulatory illusions built on illogic into which light cannot shine. Karl Popper reminded us that unless a thing can be proven or disproved, it has no validity as a construct of meaning.

            I am always amused by immigrants who run to Britain as quickly as their legs will carry them, then decide how superior they are. None go home, I notice.

            Again, your eloquence and elegance of prose are remarkable. They put Cicero to shame.

          • Abie Vee

            Ashkenazi actually.

            You don’t talk, you recite.

            Thank for you brief resume, your anecdotal Gullible’s Travels… but I have the original.

            And I don’t need you to point me in the way of Karl Popper. The day you find me exalting religion is the day I’ll retire from here.

            Social democrats believe that both the economy and society should be run to best meet public needs, not to make obscene profits for a few. It is about the distribution of wealth. It is about perceived fairness.

            Oh yes, you can call us names. But we are the ones you run to when capitalism lets you down (as it always does). We’re the ones who pick up the pieces for you.

          • Richard

            I wait with bated breath to hear who “we” are. You made a few typographical errors earlier; to point them out would have been churlish.

            A recital? Not really, nothing is rehearsed. I merely pull things from my memory to support what I say. It is unfortunate that you feel the need to be so combative in your posts.

            It does seem, from your general demeanour and manner of expression, that you have no real interest in entering into any sort of dialogue or conversation. So I leave this to others. Goodnight.

          • vieuxceps2

            “So I leave this to others”- I have decided to do the same Richard, except when correcting AV’s English and when inclined to mock.It is futile to join in any sensible debate with AV as there is little but prejudice in the views expressed and much insolence to be borne.A poisonous jester, incapable of thought should not be tolerated.

          • mohdanga

            Yeah, the non-working socialists pick up the pieces for us. Sheesh.

          • Abie Vee

            There’s over ten million socialists in this country. That’s one hellova lot of non workers, shjt for brains.

          • Simon Morgan

            “It is about the distribution of wealth.” – No, it’s about the distribution of other people’s wealth. The leaners demanding from the lifters. Nobody thinks Capitalism is perfect – far from it. But it’s leap years ahead of socialism, and always will be. Even China has come to that realization.

          • Abie Vee

            No. The national wealth is “ours” not “other people’s”. In fact, 50% of UK GDP comes from government spending.

            The question is, how is that national wealth to be distributed?

            “realisation”. Don’t rely on American spell-checkers.

          • mohdanga

            “There’s enough here to worry your pea brain with before embarking on a moral crusade around the world, fix your own shjt-hole first. Thing is, you can’t!”
            Hilarious comment!! Yes, because Britain has its problems the solution is to….wait for it….import more of the same from the 3rd world! The benefits to mass immigration and multiculturalism for all to see….higher unemployment, higher debt and taxes, white British flight from the cities, child rape, housing shortages….the list is endless, step right up, folks!

          • Abie Vee

            That’s the Brits for you. EVERYTHING is the fault of somebody else. What a get out of jail card, eh? Only retards believe such shjt.

          • mohdanga

            So you’re saying that importing millions of illiterate, non-
            English speaking, unemployable layabouts is good for the country?

          • Abie Vee

            Not the merest hint of a loaded question there? You old fraud.

          • Abie Vee

            Second largest economy in the west by 2030. CEBR refers. You don’t like it do you?

          • mohdanga

            What don’t I like? Are you suggesting that importing millions of illiterate, non-assimilating, non-English speaking 3rd worlders is the reason why 15 years from now the UK is miraculously going to be the 2nd largest economy in the West? GDP is deceptive. Borrowing hundreds of billions to fund these enrichers will certainly increase the economic activity of a bloated government bureaucracy, the NHS and social services but it certainly won’t help the average worker who will be stuck with ethnic ghettoes, extraordinarily high housing prices, congestion, increased taxes, etc. If mass immigration of illiterates is the answer surely every country would be begging them to come to their country, no?

          • Abie Vee

            Well not only am I suggesting it, so is the CEBR! Their projections are based upon two relevant caveats: that the UK population continues to grow “as now”, and that the UK remains in the EU.

            I love your little forecast of doom. You write as if the accumulation of greater wealth in fewer hands and the destruction of the social-state is an act of God rather than an act of Capitalism.

            You should write a book: call it Gullibles Travels.

          • mohdanga

            So an increasing population of layabouts and non-working indigenous enrichers is going to make up for the millions of indigenous Brits that move out because they are feeling so ‘enriched’ by the Muslim hordes. Clearly a recipe for success. Being that forecasting agencies can’t seem to predict growth properly for the coming year or even six months I wouldn’t put much credence in a 15 year forecast. But continue living in your fairly tale land.

          • Abie Vee

            Many of those “indigenous Brits that move out” are retirees.

            Pensioners put an enormous strain upon public finances. They live longer than ever before, and there are more of them than ever. For the first time in our history, the 65 and over age group now outnumbers the 16 and below group. Heap bad ju-ju. The DWP also knows that soon there will be 20 million pensioners to support. That is a circle which needs squaring. Other government figures show that they UK population will have to rise to 80 million to support those retirees.

            The birth-rate of British-born women has fallen below the natural replacement rate. A nation which isn’t growing is dying! Imperceptibly, the natives are beginning to die out. This trend is likely to continue as the government ratchets up its assault on the poor and children.

            So you tell me your plans. Means-test the State pension? Try and run that past the army of pensioners who have paid in all their lives for this pittance. Push out the retirement age? Women are already fuming. Only a very few years ago they could retire on full pensions at 60: this government has pushed that figure out to 67! And many men openly admit that they will not be able to do their physically demanding jobs (firemen, soldiers, labourers and etc) up to that age. Certainly, at 67 I was unable to run up a ladder all day. And of course, like bed-blocking in hospital, forcing old people to stay at work actually prevents young people from entering the jobs market!

            You tell me wise one. I’m all agog. What do you suggest, a cull of the over 70’s?

          • mohdanga

            When does the Ponzi scheme end, Mr. Mensa? None of the non-working, benefit collecting enrichers ever get old, do they? So tens of millions more non-enrichers will be needed to ‘pay their pensions’!! The gov’t could start by not giving away tens of billions in foreign aid, that wouldn’t help fund any pensions would it? How about cracking down on benefit scroungers who are physically able to work but find it easier to sit at home and do nothing. Not giving billions away to non-contributing immigrants in the form of housing, health services, education, welfare might be a start too. Then the indigenous population would be better off and could afford to start families and not be taxed to death to pay for non-indigenous enrichers.
            The emigrating Brits are young and skilled and moving to Australia, Canada, the US, New Zealand to get away from idiotic policies that make them feel like strangers in their own home. Pensioners also contribute to the economy through tax payments on their non-govt income. Or did you forget about that?

          • Abie Vee

            When? Well I can’t tell you when it will end, but I can tell you why.

            Capitalism had yet another narrow escape during the recent global banking crisis. It teetered on the edge of collapse until the people came to it’s aid. Yup, you and me… the workers and taxpayers.

            That wasn’t an example of the resilience of capitalism so much as a demonstration of collectivism. It was a trick that can’t be repeated. Global capitalism, the free market, carries within it the seeds of its own destruction: it eats its babies. It is profoundly anti-democratic, and it destroys cultures, languages, civilised social-democracy and entire countries.

            When it finally implodes, as it will, there will be a retreat into protectionism ; nation-states will reassert their primacy, reclaiming their lost sovereignty from the uncontrollable corporate neo-feudal kleptocracy which is trampling cultures, freedom, and nation-states underfoot today.

            The potential for it’s collapse has never been stronger than at this very moment.

          • mohdanga

            And yet you continue to live in the UK instead of hightailing it to North Korea, Cuba or Venezuela, bastions of socialism and collectivism.
            The rest of your diatribe is a laughable combination of Marxist nutjobbery.

          • Abie Vee

            I live here because, despite all it’s many manifest faults, I like it. The very last thing I would ever consider is to abandon the country of my birth to you retards.

            Oh no… it’s not going to be easy for you.

          • mohdanga

            I’m the ‘retard’ because I want to protect Western culture and customs and not have it overrun by illiterate, non-working 3rd worlders. You really are hilarious.

          • Abie Vee

            So what you seek is a return to the poverty of the Victorian era…. when the working class lived in slums, while simultaneously London was wealthier than the five other largest European capital cities combined: Paris, Vienna, Berlin, St. Petersburg and Rome.

            Immigrants, being younger and healthier, are far less of a drain on public resources than the indigenous British. Fact. They are far more likely to be working, far less likely to be in public housing, far less likely to require NHS care. These stats are readily available on many government and other websites. Even the most hostile anti-immigrant groups, like CIVITAS, can only grudgingly suggest that the economic impact of immigrants is “neutral”. Most other research suggests they are a net benefit to the economy. You people wouldn’t understand that. I’m always amazed by what little comprehension you have of that tiny word: net.

            I can’t be bothered with the rest of your childish wittering. It really is appalling drivel. You have no apparent grasp of the scale of the problem, nor of economics. The UK has £Trillions of future unfunded pension liabilities. Do you even know what a trillion is? Apparently not. Tinkering with a few £billion here and there will not address the issue.

          • mohdanga

            Again, 300,000 non-contributing 3rd worlders move in, 300,000 skilled indigenous Brits move out, net (as you so like to say) population increase is 0. Is Britain better or worse off?
            I’m not sure how stopping the immigration of unassimilating, non-contributing immigrants who are a huge burden on the indigenous taxpayer will return Britain to the days of Dickensian poverty but I’m sure one of your Marxist theories will have an answer for this. Just another bunch of bafflegab dribbling from your lips.
            Britain survived quite well before the tsunami of immigration over the last 40 years but somehow needs lower earning, higher social service using immigrants. Are the 85% of Somalian immigrants in the UK who don’t work a benefit to the country? How about the 75% of Muslim women and 50% of Muslim men who don’t work? But keep believing that non-contributing immigrants will solve the unfunded pension liability. Back to your sandbox.

          • Abie Vee

            All that nonsensical guff is just a pigment of your imagination.

            You don’t expect to be taken seriously? Surely not.

            I told you, one of the simplest words in the English language, “net”, is quite beyond your comprehension.

            [it may have escaped your goldfish-like attention-span, but it isn’t actually compulsory to work in this country. It is not against the law. I live in a Jewish neighbourhood… most of the women are simply bloodstock mares]

          • Abie Vee

            300,000 young, fit, aspirational people move in; 300,000 dead-beats move out. Win-win.

          • mohdanga

            Yes, all those hard working Somalians (85% of whom don’t work), Bangladeshis, Pakistanis, and Africans which have similar non-employment rates compared to young, British educated, skilled emigrants moving out. You are an idiot.

          • Colonel Mustard

            Actually you have made exactly the same argument that we should all be like you with your Little Islington anecdote.

          • Lorenzo

            Assimilation worked much better than the divisiveness of “multiculturalism” is shown to be doing.

          • MikeF

            ‘Assimilation’ means immigrant communities totally abandoning their original cultures. That actually isn’t necessary. ‘Integration’ – which means learning English, adapting to existing laws, respecting the pre-existing culture and not forming ethno-political ghettos – is quite OK. It is what for instance the Poles who settled here after the Second World War did and what the Jewish community in general has done.
            Socialist ‘multiculturalism’, though, is a different thing. It is a deliberate attempt to create ethnic interest groups with a sense of grievance against the pre-existing society and to use them as a tool to destroy the political culture – democracy and free speech – that society created. It is actually nothing to do with ensuring that people are treated fairly irrespective of their religion or skin colour.

          • Abie Vee

            Hope? Yes.

            “Never” is a big word. South Africa seems to suggest other possibilities, as does Northern Ireland. They suggest there’s hope.

          • balance_and_reason

            History tells a different story…and I think you better wait a decade or two before proclaiming S Africa a success….N Ireland …well, after vast cross subsidies and payoffs we still have a continuing rumble of murders, extortion and low level terrorism…when the tap turns down…wait for it.

          • Infidelissima

            where there are mussies, hope tends to die rather quickly

          • Richard

            South Africa is rather different. You must know that, surely?

          • mohdanga

            Yes, the ‘success’ of South Africa is there for all to see…tumbling rand, high unemployment, massive levels of AIDS (whitey’s fault, of course), violence, etc, etc.

          • Abie Vee

            They haven’t yet got the police force they need. A bit like us really.

          • diqi

            So Sharia and Halakha laws are universally applied here? We do not have multiculturism here and just like elsewhere we never will for the simple reason that the various cultures are not treated or respected equally amongst each other.

            What you socialists mean by multiculturism is that that the native culture must give way to any other incoming culture. The cost to others of your inept idealism is scandals such as Rotherham and Aylesbury.

          • Abie Vee

            Don’t presume to tell me what I mean. Who are you? I will tell you what I mean. And for the third time, just in case you missed it: Multiculturalism is the view that the various cultures in a society merit equal respect, equal treatment, and equal consideration under the law.

            That’s to say, under UK law in case you are in any doubt.

            Those bits of Sharia law which fall within the scope and compatibility of UK law should be applied here for those who want them, just as aspects of Beth Din have been allowed for several years without any non-Jew even noticing.

            It really isn’t that important.

          • diqi

            No presumption, you didn’t say equality under UK law, you only thought it. There was an article about a Jewish lady in the UK who could not get a full divorce recognosed by her culture unless her husband gave her a “get”. So UK law was not sufficient and equal in the context of Halakha and quite important for her.

            The culture that adheres with Sharia does not obey our laws and youngsters of our culture suffer harrowing ordeals because they are not equal under their laws yet not protected enough by ours. Aren’t Rotherham and Aylesbury enough evidence for you?

            What is important is the multi-cultural clap trap you dangerous fanatics practice and impose on the rest of us, destroying our culture just to keep your friends happy.

            So the question is who are you to force such circumstances on the rest? For all your self proclaimed superiority you act like the kind of creature Lenin described as a useful idiot, an enemy to the British culture and people.

          • Abie Vee

            UK Law? Indeed I thought it, and I also thought it was self apparent. Not apparent enough for a barrack-room layer, obviously.

            I haven’t the fainest knowledge of, not interest in, your anecdotal “Jewish lady”. It’s all rather immaterial. My point is that certain aspects of Beth Din have been accommodated under UK Law for many years (principally regarding wills, divorce, and inheritance matters). That is a fact which none of your anecdotal wriggling refutes.

            I am not interested either in your speculations about just who does and who doesn’t, who might and who might not, obey our laws. Again, quite immaterial. We call for equality under the law, our law. If our laws accommodate certain aspects with other laws, well and good… everybody’s happy. If not, then the law, our law, is broken.

            If the Public Prosecutor then decides that it is in the public interest to prosecute he will do so. Frankly, it isn’t up to you or I.

            Rotherham? Clear as a bell. If underage sex was going on, consensual or not, that is a crime under the law, our law, and it should be pursued. I am clearly not responsible for the failure of Rotherham Council, their Social Services Dept, nor the apparent indifference and incompetence of the South Yorkshire Police.

            Force? Indeed. I have no problems forcing my views on anyone who will listen (as you have probably gathered): especially my view that the various cultures in a society merit equal respect, equal treatment, and equal consideration under the law. OUR law.

          • E.I.Cronin

            Abie, the horse bolted the stable long ago. UK Law has already been subverted and bypassed by Sharia. It is completely pointless to insist on British Law being obeyed, or to even assume it is being obeyed, when over 85 Shariah courts are operating in your country and deliberately blurring the difference between arbitration and mediation.

            Diqi is completely right – on page 89 of the Civitas report SHARIA LAW OR ONE LAW FOR ALL, available at
            an Islamic cleric clearly states that a girl is ready to assume the ‘responsibilities’ of adulthood once she reaches puberty. Again and again in this document you can read that Sharia takes precedence over secular law. UK Law is regarded as corrupt and immoral.

          • Mr B J Mann

            “Force? Indeed. I have no problems forcing my views on anyone who will listen (as you have probably gathered): especially my view that the various cultures in a society merit equal respect, equal treatment, and equal consideration under the law. OUR law.”

            The problem with the progressive left in a nutshell!

            Force? Indeed. You have no problems forcing your views on anyone who will listen (as we have gathered): especially your view that the various cultures in a society, you know, the ones that condone, excuse, promote, carry out things like FMG, “honour” k!llings, child and s-x slavery, female ab0rtion…………

            “Merit equal respect”,

            “equal treatment”,

            “and equal consideration under the law”.

            “OUR law.

            How’s that work then?!

          • diqi

            External cultures do not deserve respect or equal treatment and consideration if they do not respect and conform to our laws.

            You demand we give preference to external cultures regardless of their compliance with our laws, this is the attitude that has led to circumstances such as Rotherham occuring and not being nipped in the bud. This prolonged abuse of our young has therefore spread and all because creatures like you refuse to act in the interests of our society and counter the views of an external culture.

            You therefore clearly identify yourself as someone who is against the predominant laws, society and culture in this country, you think you know best and you believe everyone should conform to your views no matter how destructive or wrong headed.

            You are wrong but you have friends in your socialist world and clearly your tentacles are throughout the legal and public services. You think you are creating the perfect society but I believe you are simply creating fuel for a fire that will consume many more innocent people.

            You are not the brave progressive you think you are but appear for all the world as a niaive fool who supports the abusers of our society.

          • Bonkim

            Will go along with much of what you say – this person is an idiot.

          • Bonkim

            Respect has to be earned – and it is for individuals to respect other cultures and religions if they so wish – your expecting respect means little. Respect cannot be enforced by legislation either.

          • Abie Vee

            “Under the law” you Troll! HOW MANY TIMES?????

            You are free to hold whatever opinions you wish. It matters not a fig what you personally hold to be true in the privacy of your own sty.

            In the arena of public discourse and social interaction, respect for others, within the law, of the law and by the law, is not an optional-extra for you or anybody else.

            Indeed respect can be legally enforced: “hostility”, racial and/or religious abuse fall under the remit of the Public Order Act 1986, the Crime and Disorder Act 1998, the Racial and Religious Hatred Act 2006, and many more pieces of legislation. I could go on. But you get the picture.

          • Bonkim

            Shows how little practical experience you have of the real world – I think all religions are superstitions – all bunk, many cultures backward and don’t deserve my respect. My freedom to decide which is good and bad for Britain.

          • Abie Vee

            Can you read? Perhaps. Do you understand what you’re reading? Demonstrably not.

          • Bonkim

            I think I will have to enrol at an Indian University to understand that. Or may be buy my degree.

          • Infidelissima

            ‘social interaction’ ‘ respect for others’

            go talk about these nice things at your nearest mosque, don’t forget to include gay-friendliness and equality for women

          • mohdanga

            I don’t have to respect, like or give consideration to anyone. Yes, I’m sure I can be thrown in jail for not ‘respecting’ blacks. What an idiot you are.

          • Abie Vee

            Ttry calling the Niggahs and see how you get on. You will end up in jail. Rightly so. The coppers will have several pieces of legislation to choose from.

            You don’t get it, do you.

          • mohdanga

            So the police now have the ability to read my thoughts and arrest me for thinking disrespectfully about people? I don’t like or respect Muslims, I’ll wait for Plod to show up. You are thick, aren’t you?

          • Abie Vee

            Yo are free to think whatever you like in that deranged cesspit that passes for a brain. However,this may come as a shock to you, you are not free to do whatever you want. That’s called civilisation you troglodyte.

          • mohdanga

            Err, did I say I was? Respect is an emotion, a thought process, so please explain how having negative thoughts, not acted on, is a crime.

          • Abie Vee

            It isn’t.

          • Abie Vee

            You are perfectly free to wallow in the mental slurry of your own making. What you are not free to do is inflict it upon the public. See your deranged good friend Anders Behring Breivik for a shining example.

          • mohdanga

            ‘My good friend Anders Breivik”. Hmm, now that’s odd, how would you know my thoughts on what he did? Are you good friends with Britain’s Muslim enrichers that hack the heads off of soldiers, join ISIS to behead innocents, blow up Tubes and trains?

          • Abie Vee

            How do I know? Call it intuition if you like, but here’s a clue: your racist stench oozes from your every pore and utterance.

          • mohdanga

            Brevik killed other whites? Is this racist?
            But I get it now….wanting to protect my culture and not be overrun by illiterate 3rd worlders whose culture is totally foreign to mine is ‘racist’ but telling 3rd worlders that their culture should be protected is ‘enrichment’.

          • Abie Vee

            YES. You’ve nearly got it. That their culture should be respected and protected when it falls within the scope and compatibility of our own laws. Absolutely and without cavil.

            You see? Even freedom is qualified.

          • mohdanga

            Err, Brevik was white and Norwegian and killed other white Norwegians. Yup, sounds racist to me. Dolt.

          • Abie Vee

            His motivation was racist.

          • mohdanga

            He didn’t like that Norway was being overrun by Muslims. What race are Muslims?

          • Abie Vee

            So that’s your get out of jail card is it? What a pity it isn’t his, eh?

            I’ll wait until you test that proposition in a British Court of Law. Should be good fun. For you info. Jews and Sikhs are covered by the 1976 Race Relations Act. What sort of races are they? But such Victorian language will have to suffice for now.

            Jews are not a race; but then again, no one else is either — race is a social construct and not a biological reality. A social-construct like, say, off the top of me ‘ead: religion.

          • Abie Vee

            So that’s your get out of jail card is it? What a pity it isn’t his, eh?

            I’ll wait until you test that proposition in a British Court of Law. Should be good fun. For you info. Jews and Sikhs are covered by the 1976 Race Relations Act. What sort of races are they? But such Victorian language will have to suffice for now.

            Jews are not a race; but then again, no one else is either — race is a social construct and not a biological reality. A social-construct like, say, off the top of me ‘ead: religion.

          • mohdanga

            So there are no ‘races’ yet Britain has a Race Relations Act? The gov’t has passed a law that then serves to protect non-existent persons. You should really read the nonsense you post.
            How will I be testing the Act? Surely protesting against immigration which threatens to destroy the UK is not a crime? Or would you prefer that it is? How about writing letters to MPs or newspapers protesting it? Again, Marxists like you would like to see it so.
            The rest of your post is the usual blather typical of your pea brain.

          • Abie Vee

            I’m not the government. My terminology would have been different. And as I have already pointed out, the Act was amended to include Jews and Sikhs, Gypsies, and eventually religions in general.

            Anti-discrimation laws should apply to all. You seem to have difficulty with the concept of ethnicity as opposed to race.

            Loaded question 1 : Surely protesting against immigration which threatens to destroy the UK is not a crime?

            Loaded question 2 : Or would you prefer that it is?

            Loaded question 3 : How about writing letters to MPs or newspapers protesting it?

          • mohdanga

            You’re the expert, I’m surprised the gov’t hasn’t asked for your input on this Act.

          • Infidelissima

            I find it extremely hard to respect pedophile worshippers who run amok over cartoons, but scuff off like cockroaches, when it comes to mass rape

          • Bonkim

            Haven’t you heard of the Cockroach God?

          • mohdanga

            “If underage sex was going on, consensual or not, that is a crime under the law, our law…”. If you are implying that 12 year old troubled and gullible girls, plied with drugs and alcohol and passed around amongst Muslim scum, were acting ‘consensually’ you need help. But hey, it’s all part of the ‘enrichment’ process.

          • Abie Vee

            Under age sex goes on all the time. Some white bird has just been found guilty of running a paedo ring with white kids for white men. It’s on the Indie tonight.

            Read all about it. Dumb clucker.

          • mohdanga

            And these kids were agreeing to being pimped out, were they? Carry on, idiot.

          • Abie Vee

            And another..

          • mohdanga

            Another stupid, factually devoid statement by you? Agreed.

          • Abie Vee

            D’oh. It’s what Billy Connolly calls “roll your own”. It goes on out in the countryside. Always has, probably always will.

            Do you live in glass bubble cut off from reality? Seems like it.

          • mohdanga

            Hmmm. Two 14 years olds having s*x because they like each other is the same as being groomed by Muslim scum and handed around to other Muslim scum around the country. What a piece of work you are.

          • Abie Vee

            Another loaded statement.

          • mohdanga

            How is it loaded? You’re comparing two young people consensually having s*x to a grooming gang. Please keep up.

          • Abie Vee

            Ther’s no intrinsic difference: the are both crimes against the law of the land and should be dealt with accordingly.

            That’s far too sensible for you, is it not? It doesn’t even begin to sate your blood-lust, and your Biblical thirst for vengeance..

          • mohdanga

            The jokes just keep coming from you!! Yes, the millions of outraged Brits over what happened at Rotherham is ‘blood lust’ and ‘thirst for vengeance’. You really are a dolt.
            And again, explain how consensual sex between two 14 year olds is the same as a 12 year old girl being groomed by Muslim scum while the ‘authorities’ look the other way. That your stunted brain can’t differentiate between the two shows your level of intelligence. Please leave the conversation to the adults.

          • Abie Vee

            It is the same offence. Under age sex. Same offence.

            BUT, as in everything, the offence is qualified. There isn’t one single offence of murder… there’s involuntary, premeditated, there’s manslaughter, there’s grounds of diminished responsibility, provocation, self-defence and so on. And there’s all sorts of different options open to the sentencing authorities from whole-life imprisonment to a year or so in an open prison.

            The two scenarios you repeat ad nauseum are opposite ends of the scale, and would be dealt with as such.

          • mohdanga

            You imply that 12 year old girls groomed by Muslim scum were complicit and willing in what was happening to them. That’s the difference.

          • Abie Vee

            Under UK law an underage person isn’t deemed legally capable of consenting. It’s an irrelevance. The offence is not mitigated by consent.

          • mohdanga

            You implied that it was consensual, not the law.

          • Abie Vee

            Learn to read my comments properly. “If underage sex was going on, consensual or not, that is a crime under the law, our law…”

            I think that’s plain enough. You can distort it for your own ends as much as you wish. This entire thread, which has run for days now, concerns my statement “within the law”. Whether a minor consents or not is of no relevance. Under the law.

          • mohdanga

            There’s the law and then there’s what’s moral. Implying that a 12 year old was consensual in having sex with Muslim scum is immoral. You can read into this whatever you want.

          • Abie Vee

            They may well have been consensual. Neither you nor I know otherwise. One can only speculate. However, the law takes a different view.

            There are many precocious young people. Now that may appall you , but it’s nevertheless a fact. The UK has the highest rate of underage and teen pregnancies in the whole of Western Europe. That’s a simple fact old chum.

            Immoral and illegal. Correct. But where does that advance the argument? Indeed WTF IS your argument?

            (I was holding down a 44 hour job at the age of 15.)

          • mohdanga

            Big whoop, I worked 44 hours a week at the age of 15 as well, what’s your point?
            Again, slowly, so it sinks into your thick brain. Being abducted, plied with drugs and alcohol, and having your life and your family’s threatened if you do not have s*x with Muslim scum is slightly different than rolling around with the 14 year old boy that lives beside you. I know the concept is a difficult one for you to understand. But keep trying to defend your Muslim buddies because they are so enriching.

          • Abie Vee

            Of course its “different”. The circumstances are different. That’s my point. Both are illegal; but the offence is the same: underage sex.

            You impute all sorts of various motives for me, rather than accepting the bleedin’ obvious: the question is one of scale. And that is for the due process of the law to consider. I have never been one for lynch-mobs.

            If you don’t mind me saying so, you seem to be getting-off on your lurid imagination and your evermore graphic descriptions. I’m beginning to get very suspicious of your motives.

          • mohdanga

            More bafflegab from the Muslim paedo supporter. Carry on.

          • Abie Vee

            “Paedo”? That’s ALL you got. Hahaha… you’ve lost. I buried you.

          • mohdanga

            Really? This from someone who implies that 12 year olds addled by drugs and alcohol supplied by Muslim scum and passed around as prostitutes were really consenting to having sex with them. Moron.

          • Abie Vee

            I take it then that you are personally acquainted with the precise details of each and every case? Amazing.

            I wrote “consenting or not”. I expressed no opinion of whether consent was involved, though it has been alleged. And why would I since the argument is purely tangential: the offence remains the same because consent cannot be used in mitigation.

            As I said earlier, you’re getting a tad over-excited by all this aren’t you? Not quite an, um, healthy interest shall we say? You really should stop imposing your sexual fantasies upon the rest of us… you are very clearly the sick one here.

            As I say, ” buried “.

          • mohdanga

            Well, keep believing your nonsense if it makes you feel better.
            In your pea brain someone expressing concern over the sexual exploitation of 12 year olds is ‘imposing sexual fantasies on the rest of us’. I guess that includes the parents of the young girls groomed, the police, the social service workers, the commission that wrote the Rotherham report, the media that has reported these Muslim scum doing this, and on and on. Clearly the sick one is you for not being able to see reality. Buh bye.

          • Abie Vee

            And round and round in circles you go. … titillated and obsessed by lurid details, refusing to admit that the crime is the same one whatever the individual case: child abuse. It is only the scale and the circumstances which differ, and of course the punishment. And the proper way to deal with the crime (as with ANY crime) is in Court and by due process of the law.

            Without “due process” there is anarchy. Unlike you I am not one for joining hysterical lynch mobs.

          • mohdanga

            Another dumb response. What ‘lurid details’ am I obsessed by? The facts have been reported in every major media outlet in the UK and around the world. A 14 year old having consensual sex with another 14 year old (therefore committing child abuse against him or herself, at least according to you) is the same as Muslim scum grooming girls. Carry on.

          • Abie Vee

            It is not the same thing at all , that is your willful misinterpretation of what I have been saying, and I have never remotely suggested as such… it is, however, the same offence: child abuse.

            The difference is in scale and circumstance. And that is apparently beyond your simple comprehension.

          • mohdanga

            “…especially my view that the various cultures in a society merit equal respect, equal treatment, and equal consideration under the law. OUR law.” Why? Why should the British, the vast majority who never wanted all these enriching foreign cultures, be forced to give any respect or consideration to them? Lefties like you wail if McDonald’s sets up a store in the 3rd world but have no problem with millions of 3rd worlders coming here.

          • Abie Vee

            Why. Because otherwise all bets are off! You too will be on the receiving end without any recourse to the law. Without the law, there’s no law.

            Good for goose, good for gander.

          • Bonkim

            The problem here is this lady wanting it both ways. If she wants to be part of her ethnic/cultural group she has to conform with the Group norms.

            If she wanted total freedom, it is for her to choose to abide by British Laws and ignore the other. You cannot have a foot in both camps.

            Many Muslims go to Sharia courts – and then should not expect the British legal system to protect them – they will need to accept the consequences of their informal group norms. Who cares anyway?

            Rotherham and other child abuse situations – of youngsters thrown out by their uncaring families and the state social and criminal services failing to protect vulnerable youngsters – it is like leaving your valuables on the park bench inviting thieves to take them. Regrettably something rotten in British society.

          • Infidelissima

            comparing Jews to inbred mussies, is like comparing a ceramic fruit bowl to the trainspotting toilet

            wake me up when

            either Jews blow themselves up on London transport, mass rape tens of thousand of little girls, behead british soldiers in London in the middle of the day, of infiltrate schools


            when you 1.6 billion useless parasites, contribute half as much as internationals Jewry has contributed to science, medicine, technology, arts, music and entertainment

            until then, a mussie comparing himself to a Jew, only demonstrates his rabid jealousy, and clear inferiority, as we Jews would NEVER compare ourselves to your disgusting ilk!!!

          • Abie Vee

            Though tiring rapidly of your racist diatribe, your slow descent into gibberish … for the purposes of accuracy, you should be the last person to talk about “in-breeds”.

            I live in the heart of North London’s Jewish diaspora. I grew up with them, I went to school with them (in the days before they voluntarily cut themselves off from us) I live with them to this day.

            And I’ll tell you this, you’ve got some brass-necked Chutzpah to hurl that particular insult around. That’s for sure..

          • Infidelissima

            waaa waaa a wacist, A WAACIST!
            If only everybody were as tolerant and non racist as you mussies, ey? lol

            what do you call a people who can not live in peace with anybody, including their own? MUSSIES!

            as for those poor souls, having to live in your vicinity: just gross!

          • mohdanga

            “Did you call the 12 year old white victims of mass rape, ‘racists’ as well, I bet you did.” No, dummy Abie Vee implied that they were ‘consensual’ in being abused. About sums up his pea sized brain.

          • Colonel Mustard

            Bow down you disbelievers, the singular anecdotal experience of the Great Abie Vee reigns supreme!

          • Abie Vee

            I don’t suppose you’ve the faintest idea of what I’m talking about.

            It doesn’t actually do your image a lot of good to display your ignorance so openly. Still, self-awareness isn’t exactly your strong point either.

          • Abie Vee

            Can you prove me wrong? Apparently, not.

          • Colonel Mustard

            The slightest dissent from Abie Vee’s leftist dogma and out comes his Mr Arrogant Big Head act.

          • mohdanga

            Islam doesn’t warrant my respect nor am I legally bound to give it any. Why should a 7th century barbaric cult that has no respect for any other culture be given respect?

          • MikeF

            Multiculturalism is a pack of lies that socialist agree to believe in.

          • Bonkim

            Invention of the socialists that had no clue what culture meant.

          • Cooper1992

            Well I’m not okay with that, because all cultures are not equal.

            Why have a view of the world that all cultures are equal when they are not?

            As a tourist I respect many national cultures of the countries that I visit.

            However here in England I expect the traditions, values of beliefs of my country, forged and defined over hundreds of years, to be treated as superior and with special consideration than aspects of imported foreign cultures that will no doubt be protected and celebrated in their countries of origin anyway.

            On the whole these various cultures do not improve England, and thus do not merit your equality regime.

          • mohdanga

            Certainly worked in Rotherham…

      • Abie Vee

        You are either wholly ignorant of the facts, blinded by prejudice, or simply being disingenuous. Shame on you either way!

        Neither the Irish nor Bengal famines were acts of God. They were caused. They were caused by British colonialism.

        Food exports from Ireland to England continued throughout the Irish famine; and as millions of Bengali’s staved to death, having eaten grass and even the bark off the trees, grain was being shipped out of India to feed the UK and her troops.

        Don’t fool yourself: we have a great deal of blood on our hands. It’s high time we admitted as much.

        • Bonkim

          Utter Rubbish – Mark’s comments are valid.

        • Richard

          History as polemic. There is much political power in modern Britain from the views you espouse. The Labour Party thrives on it, disseminates it, and gets lots of votes from its Third World imports as consequence.

          • Abie Vee

            Nonsense. people are more than counters on a chess board. I live among the Hindu community in North London. I tell you here and now, they are a very conservative people…. they are extremely hard working, ambitious, good neighbours, some of the wealthiest people in Britain (and just as opposed to open borders as any UKIP fruitcake you’re likely to meet).

            They could buy and sell you. “Third world imports” indeed.

          • Richard

            They are imported, as they are from India. And indeed, where they are from is Third World. There is more poverty in India than in sub-Saharan Africa. I lived in Africa for more than thirty years, and much of that was working with Asians, and Africans.

            The Labour Party import as many as they can, because they vote for them. About 80% of blacks vote Labour, and similar numbers of Pakistanis. Indians are not as strong in their support for Labour as previously, probably because Pakistanis do, and there is not much love lost between any of those groups. In Africa, it was a difficult job to stop blacks killings Asians.

            You may think buying and selling is good. There is more to life, though you wouldn’t know it from the numbers of Asians or blacks you see at museums, opera, art galleries, or in blood-donor or organ-donor centres. As for being wealthy, that equates to nothing particularly noble. There are lots of wealthy Saudis and other thugs.

            By the way, why is it fine for them to oppose open borders, but not for UKIP? Is it because most UKIP supporters are white, and Indians are, well, Indian?

          • Abie Vee

            Indians do not vote Labour forever. There’s the fallacy at the heart of your pea brain. All people, as they move out of the ghettos, and up the social ladder seek betterment.

            “Imported”? I take issue with your childish sneering derision. Immigrants are not imported, they come here voluntarily to better themselves. They are the aspirational people all political parties court. Cameron, particularly, has been bending over backwards for the Indian vote.

            Reality check (assuming you can aborsb it): British Indians, along with other minority communities in the U.K., have historically voted for the Labour party. In 2010, for instance, 61% of the Indian-origin votes went to Labour candidates in the general election.

            But one recent report by the British Election Study said that in 2014 only 18% of Indian-origin voters identified with the Labour party, compared to 77% in 1997. Not all ethnic groups vote the same, in part because of their differential demographic characteristics, such as place of residence and income. Generally speaking, Indian Hindus are most likely to vote Conservative, with some evidence that Chinese groups also being more inclined towards the Tory party.

            See, just like every other people, social attitudes can change with location and income. Startling isn’t it?

          • Richard

            You have a wonderfully erudite manner of expression, polite and taking cognisance of so many factors. And absolutely no ad hominem attacks, which is so refreshing. You put the rest of us to shame.

            Indians came to the UK because the Labour Party (and of course Ted Heath in the 1970s) made conditions good for them to do so. It is better than calling them economic invaders, which I think is unnecessarily harsh, though not entirely untrue. I have nothing against Indians per se, though am dismayed at their lack of support for the arts, and their invisibility in the blood donor centres. In many ways, they are advanced, but in others, primitively tribal and self-interested. As you say, they are quite rapacious, but tend to keep their gains within their own community. Modern Britain – turned into a multi-ethnic state by Labour – has difficulty with any separate identity, and of course Indians have a very strong separate identity. As for myself, I don’t see them in any of my intellectual leisure space, and so am reminded that they are not culturally European.

            When I have nothing in common with somebody excepting the market-place, that doe not make for feelings of national unity.

            I wonder what the reason is for your selective reading of history, and elevation of other? It is interesting, because it is symptomatic of white people, as many Indians will tell you. Gandhi, of course, spoke of Indians as being better than “lowly kaffirs” in South Africa, but don’t let any of that put you off.

          • Abie Vee

            Nissan cars and bananas are imported. People emigrate and migrate.

            The rest of your racist shjte is, well, shjte.

          • Infidelissima

            why can’t mussies migrate to mussie holes?

            Oh sorry, I forgot, they turn them into pits, and then come to ours, to do the same, instead of helping their own.

          • mohdanga

            They only migrate here because the doors were opened to buy their votes. Nothing magical about it.

          • Abie Vee

            We (that’s us folks) have been begging them to come here since the end of WWII.

          • mohdanga

            Ha, ha, ha, stop, you’re killing us! Yes, the poor, dummy Brits have been begging illiterate, non-English speaking, welfare collecting 3rd worlders to come and save them. You should be in stand up!

          • Abie Vee

            The funny thing is, it’s working. The UK is forecast to overtake Germany by 2030, becoming the largest economy in the west, second only to the USA. (CEBR refers).

            Get out of that, racist troll!

          • Abie Vee

            And it works SO well doesn’t it SFB?

          • Bonkim

            Shows how little the Hindu community in the U.K know about India and India’s history – it is corrupt idiots like you that lead to India’s problems.

          • Abie Vee

            Your comment simply underlines your arrogant stupidity. It also says you know nothing about Hindus.

          • Bonkim

            Hindus – a corrupt class and ridden lot that corrupt society wherever they go and now doing so in Britain. Wealth created by exploitation of their fellow Indians, tax evasion and corrupt practices of all sorts, inter-marrying within closed communities and living in virtual apartheid oblivious to what goes on around them as long as they get their cut – the kind that acted as go-between for the British in India.

            Just to add – followers of Gods and Holy-men and women that enjoy a bribe or two and demand their cut of the action – now India is the only place on earth that Hindus pray to their Gods to gain wealth. There are some good amongst them but the body overall is polluted.

          • Abie Vee

            Not often one reads such a wail of despair. There there diddums.

            It seems that all your thinking is coloured by sound-bites and stereotypes. It must make things very simple for you. Simple but detached from reality.

          • Bonkim

            Soundbytes and cartoons aplenty in India – Look around the bill-boards of white faces selling soaps to shoes – not many look Indian either – may be Indians dream of a pale faced bride – look up their marriage adverts – look up the different classes of entry tickets to see your favourite God – the higher the price shorter the queue, you really don’t know your India – travel around open your eyes – plenty of cartoon characters there.

          • amicus


          • Bonkim

            Thanks – Yes and no – in hurried composition – see correction.

          • Bonkim

            How come you were allowed in?

          • Abie Vee

            I wasn’t. They were.

          • Bonkim

            Good – undesirable.

          • Abie Vee

            Ask the midwife.

          • Bonkim

            For ‘conservative’ read backward Hindus that perpetuate corrption and exploitation in India and profit from the misery of others – that were contractors to the East India Co and supplied military supplies and entered into contracts on Indian projects – and bled the common man –

          • mohdanga

            Yet they chose to come to Britain instead of staying in their utopia. Odd, that.

          • Abie Vee

            Who siad India was “Utopia”? Oh yes, let me see… it was you wasn’t it.

            I expect you’re same pillock who thinks that this shjt-hole is Utopia too.

          • mohdanga

            Yet 3rd worlders are coming here in droves. Must be because it is a sh*thole. Actually, the reason it’s become a sh*thole is because of the 3rd worlders. Carry on.

          • Abie Vee

            I expect you trace your ancestry all the way back to your father.

      • A. Hayward

        There have been no famines in India since 1947, so yes, famines did end when the British left India.

      • vetiarvind

        But you conveniently leave out the numbers. India faced far more famines during the Raj than the thousand years preceding it. Similarly, there was no large scale famine seen in India since Independence that even came close to matching the casualties during the racist British regime.

        • Bonkim

          Famines were common place through history until after WW2 and establishment of the UN, humanitarian agencies and the post-war era of cooperation and transfers across the globe. In that context Nehru was always on the run arranging food frains from the US, Canada, and surplus states.

          Nothing to do with racism – as many parts of Europe and other parts of Asia suffered from periodic famines – not just during wars. Famines and civil conflicts in Europe triggered massive emigration to the US/Canada in the mid-19th century. Indian famines were also cyclical – and exacerbated by a stunted social organisation, with peasant farmers taking huge loans from the money-lenders or land owners for family weddings, and other celebration, also buying seed-corn for planting which they they could not pay if the crops failed – which it did if the monsoons failed.

          Wake up learn a little more about India and its mixed history – and many Indian writers of the 19th and 20th centuries with first hand experience have written stories and novels about the Indian experience.

          Racism – seriously India and Indians don’t need lessons in racism and social exclusion from the British or or any others – an Indian condition since early history when people were classified according to their skin colour and those at the bottom made untouchables. To be true the British learnt much about segregation and exclusion from India and the Indians and got better at the game after the 1850s. Prior to that there was equality of sorts and many Britons adopted Indian ways and manners, married local girls and became Baboos both in attire and manners as they wanted to fit in with the local upper class.

    • Bonkim

      Famines were/are cyclical in India and much of the shortages were engineered by local traders – yes Indian supplies were directed to the war effort – but all trade went through the Indian traders who profited immensely from both world wars. You also need to consider the deep-seated divisions in Indian social system and the poor suffered because there was no social aid. you can blame the wealthy Indians too that could have helped. Food shortages – mainly in the North-Eastern provinces – Bengal and Bihar where such class and caste divisions were extreme.

      The Japanese invasion of Burma had compounded the situation as Burma was the main source of rice of the Bengalis who did not eat wheat which was plentiful (cultural block).

      Don’t just blame the British. Famines in India did not end when the Union Jack was lowered – but there were many famines in the decades after independence and even today the poor continue to be exploited and starve/die. even today over 400 million of the world’s most poor and deprived in these states in India. US supplied considerable food grains to India over the 1950s, 60s, and 70s until the Green revolution in India which improved Indian production.

    • Richard

      Temporal correlation between events does not prove causality. The Irish potato famine was not caused by Britain. Famines had existed for a long time in India before Britain arrived. Might I ask, there is famine in Africa today, yet presumably you live in a largely white country and “gorge” yourself on various victuals in spite of this? According to your logic, you should be starving too, or do I read you incorrectly? And what has “white” got to do with it? In Africa today, there are many people who die of hunger, whilst their leaders sit in black-only governments “gorging” themselves. During the Boer War, the wives and children of Boers were placed in what the Spanish press called “Concentration camps” in order both to protect them from marauding blacks who were killing them, and to prevent them from feeding and re-arming their husbands. Many of them died, but the proportion of deaths was no higher than in the surrounding areas, where disease ran rampant. So, can we say that the deaths in the camps was caused by Britain? Or was it merely correlated with the existence of the camps?

      Were the hospitals in India full that they sent people away because their malady was caused by hunger, or were they empty? Should the hospitals have accepted people who were hungry? If so, why? If there were people with disease, should they have been turned away to accommodate people who were hungry? What was happening in the world in general during the Indian famine of which you speak? Why did Churchill act as he did? How many people were dying elsewhere in the world from hunger as the War raged on? What is the fuller picture, in other words?

      Why do you make the statement that the Irish potato famine was worse than what happened in the Soviet Union under Stalin? In the 1932/33 famine, estimates are that ten million people died. And that was just one of the famines that that area had experienced. In Ireland, one million died. In the beginning of the Irish famine, the British government helped a great deal, but later the issue became bogged down in politics when the repeal of the Corn Laws came into play, and a different government was voted in.

      What was the role of Britain in stopping the spread of Islam in India? It had established itself by the sword and other mechanisms by the Mughals, who were foreign invaders.

      You are using history as polemic, which does no argumentation any good. This is usually done by people with scores to settle, or nationalist movements to promote their cause. In either case, at least from my point of view, it makes me treat what is said with rather less gravity. Like numerology, you can find anything you look for. It is using reason to wade through emotion that makes historical or social research have validity.

    • jazz606

      “.. Too many in Britain have a rosy view of it and of Churchill…..”

      How do you know, have you canvassed them ?

    • George

      Another anglophobic diatribe from an ill-informed autodidact.

      Your comment has all the hallmarks of twisted history put to use as political propaganda.

      Get one thing straight. The British did not cause the Bengal famine or the Irish famine.

      The Irish famine was caused—how often does this have to be pointed out?—by potato blight. It caused famines throughout Europe—including England and Scotland. It caused a major famine in Sweden, which resulted in mass immigration to America. The Irish were not the only ones. Get over it.

      The Bengal famine, as the historian Niall Ferguson states, began with a cyclone and the loss of imports from Japanese-occupied Burma.

      As to famines in India, you are entirely wrong. Famines ravaged India even in the 1960s. Famines in India came to an end largely because of western science when Norman Borlaug, a plant scientist, created a superior strain of wheat.

    • Western Wasp

      So please don’t go telling the Irish (Catholics) that British rule was good for them. It is a disaster from which Ireland has never recovered even yet.

      As an Irishman, born and bred, I disagree. By the late 19th century, “British Rule” was far better for Ireland than the craven, Catholic fundamentalist rule that followed, something which Ireland has still not recovered from. Indeed it is at pains to go completely in the opposite direction to the Catholic regime, even at the expense of common sense, as the recent “gay marriage” debacle proves.

      In India the British united the place and built the railways and some other modern amenities

      As they did in Ireland, and southern Africa, and many other places.

  • regiment1

    Ho hum. Would help to get even basic facts of Indian history right before moving on to tackle that of other nations or the rest of the world. Mountbatten didn’t leave India in 1947. He stayed on until May 1948 as Governor-General of independent India. Then handed over to Rajagopalachari who served as GG until India became a republic in 1950. Nehru wound not have supported the War against facism in 1939 even if he was asked. Hitler had done a cozy deal with Nehru’s then pal Stalin in August 1939, and the two shared out the spoils – Poland, Lithuania, Estonia, Latvia and parts of Finland and Romania. Hitler didn’t turn his forces East until he invaded Russia in June 22, 1941. The US didn’t enter the War until December 1941. So yes, Britain and the British Empire were alone in 1940. The US wouldn’t even supply arms or lend money to any of the governments in exile from occupied Europe, so the Brits had to equip, arm and borrow on behalf of the Free French, Poles, Czechs, Dutch, Belgians, Greeks, Yugoslavs, Norwegians, Luxembourgeois, Austrians, and even Albanians.

    • Bonkim

      To be accurate – Mountbatten was an employee of the transitional Indian Government after 15 August and Nehru wanted continuity and time to organise the Indian Constitution and government. The Republic of India only came into being on 26 January 1950. India had Dominion status during the transition – much like and Canada and Australia at the time.

      There were over 2 million Indian volunteers at the time and many captured POWs subsequently went on to join the Azad Hind Fauj (Free Indian Army) fighting with the Japanese and also with the Germans in Europe against the Allies. But of course the government of the day did not want that division to become public and that part of Indian history has been put in a safe closet.

      The US has always been isolationist until dragged out in Europe by Churchill’s deft handling and were forced by the Japs hitting Pearl Harbour.

  • global city

    Why do so many Lefties assume that their own ignorance is shared by everyone else? Dalrymple has clearly only come across this ‘revelation’ at some time in his adult life, so is embarrassed. Most people knew this in school, or through the telling of family tales.

  • MikeF

    To a large exent Britain did stand alone in 1940 – at least when it came to fighting the Battle of Britain, which was a crucial turning point of the war, and had Britain been forced to surrender in the Autumn of that year there would have been no subsequent Empire involvement. Also remember at that time the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany were joint signatories of a non-agression pact. Yes Empire and Soviet forces subsequently came into the war against Germany – though in the latter case only because they were attacked not as a matter of principle. So the perception of Britain as a ‘plucky little island defying the massed ranks of fascists and Nazis’ in the summer of 1940 is far from being a myth.

    • Abie Vee

      The Battle of Britain was not a crucial turning point in the war. Neither was it fought “alone”. The Polish 303 Fighter Squadron based at Northolt had, until disbanded, the highest kill-ratio in the RAF. The Belgians formed the largest foreign contingent, and The RAF Roll of Honour recognises 574 pilots, from countries other than the United Kingdom, as flying with an eligible unit during the period between 10 July to 31 October 1940.

      What we distinguish as two separate battles, the Battle of Britain and the Blitz , were in fact a continuation: the Germans made no such distinction, since the air war was waged by the same pilots, in the same planes, from the same units, under the same Luftwaffe command from the same airfields, and only ceased as Hitler turned his attention to Russia in the spring of 41.

      • MikeF

        To argue that the Battle of Britain – by which I mean the campaign waged by the Luftwaffe over the Summer and Autumn of 1940 to destroy the RAF – was not a turning point of the Second World War is really quite risible. You have only got to consider the likely consequences of defeat to recognise that – quite possibly British withdrawal from the war in a negotiated settlement or even the launching of Operation Sealion. That would have freed up Hitler to attack the Soviet Union with no enemy at his back, no North African or Atlantic campaigns as a drain on resources, no aerial bombardment of German cities and no Arctic convoys to support the Soviet war effort.
        If you cannot recognise the significance of that then it is because you cannot bear to do so. But then there is no real surprise in that. The left has a problem with the whole period from mid-1940 to mid-1941 – it simply cannot bring itself to acknowledge that the British Empire but most of all in that period the United Kingdom itself stood and fought National Socialist Germany while ‘world’s ‘first workers’ state’ actually cooperated with it in the partition of Poland and the murder of that country’s intelligentsia and officer class. The Katyn Forest Massacre actually took place in 1940. If it had been the other way round with the Soviet Union standing alone against Hitler we would never hear the end of it even now.
        As for non-British involvement in the Battle of Britain yes there were pilots from several other countries and their involvement has always been fully acknowledged. But they fought in the RAF i.e. the British air force – they didn’t supply their own planes, ammunition, fuel, bases or radar detection of incoming planes.
        As for the distinction or lack of it that the German made between what we call, respectively, the Battle of Britain and the Blitz that really is neither here nor there – the failure of the Luftwaffe to shoot the RAF out of the sky by September 1940 is the single overriding factor and its consequences were of global significance.

        • Abie Vee

          A tsunami of counter-factual suppositions.

          There is no way that the Battle of Britain could be called a crucial turning point of the war. That is mere hyperbole which could be tagged to any strategic withdrawal of military forces anywhere. It’s utter nonsense. It may have been a respite for Britain, but as far as the war went globally, it marked a colossal escalation. So in that way it was a turning point, but not in the war you imply.

          The rest is mere speculation. If if if if.

          Certainly Bomber Command’s criminal area-bombing of the civilian population was an inconvenience. However, despite the enormous cost it had little impact upon Germany’s ability to wage war. In fact, a good case has been made that it actually prolonged the duration of WWII by diverting massive and scarce resources away from the rest of war effort.

          They fought in the RAF? A straw man argument. Who said otherwise? Yes the RAF performed heroically during the battle (not so heroically during the night bombing raids which ensued).

          The fact of the matter is that Hitler was always ambiguous about the invasion of the UK. His obsession, clearly spelt out in Mein Kampf was the “Jewish/Bolshevik conspiracy”: Russia. As Goering wrote; I never was given a clear objective of what it was the Luftwaffe was supposed to achieve in Britain. Well perhaps he would say that, after the event. But it does seem possible. Indeed Hitler himself appeared motivated mainly by revenge (for the bombing of Berlin)… hardly a strategical military concept.

          You want to know a real tuning point ? If perhaps not THE turning point… December 1941: Japan attacked Pearl Harbor, the USA entered the war, the German’s main fighting force in Russia, Army Group Centre, was hurled back from the gates of Moscow, suffering several hundred thousand casualties and the dawning realisation that they might not, after all, win the war in the east.

          As one German office so presciently wrote on the road to Moscow: “We are in danger of winning ourselves to death”.

          • MikeF

            You fail to answer the core point – what would have been the likely consequences of the defeat of the RAF in the Battle of Britain. Yes it is only possible to speculate about what they might have been because they did not happen but there is no reason to suppose they would have been anything other than catastrophic – not just for the UK but also the rest of Europe including Soviet Russia.
            To address two of the points you make about late 1941 – the entry of the United States into the war would have had no implications for Europe because they could not have used the UK as a base for operations, while if the Germans had been able to launch Operation Barbarossa a month earlier, which they could have done if they had not been otherwise engaged in the Mediterranean and Balkans, they would have had time to conquer Moscow before the snow set in and the weather was a major factor in succecss of the Soviet counter-offensive possible. That is why the Battle of Britain was fought and why its result was recognised as crucial at the time – “Never in the field of human conflict has so much been owed by so many to so few.”

          • Abie Vee

            The USA “no implications for Europe”? Preposterous. If Japan hadn’t provoked the USA into war, the Japanese Army would have been free to advance towards Russia from their bases in Manchuria, through Mongolia, just as the Germans were advancing on Moscow. The Russians may have been able to fight on two fronts simultaneously, but I have never read anything which suggests they would have succeeded.

            The German advance on Moscow was stopped in it’s tracks precisely because Stalin was able to re-deploy his highly trained and well equipped Siberian forces to the West, having been told by his spies that Japan intended not to invade Russia, and were about to head south into the Pacific .

            Thus Russia was saved and, as it turned out, Germany was doomed.

            Indeed, had the Siberians not arrived, the Germans “might” have occupied Moscow. Who knows? But who knows what that occupation “might” have meant? Would it also, like Napoleon, like Stalingrad, have been their nemesis?

            The Soviets were supported with American supplies via Britain. Had Britain been out of the war, the obvious supply route would have been from Alaska. Simple.

            I just love the thought of those old German generals blaming the weather. It snows in Russia. That’s what it does. Hitler’s forces took just as long to arrive at Moscow as did Napoleon’s. Hitler also had Napoleon’s example of the futility of capturing Moscow to consider. The Soviets too were conducting a scorched-earth retreat, and a great deal of their war-time military production had already been moved behind the Urals (a feat previously deemed impossible by the Germans; “they cannot move their factories”…

            I’m quite convinced. With or without the Battle of Britain the Soviets would have beaten the Germans eventually.

          • MikeF

            Your attempts to evade the issue aren’t very convincing. If Britain had been out of the war by late 1941 then how could US force have been brought to bear against the Germans in the European theatre? Moreover if in those circumstances the Japanese had not attacked Pearl Harbour but had instead attacked Russia how on earth could or even would the Americans have aided the Russians? Moreover even if they had then Alaska to Siberia in mid-winter would not have been a terribly feasible route. No the result of that aerial conflict the previous year over the fields of south east England made all the difference.
            Oh and Stalin in this context did not have ‘spies’ in Japan. He had one – Richard Sorge, who had previously supplied highly accurate information about when the Germans would attack the Soviet Union. But the accuracy of that information was so damaging to Josef Stalin’s credibility – remember he had persistently maintained that the Germans would never wage a war on two fronts – that he let the Japanese hang Sorge in 1944, a time when the Japanese were already informally sounding out the Russians about mediating between them and the Americans and for which aid they would very likely have traded Sorge. But Sorge had been right when Stalin was wrong and socialists really cannot cope with people who show that what they like to regard as their omniscience is quite spurious. Some things never change.

          • Abie Vee

            “If Britain had been out of the war by late 1941 then how could US force have been brought to bear against the Germans in the European theatre?”

            How? I have told you: indirectly… through the flow of supplies from Alaska. What the USA brought to the war in Europe was primarily aid. The war was effectively over for Germany before the D-Day landings.

            I don’t think Hitler could EVER have defeated the Soviets. Eight out of every eleven German casualties were on the Ostfront. The Germans simply could not breed and train suitable replacements fast enough!

            The need to have to fight on a second front in the west did weaken Hitler and perhaps hastened the demise of the Third Reich; however, Germany had received so many body blows even before Torch and Normandy that its defeat was assured at Soviet Hands.

            Operation Torch, the landings in North Africa, happened in October 1943; however, the German march eastward was forever stopped at Kursk in August earlier that year. After Kursk, the Germans were in constant retreat.

            Normandy happened in June 1944; however, the success of Normandy, was massively eclipsed (though much less reported in the western press, as one would imagine) by the much more successful Soviet Operation Bagration which commenced on June 22 and ended on August 19, resulting in the deaths of 1.5 million Germans, the annihilation of their most powerful army group (Army Group Center), the destruction of at least 17 army divisions in a little over two incredible months..

            The point then, which I am certainly not dodging, it that by time of the American and British invasion of Europe the war was effectively lost for Germany. Lost, but not over. It would have taken the Soviets longer, undoubtedly, but the result would have been the same. Except that the Russians would most likely have overrun all of Western Europe and Scandinavia as well, had they the mind to.

            So, er, make your mind up. You say that the Battle of Britain was a turning point. I say it was just one battle of many, and nothing special in the scheme of things. I haven’t the time for speculation about what might have happened if the Japanese had not brought the USA into the war, or whether or not the Soviets had only one spy in Japan. That’s another story altogether, and hardly relevant since the one, Pearl Harbor, does not necessarily connect to the other, the Battle of Britain.

            I am no apologist for Stalin. I merely seek to part the objective truth from Jingoism. I doubt the Alaskan run would have been inherently any more dangerous than what our Arctic Conveys faced. Indeed, due to the proximity, 50-100 miles max, and given the range of the U-Boat fleet, probably much less so.

          • MikeF

            So now disagreeing with you about the significance of the Battle of Britain and of the resolve of the United Kingdom to stand and fight Hitler is ‘Jingoism’? You can always tell when a leftie is losing – they start reaching for their catchphrases. By the way Operation Torch was in November 1942. Can I reassure anybody who may be reading this thread that it will all be over by Christmas.

          • Abie Vee

            Not at all. Propaganda is a vital tool of war, and the winners always write the history books.

            It takes time for emotions to recede, to view things in the cold light of day. We are all blinded by patriotism at some point in our lives. In my case, it’s just something I’m wary of.

            I haven’t had one single word to say against the UK’s steadfastness. That’s an invention of your’s. I am in awe of Churchill’s resolve (though not, to a similar degree, of his military acumen ).

            I stand corrected. Torch 1942.

          • georgesdelatour

            Abie Vee

            You seem oblivious of the battles of Khalkhin Gol.

            The USSR won the Battle of Kursk partly because Bletchley Park gave the Soviet generals German battle plans.

          • Abie Vee

            Khalkhin Gol. Indeed. But by the winter of 1941, Georgi Zhukov was otherwise involved. Lured on by the prospect of Kazakhstan’s oil, who was to say that the Japanese might not fancy another pop at Mongolia while Russian was busy elsewhere? Swings and roundabouts… if (hate that little word) the Japanese had not lost at Khalkhin Gol they may never have attacked Pearl Harbor!

            Kursk you say? It didn’t take a sophisticated military mind to see where the German summer offensive would come in 1943: the Kursk salient , which jutted into German lines, was the size of Wales!

            The Soviets received detailed information about German intentions from a whole variety of sources, spotter-planes, partisans, captured German Officers, communications intercepts and informers – not least from their spy, John Cairncross, who worked at the secret British decoding centre at Bletchley Park.

            So I don’t know whether the British “gave” the Soviets information or not, but one way and another they certainly already had it.

          • georgesdelatour

            Japan never achieved the kind of “clean sweep” in China which the German army achieved in continental Europe. The Chinese frequently defeated the Japanese Army, even though they were a much less modern opponent than the Red Army. By 1940 the Sino-Japanese war had become an indecisive stalemate. I can’t really make sense of Japanese strategic thinking at the time, but it’s understandable they might see a northern extension of the east Asian land war into Russia as a bad idea. So they turned instead to air-naval war in the Pacific, where they felt they had a greater military advantage.

            WW2 Japanese strategy is still hard to fathom. They attacked Hawaii, but with no practical plans to land their army in California and try and march on the White House. They simply enraged an incredibly powerful adversary whom they had no ability to defeat decisively.

            Admiral Yamamoto consistently gave the Japanese leadership good advice which they ignored: don’t invade China; Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy aren’t useful allies for Japan; don’t go to war with the USA…

          • Abie Vee

            “[…] a clean sweep which the German army achieved in continental Europe” ? Your’re joking! I don’t think you understand just what you’re saying. China is 10 million sq km. (that’s larger than the USA, or Canada, or Brazil, or Australia.) France is 640,679 sq km. A clean sweep, hahahahaha! You gave me a laugh anyhow.

            Be that as it may, Japan didn’t have to invade China. By 1939 they had been the de facto rulers of Manchuria ( Manchukuo) for several years. Manchuria borders Mongolia, which borders Kazakhstan and Soviet oil-fields.

            Timeline: In 1939 the United States unilaterally terminated the 1911 commercial treaty with Japan. On July 2, 1940, Roosevelt signed the Export Control Act, authorizing the President to license or prohibit the export of essential defense materials. Under this authority, on July 31 1940, exports of aviation motor fuels and lubricants and No. 1 heavy melting iron and steel scrap were restricted. Next, Roosevelt slapped an embargo, effective October 16, 1940 on all exports of scrap iron and steel to destinations other than Britain and the nations of the Western Hemisphere: six months later the IJN began drawing up its secret plan of attack on Oahu.

            Finally, on July 26, 1941 Roosevelt froze Japanese assets in the United States, thus bringing commercial relations between the nations to an effective end. One week later Roosevelt embargoed the export of such grades of oil as still were in commercial flow to Japan. The British and the Dutch followed suit, embargoing exports to Japan from their colonies in southeast Asia.

            Get it straight; Japan was under economic attack for some time before Dec 1941. This they rightly viewed as a clear declaration of intent (if not of war). Japan is not a resource rich country, and without imports of oil, coal, rubber and so on their entire manufacturing industry, military and civilian, would have ground to a halt. After Roosevelt’s oil embargoes they estimated they had about one year’s supply left.

            In order to survive they had to go somewhere for supplies. Indochina, The Dutch East Indies, Singapore, Burma, Malaysia (then India!) and the Pacific seemed a natural places to go. And seeing as how America was actively making economic war against Japan, in order to provoke them into war, the Japanese eventually obliged them.

            December 7 1941: a sad day for everybody, but THE turning point of the war.

          • georgesdelatour

            The Kazakh oil fields are over 5,000 km from Manchuria. If the sheer immensity of China was a problem for Japan in 1940, the even greater immensity of the USSR would have been even more of a problem.

          • Abie Vee

            They didn’t need “the immensity”. Only the nearest oil wells. 5000 km? If you say so. Which probably explains why the Japanese went south.

            I’m still laughing at the notion of sweeping a country bigger than Australia. Do you know how far the Army Group Centre “swept” into Russian before they ran out of supplies? About 600 km in four weeks. Even with the three million troops available to them, at no time were they ever able to form a continuous front from North to South.


          • georgesdelatour

            You seem determined to misunderstand me.

            Before Barbarossa, the Vermacht defeated every land army it fought. It was the height of hubris for Hitler to attack Russia; but the origins of that hubris are at least partly understandable, after nearly two years of non-stop victories, and Russia’s seemingly poor performance in the Russo-Finnish war. The Japanese army did not have the Vermacht’s record of success. They’d already lost significant battles to both Russian and Chinese forces in north east Asia. The idea their luck would improve if they went to war against even more armies in the same general war-zone doesn’t seem to have been considered. So they went south instead, more out of frustration than common sense.

            I think Yamamoto was right that Germany wasn’t a natural fit as an ally for Japan. It was too far away to offer any real help, and it suffered from the same natural resource weaknesses. Right up util 1938 Germany actually followed a pro-Chinese policy. Chinese successes against Japan were partly a result of training and strategy devised by Alexander von Falkenhausen. (Once Japan headed south, German domination of Europe and pressure on Britain aided its conquests of European colonial territories. But by then the American Behemoth had been woken.)

            BTW I think you’re right about Russia being more or less certain to prevail in a battle to the death against Germany. I’d go further. I think much of the appearance of German invincibility in 1939-41 was actually a byproduct of the Nazi-Soviet pact. It gave Germany food and fuel, and protected it from two-front war. Even the 1939 invasion of Poland could have become more costly for Germany without the parallel Russian invasion from the east (the USSR actually fielded more tanks and planes against Poland in 1939 than Germany did; Stalin also did a more thorough job of killing the brightest and best of the Polish military).

          • georgesdelatour

            “So I don’t know whether the British “gave” the Soviets information or not, but one way and another they certainly already had it.”

            This says that Churchill handed over the intelligence to Stalin:


            It was far more detailed and impressive than just “the Germans are going to attack you somewhere or other in an area the size of Wales”.

            It’s true that Cairncross was spying for Stalin, so he received the information anyway. The point is, the information provided by Bletchley Park was definitely worth having. It enabled the Red Army to reinforce at the precise points of intended German pincer movements.

          • Abie Vee

            “It’s true that Cairncross was spying for Stalin, so he received the information anyway.”

            Thank you. That’s what I said: and among other sources.

            “the Germans are going to attack you somewhere or other in an area the size of Wales” is absolute nonsense. Poppycock of the highest order. Reductio ad absurdum!

            The obvious place to attack the Kursk salient was at the neck of the bulge. If successful you automatically straighten your front line and encircle the defenders simultaneously.

            And you seriously expect us to believe that the Germans could assemble an attack force of 780,000 men, 3000 tanks and 10,000 pieces of field artillery and mortars in open countryside without anyone knowing where they were!? The logistics are mind-blowing. The Germans prepared for Kursk for six months, building up their supplies and forces!

          • Abie Vee

            “what would have been the likely consequences of the defeat of the RAF in the Battle of Britain?” In the long run, not much. I think you’re assuming that the defeat of Fighter Command would have meant defeat of Britannia. Not so.

            Surrender? Not while Churchill drew a breath. A swift invasion? Impossible. The Germans had no specialised landing craft, and intended to rely primarily on river barges. A ridiculous idea which would have limited the quantity of artillery and tanks that could be transported, and restricted operations to times of good weather. I know from experience how rare that can be. The barges were not designed for use in open sea and, even in almost perfect conditions, they would have been slow and vulnerable to attack from MTB’s and the like, of which Britain had several hundred readily available. There were not enough barges to transport the first invasion wave nor the following waves with their equipment. The Germans would have needed to immediately capture a port in full working order, an unlikely circumstance considering the strength of the British coastal defences at that time and the likelihood the British would have demolished the docks in any port from which they had to withdraw.

            The Luftwaffe’s record at that time against the RN was very poor. At Dunkirk they had managed to sink only two warships (and they were stationary) despite having air supremacy. The Luftwaffe was short of the armour piercing shells required to attack warships and their pilots had no training against MTBs. During the BoB they deliberately attacked 21 MTBs, sinking none.

            All that and he still had the Royal Navy to contend with! Which makes me adhere to the idea that he was never really serious about an invasion of Britain, at least, not until he had dealt with Russia, by which time he would have expected Britain to sue for peace. His preparations for Operation Sea Lion were desultory, to say the least, and the Kreigsmarine was utterly opposed to the idea. They understood quite well, and told Hitler so, that from their experiences in Norway they and the Luftwaffe could not establish supremacy over the RN in her home waters. Impossible..

            I’m not suggesting there wouldn’t have been an invasion, I’m saying it wouldn’t have been swiftly over, it wouldn’t have succeeded, and the damage to the Nazi forces (let alone their reputation for invincibility) would likely have delayed Barbarossa until May 1942, always assuming that Russia didn’t take advantage of Germany being otherwise engaged. Russia did have her own sketchy war plans for an invasion of Germany, and Hitler always maintained that Barbarossa was a “preventative” attack.

            By 1942, May, the next window, Stalin’s forces on the frontiers would have been considerably beefed-up, and ready and waiting.

            I can’t conceive of any circumstances where the Germans could have defeated Russia, thus the outcome of the war would have been little different, merely longer. Wasn’t it Moltke snr who said that ” Russia can never be defeated, in respect that it cannot be occupied.”?

            The Germans blew their only chance, for purely ideological reasons, when they entered Russia as genocidal conquerors and enslavers, rather than as liberators. THEN you’d have had a whole new ball game.

          • MikeF

            As Hermann Goering observed: “The precondition for the success of Operation Sealion is that it should not be necessary.” That is the point -if the Luftwaffe had won the Battle of Britain it might not have been.

          • Abie Vee

            Unnecessary? Meaning what, that Britain would have surrendered? You’ll find that Britain had other plans: “We shall defend our island, whatever the cost may be, we shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender.

            Winston Churchill

          • MikeF

            Very clever to quote Churchill against me when you have been consistently arguing that the opposition to Nazism he articulated was irrelevant to what actually occurred. A really neat bit of inversion there.

          • Abie Vee

            “… the opposition to Nazism he articulated was irrelevant to what actually occurred.”

            Churchill “Irrelevant”? Again you apply your own interpretation to my words. It’s been along day, but I recall no such remark. In fact I recall writing that I was in awe of his resolution, if not his military acumen (or some such).

            I think perhaps the word jingoism has ruffled your feathers. Too bad; my word there was lots of it about at the time from all quarters, from all sides. There still is.

            It seems to me that , in your haste to condemn, you’re straining hard to suggest there wasn’t. That argument is untenable.

          • MikeF

            You have explicitly argued that the fact that the RAF won the Battle of Britain was immaterial to the further course of the Second World War – if that isn’t arguing that Churchill, whose personal resolve at the time was crucial to Britain’s decision to keep fighting, was irrelevant what is? You don’t disguise that by suddenly quoting the man. As for ‘jingoism’ – the word is just one of your little catchphrases that as I pointed out earlier you start spouting when you run out of worthwhile argument. You really do flatter yourself if you think it has the slightest effect on me.

          • Abie Vee

            You are conflating two separate issues. One distortion at a time please, if you don’t mind.

            “You have explicitly argued that the fact that the RAF won the Battle of Britain was immaterial to the further course of the Second World War – ” What nonsense. I “explicitly” said no such thing. Indeed, the notion is preposterous! The RAF won the Battle of Britain… therefore the outcome was as it was. What other way could it have been? I did say that the impact of Bomber Command’s area-bombing of the civilian population had very little or no significant impact upon Germany’s ability to wage war. Which is true. I think you are getting yourself mixed up and confused.

            The question you actually put was: “what would have been the likely consequences of the defeat of the RAF in the Battle of Britain?” And I replied : “In the long run, not much. I think you’re assuming that the defeat of Fighter Command would have meant defeat of Britannia. Not so.”

            That was the scenario posed… what if the RAF (essentially Fighter Command) had LOST the Battle. And I certainly did not say immaterial to the “course” of the war; I said that the final outcome would probably have been the same… the defeat of Germany. The course of the war would have been different; the outcome essentially the same. YOU may call that immaterial if you wish, that’s your view.

            I insist you get that clear.

            As for jingoism… it isn’t a phrase, it is a word. And to propose, as you do, that hyperbolic patriotism, government propaganda, censorship, deception, intolerance, the use of threats or force, as opposed to peaceful relations, was not dominant throughout the world at that time (and since) is simply untenable! I take that as read.

            For example: Dunkirk was a humiliation for the British. You’d never believe it though from the speeches, newspapers, newsreels, bombast, braggadocio and books which followed.

            I seek to peer beyond the script of popular narrative, to dig beneath the pressing weight of the unquestioning vox populi. I look for the truth.

          • MikeF

            It had never occurred to me that ‘peaceful relations’ were not dominant throughout the the world during the Second World War. What an insight.

          • Abie Vee

            And still you dissemble and bluster!

            I always know when a person has nothing left to say… they resort to diversionary tactics, usually in the form of semantic posturing. It switches content and focus away from the topic and onto the shifting sands of sophistry.

            You now seek to focus this entire thread onto a dictionary definition of one single word. I had you pegged as someone who knew what he was talking about. I had you seriously wrong.

            And since you’ve nothing further to add to the topic I shall did bid you adieu.

          • MikeF

            I think you were the one who introduced ‘diversionary tactics’ by substituting emotive words e.g. ‘jingoism’ for argument as I pointed out at the time. If that isn’t ‘semantic posturing’ what is? You just don’t like having your own tactics used against you.
            As for Dunkirk of course it was presented at the time as ingenious and successful military operation – which as a large scale withdrawl it was. But the fact that it also marked a major defeat for the British Army has never been disguised. Churchill said at time that it would be ‘wrong to assign to it the attributes of a victory’.
            As for having me ‘pegged’ – oh people like you always like to think that you have other people allocated to some neat little pigeon hole according to what you like to think are your superior insights. But I think you have just found out that when you do venture out into the real world then to paraphrase Emperor Hirohito things don’t necessarily turn out to your advantage.
            But as you say time for us both to trim our guns fore and aft and return to port.

          • Abie Vee

            Dunkirk isn’t the point. Neither is jingoism (to which you take such dreadful feigned offence).

            The real point of it all is that your supposition that Britain would have been defeated had Fighter Command lost the Battle of Britain is a complete invention. One which I went to some lengths to scupper.

            Everyone seems to forget that the world’s the most formidable battle fleet at the time, The Royal Navy, was largely intact in 39/40 ! By all means, let Fighter Command have their deserved moment in the sun. But please don’t try to pretend that it was a turning point in the war. That’s self-delusion at its worst: jingoism! Germany never, at any time, had superiority over Britain in the air OR at sea (that’s a true fact by the way, not jingoism).

            Yes, I have you pegged.

          • Abie Vee

            They weren’t. I wrote “as opposed to”… as in, instead of.

            You can read, but you can’t comprehend. That’s now quite clear.

          • Abie Vee

            From a day ago: Propaganda is a vital tool of war, and the winners always write the history books.

            It takes time for emotions to recede, to view things in the cold light of day. We are all blinded by patriotism at some point in our lives. In my case, it’s just something I’m wary of.

            I haven’t had one single word to say against the UK’s steadfastness. That’s an invention of your own. I am in awe of Churchill’s resolve (though not, to a similar degree, of his military acumen ).

  • trace9

    “.. Ultimately, the war delivered decolonisation and the partition of 1947 —
    neither of which was inevitable or even foreseen in 1939. ..”

    THAT is a LIE (Is there a comma missing?). Decolonisation was seen as pending since WW1, & as a final outcome since Victoria. WW2 just hurried that along. This author is an obvious liar writing for gullible know-nothings – per this review. Thanksalot.

    • Bonkim

      Promised but not delivered since Indians volunteered in WW1.

  • Freddythreepwood

    More revisionist claptrap. Nothing about what would have happened if partition had not taken place. Rivers of blood would not cover it. As for Britain being a plucky little island standing alone- if the Germans had invaded Britain, India would have ended up in the German Empire, and guess what Hitler and those kindly Japanese would have done to the ‘unclean’.

    Of course the Empire played its part in defeating the evil of Hitler and Japan, but instead of whingeing that it was all Britain’s fault that they got dragged in, they should consider what could have happened to them had they not. And where they are now in comparison.

    • Bonkim

      Germans thought the Indians were their long lost Aryan brothers.

  • Richard

    Indian independence had other effects too, on the Empire. South Africa, seeing that Britain would not protect it against the sort of local indigenous nationalism displayed in India, voted for the National Party that within just over a decade, would take them completely away from the Commonwealth. And then in 1948 the British Nationality Act was passed by the Labour administration, heralding the era of mass Third World immigration into Britain, initiated by the arrival of the Empire Windrush.

  • John Hawkins Totnes

    The Indian National Congress was instrumental in bringing India to independence. The Congress party was founded in 1885 by an Englishman Allan Hume! Just for interest.

    • Bonkim

      Events in India went in parallel with social evolution in Britain and Gandhi was the hero of British working people too. You need to look at history of Empires and transition to nation states as part of an evolutionary process as societies across the globe started throwing away the earlier notions of Kingship and domination by religious hierarchies and understanding what freedom really meant. Not just in Asia and Africa but also in the West where many parts were under Empires and power blocks of various sorts. Similar processes in the US with civil rights legislation in the 1960s – and the struggle continues. South American countries although liberated from the Empire of Rome in the 19th century, were/still are in many ways part of Europe’s Imperial history. To be really free people have to fight for their freedoms and blood has to be spilt – regrettably for most in India their country came pre-packaged on a plate. Hence Indians are not quite free and settled yet.

  • haywardsward

    It was the same in WWI. Die in Battle, Do not Despair: the Indians on Gallipoli, 1915. Peter Stanley ISBN 9781910294673

    The Dardanelles campaign, brought about by the hubris and vanity of Churchill, for agreat exposition of of this read The Grand Deception: Churchill and the Dardanelles, Tim Curran ISBN 9781925275001

    15,000 Indian troops served in the pointless Dardanelles campaign. Their part in the invasion of Gallipoli has lain largely unknown since the publication of long disregarded regimental histories and forgotten British officers’ memoirs.

    Force G included Hindus and Punjabi Musalmans Sikhs and four battalions of Gurkhas. They served in an infantry brigade, a mountain artillery brigade, in medical units and in a large contingent of mule drivers.

    About 1,600 of the Indians who served on Gallipoli died, in actions at Gurkha Bluff and Hill 60. They took part in terrible, failed attacks, at Gully Ravine and Gully Spur and in the climactic attempt in August to seize the summit of Sari Bair a Ghurka battle honour.

    • “The Dardanelles campaign, just one more example brought about by the hubris and vanity of Churchill.”

      As a Marxist, Churchill sabotaged all things having to do with the British Empire…

      (1) Allowing the survival of the Bolsheviks in Petrograd in November 1917; (2) sending the Black & Tans into Ireland to wage war on the civilian population; (3) starve to death 1 million Indians in the Bengal famine of 1943.

  • and then all of the souls that came onto the planet immediately after .. ww2 was a global transformatoin event .. suggests war is not always best avoided

    • Bonkim

      Wars concentrate human thought and triggers scientific and technologic development – the gains of WW2 are now dwindling and it is time we had another existential conflict to reduce world population and re-set history.

  • To paraphrase what a 1918 sub-caption should have read, ‘Yasmin Khan’s superlative The Raj at War finally does justice to the crucial contribution of the Indian army to the USSR’s defeat, says William Dalrymple’

    But because the West was already co-opted by Marxists, Spectator readers never got to read such an article in late 1918, and the West would experience yet another Marxist manufactured World War…

    The refusal of Great Britain, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, India, France, and Canada to overthrow the Bolshevik regime immediately after the November 1917 coup in Petrograd shun a bright spotlight on not only the Marxist co-option of the Allies’ political establishments,1 but Marxist co-option of the Central Powers’ political establishments as well, since after the war those nations that constituted the Central Powers during the war failed after the war to alert the attention of the world to the Allies’ Marxist co-option, where the Allies protected the Bolshevik regime in Petrograd, even though Lenin’s war policy would remove Russia from the war, thereby strengthening the Central Powers against the Allies.

    World War I was a Marxist operation creating false oppositions for the purpose of causing chaos, where out of the ashes of chaos the Marxist global position would be stronger. The official term Marxists give to this false opposition tactic is the Scissors Strategy,2 in which the blades represent the two falsely opposed sides that converge on the confused victims, simultaneously neutralizing true opposition while advancing the Marxist agenda.

    As soon as the World War I operation had ended, Marxists began planing for the World War II operation with the creation of that war’s two false opposition fronts, the National Socialist German Workers’ Party and the National Fascist Party in Italy. Benito Mussolini was a well known and influential Marxist before the Comintern ordered that he take up a new identity as leader of the National Fascist Party. As for Adolf Hitler’s Marxist pedigree, one-third of Hitler’s SA, and later Gestapo personnel, were “former” Marxists. …continue reading at DNotice…

  • balance_and_reason

    The point that hand wringing socialists seem to miss is that we were fighting a war against a foe that was not a walk over…Japan got to the borders of India…if the Brits hadn’t organised the resistance, after being initially overrun, there would be no independence and no more nice Mr Gandhi…the point being we were not just fighting for our own benefit…we were fighting for survival and Indians had just as much to lose…thank God most people stepped up or the world would be a very different place; (and spineless lefty’s would be having to do a proper day’s work)

    • Bonkim

      Kohima is a long long way from Delhi and the Japs would not have progressed far. Malaria and other diseases were already debilitating the Japanese Army in Japan. The North Eastern border of India is still untamed and various tribal insurrections continuing. It is still the wild East and not many Indians know or care about the region.

      • balance_and_reason

        Ahhh…the armchair warrior …I suspect there were a few of you running Singapore at the time of Japan’s surge down the peninsular.

  • Rbeastlondon

    I don’t think this book is quite as original as the reviewer thinks. The war-time Bengal famine has been covered by other historians.

    It also seems like Khan downplays Indian support for the Japanese and even Hitler.

    Still, it sounds like an essential contribution to WW2 historiography.

    • Bonkim

      Indian support for the Japs and Hitler was mainly through the freed POWs that then formed the Free Indian Army under Subhash Bose and contingents of which fought with the Japanese in Burma and the Nazis in Europe.

      Mainstream India did not subscribe to that and the episode was swept under the carpet after the end of WW2. Not many in India knew the back-room deals and very little is recorded at least in public history.

      The deal was agreed with Mountbatten who was the first Governor General of India following independence.

  • DaHitman

    The Empire was in it yes all those people who decided to join and get paid yes but to say Britain wasn’t part of it is a disgrace. He also forget how the Muslims had fridays off, well apart from the ones serving the Nazi SS!

  • Carelessly written. Mountbatten didn’t lower Union Jack in 1947. He and Nehru agreed not to lower it. ‘ At 6 p.m. the great event of the day was to take place – the salutation of the new Dominion flag. This programme had originally included a ceremonial lowering of the Union Jack: but when I discussed this with Nehru he entirely agreed that this was a day they wanted everybody to be happy, and if the lowering of the Union Jack in any way offended British susceptibilities, he would certainly see that it did not take place, the more so as the Union Jack would still be flown on a dozen days a year in the Dominion.’

    Mountbatten stayed on as Governor General till ’48 handing over to Rajagopalachari. Rajendra Prasad became President after India became a Republic a couple of years later.

    Dalrymple says Mohammad Ali Jinnah was ‘a minor politician’ in 1938. His implication is that Jinnah got Pakistan because he supported the War. Yet, he also thinks Nehru only got Independence because of that same war. India played a big part in both the First and the Second World War. Both Wars created a Revolutionary climate and created a demand for socio-economic reform. In some ways, such reform was more successful after the first War than the Second because power passed to a complacent gerontocracy with very narrow mental horizons.

    Darlymple tells us that the British people believe that they fought off the Nazis all by themselves. This is false. People like Darlymple believe that ordinary Britons are stupid and parochial and breed ferrets in their trouser-legs and poach pigeons with their cloth caps. Thus they need reminding not only of the Empire’s contribution to Imperial Defencse but also of that it isn’t a good idea to head-butt that nutter glaring at you in the mirror.

    Khan tells us that Independence ‘wasn’t foreseen in 1939’. Yet, Atlee showed his plan for India- which envisioned Dominion status- in 1938. Partition was seen as inevitable by some Hindus in Muslim majority areas. The sensible ones sold up and moved long before the knives came out. Most did not. Still once the killings started they did run and though they often spoke of returning, few were stupid enough to actually do so.

    Khan is wholly mistaken when she writes- ‘The war flattened out the pretensions of empire, making ceremonial and ritual excesses look archaic, challenging old compacts between king-emperor and the landed elites’- actually the Princes were more indulged, not less so, during this period. As for the ‘Ornamentalism’ of the Imperial Durbar- that was an early casualty of mass politics, the last one was held in 1911. However, ten years previously, Meredith Townsend – doyen on the Anglo-Indian press and eventually editor of the Spectator- had dismissed the notion that feudal loyalty actually obtained.

    • Bonkim

      Good analysis – Jinnah simply stoked the Hindu-Muslim divide. Inter-communal conflict was endemic in many parts of the Empire, the Burmese and Ceyloneses were not all that enamoured with Hindus or in the case of Burma of the Muslim minorities – continuing today. Discrimination against minorities is endemic in most Islamic societies – and was no different say in the latter history of the Mughal Empire with Auranghazeb little better in tolerating religions other that Islam than latter day Islamic Caliphate. Many local Kings rose up against the tyranny – Shivaji and his Marathas, the Rajputs and others. It was the Nawab of Bengal that was defeated by Clive and many Hindus welcomed the event. By and large the British Empire brought stability and the rule of law, tried to abolish many backward social customs such as Sati, child-marriage, etc, established modern educational institutions and methods even if to improve civil administration in the Empire, organized military, transport infrastructure, port development, etc, etc.

      The Empire was greater than the sum total of its individual components.

      Seriously it was a good thing that Pakistan separated – india already has its hands full with the civil conflicts going on in Kashmir, and in the Central and Eastern tribal regions, Imagine having a border with Afghanistan and Iran and the consequent military and social consequences. Pakistan is unstable mainly because of its Western tribal regions and the porous borders with Iran and Afghanistan.

      Today’s Indians have no clue to the past – India is a hotch potch of people put together an artificial creation of disparate ethnicities, religions, and cultures – not a nation state that came about through the efforts of its people. The mindset during the British and earlier eras was servile and mercenary and remains so today.

  • Lou Coatney

    This is good to see.

    I design military and naval history boardgames, and I try to make a point of mentioning Commonwealth as much as British forces. My classic little 1st Alamein indeed has Australian, British, Indian … with the brave 18th Brigade specified … New Zealander, and South African units.

    Just think of Hec(tor) Waller’s “Scrap Iron Flotilla” of World War 1 destroyers, which – who – did so much, impetuously and indefatigably, in the Mediterranean. Of course, he and HMAS Perth would die alongside our Houston in the Battle of Sunda Strait, Feb/Mar42.

  • Simon Morgan

    ‘Britain did not fight the second world war, the British empire did.’ – I’m certainly glad my father, in the 14th. Army and badly wounded at Imphal, and my uncle who took part in the St. Nazaire raid, aren’t around to read this tosh.

    And I hope the few remaining heroes of the air war against Germany don’t see it.

    I’m all for acknowledging the sacrifice of empire troops, Aussies, Kiwis and the wonderful Gurkhas foremost among them.

    But to suggest that the British didn’t ‘didn’t fight the second world war’ is a gross insult to me. We ALL shouldered the burden of this terrible conflict, and no single country is entitled to take that away.

    • Bonkim

      Absolutely – the British led the Empire Troops and ultimately responsible. But need to raise the profiles of all commonwealth troops that joined in and sacrificed their lives for the Empire – despite many being volunteers.the sikh and other Indian regiments as involves as the Gurkhas in the many theatres of WW2..

  • jazz606

    The fact that the Bitish Empire as a whole fought the Second World War is not news to anyone.

  • ArtieHarris

    Napoleon … “History is a series of lies that we all agree upon”

    (Or words to that effect.)

  • mackinlay

    Having purchased this text and read it, I am not impressed.

    The first comment being there was no such legal animal as the British Empire, and there is much written from official sources to state that the use of the term was totally incorrect. The term used in the text “King Emperor” comes from the last part of the official title (as then used) of the Sovereign “and Indian Empire” – it not British Empire.

    He makes no mention at all divisions of the Indian Army had approximately one third British components, ie. apart from Gurkha brigades, brigades all had two Indian and one British battalions, and divisional troops were similar.

    There is no mention that the troops of the Indian Army also included those units drawn from the independent Indian Princely states (and Nepal), and the substantial total that these made.

    Equally, in regard to the recruit and military training, nothing stated re the excessive amount of training that Indian troops needed, and even less on the major problems of technical training.

    The contribution made to the German/Italian/Japanese war efforts by renegade Indian ‘volunteers’ take prisoner in the Middle East and Malaya/Singapore is lightly covered.

    Equally, the Bengal Famine appears to have been taken from the propaganda of the Bengal Communist Party, without any real attempt to look at its causes and the ‘real’ actions of the British Administration in relation to it, three million of those afflicted died, but, by major efforts (much from British Army units) 23 million lived.

    The Indianisation of the officer ranks of the Indian Army, the Police Forces and the Indian Civil Service from 1926, receives little mention, and the significance of these overlooked.

    While such as the internal security situation within India, the problems of the North West Frontier, and the significance re this is again only slightly covered.

    The problems caused by the American’s determined to run their own war, and to hell with Allied co-operation, which had huge problems in relation to the payment of far higher wages for the labouring classes as the workforce for the US Aid to China effort (such as the huge airfield complexes), and overturning the Price Controls within India for vast variety of resources, especially for rice at the time of a severe drought (part of the cause of the Bengal Famine) caused immense problems. It obvious that the fact is unknown that ten percent of all Caucasians resident in British India (and unknown numbers in the Princely States) in 1938 were US citizens, and mainly businessmen, followed by missionaries.

    Finally, 12 percent of those ‘volunteers’ enlisted into the Indian forces 2.5 million (army, Royal Indian Marine, Royal Indian Air Force) were into the Indian General Service Corps, which provided those who did the dirty work that High Class Hindu’s would not do (mainly the so called “Untouchables” and other such ‘dirty’ class workers) who were not military trained in everything but the very basics.

    It is not a book I would recommend spending my money on! Yours Mackinlay

  • zlop

    Zionists mobilized US because the Brtis promised Palestine.
    “Banned in Britian : The Zionist Conspiracy and the UK Government”

  • Miriam Joseph

    I think it’s hilarious that an article about the Indian Army’s contributions to the Allied victory in the 2nd war has been entirely forgotten (yet again) with an interminably long and might I add really boring, discussion about god knows what by two white guys!! The victors always write history and then continue to fight over it. Thank you 2 million Indian volunteers (the largest volunteer army in history) for saving the bacon of these white guys – so that they continue to have the freedom to talk bollocks until the cows come home.

  • Andrew

    Abie Vee you are an idiot the Battle of Britain stopped the potential invasion of the UK. This kept the Brits and the commonwealth in the war. Who knows if the UK surrendered WW2 would of been different. The US might not of joined the war.

  • Andrew

    Abie Vee have you read any of the history books the allied bombing of Germany really affected them and their war effort. For example the Me262 the first ever jet fighter/bomber could only fly for a day or two because their engines would have to be changed due to wear and tear. The engines where made out of inferior materials due to the attrition of war on the Nazi war industry. The main factor in the degradation of Nazi war industry was from allied bombing.

  • Mack

    One concludes from contemporary historiography that England, Wales, Cornwall, Scotland, and Northern Ireland were not involved in the Second World War.

  • Hamd Feroze

    This is Dalrymple’s extent of knowledge or as ever he does it deliberately when he declares Jinnah a minor politician in 1939. Mr William Dalrymple Muhammad Ali Jinnah Was never a minor politician not even in 1906 at the very start of his political career. He was decidedly the greatest Indian politician in even in 1916, out of all the Muslim an Hindu lot, when he brought both Muslim League and Congress together at Lucknow. Dalrymple I won’t say you don’t study; you are never truthful, a prerequisite for a historian.