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International Coalition for British Reparations: People of the World, it's Time to get Paid.

Letter To The ICBR: Re: Corrections


Hello. I am an Anglo-Indian currently living in Britain and as a well read student of history I would like to offer a number of opionions and corrections to your historical page on your website. I will ignore your judgements and calculations for the moment and just stick to what history I know for certain. As such it will not be a complete correction, just partial.

Why Britain? Aren't there plenty of other countries that we could blame for the world's problems?
Sure, Britain isn't behind all of the world's problems—at least not directly. The old Soviet Union, for example, is estimated to be responsible for the deaths of tens of millions of its own citizens, to say nothing of the havoc its aggressive foreign policy wreaked abroad. But most of these deaths happened by way of prison camps (a British invention) or machine guns (another British invention).

The earliest fully automated gun, often called a machine gun, was the Gatling gun. Patented in 1861 by Richard Gatling, an American citizen. What is generally regarded as the first "true machine gun" was the Maxim gun patented in 1881, another American Citizen.

All roads of human suffering, particularly in the 20th century, lead back to Britain.
Are you racists?
No. We don't believe this is due to any inherent defect in the character of the British people. Stretching more than a millennium to the crowning of Alfred the Great in 871, the British Monarchy - British monarchy in 871? Alfred only styled himself King of the Anglo-Saxons, even England was still divided at this stage, Alfred was merely a King of the South West of England. The first King of Great Britain, which is what I do believe you probably mean to refer to, was James I in 1604.

is simply one of the oldest continuous Conquered by the Normas in 1066.

governmental bodies on earth. For centuries, its power over its citizens was nearly absolute. - In the medieval period, Kings were rarely actually absloute outside their own privately owned lands. Feudal states were decentralised, unregulated and the King only had some king of absloute power in times of war.

By the dawn of the 20th century, it controlled nearly one third of the globe. But while other totalitarian reigns have been put on trial and forced to make amends, the British crown has maintained its grip on power, and so avoided being called to account for its numerous crimes against humanity.
What exactly has Britain done that's so awful?
Where to begin? By our analysis, the crimes of Britain fall into four major categories:

Genocide. Modern Britain was founded through the systematic erasure of indigenous culture and language. The English rounded up natives, seized their property, and forced them to relinquish their heritage and take on British language and culture as their own. The English? Who exactly do you mean by the English? do you mean the Anglo-Saxons who gradually out grew the Celtic populations and became dominant? Do you mean the Normans, French, who annexed Britain and took over from the Anglo-Saxons? What natives do you mean? Please be more specific.

Anyone who dissented faced extermination. This practice began in Scotland, Wales and Ireland and soon spread all over the world, where the British Empire plundered natural resources and enslaved native peoples - Equally during this period all these countriess also used slavery. You cannot pin slavery simply on us. I am not going to try and sell us as a civil moralising force for good but without us slavery might well have carried on for much longer in our colonies past 1833. then left without building the stable infrastructure or governments necessary for self-sufficiency. Whatever conquering force has ever in all of history done this?

The Industrial Revolution. Beginning in the 18th century, Britain began making our lives worse through the introduction of machines in the workplace. We were merely the first. If we hadn't done it, someone else would have. The Industrial Revolution was inevitable, we were merely the most advanced.

The health, safety, and wages of workers took a back seat to owners' greed for ever-higher output and profits. This is capitalism, this again happened and is happening the world over.

The skies above the city—first London, then the world—were filled with black smoke. Waters were poisoned with noxious chemicals. Under the careless watch Britain's elite, the Industrial Revolution got off to a horrible start, the consequences of which have continued to ring down through the centuries. The melting of the polar icecaps, the loss of countless plants and animal species, and the imperiled condition of the human race on a planet made poisonous by misapplied technology are all a consequence of British negligence and hunger to accumulate wealth at any cost. You cannot blame us for global warming. That is the world's fault, and you (The USA) are currently the biggest culprit.

Global Misrule. The terrorist threat has its roots in British mismanagement of the Middle East, particularly Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Iraq, and Saudi Arabia. Britain's imperialist past has so enraged Muslim extremists. Now America is deploying our sons, daughters, and tax dollars to clean up the mess that Britain made. This is your mess. You backed Saddam, you set him up as a dictator, you backed him in the Iran-Iraq war. Those two wars were to sort out your own mess.

The deaths caused by all the major wars of the 19th and early 20th century could have been prevented, or at least lessened, if the British hadn't waited until their backs were up against the wall before getting into the action. Perhaps if you had joined the Second World War a bit sooner Hitler could have been stopped earlier.

Most of the worst tyrants in power through the end of the 20th century were put there by the British, or came to power by filling the power vacuum the British Empire left behind.

Bad Inventions. Machine guns, Invented by the USA

slums These have always been around. Check your ancient history

, prisons Same goes, prisons are neccessary.

child labor Again the same, we did not "invent" child labour, child labour has always been.

bad hygiene That is a gripe against individuals rather then a nation.

the Black Plague You CANNOT be serious. The Black Plague was a deveastating pandemic originating in South Asia and coming to Europe in the 14th century. This was most definitely not our fault, unless your accusing Britain of biological warfare in the 14th century.

concentration camps I wont disagree with this, but concentration camps, i.e. as said by the Oxford English dictionary "a camp where non-combatants of a district are accommodated" are no bad thing. They are neccessary in warfare. If you mean Nazi style concentration camps. They invented that.

, you name it. If it hurts people, the British probably came up with it.

Strangely enough, Britain has been very aggressive about making other countries pay for their historical misdeeds. Like a herd of raging soccer hooligans looting their rival's capital after a victory, they've extracted exorbitant reparations payments from Germany, France, and China, among others. Now it's their turn to pay.
If Britain really is behind all the world's problems as you say it is, how have they managed to keep up such a positive image for so long?
Britain has long controlled our patterns of thought through the modern university, an English invention. They control what we say through their hold over English, the global master language. More recently, they've bought the minds of some of our best and brightest—including numerous top U.S. politicians and public thinkers—through the Rhodes Scholarship, thus insuring that the false innocents of Britain's public image never has to face scrutiny. If you truely think this should you not also be petitioning for a reform of your university system to make it as un-British as possible?
How did you come up with the £31 trillion figure?
Thirty-one trillion pounds is a fairly arbitrary figure. Really, one could easily make the argument that Britain owes much more. But we came up with £31 trillion as a starting point by adding up the following costs:

First Iraq War: $71 billion (As estimated by the Department of Defense. The need for U.S. intervention in the Middle East is a direct consequence of Britain's early support of the House of Saud and conflicting promises made to the Israelis and Palestinians).

Second Iraq War: $282 billion+ (As calculated by Congressional Appropriations. The irrational anger of radical Islam as embodied in Saddam Hussein's rogue state, is the expression of a deep grudge that started with the slaughter's inflicted by the British crown during the Crusades and later, Britain's ruthless treatment of the old Ottoman Empire.)

As I have said, these are both the USA's fault.

Opium War Refund: $32.6 trillion ($21 million that Britain extorted from China through the Treaty of Nanking in 1842, with interest, compounded annually. Strange that China should have to pay up after it was Britain who got millions of her citizens hooked on opium.)

Indefendable, I will accept this, the Opium war was a disgrace. That we should pay reparations for it, I am not so convinced.

Versailles Refund $25 trillion ($26 billion that Britain extorted from defeated German government after World War I, with interest, compounded annually, an unfair and punitive settlement that was one of the primary causes of World War II.)

The Treaty of Versailles was an agreement between the USA, France and Britain. If we have to pay this back you also should have to. Furthermore, Germany stopped paying this by the mid 1920's, and it was formally cancelled with our agreement at the Lausanne Confernce in 1932.
Who would the money go to, and how would it be distributed?
Everyone has suffered the consequences of the Evil Empire. We proposed to distribute the reparations monies equally between all the people of the world. Dividing a £31 trillion settlement between 6.5 billion people gives us roughly £4,770 or $8,350 for every man, woman, and child on earth. It's far from enough, but it's a start.
Why are you putting so much energy into rehashing the past when there are so many pressing current issues—such as the war in Iraq and the Darfur genocide—that demand our attention?
First of all, the Iraq war and Darfur genocide are not separate issues. They are two of the numerous consequences of the British Empire's mistakes. They can be traced directly back to the British Empire's shortsighted imperialist policies in the Middle East and Africa. While we did make mistakes in Africa, the Darfur conflict is the result of tribal disputes, bad administration and starvation. Not directly because we ruled them fifty years ago.

Second, letting the British Empire get away with savaging the world's culture, economy, and environment without having to pay any price sets a terrible precedent, both for the present governments of the world and for future generations. Third, we believe the situations in Iraq and in the Sudan would be greatly improved if each citizen were to receive the full cash settlement of $8,350. Everything else being equal, people are less likely to fight when they have something to lose. Without the infrastructure in which to spend this, without a strong government, without organisation, this would most likely cause civil war and hyper inflation.

Where do you expect Britain to come up with this much money?
They could start by selling the priceless antiquarian collections of the British Museum, much of which were looted illegally from former British colonies. If you flood the market with "priceless" artifacts, the price will drop so rapidly hardly anything significant for the amount you want will be raised.

After that, we would propose selling Buckingham Palace, leasing Westminster Abbey, and auctioning off the numerous treasures, objects d' art, statuary found therein. You think that would raise anything near enough?

This will likely provide less than a tenth of the money necessary for full settlement, but with an annual GDP of $1.8 trillion, we are confident Britain will be able to come up with the money, particularly if they are permitted to space payments out over a period of 50 to 75 years. We have a budget defecit as it is. If you dont want to impoverish the British people and then be sued for reparations yourselves, or start another world war, then I wouldn't If i were you.
Do you really expect Britain to pay up?
With enough pressure from the international community—both at the grassroots and highest diplomatic levels, we fully expect Britain to comply with the terms of our proposed settlement. Anyone who considers the full scope of Britain's offenses will quickly realize that while the 31 trillion figure may seem like a lot, when weighed against the historical record, it's a terrific bargain.

I hope you enjoy reading this as much as I have enjoyed writing it. I would appreciate feedback but I understand if you recieve too much criticism to reply to every email, equally, I am sure much of this has been explained to you before.

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