For nearly a thousand years the Anglo-Saxon population of England have been subjugated by the Norman invaders. The English ruling class has maintained its grip on power whilst allowing a fantasy that ordinary people were somehow superior to the Scot’s, Irish and Welsh, after all are they not English? But the reality of life does not measure up to fact!
The ordinary Englishman has more in common with the poor white Confederate’s, with the same pride in their status, just useful as cannon fodder, for putting down rebellions whenever their masters felt threatened or to die in war’s of conquest in some distant colony.
I always feel somehow uncomfortable, or disloyal, when examining the reality of Social History, should I criticise my country? But this is about people, and how they were treated. The potato famine in Ireland, the Highland Clearances in Scotland, but also inclosure acts in England. Here all the common land was stolen, poor and destitute being forced into cities as cheap labour. While Wilberforce was campaigning for the freedom of slaves, he was quite content to see the ordinary English living on the edge of humanity. Young children working in pits and factories, climbing chimneys to clean them, working in coal yards for pennies, dead before they were twenty. But they were free wern’t they? not slaves, perhaps they didn’t see it the same way.
As an ordinary Englishman, I don’t have anything to apologise for. But the rich and powerful, the people who lived off the suffering of others, be they slave or freeman dying of disease and starvation, surely they should apologise and make recompense for just taking from society and putting nothing back. They were content for hundreds of years with taking great wealth not only from the colonies but also from the poor of England who worked in degrading conditions.
One hundred years ago, at the height of the Boer War, there were not enough fit and healthy men available to supply sufficient recruits for the army. But things improved sufficiently over the next ten years, better housing, medical treatment and food for millions to be killed in the trenches. Perhaps the ruling classes know when to feed and when to starve, is this the time when we starve??