BBC considers dropping Rule Brittania from the Proms

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nulli tertius
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#21
(Original post by tazarooni89)
It’s one thing to not feel bad about historical transgressions. Sure, we’re not responsible for the sins of our fathers.

But it’s another thing altogether to proclaim those transgressions with pride. It would be strange for a patriotic American song to boast about killing Native Americans and taking their land, for example.
I presume you are unaware of the lyrics of The Ballad of Davy Crockett

“Fought single handed through the Injun war,
Till the Creeks was whipped and peace was restored.
And while he was handling this risky chore,
Made himself a legend, forevermore.

Davy, Davy Crockett the man who don't know fear.”
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Iñigo de Loyola
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#22
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#22
(Original post by tazarooni89)
As much as Rule Britannia is a great piece of music, I’ve always thought the lyrics are a bit cringeworthy.

It’s a effectively a song that takes pride in the fact that Britain subjugated other countries by force. It ought to be a part of our history that we’re ashamed of rather than proud of.
Conquest was always part of history up until World War II - as for the Empire I would argue that the good the Empire did outweighed the bad.
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tazarooni89
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(Original post by LiberOfLondon)
Conquest was always part of history up until World War II - as for the Empire I would argue that the good the Empire did outweighed the bad.
(Original post by Napp)
Doesnt that rather presuppose you can only view history through the prism of the negative? It is entirely possible to be proud of the legacy of empire without cheering the machine gunning of Sepoy's after all. Case in point, not everything in our history is either bad or good and it is entirely possible to separate the two - not to mention it being silly to apply modern morals to historical actions.
My point is that the whole concept of conquest and empire (essentially the subjugation of others by force as opposed to voluntary alliance and cooperation) is an unfortunate part of History which is best left there. It may have had some good side effects, but fundamentally it's an inappropriate way for one group of people to behave with another.

We would certainly never accept it if we were on the receiving end of another country’s imperialistic ambitions, whereby their citizens “never shall be slaves”, but they’re happy to make slaves out of us.

Of course we shouldn't seek to erase it from History and pretend that it never happened. But I just find it cringeworthy that we would sing about it now as though it is one of our proudest achievements.

And plenty of American, British (well everyone) songs celebrate killing people... be it in revolution, war, conquest or what not.
I'm sure they do. If they're celebrating the concept of rising up against oppressors and the violence involved, that seems fine to me (e.g. the French National Anthem). But it seems odd to me that we would celebrate the concept of actually being the oppressors.
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epicnm
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(Original post by Napp)
A poor choice of words, still not the same as what you're implying though.
Well one is pertinent to Britains culture, one is a questionable choice to words.

Did they? Thats frightfully selfish of them.


I'm not sure i'd call incinsere gumflapping putting poverty front and center...
I wouldn’t have thought Rule Britannia be a part of so-called “British Culture” that a person would take pride in, given it describes the natives Britain forced off their land as “haughty tyrants”
and then describes how “Britons will never be slaves”. Seems a bit strange to say the least to take pride in Britain’s exploitation of other nations?

Indeed, very selfish of them!

Theres not much an opposition party can do apart from speak out for action to be taken compared to those given the power to take action.
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(Original post by epicnm)
I wouldn’t have thought Rule Britannia be a part of so-called “British Culture” that a person would take pride in, given it describes the natives Britain forced off their land as “haughty tyrants”
To be entirely fair lots of the pre-colonial African rulers were complicit in the slave trade long after it was banned in Europe and had a feudal or tribal government when democracy was growing in strength.
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There is no audience. Next year if there is it will be sung.

As for Mr Johnson's comments, a man who until recently held U.S citizenship and is only out for himself is not someone to be lecturing us about patriotism and history. In a few years time we will be deeply ashamed that he was ever Prime Minister.
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Union Jack Wearing Bulldog is incensed. :mob:
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He will now have to consider dropping his annual contribution towards tv licencing revenues from 2021 and ceasing to use the television for anything but replaying vhs & dvds. :eviltongue:
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epicnm
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(Original post by LiberOfLondon)
To be entirely fair lots of the pre-colonial African rulers were complicit in the slave trade long after it was banned in Europe and had a feudal or tribal government when democracy was growing in strength.
Prior to European involvement, disputes between African nations, especially West African nations, were short-lived with very few casualties. The introduction of European weaponry and firearms drew out disputes and resulted in further destructive affairs. Therefore Firearms became necessary for African nations to defend themselves both from African rivals as well as from European intrusion. And the only way for nations to acquire said firearms were through slave trading with Europe. European powers benefitted from African nations playing against each other.
Despite the complicity of African rulers in the slave trade, who benefitted from it? It wasn’t the millions of slaves taken from Africa, nor was it the African rulers who sold slaves, as many of them were tricked by European traders so they themselves were found in the same situation.
It’s also important to remember in terms of scale that it was a small minority of Africans who were sold via African nations. It was majorly European powers forcibly removing 12.8 million slaves from Africa.

But back to the point in hand, I’ve never heard of or seen any African nations take pride in their involvement in slavery, or deem it to be a part of their ‘culture’ to be celebrated?
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(Original post by barnetlad)
In a few years time we will be deeply ashamed that he was ever Prime Minister.
Doubt that.
Based on the assumption that "we" refers to all those individuals who directly voted for Boris to become and remain PM.
The Conservative MPs and voters of the Uxbridge & South Ruislip constituency who lent him their votes.
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(Original post by tazarooni89)
My point is that the whole concept of conquest and empire (essentially the subjugation of others by force as opposed to voluntary alliance and cooperation) is an unfortunate part of History which is best left there. It may have had some good side effects, but fundamentally it's an inappropriate way for one group of people to behave with another.

We would certainly never accept it if we were on the receiving end of another country’s imperialistic ambitions, whereby their citizens “never shall be slaves”, but they’re happy to make slaves out of us.

Of course we shouldn't seek to erase it from History and pretend that it never happened. But I just find it cringeworthy that we would sing about it now as though it is one of our proudest achievements.

I'm sure they do. If they're celebrating the concept of rising up against oppressors and the violence involved, that seems fine to me (e.g. the French National Anthem). But it seems odd to me that we would celebrate the concept of actually being the oppressors.
I would counter that this is less an aspect of 'history, as you say, but an ever present fact of geopolitics. It might be unfortunate but the weak will always be subjugated by the strong, as we can see across the globe to this day.
Correct me if im wrong but do we not regularly speak of the times Britain was subjugated by Rome, the Vikings or the French...?

To each unto their own on this, i simply see no reason to hide from our history when Britain was undeniably the greatest nation in the world and shaped it, to this day, as such.
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(Original post by epicnm)
I wouldn’t have thought Rule Britannia be a part of so-called “British Culture” that a person would take pride in, given it describes the natives Britain forced off their land as “haughty tyrants”
and then describes how “Britons will never be slaves”. Seems a bit strange to say the least to take pride in Britain’s exploitation of other nations?

Indeed, very selfish of them!

Theres not much an opposition party can do apart from speak out for action to be taken compared to those given the power to take action.
Why have you put British culture in quotation marks? Are you implying there is no such thing?
To you maybe, not me. My family having come from across the empire i see no reason i scold my family tree because of some petty progressives taking umbrage with how "mean" it was. Nevermind the tens of millions of who would mildly object to you calling their existence not but exploitation.
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(Original post by Napp)
I would counter that this is less an aspect of 'history, as you say, but an ever present fact of geopolitics. It might be unfortunate but the weak will always be subjugated by the strong, as we can see across the globe to this day.
Correct me if im wrong but do we not regularly speak of the times Britain was subjugated by Rome, the Vikings or the French...?

To each unto their own on this, i simply see no reason to hide from our history when Britain was undeniably the greatest nation in the world and shaped it, to this day, as such.
I'm not suggesting that we "hide from our history" - far from it. I'd be very happy if the school history curriculum was updated to include lessons about the British Empire in more depth than it's taught at present, including all the atrocities and other unsavoury parts it comprised as well. Let students learn all about the Amritsar Massacre, the Destruction of Ventersberg and the Boer Concentration Camps. Certainly we should face our history, speak about all the important parts of it and not forget it. In fact I would say that the failure to include this kind of thing in our curriculum is "hiding from history", given that it's such a significant part of it; rather more so than Henry VIII and his six wives.

My objection to "Rule Britannia" is not the fact that it merely acknowledges these aspects of our History, but that it is sung as a matter of pride rather than shame. I recognise that subjugating others may be an ever present fact of geopolitics, but I don't think it is something to be glorified.

It's in a similar way to the fact that, I wouldn't like it if Germany tried to erase the Holocaust from their history. I'd want them to learn about it, understand how it happened and its effects etc. But I wouldn't expect them to start singing patriotic songs about how proud they are of it. That would be in quite poor taste.
Last edited by tazarooni89; 1 month ago
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epicnm
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(Original post by Napp)
Why have you put British culture in quotation marks? Are you implying there is no such thing?
To you maybe, not me. My family having come from across the empire i see no reason i scold my family tree because of some petty progressives taking umbrage with how "mean" it was. Nevermind the tens of millions of who would mildly object to you calling their existence not but exploitation.
I put British culture in quotation marks to highlight how Britain’s exploitation shouldn’t be regarded as something to take pride in. Of course, you may selectively misread the aspects of British colonisation, but the truth of it is it resulted in humanitarian crises for the colonised and caused political, social and economic damage to it’s victims.
You can look at many nations colonised by European powers. Take Congo,Under colonial rule, the Congolese population declined by estimates ranging from three million to 13 million between 1885 and 1908 due to widespread disease, a coercive labour regime and endemic brutality. Now since gaining independence, they’ve had their life expectancy steadily climbing, despite still being significantly lower in comparison to the rest of the world . Not to mention the fact that countries like Japan which were never colonised now has the third largest GDP on Earth, so there’s no excuse for a country not being able to have succeeded without Britain or other European’s exploiting of them.

Britain seems to be well known for their suppression of the atrocities of their history, with a selective focus on whatever best fits their narrative.
I’m fairly sure the 400 million people exploited by Britain, with the resulting effects of Britain’s colonisation still being experienced today, would object to the pride you take in the exploitation of them and their ancestors.
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(Original post by epicnm)
I put British culture in quotation marks to highlight how Britain’s exploitation shouldn’t be regarded as something to take pride in. Of course, you may selectively misread the aspects of British colonisation, but the truth of it is it resulted in humanitarian crises for the colonised and caused political, social and economic damage to it’s victims.
You can look at many nations colonised by European powers. Take Congo,Under colonial rule, the Congolese population declined by estimates ranging from three million to 13 million between 1885 and 1908 due to widespread disease, a coercive labour regime and endemic brutality. Now since gaining independence, they’ve had their life expectancy steadily climbing, despite still being significantly lower in comparison to the rest of the world . Not to mention the fact that countries like Japan which were never colonised now has the third largest GDP on Earth, so there’s no excuse for a country not being able to have succeeded without Britain or other European’s exploiting of them.

Britain seems to be well known for their suppression of the atrocities of their history, with a selective focus on whatever best fits their narrative.
I’m fairly sure the 400 million people exploited by Britain, with the resulting effects of Britain’s colonisation still being experienced today, would object to the pride you take in the exploitation of them and their ancestors.
I like how you accuse me of "misreading" Britains colonial past and then use an utterly fallacious comparison, considering Congo had zip to do with the UK and was roundly condemned by many countries.
Are you seriously contending that Congo is doing well? It is not even a real state, in any traditional metric, as opposed to a collection of warring tribes and looters... of all the countries to laud for making headway in Africa Congo is not the one.
Err you're away Japan was a colonial power right, and a far more brutal one than any European one...?
To further rubbish your point on colonies notionally doing poorly shall we look to almost every single colony in Asia, Oceania, Australasia, America et al. who are all doing rather well; be it Australia, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Singapore, America, Canada etc.

Well you're clearly wrong on that count now arent you. You have literally 0 grounds to say everyone in the colonies was "exploited it and hated it". As far as bald faced lies go, that takes the cake.
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epicnm
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(Original post by Napp)
I like how you accuse me of "misreading" Britains colonial past and then use an utterly fallacious comparison, considering Congo had zip to do with the UK and was roundly condemned by many countries.
Are you seriously contending that Congo is doing well? It is not even a real state, in any traditional metric, as opposed to a collection of warring tribes and looters... of all the countries to laud for making headway in Africa Congo is not the one.
Err you're away Japan was a colonial power right, and a far more brutal one than any European one...?
To further rubbish your point on colonies notionally doing poorly shall we look to almost every single colony in Asia, Oceania, Australasia, America et al. who are all doing rather well; be it Australia, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Singapore, America, Canada etc.

Well you're clearly wrong on that count now arent you. You have literally 0 grounds to say everyone in the colonies was "exploited it and hated it". As far as bald faced lies go, that takes the cake.
Had you read what I said, you would see I said European powers that colonised Congo, as an example of the damaging effects of colonisation.
No I never said Congo was doing well, but the opposite. I used the example of it’s rising life expectancy post-independence as an example of the damage inflicted upon it from its previous colonisation and the barrier it provided for Congo’s development.
You missed the point again. Britain, or any other European power, isn’t responsible for the economic, social or political successes of it’s colonised nations, and Britain’s colonisation and a nation’s success aren’t mutually exclusive.
You seem to be again forgetting the damaging effect Britain’s colonisation had on the countries you have listed, regardless of whether they have presently recovered economically. Australia, for example, 10 years following Britain’s colonisation, had a reduction of 90% of it’s indigenous population from the effects of Britain’s exploitation which brang new diseases like small pox, measles, etc, foreign settling on indigenous land, then direct and indirect violence with colonisers and several massacres of indigenous Australians arising from colonial violence.

Hundreds of millions of people were exploited by Britain and I’m fairly sure indigenous/native people weren’t loving life during Britain’s colonialism, while being forced off their land, having their resources stolen from them and being killed by diseases from Britain or mass shootings by British invaders.
Britain’s history of exploitation through their empire building isn’t something to be glorified.
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Napp
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(Original post by epicnm)
Had you read what I said, you would see I said European powers that colonised Congo, as an example of the damaging effects of colonisation.
Power, not powers.
A single example, however, is less than representative - as anyone with a grasp of statistics will tell you.
No I never said Congo was doing well, but the opposite. I used the example of it’s rising life expectancy post-independence as an example of the damage inflicted upon it from its previous colonisation and the barrier it provided for Congo’s development.
You missed the point again. Britain, or any other European power, isn’t responsible for the economic, social or political successes of it’s colonised nations, and Britain’s colonisation and a nation’s success aren’t mutually exclusive.
You seem to be again forgetting the damaging effect Britain’s colonisation had on the countries you have listed, regardless of whether they have presently recovered economically. Australia, for example, 10 years following Britain’s colonisation, had a reduction of 90% of it’s indigenous population from the effects of Britain’s exploitation which brang new diseases like small pox, measles, etc, foreign settling on indigenous land, then direct and indirect violence with colonisers and several massacres of indigenous Australians arising from colonial violence.
That would probably be because you have yet to make a real point on the matter. Using the most extreme example of, not even really colinalism as Congo was a fiefdom, to bash the wrong empire is risible.
Umm i hate to break this to you but colonisation or not that would have happened. Equally don't attribute accident to malice.
Not sure what point you're trying to make about fighting over land though, given this would have happened either way - everyone, always, fighting over land
Hundreds of millions of people were exploited by Britain and I’m fairly sure indigenous/native people weren’t loving life during Britain’s colonialism, while being forced off their land, having their resources stolen from them and being killed by diseases from Britain or mass shootings by British invaders.
Britain’s history of exploitation through their empire building isn’t something to be glorified.
By all means show me some credible source backing up your 'point' that all subjects of the empire hated it with a passion.

That is your opinion, its wrong, but you're welcome to it.
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epicnm
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(Original post by Napp)
Power, not powers.
A single example, however, is less than representative - as anyone with a grasp of statistics will tell you.

That would probably be because you have yet to make a real point on the matter. Using the most extreme example of, not even really colinalism as Congo was a fiefdom, to bash the wrong empire is risible.
Umm i hate to break this to you but colonisation or not that would have happened. Equally don't attribute accident to malice.
Not sure what point you're trying to make about fighting over land though, given this would have happened either way - everyone, always, fighting over land

By all means show me some credible source backing up your 'point' that all subjects of the empire hated it with a passion.

That is your opinion, its wrong, but you're welcome to it.
If you’d like further examples of the effect of colonisation, by all means knock yourself out!
https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/ful...58244013499143
https://prezi.com/crumqg9if7bs/the-e...society-in-th/
https://www.marxist.com/sierra-leone...mperialism.htm
https://www.workers.org/afghanistan/imperialism_0916/

Sorry what are you calling an accident?

Everyone has disputes over land. The indigenous Australians, along with all the other victims of Britain’s colonialism, didn’t see the damage from internal land disputes as was seen with land disputes from British Invasion.

Sorry, are you saying subjects of the empire enjoyed being forced off their land, forced to assimilate and have resources stolen from them, be subject to foreign diseases and being massacred by British settlers? Because that is exactly what you’re glorifying.
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Seeing as i never said there werent any downsides to the empire i dont know what point youre angling at? suffice it to say bar the first one your sources are more than somewhat questionable. Marxists proselytizing on social ills indeed :rofl:
Sorry what are you calling an accident?
Bringing disease with them. Unless you really think they had a concept of quarantine back then?
Everyone has disputes over land. The indigenous Australians, along with all the other victims of Britain’s colonialism, didn’t see the damage from internal land disputes as was seen with land disputes from British Invasion.
And your point is sorry?
Sorry, are you saying subjects of the empire enjoyed being forced off their land, forced to assimilate and have resources stolen from them, be subject to foreign diseases and being massacred by British settlers? Because that is exactly what you’re glorifying.
Your grasp of the empire is more than somewhat troubling as that was not the sum of the empire. I mean, your hatred of British history is well documented on this site but you really need to expand your repertoire of historical sources if you think this is the entirety of what the empire did.
The fact you've immediately disenfranchised the millions of people who welcomed the empire and happily took part in it is rather telling of your disgraceful myopic view, and bias, on the matter. Unless you really think the millions who served in it were not but slaves? :rolleyes:
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(Original post by tazarooni89)
I'm not suggesting that we "hide from our history" - far from it. I'd be very happy if the school history curriculum was updated to include lessons about the British Empire in more depth than it's taught at present, including all the atrocities and other unsavoury parts it comprised as well. Let students learn all about the Amritsar Massacre, the Destruction of Ventersberg and the Boer Concentration Camps. Certainly we should face our history, speak about all the important parts of it and not forget it. In fact I would say that the failure to include this kind of thing in our curriculum is "hiding from history", given that it's such a significant part of it; rather more so than Henry VIII and his six wives.
Indeed more about the empire definitely should be taught. I have a feeling you mean only its negative aspects should be told though? Given shooting a 'fuzzy wuzzy' is objectively bad whilst 'good' tends to be subjective.
I do find it interesting people tend to skip over all the good it did in terms of advancement of institutions, human rights and so on - after all before the British came to the colonies women were burned alive and sold as nothing more than piece of meat. People were murdered and eaten. Yet all that can be focussed on is something like Amritsar, admittedly a terrible event.
I dont disagree, warts and all should be included. Then again all of the education ministers have been incompetent or faced backlashes when wanting to teach British history.. as opposed to some irrelence in Africa/Asia/etc. which is what certain vocal protesters want for some reason.
My objection to "Rule Britannia" is not the fact that it merely acknowledges these aspects of our History, but that it is sung as a matter of pride rather than shame. I recognise that subjugating others may be an ever present fact of geopolitics, but I don't think it is something to be glorified.

It's in a similar way to the fact that, I wouldn't like it if Germany tried to erase the Holocaust from their history. I'd want them to learn about it, understand how it happened and its effects etc. But I wouldn't expect them to start singing patriotic songs about how proud they are of it. That would be in quite poor taste.
Again i see no particular reason to feel "shame" for our history, not least of all because it is obviously a shining beacon on the hill compared to the holocaust (your comparison, not mine).
So you dont think the fact that our culture, language, way of life and general greatness of the small island nation should be celebrated? I mean in comparison to every other empire i care to think of (not to mention most countries) the British was one of the better ones, this not being a matter of opinion but a matter of fact when compared to Germany, France (Algeria in particular being egregious), America, Japan, Spain, the various ancient empire and so on so forth. Not to mention if we look at individual nations history (especially these supposedly hard done by colonial ones)

Here is a question for you, would you rather the practice of burning women alive, as a matter of course, continued but be free to do as you please or that the country be part of an Empire and such barbarism be banned?
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(Original post by Napp)
Seeing as i never said there werent any downsides to the empire i dont know what point youre angling at? suffice it to say bar the first one your sources are more than somewhat questionable. Marxists proselytizing on social ills indeed :rofl:

Bringing disease with them. Unless you really think they had a concept of quarantine back then?

And your point is sorry?

Your grasp of the empire is more than somewhat troubling as that was not the sum of the empire. I mean, your hatred of British history is well documented on this site but you really need to expand your repertoire of historical sources if you think this is the entirety of what the empire did.
The fact you've immediately disenfranchised the millions of people who welcomed the empire and happily took part in it is rather telling of your disgraceful myopic view, and bias, on the matter. Unless you really think the millions who served in it were not but slaves? :rolleyes:
“Downsides”... Nice way to describe mass murder.

Had Britain not exploited it’s colonies, would colonies be exposed to foreign diseases?
It’s more the fact colonisation resulted in horrific consequences for natives of the land.

I’m well aware of those who succeeded from
the empire, despite the several struggles as a result of Britain’s colonisation, but British colonisation has a very disturbing, brutal history. I have never had a hatred of British history, I have a hatred of the tendency in Britain to blanket their own history to paint Britain as a historically heroic country, as if the several terrible actions of Britain in the past still aren’t having repercussions today. And had Britain not blanket or suppress the atrocities that Britain has historically done, Britons wouldn’t take pride in something like Rule Britannia which glorifies the exploitation of other nations by Britain.
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