Poetry – The British Empire

The British Empire

From the shores of this small island,

Reaching out with armies to embrace the whole world,

From the Falklands, through the USA, Canada, the Caribbean,

Africa, India, China, Indonesia, and the Philippines

to Australia and New Zealand,

Great Britain ruled.

The greatest Empire the world has ever seen.

The tentacles of that empire

Probed, exploited, subjugated and menaced.

Its power was extent.

It sent forth its mighty navy.

It invaded, deposed and laid claim.

It deployed its superiority and arrogance

Through its technology and attitude.

A sense of privilege and worth,

It conquered,

Divided and ruled.

With armies of bureaucrats it controlled.

It plundered the world

Bringing back the spoils

To build its stately homes,

To finance its servants and lavish lifestyle,

With fashion, banquets and balls.

To finance its great armies

And maintain its domination.

Yet little, if any, of this vast plunder

Was wasted on the populace of Great Britain.

The public were sentenced to poverty,

Gruelling labour in field and factory,

A life of penury with great penalty

And heartless application

Should they rebel,

Or question their position.

For we were the cannon fodder,

Worthless, expendable,

Without a vote,

No power and no hope.

Brainwashed in schools

To worship mighty God,

King and country

And wave our union jacks on Empire day.

The Empire was a product of the elite,

For the benefit of the elite.

While we, the people, were exploited

As heartlessly as any slaves.

The British Empire

Swaddled the world in pink.

It should have been red –

Red with the blood

The blood of ordinary folk,

Of battlefields,

Of the whipped slaves in the sugar plantations!

Or at least blue with aristocratic blood,

The blue blood of arrogant rulers,

Of those who populated the Public Schools

And assumed superiority.

But it was pink.

The delicate feminine colour

Of charm and romance.

A disguise

For a sinister vehicle of oppression,

Within and without.

All Empires crumble.

But the same privileged elite

Maintain their position,

Deploy their power

And still reign supreme.

Opher – 29.12.2020

Thus it is everywhere to this day. Just because the Empires are less obvious does not mean they do not exist or are not as ruthless. Privilege maintains privilege. Equality is a myth

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