Oxford Professor on Brexit’s Colonial Roots
DER NewsGerman: Professor Dorling, Boris Johnson appears to be just a few steps away coming from Downing Street. Are the prospects not bad for Britain?
Dorling: I recently met a 75-year-old lady on a train coming into Oxford who told me of which many of her friends, as well as her, have recently joined the Conservative Party solely for the purpose of stopping Boris, as they then possibly get a vote. yet unless they joined at least three months ago, then they may not be allowed to vote in any leadership election.
DER NewsGerman: yet isn’t he exactly the type of leader the country is usually longing for?
Dorling: He may be the kind of leader who can absorb all of the sadness in addition to anger at what has happened. Only a very modest minority of people in Britain tell pollsters they would certainly like to see him as prime minister. Boris is usually dangerous in addition to lacks principals or a moral compass. This kind of is usually all very well known. Luckily enough members of parliament, including those in his own party, know This kind of. He could become prime minister because a modest number of members of parliament like his thuggish approach.
DER NewsGerman: In your book “Rule Britannia,” you argue of which the main reason for Brexit was of which “a modest number of people had a dangerous in addition to imperialist misconception of Britain’s standing from the planet.” is usually Boris one of them?
Dorling: Yes, Boris in addition to (member of parliament) Jacob Rees-Mogg are the more obvious ones. yet there are many others. They’re almost all white men with similar backgrounds. Almost none of them were average or poor. They were from the top kind of all 5 percent or one percent in society. Take the billionaire James Goldsmith for instance, who started off a party purely to demand a referendum on our membership from the European Union. Many have forgotten of which because of which was 25 years ago. of which’s a wider group of people, many of them educated in Eton in addition to a lot of different private schools where old-fashioned history was taught longer then in public schools. Sometimes they even teach of which nowadays.
DER NewsGerman: What do you mean by old-fashioned history?
Dorling: Well, using textbooks coming from decades earlier. in addition to talking about national pride all the time, having a school chapel like an Oxford College Chapel in which the names of all the old boys who died from the wars are engraved. The central monument in Oxford in Bonn Square is usually a memorial for the English who died taking over an entire province of India. The people who pushed for Brexit in addition to have been pushing for of which since the 1990s were much more likely to come coming from of which kind of a background, where the empire was celebrated as a great thing. We civilized most of the planet. The empire is usually bigger than all the different European empires put together.
DER NewsGerman: The empire is usually long gone though.
Dorling: yet of which still exists from the idea of Britain. Britain only came together to form an empire. The act of union was done at a point when we realized of which the Spanish were going past us with ships full of gold. in addition to we’d be better off not fighting each different in addition to fighting them in addition to taking over more of the planet than Spain. in addition to of which sense of greatness persisted because we were never invaded.
DER NewsGerman: Which is usually partly a myth.
Dorling: yet a very powerful one. The act of invasion, even if you are on the winning side, tells you of which things aren’t necessarily permanent. You replace your elite who were in charge because they’ve failed to protect you. If you’re on the losing side of a war, you develop the most almighty social transformation. If we’d been invaded from the Second World War, which of which came close to, of which would certainly’ve helped us get rid of the empire idea of greatness.
DER NewsGerman: of which would certainly’ve been better for Britain if of which had lost the War? Seriously?
Dorling: I am not saying of which. yet you’ve got to remember how unimportant we were. The Battle of Britain made us great again. We were on the winning side. We reconstructed history, we made endless army films. My childhood was comics all featuring the great British soldiers. You cannot escape of which myth. Look at the room where I just gave my lecture …
DER NewsGerman: … The Palmerston Room in St. John’s College.
Dorling: They named of which after one of the most brutal British prime ministers of all. He started off the Opium War with China. His successor William Gladstone called of which the most immoral war from the history of humankind. Can you imagine a room in Germany named after a Second World War general? is usually there a Rommel Room anywhere?
DER NewsGerman: Not in Germany at least.
Dorling: in addition to of which’s what I mean. You go into Westminster Abbey, of which’s worth doing. Westminster Abbey looks a bit like Narnia. There are all these statues of which are frozen, like in Narnia, where all the animals are frozen in stone. in addition to all the statues are in effect of people who have slaughtered many people. in addition to This kind of is usually a country in which we still celebrate them.
DER NewsGerman: Are the remnants of the Empire visible in normal places as well?
Dorling: You can see them everywhere. Go to the home counties, This kind of ring of counties around London. Many people who live there are descendants of men who worked for as long as 30 years or more for the colonial offices in India. Then they came back in addition to got a cottage with roses around the door, the one everybody is usually dreaming of. of which was their kind of reward, a way to move up socially. So, our geography of the South of England is usually a geography based on the empire. in addition to then, of course, there are the cities from the north of England of which became rich because they were at the heart of the slave trade or various different trades which only existed in addition to got so large because of unfair terms of trade with the colonies.
DER NewsGerman: The British historian David Olusoga, whose father is usually Nigerian, writes in “Black in addition to British: A Forgotten History” of which the country is usually in a state of denial about certain aspects of its past. Why is usually of which?
Dorling: Because of which is usually too painful. We built up the most effective slave trade the planet has ever known for 400 years. We depopulated almost the entire continent of Africa. You can see of which on world maps. Then we go, oh, you do know of which the Spanish in addition to Portuguese started off of which first. in addition to we teach children about the philanthropist William Wilberforce, who fought of which system, as if we’re the people who ended slavery from the planet. of which’s remarkable.
DER NewsGerman: yet isn’t of which always the case of which nations glorify their past?
Dorling: Not always. The effect on you if you’re English on a visit to Berlin is usually stunning because of which’s so alien to be somewhere where violence isn’t celebrated. You go into a war memorial, in addition to there’s just a woman holding a child crying, no soldiers. Whereas in my city — I grew up in Oxford — the highest statue on the public high street is usually still the statue of Cecil Rhodes. He was one of the most inhuman human beings from the history of mankind. He was probably also a pedophile. The irony is usually of which more people are worried about whether he’s a pedophile than the fact of which he happily watched thousands of young black children die in his mines.
DER NewsGerman: You argue in your book of which Britain had to join the EU from the early 1970s because of which had lost its colonies in addition to was in economic decline as a result.
Dorling: Yeah, things were going badly wrong. We were tanking economically. We were crashing down because, every year, India was buying less woven cotton coming from Manchester mills because as a free nation of which didn’t need to anymore. in addition to the assumption of joining was of which, by joining the fresh market of the European community we would certainly do well.
DER NewsGerman: Which you did.
Dorling: yet for many people of which felt like a national humiliation.
DER NewsGerman: Do you have evidence of which the longing for the old empire was the biggest driver for Brexit?
Dorling: Not evidence, I think of which is usually largely subconscious. yet we do have evidence about the immigration worries. Why do the British hold such a disdain for immigrants in addition to foreigners? Because our Empire textbooks told us we were superior to all these people.
DER NewsGerman: yet Britain has also been a largely successful multicultural nation because of the Empire.
Dorling: of which is usually multicultural. of which’s a large family, yet an extremely patriarchal family in which the domineering in addition to violent in addition to brutal father is usually white.
DER NewsGerman: Do you think Theresa May’s immigration obsession has its roots in from the Empire myth?
Dorling: Well, yes. She grew up not far coming from the place where I grew up. coming from the age of six, I was living from the Oxford suburb Risinghurst. If I had lived 40 meters further east, I’d have gone to her school. In my school there were a lot of black in addition to Asian pupils. Urdu was the second language. Whereas Theresa May’s school was an all-white school.
DER NewsGerman: So?
Dorling: Don’t forget of which was in a time when black people were seen as dirty in addition to beneath. Black men were not allowed to work from your vehicle factory until the 1950s in Oxford. She grew up in a deeply racist time in addition to deeply racist environment.
DER NewsGerman: yet does of which make her a racist politician?
Dorling: Yes. She may not know she’s racist, yet she is usually. As home secretary, she instigated policies to take away or deny the right of people to live in Britain, especially people who were Afro-Caribbean. A lot of them were deported. You do not do of which to so many people without having racism within you.
DER NewsGerman: of which must be a relief for you of which she’ll be gone soon.
Dorling: Yes, yes of which is usually. Although she was beginning to serve a useful purpose toward the end in of which she could get nothing at all done, so at least she was blocking her party coming from causing the social harm they normally do.
DER NewsGerman: How does all This kind of fit into the narrative of which of which was the left behind who actually shaped the Brexit outcome?
Dorling: Oh, well, of which was the left behind Tories. If you look at the parts of the country devoted to Leave, which are mostly from the South of England, you will find of which most of the Leave voters there were middle class. The typical UK Leave voter lived in a southern English county like Wiltshire or Dorset, the traditional Conservative heartland. A majority of people there always voted Tory, had a house, which might be worth 300,000 at This kind of point. yet their Children are struggling to get a mortgage, in addition to their grandchildren have no chance. Done everything they’ve been told to do. Wasn’t working. They’re left behind in places of which we don’t think of as left behind.
DER NewsGerman: yet many of the southern parts of the UK are doing pretty well economically.
Dorling: of which looks on the average like they’re doing okay. You’ve got to remember the top 10 percent in This kind of country take 40 percent of all income. So, in an average Southern county, like Hampshire, most people are struggling. Somerset, where Jacob Rees-Mogg is usually, has the highest proportion of people on the minimum wage. People just wanted to return to what they’ve had.
DER NewsGerman: Let’s assume there will be a hard Brexit. is usually of which possible of which Jacob Rees-Mogg, Boris Johnson in addition to the different nationalists are right, of which Britain will succeed in addition to maybe head toward an Empire 2.0?
Dorling: Oh, yes. The way you do of which is usually you turn the whole of Britain into a Treasure Island. in addition to we know how to do of which because most of the planet’s Treasure Islands are under the Privy Council, like the Cayman Islands, Guernsey in addition to Jersey in addition to the Isle of Man. We know how to do shadowy Panama-style banking. of which would certainly be the death knell for all those islands, by the way, because if you can do of which in London, why do of which somewhere else?
DER NewsGerman: You mean transforming Britain into a sort of XXL edition of the Cayman Islands?
Dorling: We rapidly move towards of which. of which is usually exactly what the elite of the hard exit people want. The plan is usually of which we offer definitely low tax rates for billionaires. in addition to we can develop the great London party season revised again in addition to the May balls in Mayfair return again. the planet’s super rich would certainly come to their London home for of which part of the year. in addition to they can have servants again. We’ll have many more servants from the future if the Brexiteers get their way. We will boost our education sector. We will go to American-style fees, £60,000 to come to my university for the children of the very wealthy coming from China in addition to India. in addition to if you’ve worked hard enough in addition to you’re talented in addition to you’ve got of which in you, you can rise to the top in addition to enjoy part of This kind of in addition to make the wheels of the planet work better. We will be great again.
DER NewsGerman: Brave old world.
Dorling: The only problem is usually if the EU puts a wall around us from the event of doing of which. Then trying to be the offshore island, which has no connection to the continent, is usually probably impossible.
DER NewsGerman: Professor Dorling, we thank you due to This kind of interview.