Fruits of the British Empire: Andrew, Blair and Johnson
By Owei Lakemfa
British royalty and the political system, faced with two international criminal suspects: Prince Andrew, son of Queen Elizabeth II, and Tony Blair, former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, adopted two different and contradictory positions.
Andrew, the son of the House of Windsor, had committed his alleged case of raping a minor not in a third world country where he might even have been praised for spreading British civilization, but in the United States, the United States, a country born of Great Britain which always strives to show its superiority over all earthly dominations.
So Britain had to let Andrew, the Queen’s third child, possibly stand trial in the United States, but without his long strings of royal and military titles.
He is accused in US courts of having had sex with Virginia Giuffre three times when she was a minor. Giuffre claimed she was handed over to Andrew as a sex slave by his friend Jeffrey Epstein. On the other hand, Blair, with his long chains of immorality, is the prime suspect, along with former US President George W. Bush, in the crimes of lying to the world that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction, WMD , as a pretext for waging a catastrophic war against him.
Blair, as British Prime Minister, on September 24, 2002, released a fake Iraq document called “The September Dossier” repeating the lie that Iraq had chemical and biological weapons. In the foreword, he wrote, “The document reveals that his (Iraqi President, Sadam Hussein’s) military plan allows some of the WMDs to be ready within 45 minutes of being ordered to use them.”
He presented this report to the British Parliament which discussed it, adopted it and approved the invasion of innocent Iraq. Blair and Bush also pushed the United Nations and many countries around the world to pressure the hapless country to produce weapons it did not possess, failing which Iraq was invaded in 2003.
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Britain’s leading polling group, Opinion Research Business, reported that in the five years following this invasion, more than a million Iraqis were killed. Over the years, more than five million Iraqi children have been orphaned and 1.8 million Iraqis have become refugees traveling the world with them.
In comparison, 4,491 American soldiers died during the war with over 32,000 wounded, while 179 British soldiers sent by Blair did not return alive with 350 wounded. Robbery in Iraq has led to the introduction or spread of terrorism around the world in countries like Syria, Libya, Mali, Burkina Faso, Nigeria, Cameroon, Chad and Niger. However, given the notoriety of suspects like Blair and Bush, no one has been brought to justice 19 years after this invasion.
Despite this, it is inadmissible for the highly respected Queen Elizabeth II to unfurl the drums on New Year’s Day 2022 to honor Blair with a knighthood. It is a disservice to the British royal family who have been on the throne for 37 generations and 1,209 years. It also diminishes the prestige of British chivalry. Membership in the Order of the Garter, which is the oldest and oldest British honor to which Blair has been admitted, is entirely based on the personal choice of the monarch.
Knighthood is believed to be conferred on an inspiring person who has served diligently and done beneficial work for the country or humanity. Blair does not qualify, by any stretch of the imagination. Not a few Brits agree; within six days of his knighthood, over a million Britons had signed a petition demanding that the Queen withdraw the undeserved honor conferred on Blair.
Angus Scott, the voice artist behind the petition, wrote that: “Tony Blair has done irreparable damage both to the constitution of the United Kingdom and to the very fabric of national society.”
For me, Queen Elizabeth II’s action is not surprising and certainly not the worst such decision in British royal history. This dubious prize would go to Queen Elizabeth I who knighted Francis Drake, a slave trader, professional pirate and one of history’s most infamous criminals. No, Drake was not openly called a pirate, he was given the more dignified title of privateer, that is, a private person officially approved to carry out armed attacks or piracy in the seas and share the booty.
In the case of Drake, Queen Elizabeth I having spotted his talent following two pirate attacks in the West Indies, decides to commission him to rob mainly Spanish and Portuguese ships carrying treasure mainly from the colonies, and sharing the spoils with she.
In a sense, it was about looters being looted or a thief who specialized in stealing from other thieves. Drake had started out with his cousin, John Hawkins as a slave trader invading the West African coast, capturing Africans and selling them off the Caribbean plantations. But during one of their slave expeditions in 1568, the Spanish navy, whose government had declared the slave trade illegal, stopped them and Drake turned to the more lucrative profession of piracy.
Although Drake is also credited with circumnavigating the globe from 1577 to 1580 but that was incidental as the main purpose of this trip was piracy not exploration. The queen telling Drake that the objective of this mission was to discover “places of trafficking”, told him to go and plunder the Spanish ships and possessions.
During this trip he also flew into the territories and ports along the coast of Chile and Peru, plundering. It was during this trip in March 1579 that he seized the Nuestra Señora de la Concepción, a Spanish treasure ship from which he plundered 80 pounds of gold, 12 chests of coins and 26 tons of silver. .
On this trip, Drake had a quarrel with his superior officer, Thomas Doughty, a nobleman and had him beheaded. He then changed the ship’s name from Pelican to Golden Hind. The queen was so pleased with Drake that on April 4, 1581, she personally boarded the Golden Hind to knight him.
Drake was also appointed mayor of Plymouth. One of Blair’s successors and current Prime Minister Boris Johnson has had an upset in the parliamentary ring after admitting this Wednesday January 19, 2022 that he attended a social party at 10 Downing Street on May 20, 2020 at the height of of the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown when his government confined other citizens to their homes.
Johnson claimed he attended the alcohol-induced party because “I implicitly believed it was a work event.”
Wonderful, he thought he was at work! Fruits like Andrew, Blair and Johnson could well be harvests from the garden of the old British Empire.
Vanguard News Nigeria
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