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Grantham Journal column: Think of your own race

By Dr Gillian Sutherland

Peter Clawson.
Peter Clawson.

Current demands for compensation by countries once cruelly exploited by the British Empire strike a painful nerve with me.

If anyone deserves reparation for the despicable exploits of the British Raj all those years ago, it is not those now being swamped with lavish international aid and becoming wealthier than we are.

It is the formerly poverty-stricken and currently austerity-ridden ordinary citizens of these ‘sceptred’ isles themselves.

Our aristocracy didn’t just plunder other members of the empire. They oppressed our ancestors for centuries as part of building it up to a regime which ruled and robbed most of the known world.

But what compensation or aid do we get from our present financially obsessed government, which forces us to resort to foodbanks and the like while sending sizeable percentages of our wealth to some countries who don’t really need it anymore?

Commonwealth nations and countless others benefit from the misery of British taxpayers to the tune of making them even richer than we ought to be.

Almost every day we are told that we must rein in our public spending to impossible levels, while billions of pounds are given away abroad.

Even if you are among those who do not believe charity begins at home, you must see that there are serious flaws in our current financial management.

You can’t have it both ways – or perhaps you can – as the present perpetrators are getting away with it as far as many voters see it.

Compensate those who merit it by all means, which is what we have been doing for years...and more.

But spare a thought for those of your own race, who have suffered poverty, lost loved ones in wars they had no part in causing and have worked themselves to the bone, for what?

A large portion of the truth we never get might be one thing.


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