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Perhaps A Little Less Whining About Colonisation From Ireland

There’s an amusement at the heart of every set of complaints about the damned interlopers, the colonists, the imperium. Which is that it’s only the unsuccessful attempts that leave a society to complain about it:

“I am struck by a disinclination,” he says, “in both academic and journalistic accounts to critique empire and imperialism. Openness to, and engagement in, a critique of nationalism has seemed greater. And while it has been vital to our purposes in Ireland to examine nationalism, doing the same for imperialism is equally important and has a significance far beyond British/Irish relations.”

The President of Ireland obviously doesn’t know many academics if he thinks they don’t critique empire and imperialism.

However, there’s something more important here. It is only the failure of taking over a place completely that leaves a group to complain about the attempt. This is not to say that the English treated Ireland or the Irish well. But it is to point out that the attempt didn’t in fact work.

Compare this to other parts and events in these isles. The Anglo Saxons (OK, Jutes etc as well) didn’t de- and then re-populate England. There was more than a little mixing with the Romano-Brits. And yet in England, perhaps leaving aside Cornwall, there is no current complaint about this because that imperium was entirely successful. The Celtic areas are different, largely because those are the areas where the takeover wasn’t culturally, even if it were politically, successful.

Or, think perhaps of the Irish takeover of the mainland. The Scots were indeed the Irish and they did indeed take over Scotland. There’s no Pictish reaction against this because there are no Picts – culturally at least – left to do so. The Irish empire was successful in its imperium.

The Irish complaints about what the English did can even be fair at times. And yet the underlying claim, that this was all something different and therefore uniquely evil, rather fails. Simply on the grounds that the existence of an Ireland and the Irish to be complaining shows that it was a failed imperium in the first place.

We can test this too. Let’s go ask a Pict shall we?

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Bloke on M4
Bloke on M4
7 months ago

The thing with both Ireland and Scotland is that England only really cared about having them so they were on our side and not on someone else’s and a threat. You’re English, down in Dorset. Why would you want to move to Scotland to farm rather than staying where you are?

One of the reasons I think Scottish independence has grown is that warfare has diminished/changed and few people in England care that much about throwing even more money at the Scots to keep them around now.

Boganboy
Boganboy
7 months ago

You’ve picted a good point there Tim. (Well you knew someone’d say this, didn’t you.) I’d also argue that there’s no real animus to the Norman imperium either. The hatred of Liz (or should that be Brenda) seems to be exactly what the barons felt for King John. But the average Brit looks at Liz, then at the barons, and thinks, ‘Thank God for Liz.’ Still the really interesting question is how the average Brit does and will feel about the on-going colonisation of England (and Scotland, Wales and Cornwall) by blacks, Middle Easterners and Mahometans generally. At present they… Read more »

Wonky Moral Compass
Wonky Moral Compass
7 months ago
Reply to  Boganboy

I don’t know about that. I suspect that I’d have some sympathy for an Anglo-Saxon lives matter movement agitating for reparations from the colonisers, the removal of problematic statues and so on.

John B
John B
7 months ago

Well. First of all not the English, the Normans starting in the 12th Century. A quick scan of post-1066 history shows that ‘the English’ (Anglo-Saxon) governing and landowning class had been almost entirely replaced by Normans. All senior positions in government, Church, legal system were Norman. Henry II – who spoke no English – invaded Ireland in 1155 and subsequently the Normans took large swathes of land, with some cooperation from local interests, drove out Viking settlements, and then did what Normans were very good at, intermarrying. In other words Ireland was part of the Norman Conquest of the British… Read more »

john77
john77
7 months ago

Just a small addition to John B’s historical summary.
MacBeth was the last Pictish king in the period when Picts and Irish “Scots” took turns: Malcom CanMore was basically Irish so the current Royal family is descended from the Irish and we can argue that imperialism is Irish not British. [For those who pendantically point out that Victoria was Empress of India and there was no such thing as a “British Empire”, Arthur Wellesley who conquered large chunks of India in an attempt to prevent Napoleon taking it over was Irish.]

Wonky Moral Compass
Wonky Moral Compass
7 months ago
Reply to  john77

“Being born in a stable,” as Old Nosey might have said, “does not make one a horse.”

Peter
Peter
7 months ago

Before reading, I thought this might have to do with Ireland and the EU. It has been noted that Micheál Martin, the Taoiseach pf Ireland, was not consulted when the EU decided to invoke Article 16 a few weeks back. That action precisely delineates the position of Ireland to the EU. The Irish Prime Minister might as well be stamping returned books in the Dublin Public Library: Ireland is a colony of the EU, and all major decisions are made in a foreign capital.

(Any comments, Mr President of Ireland?)

Spike
Spike
7 months ago
Reply to  Peter

This is control, but – under the theme of this article – not assimilation. There is still a thing called “the Irish,” and so well-defined that they may someday chafe at the EU bossing them around and, as the Europeans won’t actually invade and occupy, make the decision the UK has made that it is best to endure the annoyances of being on The Outside.

The Southwest US, meanwhile, is assimilation (by Latin America) without control.

Fred
Fred
7 months ago

Pict? I’m from the Kingdom of Ce I’ll have you know

Paul Marks
Paul Marks
7 months ago

The Republic of Ireland has gone really Woke – which is a shame, as I rather liked the old Ireland (although they were no friends of Unionists like me). As for the words of the President of the Republic – yes he is not telling the truth, but I do not expect the “Woke” to tell the truth, about anything.

Paul Marks
Paul Marks
7 months ago

The Republic of Ireland is a “victim of Imperialism and Colonialism” right now – with domination by the international establishment (of which the European Union is part) over the Woke Puppet “government” in Dublin – and, of course, mass immigration (colonialism). Why does the President of the Republic not complain about what is happening right-now rather than centuries ago? He does not complain about it, because he is part of the group at the top who have gone along with all of it.

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