Today I went to a festival in my city, where I was greeted by a small choir singing “Rule Britannia”. The chorus is catchy, I'll admit it. However, all I kept hearing was “Rule Britannia, Britannia rules the waves. Britons never ever ever shall be sane”. I am not joking, that is exactly what I could make out. I had to ask my boyfriend, who promptly filled me in on what the lyrics actually said. “Britons never ever ever shall be slaves”.
It’s interesting to note that the choir was singing this song here in Wales.
Wales; a country whose history, for what I have gathered, consists of the pillaging and plundering by England.
It is even more interesting to note that yesterday, for the first time, I found myself saying out loud that I believe the British have been colonised by the American Empire, much like the rest of the World, only with far less opposition by its citizens.
And I stand by my words. Britain is a proud country, used to rule the world after being an Empire for centuries. It seems easier for British citizens to carry on believing that they (more or less) still rule the world. They seem content with the fact that everyone else speaks English, just like them.
They don’t question, for instance, why is it that there’s a McGonnagal’s, a Burger Minging and a PlanetsBucks in every British High Street. Every effing British High Street. Would the British react differently if the forsaken fast food establishment were called, say, “Don Alonso’s”?
I saw an ad on the telly some time ago for this “New British Drama!”. Except that it seems to take place in America, everyone has an American accent, the look and feel of the images is indistinguishable from an American Drama and, wait for it, there’s an American flag waving at the end of the ad.
I could go on all day.
Let me say this loud and clear:
Britain is not America. And the ruling empire is the American Empire, not the British Empire.
Britain is not pulling the strings, America is. See Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya.
As a foreigner, I notice how every culture in the world is being superseded by the Great American Culture.
I have felt for the culture of every country I’ve lived in, its personality, charm and unique qualities trodden upon by a big, unstoppable Monster nobody is supposed to acknowledge or question.
I feel for British culture as well.
But of course, British culture is not the only victim of the American Empire.
There's also the British Welfare State. A source of national pride and a strong example of “doing it right” which American activists themselves have relied on to prove to their governments that “there is a better way to do things”. That British Welfare State is being decimated by policies and laws that have a distinct Neoliberal appearance.
Put it bluntly, the welfare state is being killed by the American economic system that rules the world.
Put it more bluntly still, in a few more years, the British economy will be indistinguishable from the American one.
This is simply a continuation of the American Empire exercising its influence over Britain. And it’s only a taste of what the rest of the world has been dealing with since the beginning of the American Empire.
Yet you don’t hear right wing groups like the EDL crying about defending “British Values” while opposing American ones.
I was just listening to this very song on ITube. The video consisted of a long series of paintings showcasing the might of the British Empire. The last one? “Side by side Britannia”, an image of Uncle Sam and Britannia herself, their arms locked, smiling at each other.
Perhaps the artist forgot to add a speech bubble: Uncle Sam whispering to Britannia "Do as I say or else".