Only a Game? - Lest we forget what the British have done

The 2014 Commonwealth Games are being held in Glasgow.
The 2014 Commonwealth Games are being held in Glasgow.

Every year the Royal British Legion uses the phrase ‘lest we forget’ during its poppy appeal.

The Royal British Legion and those who support it are entitled to do so and believe me when I say I might not agree with what the poppy represents but I would defend the right of all those who chose to wear one.

Earlier this week, the 2014 Commonwealth Games opened in Glasgow.

From 1930-1950 the games were known as the British Empire Games and I don’t think too many would argue with me when I say that the British Empire is responsible for some of most unimaginable acts of violence and degradation around the globe.

It’s utterly hypocritical of anyone to say that what I am saying here has no relevance. If people want to use the slogan ‘lest we forget’ when it comes to the service men and women who have died on the battlefield then surely it’s reasonable to expect the same when it comes to the lives lost at the hands of the British Empire.

Even the word ‘Commonwealth’ is utterly contrived because the disparity in wealth between Derry and London is so large you could probably build Derry City F.C. a new stadium on it.

India is one of the countries that competes at the Commonwealth Games. However, the British Empire was responsible for one of the worst mass killings of any civilization in 1943 when they caused the Bengal Famine.

The British manufactured the famine by exporting tonnes of rice to their armies all over the world and thereby caused three million Indians to starve to death.

British Primer Minister at the time, Winston Churchill was never held accountable for the Bengal Famine .

Lest we forget.

Many African countries compete at the Commonwealth Games but the British built concentration camps to be used by refugees during the second Boer War (1899-1901).

More than 107,000 people were interned in the camps. Of which, 27,927 Boers died along with an unknown number of black Africans.

Lest we forget.

Kenya compete at the Commonwealth Games but in 1952 the British went there to ‘restore order’ but this resulted in the hanging of more than 1,000 suspected rebels and it was subsequently proved that over half of those killed were not rebels.

One Kenyan who was reported to have suffered at the hands of the British was Hussein Onyango Obama - the grandfather of current President of the United States of America, Barack Obama.

Lest we forget.

I am not for one moment saying there should be no Commonwealth Games. If countries want to take part then that’s their decision but my problem is that the the Games are presented as some celebration of all that’s liberal and wonderful about the world.

The origin of the Commonwealth Games is built on the murder, oppression and degradation of countries and cultures all over the world.

If those who believe it important to remember the ‘sacrifice’ made by British service men and women then they should afford those who have died at the hands of the British Empire the same respect.