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The Imperial Myths Behind Brexit - The Atlantic
A British leadership that wanted to deliver Brexit safely and was not in thrall to exceptionalism might have learned from past mistakes. Suez might have taught it to prefer reality over fantasy, compromise and conciliation over arrogance and vaingloriousness. Partition might have taught it to respect and understand complexity rather than oversimplify difficult problems, to make a plan before setting tight deadlines. Both might have taught it that you should never, ever imagine you’ve had enough of experts.

But to learn from mistakes you must confront them, and exceptionalism means you never do. Successes may be evidence of Britain’s greatness, but failures are inherently un-British. It is worth noting, too, that exceptionalism does not affect only those who support Brexit. As the historian Robert Saunders has pointed out, “The idea that Britain should lead the EU—widely deployed [by campaigners who supported staying in the EU] in 2016—has as strong an imperial heritage as the aspiration to leave it.” What would be exceptional about meekly accepting equal status with 27 others?

Brexit is exposing flaws in the British political system and culture, but they are not new. Exceptionalist thinking has long helped insulate that system from the criticism and reform it needs.

For advocates and critics of Brexit alike, it may be tempting to imagine a golden age in which Britain was competent, reliable, stable, and sensible. Looking at its history, though, if it turns out to be none of those things, we shouldn’t be surprised.
UK  EU  Brexit  politics  exceptionalism  delusion  imperialism  WorldWarII  Suez  Amritsar  India  Pakistan  Mountbatten 
10 days ago by petej
Britain ‘backstabbed’ Sikhs by advising India on 1984 Golden Temple raid – leaders have accused Britain of “back-stabbing” and attacking their faith after official documents revealed that an SAS officer had advised India on its plans for a military assault on Sikh militants inside Amritsar’s revered Golden Temple. Indian troops …Britain to investigate possible role in Indian Golden Temple attackReutersBritain to probe report of SAS link […]
IFTTT  Zennie62  News  Amritsar  Golden  Temple  India  Indian  SAS 
january 2014 by zennie62
Twitter / HistoryNeedsYou: Bullet holes still scar the ...
Bullet holes still scar the walls at 74yrs after 50 rifles scythed down unarmed people
Amritsar  JallianwalaBagh  from twitter_favs
april 2013 by danslee
'BP And The Axis Of Evil'
'BP And The Axis of Evil': Adam Curtis provides some historic information on the Anglo-Perisan Oil Company, later the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company, later BP. Since last time I brought up Mr. Curtis' blog (apologies for the repetition), I believe more of the embedded video footage is available to our international brethren, and he has been rather busy on the content front: 'Kabul: City Number One' Parts Three, Four, Five, Six, Seven, Eight, and Nine are now up, along with 'Kinshasa: City Number Two', Part One, 'How Much Do You Know?' - Part One: Democracy on Trial, as well as Yemen - The Return of Old Ghosts, The Economist's New Clothes, and plenty more besides.
adamcurtis  afghanistan  amritsar  anthropology  benazirbhutto  bp  iran  kabul  khomeini  oil  panam  taliban  from google
june 2010 by sbmandal

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