The Lost Empire of Britannia

I have just watched the 1954 film ‘The Beachcomber’ on the old films channel, Talking Pictures, for some light relief. It is so politically incorrect that the thermometer would have exploded, but naturally hugely enjoyable. It features a bunch of honourable British imperialists and missionaries dispensing justice, medicine, and Christianity to a population of natives who threaten to revert to savagery at any moment.

The denouement comes when the missionary, played by Glynis Johns, and ably assisted by the movie’s fallen hero, played by the great Robert Newton, tries but fails to save the life of the Headman’s daughter. The two are promptly pegged out on the ground to be trampled by an elephant.

As the tribal death dance reaches fever pitch, and the elephant raises its great foot over Glynis Johns’ head (hard not to flinch at this), the elephant pulls back, recognising the missionary as the one who had months earlier tended its injured trunk. The final scene shows Glynis Johns teaching the native children to sing All Things Bright and Beautiful assisted by Robert Newton playing the organ.

If the past is another country, then 1954 is a lost civilization. Of course, nowadays, the values exemplified by the film are regarded as the font of all evil and oppression. But the film, and Somerset Maugham’s story on which it is based, are useful reminders of the gulf, and all too fragile veneer, that separates civilization from tribal barbarism. Conrad’s Heart of Darkness memorably encapsulated the same theme: the call of the hypnotic drumbeats, the animal spirits, the collective frenzied unconscious.

Extraordinary to think that in 1954, Britain still ruled over its empire largely intact. Only the Indian subcontinent had been lost. The belief in a civilising mission was also, still, largely intact, and the mission was administered by a cadre of impeccably high-minded district commissioners.

Dennis Healey witnessed the British colonial administrators at first hand in South Arabia in the 1960s when he was defence secretary. He was impressed and later described them as ‘a remarkable breed’, whose achievements were none the less for having since being erased by the sands of history. He might have added that a succession of post-war governments, his own included, played a notable role in subverting the values and self-belief on which that civilizing mission rested.

Do we still possess any values or beliefs? Why, yes: diversity, inclusivity, and levelling up.

The beauty of England is slain upon thy high places. How are the mighty fallen!

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17 Comments on The Lost Empire of Britannia

  1. Nesrine Malik defending the Colston Vandals describes Britain as having an “ugly history” in the Guardian. Search “Sudan Slavery Past & Present” folks for the history of her own native land.

  2. A civilizing mission abandoned?

    Turns out that civilization does not appeal to a majority of people. And that is obviously true in many on-white precincts, and is also obviously the case in many white sectors.

    Note that in the West now, esp in the Anglosphere, the law industry, which was once understood to be a key ingredient of civil society, now actually encourages violence and other criminality by way of weak sentencing and early release of violent persons and other criminals.

    And very esp in the Anglosphere, mass public education has also failed in its primary purpose.

    Among other causes of the end of Western Civ, prime place must be given to the elevation of “liberty”, including the freedom not to work to pay one’s own way, and the neglect, even denigration, of citizens’ responsibilities to the community/society that make their liberties and victualling possible.

    Parasitism is now regarded as a virtue by many of the West’s most powerful influencers and their many clients, both homegrown and imported.

    And the vast volumes of inflowing non-whites to white territories fuels adds to this vast destruction, in obvious ways that are not discussable in most forums.

  3. Robert Newton, Donald Sinden…what greats they all were: Alec Guinness, John Mills, Dirk Bogarde, James Mason (unpleasant bugger in real life), Alastair Sim, Margaret Rutherford, Stanley Holloway, Jean Simmons, Christopher Lee, Jack Hawkins….the list goes on and on.
    Now we can look forward instead to Jemima Bond, Shirley Holmes and Latrina Marple.

  4. A civilisation worthy of that name cannot continue to exist when:-

    Its denizens are not subject to steely-eyed, patient, relentless, application of rules and sanctions against those who persist in breaking the rules.

    And this: Freedoms without associated citizens’ exercise of their responsibilities to engage in the political processes that underpin the good workings of society result in the collapse of civilisation. Such is a major lesson of history.

    The essential requirement for citizens to engage in their political duties, far beyond that of occasional voting for representatives, was understood by the Ancient Greeks and by some of the leaders in Western precincts during the 18th and 19th centuries. But as time went by, everyone, even the most non-contributing, non-engaged, parasitic, and treasonous of persons, came to be regarded as equal to the creators, the producers, the contributors, the law-abiding, and the protectors.

    Add in the obvious fact that the earlier achievements of mass education peaked some decades ago, and the effectiveness of the education systems have since vastly declined.

    And here we are.

  5. It’s the fount of all evil, if anything, you ignorant pillock. Font of evil doesn’t make any sense.

    It must be difficult to be so simple minded.

    • In the Catholic Church, the three ‘fonts’ of morality are the sources of all moral acts. So ‘fonts’ of evil makes perfect sense. Be careful before you accuse others of ignorance and get abusive.

      • Whoever ‘Andrew’ is, you were right to reproach him, Jon Andersson, both for his ill-mannered rebuke and his ill-conceived criticism of the article’s author. ‘Font’, in one of its several meanings, is indeed synonymous with ‘fount’.

        • He used to spell his name backwards as Werdna as if frightened to use his real first name. He has changed that but still regularly exposes the fact that because he is not intellectually equipped to debate a subject he resorts to juvenile insults and verbal abuse.

      • But Andrew is a lefty. Accusing others of ignorance absuively (is that a word?) is the only thing leftists know how to do.

        For example, all “discussions” in the media about anything from immigration to tranvsestitism amounts to not much more than general abuse of those *ignorant* and *inferior* folks who dare disagree with the beauty of the king’s new clothes,

  6. The idea that some are more civilized than others is rejected, naturally resulting in more barbarism,
    The idea that some are more intelligent than others is rejected, naturally resulting in more ignorance.
    The idea that some are more talented than others is rejected, naturally resulting in more failure.


    When equality is your god, achievement is your enemy. The only solution is to make everybody as barbaric, dumb, and talentless as the most barbaric, dumbest, or talentless in your population. Naturally, decline the s inevitable.

  7. Our once great Country has been ruined by untrammelled immigration from the third World since 1945.
    I’ve never been asked my opinion about this from any political party. It just carries on . Year after year. More and more arrive. The current Home Sec. is a waste of space.
    I doubt I’ll be voting Conservative any more, indeed if I vote at all.

    • Agreed. Done without the consent of the voting public, our country ruined and stolen from us by those who “know best” holding the levers of power.

      • However you vote, you get the “government”.
        “Issue a false prospectus in business, and you go into prison. Issue one in politics, and you go into parliament.”

        • Yes, as we see, voting at elections does not provide for sufficient supervision of politicians by the nation’s citizens.

          This is now very obvious. And the obvious solution is for a critical number of citizens to self-organise and devise and implement ways to supervise politicians every day of the week.

          But this would be expensive for the citizens. Imagine giving up precious drinking time, putting aside internet browsing time, and giving up the pleasure of complaining to others about how bad the politicians are.

          So it’s off to oblivion for the UK, and indeed the entire Anglosphere.

    • The English nation of England (see e.g. the writings of Ivor Brown, J B Priestley, Asa Briggs, George Orwell, Arthur Bryant, &c) is being transformed into an Afro-Asian republic, each incremental step in the process being clear in retrospect, although a few people acquainted with the evidence who have repeatedly warned against it have been denounced, then as now, as “conspiracy theorists”.
      See e.g. the studies by Michael William, Eric Kaufmann, Winston C. Banks, Melanie Phillips, &c.