Book Preview: The blood never dried (John Newsinger)

John Newsinger

Please buy the book

The Blood Never Dried challenges the rising chorus of claims that the British Empire was a kinder, gentler force in the world of imperialism. John Newsinger sets out to uncover this neglected history of repression and resistance, detailing the global theft and fraud, violence and murder with which Britain enriched itself at the expense of everybody else. To the boast that ‘the sun never set on the British Empire’ the Chartist Ernest Jones replied ‘and the blood never dried.’

How many people today know about Britain’s deep involvement in the opium drug trade in China, or that Tony Blair’s hero Gladstone devoted his maiden parliamentary speech to defending his family’s slave plantation in Jamaica? Key episodes in British imperial history include the battles of the colonised to free themselves of its baleful rule, including

  • The slave trade in Jamaica 1662-1838: 1831 rebellion and the overthrow of slavery
  • The Irish Famine 1845-52: 1 million people died and 1 million forced to emigrate
  • The Opium Wars 1839-42 1856-60: Britain was the largest drug pusher in the world ever
  • The Great Indian Rebellion 1857-8
  • The invasion of Egypt 1882 – and banking scandals
  • The post-war crisis 1916-26: Ireland, Egypt, India, Iraq, China
  • Palestine in Revolt 1936-39
  • ‘Quit India’ 1942 and the struggle for Independence (1947)
  • Suez invasion 1956
  • Malayan emergency 1948-60
  • Indonesia – arming Japanese prisoners to fight against a national liberation movement
  • Crushing the Mau Mau in Kenya 1952-60: flogging, torture, mutilation, rape, execution
  • Rhodesia: UDI 1965
  • British and American Imperialism: Suez to Vietnam, Iraq

As well as detailing the oppression, this book also records the resistance.

It provides the background to the belief that siding with the US is always the best way to protect Britain’s global, or old imperialist, interests.

This book is essential reading.

Yes Edinburgh West has a website, Facebook, Twitter, National Yes Registry and a Library of topics on Scottish Politics, including Foreign Affairs.