Where is the UK Bound? (1)

by Terry Boardman

This article was first published in New View magazine 4th Quarter Autumn 2007



The English language allows the question ‘where is the UK bound?’ to be understood in several ways, giving rise to at least four questions:  

  •       what is restraining the UK ? What is binding its hands?
  •        what unites the UK, binding it together, in a positive sense?
  •        where is the UK heading for? Where is it bound?
  •        in what way can the UK bound, or leap forward into the future?

In the opening lines of his recently published book, Courage, Britain’s new prime Minister, Gordon Brown, states: “In every life there are moments when decisions taken set in train a sequence of events that ultimately seal a fate”. This can apply to peoples as well as to individuals. I believe that the peoples who live in the British Isles now stand at one of those  historical  crossroads where the choices made can set a country’s further course and determine its destiny, perhaps, for centuries to come. This article  tackles the first question – what is holding the UK back -  and attempts to show that what is binding the people of Britain (England, Wales, Scotland, N. Ireland)  in a restrictive sense are misguided concepts of their history which gave rise to a misunderstanding of the real nature of the  United Kingdom itself. Indeed, most problematic is the concept of  “UK plc”, the idea that Britain in the modern age is little more than a commercial or industrial corporation, in which the British are all employees, engaged in a cut-throat, desperate struggle for survival in an economic red-in-tooth-and-claw jungle of neo-Darwinian proportions. The concept of Britain as a competitive corporation is particularly dear to new British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, who is fond of speaking about Britain’s destiny and mission, which he seems to see as little more than what he vaguely terms ‘success’ in just this kind of economic competition.  

The motto of the Party in George Orwell’s 1984 was : “Those who control the past, control the future; those who control the future, control the present; those who control the present, control the past.” Orwell’s contemporary, Winston Churchill once noted that “the new empires are the empires of the mind.” There are those today, for example, many in American ivory towers and think-tanks, who specialise in imagining the future and then trying to influence politicians, businessmen, media and military in order to bring it about. Samuel Huntington’s seminal Clash of Civilisations and the Remaking of World Order (1996) was one of their more influential products (1). It is significant that the circular Party motto in 1984 begins with the need to control the past. For our understanding of the story of our past can so easily determine our imagination of our future. If, for example, we think we are still in the middle of a particular chapter of that story or at its end, or even, like Francis Fukuyama or Oswald Spengler, near the end of the whole book (2), then that thought can affect our imagination of, and our will for, our future. Many young people plunged enthusiastically into what became the bloodbath of World War I in 1914 because they felt that their culture had reached some kind of ‘end’ and needed a rebirth, in blood if need be, so that they could feel ‘alive’ and worthy as human beings. Countless young people today in rich countries with access to the Internet, DVDs and cinema are already imagining some kind of apocalypse in the 21st century, through war, social breakdown, economic collapse, ecological degradation or even “the revenge of Gaia”, little suspecting that their imaginings may well help to bring such catastrophes about. How the British understand their country’s history and their generation’s place in it affects how they act as citizens with regard to questions such as UK devolution, globalisation, the EU, relations with the USA, and  their response to Gordon Brown’s ideas about Britain’s destiny.  

Brown revealed his ideas for Britain’s future only too clearly in a speech to the employers’ organisation, the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) 28 Nov 2006. This speech shows what the ‘new’ leader thinks Britain should be about; his views also show only too well how, if not where, and by whom, Britain is ‘bound’ today. I do not make this critique in a partisan spirit – the  leaders of the other two main British political parties would no doubt agree with almost everything Brown said in his speech  -  but I make it rather to illustrate how those who claim to be at the cutting edge of the future do not even have a handle on the present age. Brown’s speech shows the consequences of a misunderstanding of where Britain is in its story (3).  

    …one of my themes today is that it is for us to be evangelists for globalisation, taking on the anti-globalisation and protectionist forces who fail to recognise today’s economic truth that free trade, open markets and flexibility are preconditions of modern economic success across our global economy…..

 Global economics is here identified with gospel, with religion. The idea that economics is all, the materialism that gradually came to the fore in Britain between the time of Henry VIII and Victoria, belongs to the era in which Britain rose to world power on the basis of commerce, industrialism, and finance. Since the late 19th century, humanity has been in a different era where, beginning in the richer countries,  not attachment to the physical mineral world has been uppermost but gradually, concern with the world of ideas, knowledge and information -  what Churchill called ‘the empires of the mind’. This trend will only strengthen as we realise ever more deeply that we are what we think and NOT what we eat. It is not  “today’s economic truth that free trade, open markets and flexibility are preconditions of modern economic success”. As the Korean economist Ha-Joon Chang has pointed out, none of the rich countries established the bases of their economic success through free trade; they adopted free trade only after they had put their economies on their feet by means of protectionist policies (4). For rich countries now to demand that poor countries open themselves up to the commercial onslaughts of rich countries’ corporations, as Brown advocates, is a cynical misreading of history and economic development. Brown went on:

    …there is a real question about what is the destiny of Britain and what we want our destiny to be in a world where globalisation means that you can buy and service almost anything from almost anywhere and that we succeed now, not by protecting our markets, but only if we out-innovate, out-think and out-perform our competitors.

The only thing that is ‘innovative’ here is the use of the word ‘out-innovate’. The image of a globalised world in which we can eat fruit flown in from South Africa in the middle of winter, in which we in the rich West can in fact have whatever we want when we want it (if we have credit with the bank) is but the modern form of the old cut-throat Viking-Norman consciousness that was passed on to the Elizabethan pirates and Victorian opium traders: “we go where we want and we take what we want”. In his speech to the CBI, Brown declares that economics is essentially  a matter of outperforming competitors, economic rivals. This view of economics emerged in the 19th century and is based on the liberty of self-interest. It has nothing to do with the fundamental nature of economic life, which is cooperation in the transformation of the produce of Nature into goods useful for human beings’ material existence. For Brown, economic cooperation happens only within companies and between people belonging to the same national States, which he regards, as we shall see, as analogous to companies:

    My passion is that our country, Britain, be the great global success story of this century.

So this is his view of what he called Britain’s ‘destiny’ : to be a national ‘success’ in international economic competiton. How is this to be achieved?

    As you know,  every company that is successful has a clear mission….. a clear sense of purpose led clearly from the top …… It’s the same for our country. We must also have a mission, a strong sense of direction, clear and ambitious objectives…And that’s my theme today: how we as a nation do what companies are already doing and continuously rise to the challenge of globalisation; how we enhance our commitment that government work more effectively to support business at every level; and  how, on a concern which affects every advanced industrial economy -  regulation … we create a real and effective push back…(author’s emphasis)

It is well-known that most organisations today have to have a ‘mission statement’. Where did they come from? From the USA – a country that combines business and the Bible so seamlessly in many instances. 40 years ago no-one in Britain spoke about “mission statements”. In the above quotation, the UK is clearly seen as a corporation with its citizens as employees. The purpose of life for Brown, Britain’s destiny and mission, is thus to enhance successful profitability. This, he says, must be led clearly from the top by a strong CEO! (chief executive officer) Where did the term ‘CEO’  come from? Again, from across the Atlantic not so long ago. The nation is told it must do what companies are already doing; it must behave like a company, since Britain is now said to be no longer a nation state but a market state (5). Government must support business by ‘pushing back’ regulation. Presumably, this includes ‘pushing back’ ‘tiresome’ national laws that prevent multi-national corporations from exploiting the people of the country, enabling them to do what they wish?

    Two years ago at this conference, I asked whether it was possible to build an agreed national consensus: a shared purpose about what we as a nation have to achieve. Since then I have been asking businesses this question as I have visited every region of Britain meeting people, touring round companies and firms, talking with people at universities and colleges, meeting business leaders and young entrepreneurs. And my conclusion is that there is a strong, shared view, indeed agreement, about what Britain can be, and Britain can do, in the global economy – and the priorities we must pursue…

It would appear that the people with whom Brown is especially interested in building his ‘agreed national consensus’ and ‘shared purpose’ are business leaders and entrepreneurs; the rest of the nation don’t seem to figure…..  This national consensus, Brown says, is :

to be stable, seeking always low inflation and low interest rates;

to be for free trade and open markets;

to be flexible and champion entrepreneurship;

and  as a nation, to make the necessary long-term investments in education, innovation and infrastructure.


These are the ways we are agreed that we will out-think, out-perform and out-compete other countries – and find our destiny as a nation. All the best British companies are successful because this is what they actually do – in the DNA of your companies…..

This then is Britain’s ‘destiny’ as a nation – to have better economic figures than its rivals, to sell more goods and make more profit; this is to constitute the meaning of life for British citizens. This, clearly, is essentially the same agenda as motivated the British business class in the 19th century. Even the reference to DNA harks back obliquely to Darwin -  despite the fact that DNA was not known in his day -  in that the source of power is seen as being essentially material, bestowed by evolution, by the very fact that the British are British; it has nothing to do with the free human spirit. Brown is here enunciating the essence of 19th century materialism.

    We will entrench out [sic] stability, keep public sector pay under control, maintain discipline in public finances, and my watchword will be stability, now, tomorrow, and into the future.

Brown here tells his business audience that he will make sure the workers, especially public sector workers, stay in their place on low incomes now and in the future. The economy will be run not for the benefit of the nation but for the business class – just as in commercial airliners.

Brown gives the reasons why Britain is well-placed to succeed in the economic Olympics of the 21st century:

    …we are the most open economy. Britain is the pioneer of free trade – we have constantly advocated openness above protectionism

This of course is not true. British trade policy was essentially mercantilist and protectionist from the passing of the Navigation Acts by Cromwell in 1651 until the repeal of the Corn Laws in 1846, and again in the 1930s.

    …we have more global reach than almost any other country – seeking out trade in every continent, deep links with the European Union, the Commonwealth – and as we celebrate today – the United States of America.

Brown here plays upon the heritage of Britain’s past imperial experience. Yet ever since German merchants began to appear in British colonies in the 1870s, the complacent British have been out-manoeuvred by the more diligent German, American, Japanese and now likely, Chinese and Indian businessmen. Awareness of this weakness in international competition was one of the main reasons why many in the Edwardian era, led by Colonial Secretary Joseph Chamberlain, and again in the 1930s, pushed for an Empire Free Trade bloc to protect British trade interests.

    … from the industrial revolution right up to the internet, the human genome project and stem cells in the 21st century, our historic commitment to liberty of thought has given us faith in the importance of discovery through science and creative innovation, more so I believe than any other country. (6)

Brown here relates “liberty of thought” only to material technical innovations. In other areas it would not be difficult to put up just as many examples of British lack of “commitment to liberty of thought” since the mid-18th century, to set against  the examples Brown cites. As for “more so I believe than any other country”, one can wonder whether Brown is just judging on the basis of Nobel Prize winners or simply assumes that the British are more ‘creative’ than any other people. This blithe assumption that the British are obviously superior in this or that field may well be a hangover from 300 years of imperial rule and frequently can be heard in the media  from the mouths of a wide variety of speakers. It is one of the main habits that keep Britain bound to the past. A typical example was Tony Blair’s farewell speech as the outgoing Prime Minister at his constituency, Sedgefield (for which he was the elected member of Parliament), on 10th May 2007:

    This country is a blessed nation. The British are special, the world knows it, in our innermost thoughts, we know it. This is the greatest nation on Earth.

This is pure tribalism, and expresses the kind of collective chauvinism that bedevils Britain’s party politics with its party lines, whipping (7), and at times, immature attitudes and antics in the House of Commons that would not be out of place in a private school’s  senior common room. Whilst he wasn’t punching the air and declaiming like some western politicians, and spoke in a rather modest British way, he was in effect talking like a playground boaster: “we are the best, and the rest are just the rest.” We can ask: do such attitudes belong in the 21st century? Only a few minutes before in the same speech, Blair had said,

     “Britain is not a follower, it is a leader. It gets the essential characteristic of today’s world: its interdependence.”

How can one have a community of global ‘interdependence’  in which there are just a few leaders (e.g. US and UK) and the rest are regarded as followers? How are ‘the rest’ supposed to understand and accept this? The tribalist statements of Brown and Blair here point to those old-fashioned elements of British political life which are binding Britain and which need to be jettisoned if the country is to be comfortable in a world which is truly ‘interdependent’.

But Brown continues to bang the old drum, proclaiming ‘the supreme challenge for Britain ‘:

    And because the challenge for Britain is to out-perform our competitors, the answer to the jobs lost through offshoring is to upskill, and the answer to outsourcing is to out-innovate. It is to meet this supreme challenge, the economic challenge of our generation, that a year ago I commissioned a number of your colleagues in business to work with me, to look at Britain ten years from now, and to analyse in depth how we can equip ourselves better in areas critical to our future.

So here again we see a self-selected group of elitists being encouraged to imagine the future for the rest of the population. The CBI members must have known that  Brown actually no longer has a real political constituency. With no more stronghold in a powerful trade union movement and with a steadily declining Labour Party membership, Brown is reduced to promising the business community that he will be their man if they will ‘work with him’.

    …in a world where piracy and stealing copyright is becoming more of a problem, I want Britain to lead in the digital age as the secure home of intellectual property.

The irony of this may not have been lost on Brown, a Ph.D in history, as he must surely know that Britain’s rise to power and empire began with the Viking-like predations of Elizabethan pirates (Drake, Hawkins et al.) who helped themselves to copious amounts of Spanish and Portuguese ‘property’. Brown goes on to paint a ‘challenging’ picture of the coming competition :

    China and India are turning out 4 million graduates a year, Britain 250,000; and these people are not only raising skills in their countries, but challenging Britain and other advanced nations in a race to the top. Let’s face it: the number of new computer scientist graduates Britain produces has quadrupled to 37,000 since 1997; but China now produces 150,000. The number of engineers has doubled also to 37,000; but this compares to the 375,000 of China and India.

A slightly one-sided contest (!), but no matter, “with their backs to the wall and believing in the justice of their cause”, supremely confident that “this country is a blessed nation…this is the greatest nation on Earth”, the British can take on China and India, and Brazil and Russia, and (with belated American aid, presumably)  beat them all in Brown’s economic Olympics. This is their destiny, their supreme challenge, their mission; this is why they are here?!  As for the Europeans:  

    …we will continue to resist removing the opt-out from European working hours legislation, as well as promoting greater deregulation across Europe, we will stand up for an approach that is pro-Britain, pro-business and pro-European single market – for a Europe which is outward looking, reforming, liberalising and lighter touch in its regulation.  

In other words, Brown would have the British continue to hold, in a solid red square, the attitude they maintained from the days of Queen Victoria to those of Margaret Thatcher: “No! No! No! You must become like Us!” or rather, ‘like Our elite!’ So much for interdependence. The clear message is that Europe must follow the UK.  

Finally, Brown moved on to the climax of his speech – Anglo-American relations. We heard about “‘shared values’ we celebrate that bind our two countries ever more closely together” and about “the common destiny our two continents share”, about “Britain and America so strong in the ties that bind us, not just the shared history but the shared values that link us together and give us shared purpose”, about “these  issues where we are at one, and also in our broader determination to make globalisation work”. One might indeed wonder why Brown did not call for Britain to join the USA, so emphatic was his assertion that the two countries were virtually joined at the hip, so much was said about “common destiny” and “shared purpose”. In their cosy mutual self-congratulation, Brown and the guest he then went on to introduce -  Hank  Paulson, formerly Charirman and CEO of leading US investment banking firm Goldman Sachs, and now the US Treasury Secretary - might well have been attending a meeting of the Pilgrims Society, one of the first elite organisations founded (1902) beyond the transatlantic Freemasonic network to bind together the British and American elites (8).                                   


And here we come perhaps to the most  significant of the ties that keep Britain bound – the sychophantic need of our elite to re-experience in our era the centuries of Britain’s former imperial glory vicariously through the USA. As long as the US is on top, those who speak at least the same language (well…sort of) can pretend that they too are somehow Civis Romanus. Since the new millennium dawned, Tony Blair, his former foreign policy advisers Jonathan Powell and Robert Cooper, Cambridge historian Niall Ferguson and many more have in their different ways all echoed Rudyard Kipling a century ago and urged America to ‘take up the responsibilities of global hegemony, of Empire’, assuring the Americans that we would be with them, every step of the way (9). More pugilistic Americans, such as Neocon (10) think-tanker Robert Kagan, have risen to the challenge (or rather, fallen for the temption – see his books Paradise and Power, 2003, and Dangerous Nation, 2007). In a 2002 essay for the British Prospect magazine’s forum on “Empire and the dilemmas of liberal imperialism”, he wrote:  

    The US must sometimes play by the rules of a Hobbesian world (11), even though in doing so it violates European norms. It must refuse to abide by certain international conventions that may constrain its ability to fight effectively….. It must support arms control, but not always for itself. It must live by a double standard.  

Such are the assumed prerogatives of an empire. A study of groups such as the Pilgrims Society, the Round Table, CFR/RIIA (12) et al. shows that for almost a century, the close-knit elites of the US-UK have coordinated British and American foreign policy with a view to extending the global dominion of the English-speaking peoples beyond the decline of Britain’s economic power c.1870-1920, on through the 20th century and beyond.  

The question for Britain, the British taxpayers who are currently paying in money and blood for British military support for the US in Iraq and Afghanistan is : do they consider that the imperial phase of their history that began c.1600 has ended and that they now need to move on to a different role, or do they think, like Brown and Blair, that they are still in the middle of that particular chapter, and need for the foreseeable future (decades, perhaps centuries) to continue to stand shoulder to shoulder with the USA, defending and advancing ‘liberty, free markets, globalisation and the rule of law against the forces of evil that threaten to destroy our way of life’?  

I have argued in previous articles in New View that the concept of the free market which espouses the application of liberty to economics, and the concept of the rule of law, by which Anglo-American spokesmen invariably mean democracy after the Anglo-American model, are all concepts that originated in the period 1600-1870, a time when in the western world, what could be called the lower octave of the individuality, or personality, namely, its self assertive, self-aggrandizing aspect, was developing. The Peace of Westphalia (1648) that ended the 30 Years’ War is often considered by historians as a key milestone announcing the arrival in human affairs of  the modern nation state, which is said to have invariably seen the world in terms of its own national interests. This phase of national development corresponds to the self-centred individual who sees life in a similar vein. In other words, we can see the High Middle Ages, the 14th – 15th centuries as a kind of puberty crisis for mankind, and the 18th century, for example, when so many of today’s Anglo-American totems were erected, would thus correspond to the self-centred consciousness of, say, the 17 year-old. Today, we are encouraged by the supporters of globalisation to think that the age of the nation state is over and that we must give way to ‘the market state’ in a globalised world dominated by transnational organisations, whether they be  corporations such as Microsoft and Monsanto or NGOs such as  UNESCO and Amnesty International. In other words, the them-or-us dualism that permeated  socio-political thinking at the national (e.g. class struggle) and international (nation vs. national ‘enemy’) levels is now being extended to the planetary level. But the values that drive this supposedly ‘new’ ‘globalised’ market state ideology are stuck in the 18th century: tribal, two-party politics at best, a selfish liberty applied to economics, and a general philosophy of the survival of the fittest, or economics-as-Olympics in Gordon Brown’s sense.

The elites directing the US and UK speak of a modern globalised world, but it is one that must be run according to their 18th and early 19th century view of the world and in accordance with the principles of their heroes of that period: Darwin, Bentham, Burke, Smith, Ricardo and others (13). Urging us to confront the Muslim world, China, Russia, and India, they call on us to rally round the totem of the secular, humanist, allegedly liberal Enlightenment. Gordon Brown lectures the British on the modern, interdependent, globalised economy yet urges them to give their all for ‘national success’ against national rivals. Countless times since the 18th century we have seen how such national economic rivalry leads ultimately to war, as countries or alliances struggle to dominate regions of natural resources. In the Boer War a century ago in South Africa, it was gold and diamonds;  in recent times, it has led to Bosnia/Kosovo (oil pipeline access), Sierra Leone (diamonds), Afghanistan (oil pipeline access and heroin) Iraq (oil). Ultimately, military force has been used, time and again, to guarantee Anglo-American dominion of the world’s natural resources. However, the British military can no longer operate abroad effectively without American support (satellites, computer power, aircraft, Trident nuclear deterrent) and that fact, unmentioned in mainstream media discussions of ‘the special US-UK relationship’ determines Britain’s present image of following where the USA leads. Britain is no longer a sovereign independent state in the traditional sense of the term, capable of defending itself. That has been the case since 1915 when it went virtually bankrupt fighting Germany and had to beg for a loan of $500 million from J.P. Morgan, the Anglophile US merchant bank. British politicians may like to pretend that the UK is still sovereign, but this is simply not true. Not only is the country still host, 60 years after World War II, to US military bases and intelligence  installations; the British military cannot do without America’s technical intelligence and muscle. If they wish to continue playing the imperial games of Risk and Monopoly, then the British will have to consent to becoming an ever more Americanised society as they integrate and identify in ever tighter solidarity with the US and play their Trojan role in helping to convert Europe into a polity with which the US can feel comfortable. The virus of imperialistic materialism was passed to the Americans by Britain c.1890-1945. America took it in and still has the capacity to represent that force. Britain no longer does by itself; it can only do so in support of the USA.  

This is why Britain stands at an historical crossroads; its old role is over. The British people now have the option to make a major change of direction, but to do so, they will have to go against the will of many in their political, media and corporate business classes. Do the British people wish to go on giving their assent and will to the kind of outdated economic game that Blair and now Brown want to play with their partners in the elites of the USA? Or can the British imagine a different role, destiny, mission, challenge for themselves in the 21st century? Do they have the courage ? Can they be bothered?  

The next article will consider what that challenge might be and how it would affect the peoples of the United Kingdom. It will look at how living in Britain serves to unite them, at an alternate future they might consider to the mere prospect of ‘success’ in the grinding, global, economic competition envisaged by Gordon Brown, and also at the leap of ‘imagi-nation’ in philosophical, political and economic thinking they might be able to make in order to realise that other future.  


(1) In this country we can also recall Tony Blair ‘s enigmatic words after 9-11: “This is a moment to seize. The kaleidoscope has been shaken, the pieces are in flux, soon they will settle again. Before they do let us reorder this world around us and use modern science to provide prosperity for all.” (2.Oct. 2001 Labour Party Conference)

(2) Francis Fukuyama, former US State Dept staffer and now American Neo-con professor. His essay The End of History and the Last Man (1989) celebrated the triumph of the West over communism and argued in a perverse pseudo-Hegelian fashion that history had now come to an end with ‘the victory of liberal democracy’. Oswald Spengler – German historian and philosopher: his pessimistic book The Decline of the West (1918) had a massive influence in the interwar period.

(3) The speech can be found at:


(4) Ha-Joon Chang, b.1963,economist; specialty -  development economics. See ‘Protecting the Global Poor’, Prospect magazine, July 2007

(5) The term ‘market state’ was popularised by American author Philip Bobbitt in his influential magnum opus The Shield of Achilles – War, Peace and the Course of History (2002)

(6) This is a classic piece of political flannel and chauvinistic ego-stroking – and also lack of logic, for arch-secularist and opponent of religion Prof. Richard Dawkins, for example,  would not be happy that liberty of thought and science  would produce faith in anything.

(7) Party whips are those members of the parliamentary parties at Westminster tasked with maintaining ‘Party discipline’; they are responsible for ensuring that MPs follow the Party line when voting on legislation and put pressure in various ways on those MPs who are thought unlikely to attend key votes or to toe the Party line. The term derives from the ‘whippers-in’ at fox hunts, whose task was to keep the pack of hounds together and focused on the fox

(8) The Pilgrims Society, founded in 1902, is perhaps the most elitist  society promoting Anglo-American friendship. Its members and their networks have had a huge effect on Anglo-American relations and world affairs since its founding.

(9) Rudyard Kipling’s poem The White Man’s Burden, was published in Feb.1899, the month fighting started that led to the American conquest of the Philippines. The poem aimed to encourage the USA to become an imperialist power alongside Britain, which later that year would begin a war with the Boers in S. Africa.

(10) Neoconservatives – an American movement of newly conservative former liberals and leftwingers that originated in the 1970s and shifted sharply to the Right supporting Presidents Reagan, Bush Snr and Jnr. Their positions are marked by anti-Communism, pro-Zionism and radical market economics, a strong penchant for American unilateralism in foreign policy, as associated with think tanks such as the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), the Project for the New American Century (PNAC) and the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs (JINSA). Its founders are usually cited as Irving Kristol and Norman Podhoretz.

(11) Thomas Hobbes (1588-1679), English materialist philosopher, one of Sir Francis Bacon’s last secretaries, and author of a seminal text on political philosophy Leviathan, (1651) was fearful of a war of all against all and advocated a strong, central, authoritarian government to prevent it.

(12) The Round Table, a think tank founded by Alfred, Lord Milner and his close followers in 1909-1910 to promote (behind the scenes) the cause of the British Empire, and later that of the Commonwealth. It was they who planned the transformation of the Empire (direct control) into the Commonwealth (indirect control). The American policy institute the Council On Foreign Relations (CFR) and the Royal Institute of International Affairs (RIIA, or Chatham House) are two organisations, founded in 1921 and 1919 respectively, to coordinate Anglo-American foreign policy, in which task they are still engaged. Both groups developed from Milner’s Round Table, which itself originated with Cecil Rhodes. See Carroll Quigley, The Anglo-American Establishment (Books in Focus, 1981)

(13) Erasmus Darwin, (1731-1802) physician and scientist  and his grandson, Charles Darwin, (1809-1882) naturalist ; Jeremy Bentham, (1748-1842) philosopher of Utilitarianism, Edmund Burke, (1729-1797) ‘Old’ Whig Irish politician, widely regarded as godfather of modern Anglo-American conservatism; Adam Smith (1723-1790) and David Ricardo (1772-1823), philosophers of free trade and laisser-faire economics.

©Terry Boardman

This page was created 7th Oct. 2007 Last updated 14.5.2023