As with most empires, the sins of the British are scarlet – the opium wars in China, the cold indifference to Irish suffering in the Potato Famine. But Britain’s sins must be weighed in the balance. It was the British who were first to take up arms against slavery, who, at Trafalgar and Waterloo, were decisive in defeating the Napoleonic dictatorship and empire, who, in their finest hour, held on until Hitler was brought down.
Like all empires, the British Empire was one day fated to fall. But while the fall was inevitable, the suddenness and sweep of the collapse were not. There is a world of difference between watching a great lady grandly descend a staircase and seeing a slattern being kicked down a flight of stairs.
Excerpt from “Churchill, Hitler, and the Unnecessary War: How Britain Lost Its Empire and the West Lost the World” – Patrick J Buchanan, Crown Publishers, 2008.