Julia Chodor Chodorowska
Photo: Julia Chodor

A few days ago I read about British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond visit in Saudi Arabia.

He said few interesting things. First that the UK stood ready to cooperate with Saudi Arabia to carry out the plans outlined in the Vision 2030.

“We see a number of areas in which the UK could play a strong supportive role,” he said. “We have probably the world’s best capital markets in London and as companies are privatized or partly privatized or new projects and public-private partnerships are launched, London can play a crucial role, both in terms of restructuring and financing those entities.”

He also said Britain had considerable experience in educational reform. “And educational reform will be at the center of delivering Vision 2030.”

So generous, I felt like to throw up. Why? Let’s have a look from the historical perspective.

Are Britsh so generous people? In my opinion, they are one of the cruelest nations. Let’s start with child migration. “Between 1618 and 1967 probably around 150,000 children were sent overseas to begin new lives in British colonies. Child migration to the colonies was consistently presented as an appropriate method of coping with the large numbers of unsocialised, undisciplined, neglected or orphaned children, and those who were simply the children of the poor, crammed into British towns and cities. Britain is the only country in the world with a sustained history of child migration. Only Britain has used child migration as a key part of its child care strategy over four centuries.”

Another group that was sent to colonies is prisoners.

The second thing is the conquest of territories that are today’s the US. You do not have to read much, just open your eyes to figure out which conquest was crueler – British or a Spanish and Portuguese. At the end in South America people mixed and are called Latinos now. There are still wild tribes there. While in the US, the majority is white and do not really mix with any other „race”.

Next chapter is slavery – but let be fair. Birts did not invent it. They were among the others nations. I am just afraid they are the most famous slave traders.

The last thing that comes to my mind are the concentrate camps organized by the Brits during the  Second Boer War (1899–1902). Again, they were not the first ones. According to the historian Władysław Konopczyński, Russians established concentrate camps for Polish people during the Bar Confederation rebellion (1768–1772). But Brits had to try this one too.

So yes, in my opinion, Brits are not generous people at all – but one thing is true, they have good PR and good music.

So back to Mr. Philip Hammond visit in Saudi Arabia. When I read about the UK being ready to help Saudis, I just wonder what the catch is.

The sentence “Even if the oil prices were to recover, it makes immense sense to diversify the economy in order to ensure resilience” worries me.

Why? British Petroleum (BP) few decades ago was sucking out the oil from the Middle East almost without paying. Are they willing to do this again? The Saudi government will focus on budget income diversification and BP will steal oil industry again.

This is why when I hear Brits speaking about oil, help in privatization and the world’s best capital markets in London – well it does ring a bell in my head.