Empire 2.0 about 7 minutes in but best to watch all of it for context.
I recently did a MOOC for Futurelearn from Exeter University on the British Empire. My homework was a short text on where the Empire was now or something like that. I chose to concentrate on attitudes around Brexit. Text below, not time yet to cut and paste this together. Just notes so far.
David Olusoga mentions Hugh Gaitskell in 1962 for a take on the Commonwealth. The Conservative Party could be much more interesting. The book "Continental Drift" by Benjamin Grob-Fitzgibbon (CUP 2016) covers policy on Empire and Europe from Churchill to Major.
Possible muddle here between history, journalism and social media / gossip. I shall carry on with a blog anyway. May tidy this up, meanwhile cut and paste from Google doc where I kept my notes so far
Legacy of British Empire
The present situation is part of European history and empires, the Dutch and Portuguese included. The financial aspect of the British Empire is now part of the USA dollar situation. So there is a wider context than first appears.
Public opinion is influenced by empire, notions of jingoism (UK) and exceptionalism (USA) for example. These seem to be less rational than could be shown as related to anything specific. Hitchcock remade the 39 Steps as North by North West , there is not much need to describe the external threat.
History as a subject can cross over with journalism or just speculation. The book Continental Drift by Benjamin Grob-Fitzgibbon describes UK policy on Europe up to the time of John Major. It shows how attitudes to Empire led to expectations of a role in Europe that turned out to be quite different to reality. The move towards leaving Europe has been based on an idea of “post-Geography” .
How much sense this makes remains to be seen. It is possible that the British government is deluded, as are most of the newspapers and the public. Will a global market be less of a threat for the “just about managing”? It is not yet possible to discuss this as history but whatever happens will be explained as part of a longer story.
First some links to clarify what was in my original text
"post-Geography" is a term used by Liam Fox. It might be futurist but I think it looks back to a previous time for UK options.
Hitchcock continued Buchan themes in film from novels. The course included the adventure stories in print. Hitchcock developed repeated ideas in USA from UK and they fit with Empire and Cold War.
More about Continental Drift
Intro as free PDF
You have to fill in the gaps towards the end. But it is clear enough about the Empire expectations post WW2 and the early approach to Europe from Heath and Wilson.
Google doc now public
So comment please. Empire 2.0 and "delusion" both hard to back up with facts but continues as tweets until history.
Course site for Empire starts again 27th March
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