1. Exquisite Tweets from @JORISLUIJENDIJK, @dsquareddigest, @alanbeattie, @peter_tl, @djmgaffneyw4

    PreoccupationsCollected by Preoccupations

    For Europeans keen to understand Brexiteers this is vital: the fantasy that the British Empire was based on free trade rather than plunder.

    Daniel Hannan @DanielJHannan
    What made us the world's richest nation? We removed trade barriers and so put money into ordinary people's pockets.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/10/1…

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    JORISLUIJENDIJK

    Joris Luyendijk

  2. Massive hypocrisy about empires is surely something that most of Europe can understand?!?!

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    dsquareddigest

    Dan Davies

  3. *cough* Graa Boomsma *cough* Poncke Princen *cough* Batavia massacre *cough*

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    alanbeattie

    Alan Beattie

  4. Netherlands and Belgium, two great trading nations whose prosperity is based on their internationalist outlook.

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    dsquareddigest

    Dan Davies

  5. From our flat you can see the Palais de Justice, built with generous donations to Leopold by grateful Congolese.

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    alanbeattie

    Alan Beattie

  6. FWIW I don't think the Dutch are as clueless about the dark side of their colonial past.

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    peter_tl

    Peter Thal Larsen

  7. Of course modern European countries like France would scorn any attempt to twist modern trade policy around their historic empire

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    dsquareddigest

    Dan Davies

  8. Dude - they literally bring criminal prosecutions against people who write on colonial atrocities.

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    alanbeattie

    Alan Beattie

    Or indeed any suggestion of organising coups in former colonies. Jamais.

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    alanbeattie

    Alan Beattie

  9. Guys, settle down. What's with the defensiveness? This Brexit fantasy seems vital element in their world view. Only point I wanted to make.

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    JORISLUIJENDIJK

    Joris Luyendijk

  10. Not defensive: UK with some honourable exceptions is in massive colonial denial. But so are lots of Eur countries who aren't leaving EU.

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    alanbeattie

    Alan Beattie

  11. Actually, there've been (too little too late) successful court cases against Dutch state by survivors of actrocities nrc.nl/nieuws/2015/08…

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    JORISLUIJENDIJK

    Joris Luyendijk

    Nobody sane in Europe claims these Empires were good. Hence the shameful need for denial. But denial very different from Redwoods delusions

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    JORISLUIJENDIJK

    Joris Luyendijk

  12. I think they're exactly the same. It's not at all difficult to find people all over Europe who think it gave the gift of civilization.

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    dsquareddigest

    Dan Davies

  13. There's a current in France, 'mission civilisatrice' & all that. But Wilders wanted to put the Dutch Antilles on Ebay. That's more like him.

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    JORISLUIJENDIJK

    Joris Luyendijk

  14. A *current*? Just a bit. Wider point: unless you're just pointing & laughing at some individuals, Empire not a v good explanator of Brexit.

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    alanbeattie

    Alan Beattie

    More useful to look at England/UK's longer & happier experience of nationhood than most of continental Europe. Being an island helped.

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    alanbeattie

    Alan Beattie

  15. Missing tweet: 920211846317166592

  16. Fine, but doesn't explain why France, which has exactly the same (if anything worse) rewriting of own imperial history, isn't leaving EU.

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    alanbeattie

    Alan Beattie

  17. Missing tweet: 920213061734141952

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  20. Indeed, as I said before. Successful uninvaded nation-state with 1000+ year old currency etc rather an important factor.

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    alanbeattie

    Alan Beattie

  21. Missing tweet: 920214709621723136

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  24. And also, a beautiful and much admired tradition of modesty. No superiority complex at all.

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    JORISLUIJENDIJK

    Joris Luyendijk

  25. Unlike the famously self-effacing Dutch. Do you not think there's an element of projection going on here?

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    alanbeattie

    Alan Beattie

  26. when you really like something in the Netherlands, you call it 'un-Dutch'.

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    JORISLUIJENDIJK

    Joris Luyendijk

  27. Missing tweet: 920216975493795840

  28. "effects and *eventual* abolition". Enlightenment in "*Europe and* Britain". Not really 100% triumphalist, is it?

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    alanbeattie

    Alan Beattie

  29. Missing tweet: 920217842653556736

  30. Right, so we're down now to a tiny % of the population. Explains why Hannan is a prat; doesn't hugely inform discussions of Brexit.

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    alanbeattie

    Alan Beattie

  31. Missing tweet: 920218910732976128

  32. Not sure about final point. But let's stop this 'your country's worse than mine'. It's exactly the thing the tiny % is trying to plant.

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    JORISLUIJENDIJK

    Joris Luyendijk

  33. Being an island *would have* helped perhaps. Neither England nor UK meet the most basic criteria for islandhood. (Latter by definition!)

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    djmgaffneyw4

    Declan Gaffney

  34. It's not about that at all: it's trying to work out what role imperialist sentiment played in Brexit. I'm not convinced it's that huge. /

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    alanbeattie

    Alan Beattie

    / I think island mentality more than imperial mentality. Politically UK still v isolationist & Brits haven't noticed economically it isn't.

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    alanbeattie

    Alan Beattie

    Tell you what, let's see what happens if the UK's alleged cousins US/Oz/NZ want an FTA that destroys UK farming. Doubt much affection then.

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    alanbeattie

    Alan Beattie

  35. Missing tweet: 920222459101663232