WESTMINSTER has decided that people of different backgrounds living together, sometimes called multiculturism, is not necessarily a good thing. The Home Secretary, Suella Braverman, said so at a right-wing meeting in the US a couple of days ago. This, despite being a beneficiary herself of a generous welcome to those coming from elsewhere.

She also wants to ship folks to Rwanda. In other news, from next month, the US State Department will end all military co-operation with Rwanda after adding it to the list of countries using child soldiers.

She’s throwing red meat to unreconstructed Tory voters. Of course, all this will be in vain. Opinion polls are unanimous. The Tories will lose the next General Election. What she’s about is becoming the next Tory leader when the present incumbent is defenestrated. And this could happen soon. So, she needs to get her pitch in early to the Tory faithful.

The enormously flawed British constitution means that the very few across the country who inflicted on the rest of us a rapid succession of wholly incompetent prime ministers will be those deciding the next. What a mockery of democracy!

But what’s often forgotten in all of this nonsense is that the British used to be big fans of multiculturalism. Indeed, it might be argued that Britain was a cheerleader. Far from deploring people of different backgrounds and races working together, the British actively sought out such opportunities. In fact, Britain created an entire empire to make this easier.

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It also raised huge armies to enforce its version of multiculturism. Back then it was called colonisation. And was deemed to be a very good thing indeed.

Colonial supporters would declare: “Britain conquered India to benefit Indians!”

While actual colonisers such as Charles Napier, commander of British India in 1843, said: “Our object in conquering India, the object of all our cruelties, was money – lucre. A

£1000 million is said to have been squeezed out of India in the last 60 years. Every part of this has been picked out of blood, wiped, and put in the murderers’ pockets. We shall yet suffer for the crime as sure as there is a God in heaven.”

In 1878, Lord Salisbury, who would later become prime minister, said: “As India must be bled, the bleeding should be done judiciously.”

The British were so enamoured of their interactions with other races that they even imported their words. Here are a few taken from India – bungalow, cashmere, dinghy, guru, jute, khaki, loot, nirvana, pyjamas, shampoo, thug, veranda and yoga.

Interestingly, the English word loot is derived from the Hindi word lut; meaning to steal or plunder. Westminster actually made looting official. To keep armies motivated, plunder was seen as the reward for victory – basically, if “natives” resisted the British, their goods were fair game.

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Backed by extreme violence, British multiculturalism was a huge success. Here’s an example. Tea was originally a Chinese plant traded for opium grown in Bengal. This opium was forced upon the reluctant Chinese. It took several wars for the British to convince the Chinese that drug abuse was a good thing.

Were you in the Scouts? Did you know the movement was formed by Sir Robert Baden-Powell to turn a generation of boys into good citizens or useful colonists?

Many Brits drifted to the colonies because they had nothing to lose at home, leading to the coining of the term FILTH (Failed In London, Try Hong Kong). The modern equivalent, perhaps, would be the editors at BBC Scotland News – Failed In London, Try Home.

No-one thought it odd that people should move to another country to better themselves, until now. Shipping companies even employed agents to assist people looking for improved prospects.

According to author Sathnam Sanghera, in his excellent book Empireland, Westminster “once believed that racial discrimination might be damaging to Britain’s plans for the imperial project”.

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Did you know that in 1948, Westminster passed the Nationality Act, meaning anyone born in the empire had the rights of a British citizen? This legislation formally granted 600 million people from across the planet the right to emigrate to Britain. But, according to its minutes, the Cabinet took fright when it discovered many of these folks were not white.

Immigrants to the UK could say with justice: “We are here, because you were there”. Podcaster Helen Zaltzman argues that “Britain is hostile to people arriving in boats because Britain knows what happened when Britain arrived in other countries in boats”.

Scots, of course, played their part in colonisation, or forced multiculturism, but the drive was always profit for the governing class.

There are lessons for Scotland in better understanding the way Westminster dealt with colonies and multiculturism.