James Connolly


British and Russian Imperialism


Workers’ Republic, 10 September, 1898.
Transcribed & marked up by Einde O’Callaghan for the Marxists’ Internet Archive.

When the Russian disarmament proposals were first mooted we, alone among Irish journalists, characterised them as dishonest and the chorus of praise they elicited throughout Europe as hypocritical. One short week has sufficed to prove the truth of our contention ... There is scarcely a capital in Europe from which Great Britain has not been complimented on the successful outcome of the battle before Khartoum; complimented by the very men (and newspapers) who a week ago were ostentatiously singing anthems of brotherly love with all men, and deploring the cruel necessity of war ... The British occupation of Egypt, from the bombardment of Alexandria down to this latest massacre at Omdurman has been one prolonged criminal enterprise, conceived and executed entirely in the interests of the holders of Egyptian bonds and speculating capitalists.

“India is regarded by its alien rulers as a huge human cattle farm to be worked solely in the interest of the dominant nation. Whatever is done for its vast internal resources, is done for the benefit of the Indian people, but primarily with a view to the dividends which the investing classes of England may draw from such development.” Limerick Leader, July, 1897.

The enemy, as our Irish newspapers call them, fought for home and freedom; the British carried fire and sword and desolation into a land and upon a people who had never injured them, a people who could not have disturbed their conquest, even of lower Egypt, had they been ever so willing. But Britain has triumphed. Glorious triumph!


Last updated on 11.8.2003