|According to a new book - "The Evil Empire: 101 Ways That England Ruined The World" (the author obviously not knowing the difference between "England" and "Great Britain") - Britain is an evil nation responsible for many of the world's woes.
Written by Amercian Steven Grasse, Britain must pay £31 trillion ($60 trillion) in damages (to put that into persective, the US economy, the world's largest, is $13 trillion). Grasse even has an organisation to do with all this - The International Coalition for British Reparations - of which there are many members,
By CHARLES LAURENCE
2nd March 2007
Are we to blame for all the planet's problems?
Britain is apparently to blame for just about all of the planet's problems. In its days of might and glory, our Sceptred Isle was in fact an Evil Empire that enslaved the world, and is today responsible for everything from African genocides to the Iraq War and the conflict between Palestine and Israel.
We are also to blame for global warming - because Britain launched the Industrial Revolution which produced the smoke that polluted the sky that heated the world. And as if that was not bad enough, we also burned Joan of Arc at the stake, made cocaine 'look cool' and pandered to Hitler, before dragging the whole world into global conflict.
These are just some of the accusations against Britain in an outrageous new 'history' book, The Evil Empire: 101 Ways That England Ruined The World, that looks set to blow a giant raspberry at the much-vaunted 'special relationship' between Britain and America.
It has been written by Steven Grasse, a selfstyled 'amateur historian' from Philadelphia, who believes that Britain has never been held to account for its role in some of the darkest chapters in global history.
After a successful career running a marketing agency, Grasse is now pouring his resources into launching his alternative view of Britain's national story - complete with websites, publicity stunts, video films and documentaries - because he wants to persuade the world that Britain is to blame for most global ills.
His aim is to grab the attention of a generation which no longer reads books and which is ignorant of history, but which, nonetheless, believes that America is the true Evil Empire.
'I'm not claiming that America is innocent of everything,' writes Grasse, 'but England is supposed to be our ally and our friend, and all we hear these days is how awful Americans are and what awful things America is doing. It is time people heard the other side of the story.'
So, in Grasse's eyes, Britain is to blame for world poverty and starvation, for The Great Plague, for the ravages of Nazis and Communists, and for Islamic terrorism today. Apparently, we are even to blame for the Vietnam War which humiliated America 35 years ago.
'There would have been no Vietnam War if there had been no French colony in Vietnam, and there would have been no French colony if England had not started with its colonies, which meant that everyone else had to have colonies too,' explains Grasse.
This is the sort of twisted logic that has inspired him to start the International Coalition for British Reparations, a new campaign launched with a full-page newspaper advertisement in America, which is demanding that Britain pay £31 trillion in damages to be distributed to every man, woman and child in the world as recompense for the damage the UK has inflicted around the globe.
'Look at World War I - you started that!' says Grasse. It was an unnecessary war, started by Britain because Germany wanted an Empire, which Britain, France and Russia had.
'You then dragged America into it. The whole bloody history of the 20th century, including the Nazi genocide, starts from that point. The average person does not know any of this.'
And here is Grasse on the Anglo-Chinese Opium War of 1840, when Britain sent a task force to protect its trading outposts. In a chapter headed 'They Hooked the Chinese on Opium', he writes: 'What could be worse than looking out your window and seeing a drug dealer, peddling his narcotics to every passer-by?
'How about a drug dealer who sets up camp on your doorstep and pummels your walls with musket fire and cannon balls until you allow him to sell drugs from inside your very home?
'Grisly stuff, I know, but it's exactly what Britain did to China during the 19th-century opium wars.' (Never mind that opium was not, in fact, illegal at the time - or that this anti-protectionist measure gave rise to the global free market from which America has prospered so greatly).
But it is when Grasse turns his eye to more recent problems that his accusations become as hysterical as they are inaccurate.
For he believes that many of the global problems we think of as being recent developments can be traced back to Britain's doorstep. He blames the