Rome must apologise for enslaving Britain

Nov 28, 2006
Tim Willis

Blair has said sorry to African slaves. Now Italy must apologise to Britain

Look at Britain today and you see a blighted land, its atomised culture diluted by outside influences, its people resentful and divided. But who would blame a whipped dog for howling? The fact is, these islands are suffering from a collective trauma, harboured for two millennia.

The Roman invasion of Britain left an open wound that cries out to be healed. Our Latin conquerors benefited enormously from enslaving us, and that has got to be put right. Italy's government must apologise and make reparations.

Consider the evidence of Peter Jones's accompanying article. One hundred thousand of us were taken into slavery! And that's just the start. Who invented concrete? The Romans. Who drove the first motorways through our winding lanes? Likewise.

The invaders introduced nude bathing, gladiatorial combat, wild orgies (and we wonder how our youth became so depraved!). They found a druid country, where power was devolved to local communities, and organic farming was a way of life. They left one that was Christianised, rent by Hadrian's Wall and sustained by pizza.

Perhaps worse, they bestowed a cultural cringe. Their language infested ours - indeed, until recently, Latin was the sine qua non of a good education. They hijacked the national imagination, directing intellectual and artistic ambition east until centuries after the Renaissance. And to add insult to injury, having smashed the family-support system through their depredations, what did the Romans do? They abandoned us to the Saxons (whom they then supported in WW2).

Now Britain is a conservative nation, with a breast as blue as Braveheart's. But our patience has worn thin. The First Post has put our grievances to the Italian Embassy, and asked what its government intends by way of compensation. In a pattern established over 1,500 years ago, they have not deigned to reply. Well, we warn them now: we are reaching the end of the woad.

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