Our Eternal Right

Duke ‘Shrimp’ Sterling-Midget of Manorshire is meeting with Viscount Acorn-Thistle – ‘Sake’ to his family and friends due to his impartiality toward the Japanese concoction — at the Peers’ Dining Room, the members’ restaurant in the House of Lords. They are confronted with a troublesome issue and that too raised by an immigrant. The very people their elders and ancestors spent a lifetime civilizing have caused the uncivil situation.

Neither the Duke – ‘Shrimp’ to his intimates because he had the propensity to curl up like that crustacean at the sight of it — has not touched his ox cheek with champ, heritage carrots and salsa verde, nor has the Viscount bothered his corn-fed chicken breast with morels. Even the glasses of the 1955 Cockburn’s Vintage port (whose bottles on average go for £231), which was uncorked as soon as they were seated, have been moved.

“My dear fellow, Acorn-Thistle, what do you expect of a Nigerian. This David Adetayo Olusoga, because he has become popular historian, writer, and broadcaster, feels that he has the authority lecture us … and no thought of our generosity.”

“Utterly ungrateful! Shrimp, the chap is a historian … yes, a BBC historian … ha … I wonder how much value historians assign to BBC historians.

“Theresa May ought be asking Damian Hinds, her education chap, to spend more on education in the former colonies … yes, it hurts to mention ‘former’ before our colonies. Theresa has been there, she was the Shadow Secretary of State for Education for two years. Britain needs to continue bearing the burden of civilizing the world.

“This BBC historian told the Hay literary festival that European and American museums were full of objects taken in violent raids from countries … our former colonies. Was he monitoring our missions of civilizing the natives? He said there were around 4,000 objects taken from the Nigerian palace that were national treasures.

“This chap … Olusoga has the guile to tell us that the idea that your national treasure would be in the museum of another country is something that as British people we would find absolutely impossible to get our heads around, and added that’s what Nigerians have to think about.

“Absolutely not! Britain does not think so Sir!”

“Absolute nonsense. To make matters worse, this BBC historian declares that he knows the date they were taken and the circumstances they were taken. What circumstances! What about Britain sending its best to civilize the natives?” the Viscount rued.

“Yes, Sake, no sense of gratefulness. For God’s sake, this mongrel Olusga insults our heroes. He is implying that our heroes like Lord Elgin were thieves. No Sir! Britain has indeed rendered a favor that we have brought these things and given them a place in our museums, otherwise the natives would be doing voodoo or something with them in their mud huts.

“This man is a BBC historian and does not know that museums, by law, are not permitted to deaccession the objects.”

“Ha … did you hear this one that he tells us that there is a moral case for repatriating objects. If I remember it correctly when he was mentioning the collections from Benin, he likened what was done in the name of our monarch as a very, very clear case of appropriation and theft.”

“Sake, this is absolutely blasphemy.

“And to top it all, he tells us that a friend of his had come up with a solution that we should have a special version of Supermarket Sweep where every country is given a huge shopping trolley and two minutes in the British Museum. Isn’t this defiling the name of our beloved monarchs? Isn’t this an insult to our sons who braved the heat and lived among these mutes to civilize them?”

“Shrimp let us raise our glasses to Rule Britannia. Britain has done its duty and should continue doing it till these people get civilized. Owning anything that we fancy is our eternal right.

“Like the Israelis say that there is no description like a Palestinian, we say that there is no description of a human being apart from a Anglo-Saxon Briton. God Save the Queen.”

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