India is not ready for FDI. This is a fact, not an opinion.
Facts come with indisputable evidence. Opinions don't. Since I don't see you presenting any evidence...
RajeshA wrote:There is no point in investing in England. England is on its way to become the leper colony of the world with every (~97%) person there a Muslim retard born out of cousin marriage in a couple of decades. Indians there should look for alternatives.
nachiket wrote:India is not ready for FDI. This is a fact, not an opinion.
Facts come with indisputable evidence. Opinions don't. Since I don't see you presenting any evidence...
Jhujar wrote:RajeshA wrote:There is no point in investing in England. England is on its way to become the leper colony of the world with every (~97%) person there a Muslim retard born out of cousin marriage in a couple of decades. Indians there should look for alternatives.
NO, TIme to buy and make it our Brown Jewel, a post across the Andhmahasagar.
By Charles Allen
11:41AM GMT 19 Feb 2013
During a speech late last year by the UK High Commissioner Sir James Bevan, Britain's top diplomat in India, an elderly Sikh man stood and said: "I'm a freedom fighter and you jailed me for agitating for democracy. Why won't Britain apologise for that?"
Sir James should have replied to the Sikh Freedom Fighter: "Yes, but who first gave you those ideas of democracy and nationhood in the first place?" Apologise in this instance and you end up saying sorry for the battle of Agincourt and burning Joan of Arc.
For what is colonialism but the imposition of one group’s ideas on another by force? When you look at India’s earliest history, it is about imposing Aryan ideas on local tribes, or adivasis, glorified in such epic poems as the Mahabharat. The ideal ruler of the Vedas and after was a conqueror, whose duty was to expand his janapada, or kingdom, into a mahajanapada (great kingdom) by conquest. That’s imperialism in my book
The law of conquest was challenged by the third-century ruler Ashoka, after he converted to Buddhism, and of course it failed, but it inspired Nehru and others (I'm not so sure about Gandhi, who never claimed to have found inspiration in Ashoka and seems to have preferred Rama).
Why is the conquest of Mysore by the East India Company different from Haidar Ali’s conquest of Mysore, or the Marathas conquering the Rajput kingdoms, or the Sikhs conquering the Punjab from Afghan rule? It could be argued that in these cases the rule of Haidar Ali in Mysore, the Marathas in the former Rajput kingdoms and the Sikh rule in the Punjab was infinitely worse than the worst aspects of British rule in, say Robert Clive’s Bengal. So why is one imperialist and bad and the other not? Historically, there is a great deal to be said for foreign intervention as opposed to internecine struggle, in that it invariably brings in new ideas, as for example the Roman invasion of Britain.
But set aside all these philosophical arguments and you have to say that British rule in India was ultimately damaging because it was exploitative, in that it devastated India’s rural economy to the great benefit of Manchester and Birmingham and the UK economy. There’s the added irony that Macaulay’s contempt for Indian culture as expressed in his notorious Minute on Education, and his promotion of English as India’s common language has paid dividends in giving India a headstart over China.
Charles Allen is the author of Plain Tales from the Raj and Kipling Sahib
vinod wrote:An attempt at justification of british colonialism in India.
The history of India is a history of colonialism
India's relationship with Britain, and its own history of conquest and colonialism, is complex
By Charles Allen
By Dean Nelson
9:05PM GMT 17 Feb 2013
The suggestion may seem arcane or fey — both Gordon Brown and William Hague have recently ridiculed the notion of “post-colonial guilt” and said Britain should get over it. But the subject is taxing David Cameron as he arrives in Mumbai this morning with one of the biggest trade delegations in British history, hoping to carve out a share of the world’s second-fastest-growing economy for firms at home.
He believes our future prosperity may depend in part on how Britons and Indians get on with each other – “people-to-people contacts” in officialese – and that we will not achieve the “stronger, wider, deeper” relationship we need unless we stop assuming our “shared history” is enough.
The problem is that Britons and Indians see the “shared history” differently. To this country, India is the world’s largest democracy, which we left behind on Independence Day in 1947; because of our historic relationship, India shares with us an independent judiciary, a free press, the English language, and our love of cricket. There’s a legacy of colonial architecture and Merchant Ivory scenes of sahibs and memsahibs of the Raj clinking sundowners on their bungalow verandahs.
For many, the Anglo-Indian relationship is summed up in icons such as chicken tikka masala, now regarded by some as our national dish, a pint of Kingfisher, The Kumars at Number 42. And our diplomats take comfort in the fact that more than one million people in Britain are of Indian descent.
But for many Indians, the history they “share” with us is one of humiliation: bloody massacres, mass arrests, the suppression of democratic political movements and the supplanting of its indigenous cultures to create a servile, anglicised elite.
This history – passed down by grandparents and repeated in school textbooks – lives on in India’s national memory. It surfaces in moments of tension, as happened last year when angry British MPs accused India of “ingratitude” over our aid donations when the government in New Delhi gave a £13 billion fighter plane order to our French rivals.
And it’s apparent in recent reports in Indian newspapers about Britain “clamping down” on the numbers of students allowed to come here or on visa restrictions for Indian workers.
The question is, how do we move beyond this latent resentment at a history we cannot change, and start making better memories? With this in mind, the Prime Minister is said to be considering voicing Britain’s regret for the worst excesses of its empire rule during his three-day visit, for outrages like the 1919 Amritsar massacre, when up to a thousand peacefully protesting Indians, including women and children, were shot dead by British troops.
An unambiguous statement of regret may come as a relief to Sir James Bevan, the UK’s high commissioner in India, who endured an excruciating moment shortly before Christmas following a speech to promote our common values as free-market democracies. An elderly Sikh gentleman stood and said he’d been jailed for campaigning for democracy and independence. Why hasn’t Britain apologised for that?
The high commissioner squirmed. He said he hadn’t been born at the time and that in any case he wanted to focus on the future. Sir James had no mandate to say otherwise, but the Sikh gentleman’s heartfelt plea raises fundamental questions about what kind of country we are, and how we explain that the Britain which today sends its troops abroad to promote democracy once jailed Indians who politely demanded it. Why can’t we look that man in the eye and tell him we’re sorry for locking him up?
The common answer is that it would be a meaningless gesture. David Cameron wasn’t personally responsible for Amritsar. Should he also say sorry to the Palestinians for Richard the Lionheart’s Crusade? Ought the Italians to make reparations for the Roman conquest of Britannia? It would be absurd.
India, however, does fall into a different category. There are more than eight million people alive today who were at least 15 years old at the time of independence – and for many, the cruelties of the British Raj are not ancient history but living memory. They may be grateful for the railways we left behind or the parliamentary system we established, yet the memories of some are shaming.
One such person is Subadhra Khosla, an 85-year-old retired social worker who joined Gandhi’s non-violent movement for independence as a child and was sentenced to three years “rigorous imprisonment” in Lahore when she was just 13.
Her “crime” was to join a sit-down protest against British rule during heavy monsoon rains on August 26 1942. “They took me, my mother, brother and younger sister to the police station and then the magistrates’ court. I was given one year for each of three offences. I had to work hard in jail for one year and two months,” she told me last week.
Far worse acts were committed by Britain in the name of empire. They may have largely been forgotten here, but in India the memories are still painfully raw. They include the Bengal famine during the Second World War, in which more than a million Indians were allowed to starve to death after their rice paddies were turned over to produce jute for sandbags. Sir Winston Churchill ignored pleas to divert food ships.
The historian and author William Dalrymple believes the truth of colonial rule around the world needs to be taught as part of the new British history curriculum. His children studied the Tudors and Germany under the Nazis “over and over again”, but had not learnt of the atrocities carried out by Britain in India and Afghanistan. “Millions of people were killed, it [colonial rule] rested on a mountain of skulls, and people need to know that,” he says.
Dalrymple had arrived in India in 1984 after watching The Jewel in the Crown, the ITV series about the last days of the Raj, “with the belief that they loved the British. Nothing in the world prepared me for the negative side of British rule.
“We have to say, 'Personally, I don’t like what happened, I’m very sorry about what happened,’ but we can’t take responsibility for 600 years of history,” he says.
Pavan Varma, author of Being Indian, believes that the Raj still survives in the minds and cultural habits of Indians today, and that one of the country’s greatest challenges is to reconnect with the indigenous languages and cultures that were displaced by a policy of anglicisation.
“If the Prime Minister says, 'If there is anything in the past for any living Indian, we apologise,’ we have no problem,” he says.
Varma believes that India’s main challenge, though, is to reclaim its cultural identity: “The Union flag comes down, the Tricolour goes up but when a country rules for a hundred years so much of that past sails into the future.”
How Britain reconciles its colonial rule as it seeks a thriving trading and cultural relationship with India was recently addressed in a British Council-led initiative called “Re-imagine: India-UK cultural relations in the 21st century”. The research project heard that while the two countries have 200 years of “shared history”, they had become estranged and that the young in Britain and India today know little about contemporary life in the other.
Rob Lynes, head of the British Council in India, says the legacy of empire is less of an issue than the challenge of connecting with the next generation.
One of his contributors had told him that the UK needs to fall in love with India again. “There is a sense here that the UK has been complacent in its relationship with India and in some cases may have taken it for granted because of our shared history,” he says.
We in this country should remember how much of that “shared history” played a crucial part in making us who we are. The United Kingdom came about in 1707 in no small part because members of Scotland’s nobility wanted East India Company trading positions for their sons — the lure of India cemented the Act of Union.
India’s spices and pickles changed our tastebuds, its words crept into our language, and its men fought our wars and safeguarded our independence.
Around two and a half million Indians fought alongside British forces in the Second World War, helping to defeat Rommel’s forces in North Africa and halting the advance of Japanese troops at Kohima in north-east India in heroic hand-to-hand combat. By the end of the war Britain owed £1.25 billion of its total £3 billion war debt to India, but also much more that could not be quantified. Thirty Indian soldiers were awarded Victoria Crosses for their part in defending the freedoms we cherish today.
An apology for the worst excesses of empire will be appreciated, and for many it may be necessary, but it will not do as much for our future relationship as a genuine “thank you”. Perhaps by stressing our gratitude for how India has shaped modern Britain, David Cameron could start to rekindle and put right what has often been a one-sided love.
Veteran Gandhian Subadhra Khosla says she doesn’t need an apology for being jailed at 13. The English were “crushing the Indians” during the Raj, but “there’s no need to say sorry”, she says. “We should love each other. We are human beings, children of God and we should create goodwill.”
Is anyone aware what expertise or raw material Mongolia brings to the table?"We have also decided to commence negotiations on a bilateral Civil Nuclear Agreement," Singh said.
India has already signed civil nuclear pacts with a number of countries including United States, France, Kazakhstan, South Korea, Mongolia and Canada.
The Prime Minister said he thanked Cameron for Britain's support for India's full membership of the Nuclear Suppliers Group and other multilateral export control regimes.
A very interesting and predictable response indeed, but was expecting more knowledge of history from someone of Mr. Allen's stature. The greatest contribution by the British empire to India, perhaps is the creation of a class of historiography that carefully and selectively places history of India in the public domain that would preserve the honour and dignity of the Raj as best as possible.
The tragedy of Mr. Allen is that he has not kept up with even the stalwarts of this school of Indian professional historians - who have lately, and grudgingly, begun to abandon their earlier dogma of a violent Aryan "invasion". See for example some of the latest "textbooks" by such eminences as Prof. Romila Thapar. She is supposedly a doyen of "Indian professional historiography", a fearless crusader against so-called saffron revisionism.
Then again, Mr. Allen tragically shows his lack of awareness of the current Indian identity politics, whereby those very "Aryan" values he thinks were "contributions" are lambasted for being repressive, patriarchal, and anti-Dalit.
Understandably, Mr Allen has never heard about electoral systems practised in ancient India, at a period when the Greeks were still being ruled by kings. He has never heard of village level democratic setups apparently invented by Indians long before the "English" nation was even conceptually on the anvil.
So, no, democracy - was not a contribution by the Raj to India. Even UK itself did not extend universal adult suffrage to its own island core until very late into the imperialist phase.
There are other aspects of the Raj that is worth exploring for contribution purposes : like the deliberate creation of famines by administrative measures which took millions of lives, or systematic genocide of groups deemed resistant to imperial authority, looting of capital, imposition of British laws based on biblical curiosities and intolerance and deliberate selective revival of religious laws based on Indian texts neither extant nor widely followed, conversion of dependency relations into debt-bondage and slavery, deliberate neglect of indigenous irrigation systems. The list is long but of course Mr. Allen might not have the time to do his homework.
Some of the great myths of what is negative in Indian society - like supposed murderous casteism, evils of Brahmanism, the superiority of the mythical Indo-Sarasenic art, etc., were mostly created under the Raj. Mr Allen could look up the works of someone as esteemed as Irfan Habib (who describes how castes were rather fluid even in the late Mughal period), and others - some very British scholars too - on the interesting manipulations of the colonial-legal-reforms that emphasized Hindu and Islamic law texts of dubious prevalent practice over and above the protests of the communities themselves - because the texts suited the agenda of demonization of the Indian in contrast to the noble British values.
By the way, liberal modern UK should perhaps ponder that laws criminalizing homosexuality were an Allenian imposed contribution on "Hindu" portion of India - they never had such laws to start with.
I would also like to have readers think about the danger in Mr. Allen's arguments : his line also implies that a future successful invasion of UK by another "culture" which imposes its values on UK - should actually beneficially contribute to UK.
Mr Allen should also think about what he is revealing about a civilizational mindset or value-system that is scared out of its wits to even acknowledge a crime as a crime - one such as the burning of Joan of Arc - for fear that the act would lower his self-esteem or dignity or image. If the money-minded part of you is most averse to to possible litigation about compensation if crime is apologized for - at least show that the British have something left of their self-proclaimed nobility by acknowledging that burning of Joan of Arc was a "crime" after all, even though you will not apologize for it.
RamaY wrote:Apologies are one thing and the return of India's cultural heritage sitting in British museums is also a must. Majority of these artifacts of Hindu religious treasures.
Lalmohan wrote:what relevance does the queen have anymore?
He first paid visit to the Golden Temple before visiting the historic Jallianwala Bagh.
British Prime Minister David Cameron began his three-day visit to India by invoking the "huge ties" between the two countries of "history, language, culture and business."
One wonders which particular aspect of the shared history of the two nations he found supportive of his current quest for broadened economic linkages.
Could it be what the East India Company did after bribing its way to control of Bengal, the richest province of Mughal India? Within a decade of the so-called "Battle of Plassey" (Pilashi) in 1757, Bengal lay in ruins. The destruction of its economy was so severe a third of the population, some five million people, died of starvation in the first of the great "man-made famines". British rule spread across India. A conservative estimate of the overall toll of such famines is 100 million.
Or perhaps Cameron found inspiring the theft of the fabled Kohinoor diamond after the British defeated the Sikhs almost a century later. Maharaja Ranjit Singh's 11-year old grandson went with the diamond to Britain where it became part of the "crown jewels" and he was comprehensively debauched with drugs and sex to disable his potential as a leader.
Or maybe the prime minister is enthralled by the post-1857 "pacification" that involved the indiscriminate slaughter of some 10 million civilians, men, women and children.
Cameron's historic admission that the 1919 Jallianwalla Bagh massacre was "deeply shameful" does not begin to address the long line of British atrocities in India, most of which remain officially unacknowledged. They are systematically ignored or downplayed even in works of history by British scholars supposedly engaged in the pursuit of truth.
That is true not just of the colonial era. There is no honest British account of the cold-blooded manipulation of communal violence that led to Partition, the killing of well over a million people and the biggest migration in history as 14 million people were forced from their ancestral lands.
Nor is there admission that Britain created Pakistan as its proxy in South Asia and that it is the real sponsor of the terrorist "war of a thousand cuts" against India.
Such denial is not to safeguard national pride and honour. It is to hide the fact that Britain has maintained its imperial interests in the region, and indeed, globally, without benefit of the apparatus of colonialism. This has been achieved primarily by keeping control of the illicit trade in drugs, which Britain pioneered in the 18th century by exporting Indian opium to China. It is now far and away the most lucrative sector of the world economy, with revenues of over $500 billion annually.
In South Asia the control of the drug trade has involved the use of the Inter Services Intelligence, Pakistan's notorious spy agency established in 1948 by a serving British army officer, to godfather Al Qaeda [ Images ] and the Taliban [ Images ]. Together, they have kept Afghanistan as the lawless badlands necessary to produce opium; it now supplies over 90 percent of the world's illicit supply.
Where Britain does not maintain operational control of drug trafficking, as in Latin America, it provides money laundering facilities. Last year American authorities slapped a $1.98 billion fine on HSBC, Britain's largest bank, after investigators discovered that it had been laundering billions of dollars of Mexican drug money into the United States.
The fine made not a blip in the stock market value of HSBC shares because investors have known of its primary source of profit since traffickers established the company during Britain's 19th Century ‘Opium Wars’ to force the drug into China.
An interesting sidelight to the increased American pressure on British money laundering is that the terrorist "Left" insurgency in Colombia that has for decades provided the cover for drug running, has sued for peace and is now engaged in talks with the government.
The global money laundering system Britain put in place as its colonies dwindled is the core element of its new Empire. It consists of a string of tax havens around the world operating with London [ Images ] as a global hub. The system now caters to all sorts of criminals, ranging from super-rich tax evaders and corporate bigwigs hiding the proceeds of mispricing of trade to mafiosi engaged in garden variety organised crime.
The tax haven system washes an estimated $2 trillion annually into the "legitimate" world economy. According to a recent report from Washington-based Global Financial Integrity, an NGO headed by a former World Bank economist, it also drained about $6 trillion out of poor countries over the last decade. Adding up the estimates made by a number of experts indicates that the total of illicit assets in tax havens is some $30 trillion, double the GDP of the United States.
That massive pool of money generates the multi-billion dollar "hedge funds" that have made a travesty of free market mechanisms, especially commodity markets. Indians struggling with the ever increasing cost of petrol and diesel can blame it on hedge fund manipulations that have kept oil prices over $100 per barrel amidst the worst recession since the Great Depression of the 1930s. They can also blame the system for India's pandemic of mega scams: without a convenient way to stash black money the corrupt would be far less prone to steal on such a scale.
All this is becoming generally known because Germany [ Images ] and the United States, increasingly irate at the loss of billions of dollars in revenues to tax havens, have begun to push for change. Cameron's recent threats of a referendum that might take Britain out of the European Union is a response to pressure from Germany for uniform application of EU banking standards on all its members. The announcement last week that the next head of the Bank of England [ Images ] will be a Canadian is probably the result of pressure from the United States to clean up London.
Against this background, Cameron's push for India to open up its financial sector to British investment should be seen as an invitation to national suicide. His vision of a string of "business centres" around the country to facilitate British-Indian trade should be seen in the same light.
So what is the future of the British-Indian "partnership"?
It is difficult to see how we can build one when Britain is using its proxies to subvert and destabilise India. Perhaps the only way to make a new beginning is to be utterly blunt about Indian perceptions of and expectations from Britain.
Britain should stop whitewashing its colonial record and consider the grim reality that its Empire was the bloodiest construct of power the world has ever seen. In Africa, Asia and the Americas no nation has been as oppressive of other races. Britain was by far the leading slave trader out of Africa and transporter of indentured labour out of Asia. It has killed with famine, sword and fire more people than Genghis Khan, Atilla the Hun, Hitler [ Images ] or Stalin.
In the defence of its imperial interests it has precipitated two World Wars and is now presiding over an empire of crime that drains the poorest countries of their hard earned wealth. During the days of Empire and now, treachery has been a staple in Britain's international relations.
How can Britain respond to such criticism?
At the minimum it can review its history books and initiate soul-searching among academic propagandists of the imperial record like Niall Ferguson, touted by The Times of London as the “most brilliant British historian of his generation.”
A "Truth Commission" such as the one that eased South Africa [ Images ] out of the apartheid era might help. So could a national discourse on the value and meaning of life. In that journey of mind and spirit the British might find a useful guide in the Sermon on the Mount, the Eightfold Path and the Bhagavad Gita.
In terms of state policy, a renewed British-Indian relationship will require Britain to withdraw support from terrorist groups and insurgencies, wind up its involvement in the drug trade, and stop running the global black market.
If all this seems a very tall order, it indicates how far Cameron's proposals stand from Indian perceptions of reality.
rgsrini wrote:Posting in full and not highlighting anything because all of us should read this. It should also be linked to the first post of this thread.
A reality check for David Cameron's India quest
I don't think BRF has explored the money laundering aspects of the British scumbags yet. I am happy to see such articles appearing in the mainstream media. Not a lot of comments unfortunately. But this should be widely advertised.
Hari Seldon wrote:^^^ True. That article lays bare the barefaced briturds with a forthrightness that made even moi cringe.
Gosh, never thought I could think even lower of the briturds but I do now.... #aakthoo.
Lalmohan wrote:oh! I thought you had written that article!?
sanjaykumar wrote:As an example of referencing to bolster an argument, this Daily Mail (!) article is more meritorious than the above. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/artic ... archs.html
The point here is not to provide further grist for the anti-British mill but to demonstrate a more credible approach to presenting unpleasant facts/history.
Ask Prince Charles what he might recommend to aid digestion, and he will probably suggest you try some of his Duchy Originals Detox Tincture, which features a mixture of dandelion and artichoke.
To most of us it may sound a little, shall we say, ‘alternative’. But when you consider what British royals relied on to improve their health 300 years ago, it seems positively sensible. As recently as the end of the 17th century, our monarchy regularly swallowed human flesh, skull, bone, blood and skin, concocting bloodcurdling potions to cure their ailments.
They thought nothing of rubbing human fat obtained from fresh corpses into aching joints or wrinkles. They were, in fact, what I like to call ‘medicinal cannibals’, who used ‘corpse medicine’ as often as we would use paracetamol.
In 1562 Elizabeth I (1558 to 1603) caught smallpox - a contagious disease which causes rashes. Although she was lucky to survive, she suffered quite severe scarring (‘small pox’) to her face.
We know she smeared white lead on these marks to cover them. She may also have followed another cosmetic recipe - filling ‘the pits or holes’ with an unguent made from 2lb of ‘man’s grease’ and 1lb each of beeswax and turpentine. This ‘man’s grease’ was human fat from fresh corpses, either those who had died naturally or been killed, or hanged for some crime.
Elizabeth’s personal surgeon John Banister advocated the use of an Egyptian mummy for ulcers, wounds, ruptures or bleeding. These mummies were being plundered by the British from pyramids. Because they were so well-preserved, they were thought to have retained a certain vitality. They would be ground into powder, and swallowed in liquid or spread on bandages.
These were the days before modern toothpaste, and Elizabeth suffered terribly from bad teeth, eventually losing them all. She may have been tempted to touch these bad teeth with the tooth of a corpse, regarded as a popular cure, or take the ‘milk of a dog.’ (And, no, I don’t know how you obtained this.)
Royal remedies: Queen Elizabeth's personal surgeon John Banister recommended various beautifying techniques
Any dental cavities could also be ‘filled with the brain of a partridge’. In many cases, we simply don’t know where some of these strange cures came from. The partridge cavity filler verges on folk medicine. One ardent believer was James I, who reigned from 1603-1625, and is renowned for being the most disgusting of all monarchs. As an adult, he never washed or changed his clothes until they wore out.
From 1616, James began suffering from gout, with his physician Theo-dore Turquet de Mayerne most likely recommending human fat to treat it, rubbing it into the joints like a balm. James was also prescribed an ‘arthritic powder composed of scrapings of an unburied human skull, herbs and white wine’ mixed with whey, ‘to be taken at full moon’.
Skulls were often used in medicines, by rich and poor, from the 16th through to the early 19th century - though the royals didn’t use them after 1700. Often they were ground up and distilled; sometimes just the moss growing on them was used to stop bleeding.
But even James had his limits. He shied away from eating human bodily parts and was the only Stuart monarch known to have refused powdered skull when it was prescribed to him. The following king, Charles I - who reigned from 1625 until his execution in 1649 - was rather more salubrious, though his death was far more grisly.
It was widely believed royal blood or the royal touch could cure a common skin disease, scrofula - also known as the King’s Evil. So, at his beheading in 1649 in Whitehall, sufferers rushed forward to mop up his blood with their handkerchiefs to apply to their own ailments.
After the Restoration came Charles II, commonly known as the Merry Monarch. In around 1670, he forked out the enormous sum of £6,000 for an unusual recipe: powdered skull distilled into a liquid - until then known as Goddard’s Drops, after the prominent chemist Jonathan Goddard. They were a sort of volatile spirit which could be used to treat a variety of complaints.
Being a keen drinker, Charles also needed regular hangover cures. He may have adapted Goddard’s recipe for everyday use, so that it became known as the King’s Drops. Being something of a chemist himself, he would spend hours in his own laboratory, distilling skulls in some complex mix or other, often with deer horn mixed in. (He is also reported by 17th-century diarist Samuel Pepys to have dissected a stillborn baby, possibly his son, in the name of science.)
No doubt, these remedies served him well for many years, but when it really mattered, even the King’s Drops couldn’t save him. In February 1685, after a decadent night of gambling, drinking and the company of three women, he awoke, in his words, ‘feeling ghastly’. But despite taking this supposed elixir, he died four days later.
Later, Queen Mary was given the King’s Drops on her deathbed in 1698.
Another monarch who loved taking a distilled mixture of human skull was William III (1689 to 1702). He took this for his epilepsy, a condition which was highly taboo - far worse for a king than a mere stammer, one might add.
Teeth were repaired with partridge brains
There were many so-called cures he may have tried, one of which was two drams of ‘the dung of an infant; pulverised’. Alternatively, he could have eaten the testicles of a bear, a young dog, maggots from a rotting sheep’s nose or earthworms during coitus (yours, not theirs).
It’s not easy to explain all these cures. The testicles of a bear could reasonably be seen as a good source of vitality (as was human blood, in Germany and Scandinavia.)
There again, there’s almost nothing that epileptics haven’t, at some time or other, been asked to swallow in the name of medicine. Modern science gives us much to be grateful for. Thankfully, by the late 19th and early 20th centuries, most of these practices had died out among the royals, although they did linger on among the poorer ranks of society.
How relieved the Duchess of Cambridge must be that while she may be required to look perfect, at least she doesn’t have to rely on a beauty regime of dead man’s tooth, white lead and human fat mixed with turpentine.
No-one in the Birmingham bomb plotters' own community tipped the police off with their concerns, despite finding out they were sending young men to terror training camps in Pakistan.
This was despite the fact the families of four other young men recruited from Sparkhill all intervened to bring them back home the moment they found out the real reasons for them travelling to Pakistan.