I’ve just spent a part of the morning at home reading the first hundred pages or so of Caroline Elkins’ new book, Britain’s Gulag, which describes, among other things, the “screening” of Mau Mau suspects in Kenya during the Emergency in the 1950s, which involved, among other things, the stubbing out of cigarettes on Kenyans’ bodies, savage beatings, hot eggs being inserted in rectums and vaginas, and suspects being forced to eat their own testicles after mutilation with pliers.
Earlier this week we could read in the newspapers about the abuse of Iraqi prisoners at the hands of British troops, not of the same level of savagery, to be sure, but intolerable nevertheless.
And now I turn up at my office and read on the BBC website that the Heir to the Throne — in whose mother’s name these degradations were carried out in both Kenya and Iraq — has been whining again:
Prince Charles claimed the British people “tortured” him over his relationship with Mrs Parker Bowles in a 1998 interview, it has been revealed.”I thought the British people were supposed to be compassionate. I don’t see much of it,” he is said to have told BBC journalist Gavin Hewitt.
Yup. No compassion at all. Certainly none from me.