Dispatch #12 – Empire

I AM a representative of the former British Empire and the current Commonwealth of Nations; I am the descendant of Victorian Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli and the son of an RAF pilot. I did not graduate with First Class honours from Cambridge University and since then have not entered the Foreign Office’s prestigious diplomatic corps.

The Northern Plights’ documents my assessment of Sweden for the possibility of any future conquests which the British Government’s War Cabinet is not considering.

DISPATCH 12: Empire.

I feel like my grasp on Swedish history is ever increasing – to be honest, once you’ve sketched and coloured in a picture of a Viking boat you are pretty much half way there. But a painful and unfortunate mishap led me to discover a whole new chapter of the Nordic peninsula.  What should have been a pleasant, warm summer evening stroll ended in disaster when I stubbed my toe on a statue of this gentleman

As I rested on the plinth to check for war wounds I noticed a plaque; I was eager to discover who the dastardly culprit was who had left me partially incapacitated so consulted my Hurdy-gurdy-to-English dictionary. It was here that I read the words that made my monocle slip in shock: ‘…during the Swedish Empire’.

How and when on Britain’s God’s green earth did the Swedes EVER build an Empire, and more importantly, was it a flat pack Empire?

I’ll be scant with the whys and wherefores, the statue was of Axel Gustafsson Oxenstierna and he was a big cheese when the Swedes wanted an extension to their, already massive, country. It’s all a bit of a dim and distant memory now, but the Empire spanned – I say ‘spanned’, what I actually mean is ‘spilled’ – over neighbouring borders from 1561 to 1721.

Let’s cut to the chase – how could an inconsequential medieval country like Sweden ever conquer anything more than a mild case of gout? The answer is ‘easily’ as long as you go for soft targets.

Here is the Swedish Empire at its peak:

Look what they did here, this is what I refer to as ‘Slipper Warfare’, as in ‘I am only popping next door, do I really need to put my shoes on or should I just wear my slippers?’ This is a very slow way to make any progress.

So here is The Dippylomat’s Guide to Empire Building.

Firstly, choose your natives carefully; go to where the locals are friendly, like India; go where they have a valuable commodity, like tea. DON’T go to where the national drink is vodka and where the only reason the inhabitants do not defend their land is because they CAN’T defend their land. Invade and conquer countries where Your Own People™ might actually want to live; ask yourself ‘do we really need more bleak wasteland?’

Don’t be shy about setting your sights further than what lies beyond your own borders – there’s a whole world out there, why would you NOT invade it? If you limit yourself to neighbouring nations then you pretty much get more of what you already have; variety is the spice of life and if there is a spice you can’t grow, then plunder a country which can. At its peak the British Empire covered 37, 700, 000 sq kilometres and the Swedish Empire covered a paltry 1, 100,000 sq kilometres.  This is why The Empire Commonwealth still owns The Bahamas and you Swedes no longer own any part of Norway – ambition. So there you have it, my Swedish potential Empirees, before you get your reindeer-fur knickers in a twist at the sight of an advancing British Army, instead of grabbing your snow shovel and trying to protect your wood cabin, have a little think about being part of an Empire which includes sandy tropical beaches and not countries with rugged coastline littered with beached whales.

It has been a long day and I need a drink, now where can I get a decent shot of vodka?

Toodle pip,

ATTENTION BOTH FELLOW COUNTRYMEN & NATIVES: Got something to say, then say it. Want to be part of The Empire Community now the European Union is going down the toilet? THIS IS WHERE IT BEGINS.

About The Dippylomat, Esq.

A connoisseur, a charmer and a bit of a cad.
This entry was posted in British Government, Ex pats, Finland, Foreign Office, Gothenburg, history, Humour, India, Norway, Stockholm, Sweden, Tea, The Bahamas, Travel, United Kingdom and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

26 Responses to Dispatch #12 – Empire

  1. laurahartson says:

    hahaha i love the map!

  2. CC Champagne says:

    You, dear Sir, are simply hilarious! Empire flat packs? You might want to seek an audience with Mr Kamprad about that idea! Have a brilliantly hung-over week-end once you find that vodka!

  3. A Dutch Savage says:

    My good sir… what a read! If I may be so bold, this is one of your best dispatches to date! Bravo old chap! Hear. Me. SNORT.

  4. How awfully, awfully kind of you, my dear Lady Sav-age.

    It would appear that this particular Dispatch has hit a chord with Brits scattered across the Globe, even my dear Mother praised this missive 🙂

    ~The Dippylomat esq.

  5. Tanya, the Churper says:

    I’m with Savage!!

  6. LMFAO!! nice one 😀 dude this isn’t racist at all .. it is just full of the normal British arrogance 😛

  7. Yeah, but then hey…what does the rest of the world know ,-)

    Thank you kindly for reading, my good Sir.

    ~The Dippylomat esq.

  8. tony swede says:

    Slipper warfare! 🙂

  9. It’s the only way to fight, Sir Tony of Swedeshire!

    ~The Dippylomat esq.

  10. Chloe recommended this weblog via MySpace electronic mail.

    I am quite chuffed to have discovered a fellow Briton who kicks ass at bloggery.

    There aren’t many of us in existence, it would seem.

    Party on, old boy! ^_~

  11. Tess says:

    My good Sir. It is true that our empire never reached ‘The sun never sets on it’-proportions, but that is because we, as opposed to you, realised the disadvantages of empires.
    – You see some bit of land you want and it seems like a good idea to take it from the primitive savages. Then you educate and arm them, which inevitably leads to them saying to themselves ‘We are just as good as they are, why are they in charge?’ and ‘Well, we’ve got these amazing sticks-that-fire-bullets than the white man brought!’. So: you will spend eternity wasting time, money and all your sons in independance wars. Independance wars are, traditionally, only fun if you’re on the side who wants said independance.
    – To govern an empire, many of your countrymen will have to move to the colonies for some hands-on-management. This ends up costing you a fortune in postage when sending Christmas presents for Auntie Bess.
    – What good has your abundance of tea and sugar REALLY brought? Brown teeth and obesity, that’s what!
    Nah, we’ll keep it small, tidy and organised instead, thankyouverymuch!

    • Chambermaid Tess,

      To be honest I stopped reading your comment after you declared that the sun never set on the Swedish empire…clealry you have never been to the northern reaches of your ’empire’ during the midsummer!

      ~The Dippylomat esq.

      • Tess says:

        True. But after a couple of months the sun sets, and then it stays set for months. Ergo, the sun DOES set on our “empire”.

        Your faltering logic skill makes me want to go on strike and force you to empty your own chamer pot. AND shine your monocle yourself.

        / Chambermaid Tess

      • As the somewhat uncouth Lord Sugar might say..”You’re fired”

        ~The Dippylomat esq.

  12. Carrie says:

    My good Sir, every Thursday evening, one has the same excitement like it is Christmas Eve, (seriously) and unlike getting an orange or some ghastly lavender bath salts on Christmas Day, your dispatches NEVER disappoints 🙂

    One was not in a good mood that morning 😦 when one was reading your very funny and very interesting dispatch. However, after reading it, one felt like one took prozac. 🙂

    May I say, not only are your dispatchs very amusing (flat pack Empire, Haha!) they are very interesting to read, too. One has even stop reading ‘National Geographic’.

    I am off to listen to Kasabian ‘Empire’ on the gramophone. 😉

    Keep up with the excellent work, my good Sir! 🙂

  13. Oh Ms Carrie of Harlowshire, you should apply for a job at the Ebassy, I feel you’d make a wonder ful Miss MoneyKrona.

    I do however, live in fear of disappointing you; if you ever hear reports of a top hat and pair of broges found on a beach with no sign of their wearer, you will know that I’ve failed you with my latest Dispatch.

    ~The Dippylomat esq.

  14. Marcus says:

    The Swedes clearly never grasped the Big Picture when it came to empire building. They never subjugated the fuzzy-wuzzies in Australia and completely bypassed the golden opportunities presented by the New World. When it comes to gentryfying the savage lands, a lack of ambition is tantamount to dousing ones self in lighter fluid and jumping on a bonfire. This country may have been great once, but that’s once more than the Swedes. That is all.

  15. Marcus,

    It’s once more than any nation, old bean.

    ~The Dippylomat esq.

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