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
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?
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.