London—A British MP compared the problems the UK has over Brexit to losing Singapore in 1942, and people are not happy at all. Crispin Blunt, who is in favor of leaving the EU, said yesterday that Prime Minister Theresa May “has just put the final torpedo into her own deal and any real prospect of Brexit, and that her statement will represent the most shameful surrender by a British leader since Singapore in 1942.”
Needless to say, this reference to the United Kingdom’s colonial past did not go over well. At all.
Mr Blunt’s comment was met with derision and jeers from Parliament, and also on social media.
Political commentator Lezter Holloway tweeted, “Why are Brexiteers so obsessed with the old Empire? Tory MP Crispin Blunt comparing May’s deal with “surrender” of Singapore in 1942 right now. They need to understand the age when a very British form of white supremacy ruled the waves ain’t coming back, No Deal or no No Deal.”
The UK lost Singapore in 1942, which was a heavy blow to the Prime Minister Winston Churchill. The Japanese armed forces defeated British and Australian soldiers, turning thousands into prisoners of war and subjecting antagonistic elements to Sook Ching, or “purging through purification.” For the next three years, as many as 70,000 were killed by the Japanese, mostly ethnic Chinese males.
Accusations of colonial privilege ran fast and furious on social media.
Others, whose relatives had been detained and had suffered at the fall of Singapore, were also offended at the MP’s remark.
On Twitter, @bornatotter said: “My dad was captured at the fall of Singapore and endured over three years of slave labour. I object to opportunist politicians like Crispin Blunt abusing his memory in this way. That’s not me arguing for leave or remain. (sic) It’s me demanding respect for my dad and his comrades.”
Other commenters had a more tongue-in-cheek reply