If you are a product of a culture that has thousands of years of history banked then a couple of centuries is no big deal.
So on Back To The Future Day perhaps China’s Xi Jinping will allow himself a thought that he is in the country that sent Earl Macartney to treat with the Chinese.
In 1793, he established an Embassy in Beijing.
He and his delegation arrived upon HMS Lion a 64 gun man-of-war.
In those days, Britannia was on the cusp of ruling the waves, all of them.
Within a decade of Earl Macartney’s arrival on Chinese soil, the London polity would control the sea lanes, and ipso facto the commerce, of the entire world.
The diplomacy stuff did not go well as Lord Macartney would not ‘Kowtow’ to Emperor Qianlong.
Within little more than a century after his visitation, the Chinese would be carved up by the powerful industrial powers of Europe.
As the Boxer’s indulged in a futile rebellion their island neighbours Japan were tooling up for imperial expansion.
When the Japanese defeated the Russians in 1905, the United Kingdom was still the preeminent military power in the world with the biggest navy on the planet.
To put forward the proposition that Britain is still a major military player today would produce derisive guffaws everywhere, although Ibrox on Armed Forces Day might be the exception that proves the rule.
In 1997, the Chinese state took back from the British the lands that they had stolen when London had the most powerful navy in the world.
Here the United Kingdom’s weak chinned Dauphin Charles of the House of House of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha puts a brave face on the eviction.
Today not even a re-configured DeLorean could project Britain back to being a world power.
In 2015 the equivalent of HMS Lion is an aircraft carrier without planes that actually work.
As if to rub it in, today is Trafalgar Day.
Very fitting as Prime Minister Cameron turns a Nelsonian eye to the barbarity of the Beijing regime in return for billions of Yuan.
This State Visit by Xi Jinping represents the Etonian tribe kowtowing to one of the most repressive regimes in the world.
In China being of the wrong stripe will see you abducted by the state and filleted of your vital organs for cash.
Death by transplant…
The British political elite is not simply being courteous to a foreign visitor, but rather they are supplicating themselves in exchange for money.
Unlike Lord Macartney, they are kowtowing with gusto.
They do so by remaining silent on the appalling human rights record of the Beijing state.
In return for this show of deference the Chinese will now bankroll major projects in the UK including a new nuclear power station.
Perhaps if you indulge in intimate contact with a pig’s head as a young person then getting on your knees for a murderous dictator in middle age is no biggie.
I do not know if opium was passed around at the banquet in London, but in the 19th Century the Chinese were the victims of the world’s first narco-state.
The Medellin Cartel has nothing on the Westminster crime clan dear reader.
The film Back To The Future produced the inevitable sequel in 1989 (Back To The Future II) and in that year the young people of Beijing were in Tiananmen Square demanding democracy.
You don’t need to go back to the future to work out what would happen if the survivors turned up there tomorrow for a reunion tour.
Handing over Hong Kong marked the end of Empire for Britain.
However, this visit by Xi Jinping could mark the beginning of a new colonial relationship with China.
If we could go back in time to get that DeLorean to work then no doubt Emperor Qianlong would be smiling, but do not expect the Falun Gong to be rejoicing today and neither should we.