… the British really, really got it wrong! Instead of sending their prisoners to a remote northern region (like the Russians did) or to work in the hot semi-deserts of India (that they controlled) and generally achieve the common goal (at the time) of making prisoners’ lives miserable (to deter crime), they instead decided to load a large number of their prisoners onto 11 ships commanded by Captain Arthur Phillip and send them to sunny, warm, newly discovered tropical Australia, while the majority of their population stayed behind in a climate which, for most of the year, is rainy, dreary, and just plain miserable.
Talk about messed up. Not only were they sending the message “commit a crime and get rewarded with a permanent, tropical vacation”, but they were saying it’s good to be wet and cold the whole year through!
Oh well, I guess it paid off in the end. No other nationality can claim more stiff upper lips and reservation than the British, and few other nationalities are as able to endure pretty much anything. Still, I would have transplanted the British population to Australia, called it New Britain, left the prisoners behind, and controlled a landmass 30 times the size (even if 35% is unliveable, that’s still a liveable area 10 times the size of the UK).