David Cameron: Britain caused many of the world's problems

It is easy for those who have not been colonialised to pontificate.

We can pontificate as much as we like, remember the Romans? Just because it happened further back in history doesn't mean it didn't happen. Oh and I believe that TV show 'What the Romans did for us' proves we can happily admit they furthered the country.

History is history, doesn't matter what era.
 
It is easy for those who have not been colonialised to pontificate.


Having lived in Zambia (formerly known as Northern Rhodesia in colonial days) and spoken to the locals, the overall consensus of the ones I spoke to was that it was better under the Brits and they wished the Brits would come back to run things. I have a feeling that many feel that way in Zimbabwe as well.
 

Rayc

RIP
RIP
We can pontificate as much as we like, remember the Romans? Just because it happened further back in history doesn't mean it didn't happen. Oh and I believe that TV show 'What the Romans did for us' proves we can happily admit they furthered the country.

History is history, doesn't matter what era.


History is history as per the winners and the powerful.

History of WWII would have been different had the Germans won!

What's new about that?

When I was schooling, I knew more of British history than Indian since the School Leaving Certificate was set and corrected in England and the curriculum was British.

Now, it is different.

It is no secret that the truth unveils itself as people become really free!

That is the Gospel Truth!!
 

Rayc

RIP
RIP
Having lived in Zambia (formerly known as Northern Rhodesia in colonial days) and spoken to the locals, the overall consensus of the ones I spoke to was that it was better under the Brits and they wished the Brits would come back to run things. I have a feeling that many feel that way in Zimbabwe as well.

Having lived in India and being born when India was a colony, I would know what I am speaking as much as you do, having lived in Zambia.

Just my point.

If the colonialist leave artificial boundaries without caring for local tribal and ethnic sensitivity, then there will be chaos.

And it is nothing new that when people are in a mess, they always feel that thing were better in the 'good old days'.

There are many Russians who are nostalgic about the days of Communism and many in China feel that it was better under Mao!
 
Have you seen the 2000 film directed by Raoul Peck centred around Patrice Lumumba in the months before and after the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) achieved independence from Belgium in June 1960? Raoul Peck's film is a coproduction of France, Belgium, Germany, and Haiti.

It is true that countries acquire fanciful nomenclatures like Democratic Republic etc and since you raised it, some would also question the Great part of Great Britain. Such an argument is only indicative of being short of discussion issues and lending oneself to impotent anger.

I am sure you are Belgian Congo's history.

An extract from Wiki since it is the easiest compilation available.

King Leopold of Belgium formally acquired rights to the Congo territory at the Conference of Berlin in 1885 and made the land his private property and named it the Congo Free State. Leopold's regime began various infrastructure projects, such as construction of the railway that ran from the coast to the capital of Leopoldville (now Kinshasa). It took years to complete. Nearly all such projects were aimed at increasing the capital which Leopold and his associates could extract from the colony, leading to exploitation of Africans.

Image that! A man acquires a territory, many time larger than his country, as his private property! It shows the total arrogance and utter contempt for the people who inhabit the country! As if they are chattel!

One has to only read the history after Belgian Congo got independence to realise the mutations and horrors that it has gone through and the reason why.

Here is a link that quotes from various sources the situation in DR Congo
The Democratic Republic of Congo — Global Issues

We are, however, veering off from the thread!

That is all from my side on issues beyond the scope of the thread.

Ah so its all the yanks fault, thats all right then! The fact the Belgians left in a hurry was in the main due to the wishes of the new African Govt greedy to grab all the goodies for themselves, under initially Lumumba! It is interesting to note that the provincial govenor of Katanga, one Moise Tshombe actually wanted the Belgians to stay & help train up his Africans to take over the infrastructure, he was attacked by Lumumba with the help of the UN as a result of his foolishness and later murdered in Algeria having been kidnapped by supporters of the Congo govt!
I'm afraid most of the so called facts in that little piece dont have much foundation!
Back to the OP, India prior to the British raj was like many other parts of the world, where the rulers looked after their own interests first, often attacking neighbours to gain land, riches etc! Britain initially wanted trade, only later using force to protect/increase it! Britain did make many mistakes but as the human race developed it did become more enlightened as well! Again, the various groups in India & elsewhere pushing for independance wanted Britain out asap! At the time of India's Independance it was a Labour govt who had massive debts left by the war and no inclination to get involved in a prologned insurrection!
Basically Britain was not worse than most other colonial powers in history and a damn site better than most, so has no real need to apolgise for itself!
 
That apart, while there is no doubt that Colonialism did have its adverse effect, yet it was not a one way street. Colonialism also brought benefits to the colonised people.

Malaysia, Singapore etc and even India is doing well for itself. But would it be only because of colonialism? Do you really feel that all people of the colonies are so possessed with inertia and are intelligence deficient that they can only reap the harvest from the legacy left behind by the colonial powers and have no initiative and drive in them to progress and be counted in the international arena?

Whether colonialism is right or wrong it was never in our power to correct. An apology means condemnation of decisions taken in good faith and in the knowledge and ways of the times. Bad decisions can be made for good reasons and vice versa.
What we see in the world around us today is the beginnings of neo-colonialism. It would, of course, be full blown traditional colonialism but today's modern powers like to kid themselves that their actions are to benefit humanity, save lives protect individual freedom. Who knows, maybe that was what motivated Cecil Rhodes or Clive of India?
We instigated regime change in Iraq to ensure stability of oil supply and we are assisting the 'rebels' in Libya for the same reason. If colonisation was all about trade then look at how the US has colonised most of the known world with their commercial outlets and how resentful they are that China is now out-doing them.
There is no lasting legacy of shame nor guilt which we as subsequent generations should have to shoulder. What was then was then, what is now is now. We had no hand in the past we only command the present.
I'm sure that all colonised countries would have developed without us, however being a colony gave them access to technologies and markets that would have taken centuries to build on their own. Because colonialism was so all encompassing and heaped territories together then the colonists were often the first people to develop an infrastructure because they had no pre-conceived ideas about who should have access to where. They also left behind a global trading network, the Commonwealth, how long would it have taken the individual countries of the Empire to forge such links left to their own devises?
Blanket apologies by National leaders leads to blanket misconceptions about the nature of the past and tend to focus on the negative. As enlightenment and expediency came to us so we relinquished our hold on our Empire and made it a voluntary one, almost every former colony has at least tried to embrace democracy. Many of the former colonies were brutal places before we came, we tended to fight brutality with more brutality tempered with a formal justice system. If we were wrong to go in in the first place then you cannot call us wrong for leaving and once given self determination then each and every Nation is responsible for its own mistakes and must shoulder the blame for those mistakes.
 

Rayc

RIP
RIP
I cannot change your mindset and ideas nor is it my desire.

You are welcomed to your views.

On the issue of of colonialism and its great effects, may I ask as to why the British are so uncomfortable just because Bush treated him and the UK as mere appendages to the US and why is there such a lot of animus over British involvement in Iraq, when after all Britain did act as the poodle, even though the epithet was applied to Blair.

You are independent and yet your backs are up when you are taken to be nothing but an appendage to the US.

Therefore, should you grudge the ire of those who were really the appendages of Great Britain and their lives totally dictated by a foreign power, Britain?

I, however, agree apologies cannot change history and so are patently useless and redundant.

I also believe that no matter what the history is, let bygones be bygones. Nothing fruitful comes out of animosity because of actions of their forefathers. Live in the present and shape the events so that there is no regrets or animosity left for the future generations to lament over.
 
Have you seen the 2000 film directed by Raoul Peck centred around Patrice Lumumba in the months before and after the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) achieved independence from Belgium in June 1960? Raoul Peck's film is a coproduction of France, Belgium, Germany, and Haiti.

It is true that countries acquire fanciful nomenclatures like Democratic Republic etc and since you raised it, some would also question the Great part of Great Britain. Such an argument is only indicative of being short of discussion issues and lending oneself to impotent anger.

I am sure you are Belgian Congo's history.

An extract from Wiki since it is the easiest compilation available.

King Leopold of Belgium formally acquired rights to the Congo territory at the Conference of Berlin in 1885 and made the land his private property and named it the Congo Free State. Leopold's regime began various infrastructure projects, such as construction of the railway that ran from the coast to the capital of Leopoldville (now Kinshasa). It took years to complete. Nearly all such projects were aimed at increasing the capital which Leopold and his associates could extract from the colony, leading to exploitation of Africans.

Image that! A man acquires a territory, many time larger than his country, as his private property! It shows the total arrogance and utter contempt for the people who inhabit the country! As if they are chattel!

One has to only read the history after Belgian Congo got independence to realise the mutations and horrors that it has gone through and the reason why.

Here is a link that quotes from various sources the situation in DR Congo
The Democratic Republic of Congo — Global Issues

We are, however, veering off from the thread!

That is all from my side on issues beyond the scope of the thread.

The Great in Great Britain is not self-aggrandisement by the Brits although many now use it as such.

It is a 12th century geographical construct to differentiate it from Lesser Britain which approximates to what is now Brittany.

As for the Belgian Congo, it was notorious for its lousy administration under the Belgians hence the shambles visited on it when it became independent.

Regarding railways, well this can be argued both ways. Whilst they enabled the colonial power to exercise control and to export valuable raw materials, they were also a means by which the indiginous people could get their produce to markets larger than their own local ones.
 
History is history as per the winners and the powerful.

The truth unveils itself as people become really free!

That is the Gospel Truth!!

History remains history, it is just the views that change. People need to stop looking to the past for people to blame and look to the future, that alone would solve almost all conflicts by tomorrow midday.
 
Whether colonialism is right or wrong it was never in our power to correct. An apology means condemnation of decisions taken in good faith and in the knowledge and ways of the times. Bad decisions can be made for good reasons and vice versa.
What we see in the world around us today is the beginnings of neo-colonialism. It would, of course, be full blown traditional colonialism but today's modern powers like to kid themselves that their actions are to benefit humanity, save lives protect individual freedom. Who knows, maybe that was what motivated Cecil Rhodes or Clive of India?
We instigated regime change in Iraq to ensure stability of oil supply and we are assisting the 'rebels' in Libya for the same reason. If colonisation was all about trade then look at how the US has colonised most of the known world with their commercial outlets and how resentful they are that China is now out-doing them.
There is no lasting legacy of shame nor guilt which we as subsequent generations should have to shoulder. What was then was then, what is now is now. We had no hand in the past we only command the present.
I'm sure that all colonised countries would have developed without us, however being a colony gave them access to technologies and markets that would have taken centuries to build on their own. Because colonialism was so all encompassing and heaped territories together then the colonists were often the first people to develop an infrastructure because they had no pre-conceived ideas about who should have access to where. They also left behind a global trading network, the Commonwealth, how long would it have taken the individual countries of the Empire to forge such links left to their own devises?
Blanket apologies by National leaders leads to blanket misconceptions about the nature of the past and tend to focus on the negative. As enlightenment and expediency came to us so we relinquished our hold on our Empire and made it a voluntary one, almost every former colony has at least tried to embrace democracy. Many of the former colonies were brutal places before we came, we tended to fight brutality with more brutality tempered with a formal justice system. If we were wrong to go in in the first place then you cannot call us wrong for leaving and once given self determination then each and every Nation is responsible for its own mistakes and must shoulder the blame for those mistakes.

Too true and in passing I believe that Mozambique, formerly a Portuguese colony, is now part of the Commonwealth!
 

Rayc

RIP
RIP
They also left behind a global trading network, the Commonwealth, how long would it have taken the individual countries of the Empire to forge such links left to their own devises?

Check the history of these countries about Global trade and some had vast overseas empires too!

Timeline of Seafaring Nations

Link
 
I cannot change your mindset and ideas nor is it my desire.

You are welcomed to your views.

On the issue of of colonialism and its great effects, may I ask as to why the British are so uncomfortable just because Bush treated him and the UK as mere appendages to the US and why is there such a lot of animus over British involvement in Iraq, when after all Britain did act as the poodle, even though the epithet was applied to Blair.

You are independent and yet your backs are up when you are taken to be nothing but an appendage to the US.

Therefore, should you grudge the ire of those who were really the appendages of Great Britain and their lives totally dictated by a foreign power, Britain?

I, however, agree apologies cannot change history and so are patently useless and redundant.

I also believe that no matter what the history is, let bygones be bygones. Nothing fruitful comes out of animosity because of actions of their forefathers. Live in the present and shape the events so that there is no regrets or animosity left for the future generations to lament over.

Which, even now, requires 20/20 foresight let alone in the days of Empire!
 
Check the history of these countries about Global trade and some had vast overseas empires too!

Timeline of Seafaring Nations

Link

Oman for example owned Zanzibar, a great swathe of E Africa, part of the Gulf and the likes of Gwadar which it sold to Pakistan for $3m in 1958.

A fair amount of its trade was in slaves.
 
Having lived in India and being born when India was a colony, I would know what I am speaking as much as you do, having lived in Zambia.

Just my point.

If the colonialist leave artificial boundaries without caring for local tribal and ethnic sensitivity, then there will be chaos.

I have heard this argument before and I don't count it as a valid argument at all. More of an empire apologist hysterical argument. I don't know how these boundaries were formed, but I have to wonder why Zambia and Zimbabwe (as an example) were different countries under colonialism when they were right next to each other. I would also ask, if the tribal and ethnic sensitivities were ignored and of such a big deal, why did not the newly independant countries sort the issues out after independence?

And it is nothing new that when people are in a mess, they always feel that thing were better in the 'good old days'.

There are many Russians who are nostalgic about the days of Communism and many in China feel that it was better under Mao!

Indeed, I know of Bosnians who state it was better in the days of Tito.....and some of them are 18 years of age and did not know what it was like to live under Tito. However, it was 25 odd years ago when I asked these people which was when Zambia was a relatively new country.

I hope you are not comparing the British empire to the USSR and China. If so I suggest you look at the history of the British empire in more detail, where you will find that people were not persecuted and often were as equal in standing as the colonialists. As an example, you just need to look at the Maharajahs in India.

That is to say that not everything was always rosy in the empire and some terrible things did happen, but it was not par for the course.
 
Check the history of these countries about Global trade and some had vast overseas empires too!

Timeline of Seafaring Nations

Link

So that was right or was it too wrong? Or are we just seeing that in the development of Nations one Nation or another is generally in the ascendency and tends to seek expansion by taking other's territory, perhaps something to do with the nature of the beast?
 
The 'Great' in Britain was Greater Britain, post the Union of England, Wales, Ireland and Scotland.
Oman sold off Baluchistan when Pakistan was formed for a Million $ Yankee, according to the book I have, Baluchistan-is could all but come and go to/from Oman and many where recruited into the Sultans Army, whole battalions existed up to the 21st C.

john
 
The 'Great' in Britain was Greater Britain, post the Union of England, Wales, Ireland and Scotland.
Oman sold off Baluchistan when Pakistan was formed for a Million $ Yankee, according to the book I have, Baluchistan-is could all but come and go to/from Oman and many where recruited into the Sultans Army, whole battalions existed up to the 21st C.

john

I lived and worked in Oman from '78 to '84. It was absolutely magical - people and country.

You are correct, a large proportion of the Sultan's Army were Baluchis and, if I recall correctly, the Royal Guard was almost entirely Baluchi.

Many Brit officers and NCOs - "bought" and "borrowed".
 
For those interested, I do strongly recommend the trilogy on Empire written by Jan Morris - Pax Britannica, Heaven’s Command and Farewell the Trumpets.

They are extremely well written and a joy to read.

Broadly, she splits the Empire into 3 phases:

- mercantile and Britain seeking to impose law and order to facilitate trade.

- evangelical when many Brits, especially home based ones, felt it was our duty to educate and save the natives.

- Britain endeavouring to maintain the Empire in the face of growing commercial competition from other states (e.g. Germany and the US) and the effects of WWs 1 and 2, before finally giving it all up.
 
This extraordinary inept twerp is causing problems of his own - let alone 'Britain causing problems'.

This funny little man, for whom I worked very hard, is proving to be as appalling as Blair and is starting to rival the failed oaf Brown with his illogical and off-cuff remarks.

The latest stupidity - his inaccurate, populist, and overwhelmingly crass remark about Oxford University and 'black students' - just about sums up how far out of his depth this soon to be failed man is.

I get no pleasure writing posts like this as I am by nature and inclination a Tory - unlike Cameron who is clearly a 'New Labour clone'.

I have resigned from the Tory Party and I shall vote UKIP in future.
 

Canader

War Hero
So that was right or was it too wrong? Or are we just seeing that in the development of Nations one Nation or another is generally in the ascendency and tends to seek expansion by taking other's territory, perhaps something to do with the nature of the beast?

Actually, all progress can be explained through the pursuit of happiness in the form of the magic washing machine:

Hans Rosling and the magic washing machine | Video on TED.com
 

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