imperial apologists... a poisonous fairytale

#1
Ladies and Gentlemen your attention please! In answer to the popular Imperialism threads on ARRSE and in the interest of a balanced debate may I present the Guardians retort, snappily titled -

'The story peddled by imperial apologists is a poisonous fairytale. Neocon ideologues are being given free rein by the media to rewrite the history of Britain's empire and whitewash its crimes'

by a Mr Priyamvada Gopal who lectures in 'Postcolonial studies' at Cambridge University (on your taxes) and is the author of the bestselling 'Literary Radicalism in India: Gender, Nation and the Transition to Independence'

http://www.guardian.co.uk/comment/story/0,,1807335,00.html

I recommend it for its comedy value, including the Guardian readers comments at the end.

should any of you wish to continue the debate with this renowned academic, his email address is

pg268@cam.ac.uk
 
#2
armchair_jihad said:
Ladies and Gentlemen your attention please! In answer to the popular Imperialism threads on ARRSE and in the interest of a balanced debate may I present the Guardians retort, snappily titled -

'The story peddled by imperial apologists is a poisonous fairytale. Neocon ideologues are being given free rein by the media to rewrite the history of Britain's empire and whitewash its crimes'

by a Mr Priyamvada Gopal who lectures in 'Postcolonial studies' at Cambridge University (on your taxes) and is the author of the bestselling 'Literary Radicalism in India: Gender, Nation and the Transition to Independence'

http://www.guardian.co.uk/comment/story/0,,1807335,00.html

I recommend it for its comedy value, including the Guardian readers comments at the end.

should any of you wish to continue the debate with this renowned academic, his email address is

pg268@cam.ac.uk
Umm, unless she has had a sex change pretty darn sure that Mr Priyamvada Gopal is a Ms.
But the less I say on the subject the better!
PPS: She ain't a historian.
 
#3
Sorry Castlereagh showing my undoubted ignorance there always glad to corrected
 
#4
Utter twaddle from another pink panty wearing, treehugging, sandle wearing, meusli eating, nonsense writing Academic funded by the British public.

I have been about the diminishing Empire [most has gone now] and everywhere I went they wanted the British straight back to sort the damnable mess they'd got themselves into.

Won't be long before some self-important pr@t flies to Africa and prostrates himself in a gesture of an apology because we bought a load of slaves from a business minded Zulu a few hundred years back.........you mark my words.
 

Bouillabaisse

LE
Book Reviewer
#5
Ms Gopal is an expert in feminist studies and a graduate of Delhi University, so she's a good advertisement for the counter arguement to her thesis and a prime advertisement for the spread of Anglo-Saxon liberal cultural and for the British Empire.
 
#6
She should be so lucky to be in a position to voice her issues and lecture at a university. If it wasnt for the Great British Empire she would be probably working as a farm hand in some backwater, and would certainly not have a Commonwealth passport that grants her rights and privalages to reside and work here
 
#7
She has real issues with Neil Ferguson (who's excellent book 'Empire' I've just finished). Professional jelousy perhaps? I like her comments about how rebellions were put down because the natives wanted to farm their own land. This would be the same type of farming as is now taking place in Zim would it? No wonder the authorities had to grip them. It was either that or mass starvation. Her comment about the cloth trade in India is a bit of a joke too. Yes, they did have better quality cloth, but they did not have an industrial revolution which mass produced it and drove down the cost. This is why we buy cheap eastern european produced Volkswagens and not expensive UK produced cars (bad anology I know).
She does come across as one of those annoying ranty people who appear on TV and just raise their voice, interrupt and generally get annoying to try and win an argument.
 
#8
Bouillabaisse said:
Ms Gopal is an expert in feminist studies and a graduate of Delhi University, so she's a good advertisement for the counter arguement to her thesis and a prime advertisement for the spread of Anglo-Saxon liberal cultural and for the British Empire.
Bang on imho. No one pretends that the British Empire was a selfless expression of altruism but compared to the inevitable alternative of rule by our contemporaries it stands up well.

With the Spanish dishing out 'Catholicism or death' and the Belgians prefering 'death or slow death' the old BE was not so bad at all and I agree with M_2003 above, many post-colonial countries are such a mess they would have us back in a heartbeat.
 
#9
This was one of the comments below the article.


MuseumPiece yes I REALLY meant Robert Mugabe, but not as a joke.Respect the man, you are apparently another victim of the massive propaganda of BBC and other British media about Mugabe's regime, its the same situation like in the US media vis-a-vis North Korea.Mugabe is the last of the generation of great African statesmen like Nkrumah, Kaunda, Toure, Mandela, etc. who wanted to provide their people with real, meaningful independence, and that usually implies challenging imperialism and neoliberalism.Mugabe is doing that and while we may debate about the timing of this measure (it could have been done before), that he's doing it now and not any othet African president cannot be but appreciated.Do you want Zimbabwe taken over by Blair's goons or ruled by the MDC, Tswangirai's so-called 'opposition' that has been bankrolled by Bliar and the Zimbabwean white just to topple Mugabe, and having no popularity at the grass-roots? Jihadisbad Australia is not as much of a liberal democracy as you think it is, and I will say the same about Canada and the US.Liberal democracies do not go to war against the wishes of their people, and do not attack or enslave others, like all three of your so-called liberal democracies are doing...the role of Canada in ousting Haiti's legitimate government is shameless, and Australia has long coveted its role as the US sheriff for the Pacific, and it has done wonders with the recent coup against the democratically-elected Timorese prime minister one more feather in its cap, and well, US....what a joke I think it stopped being a 'liberal democracy' the day it invaded the first American India settlement by invokin 'Manifest Destiny'....I think old Tom Paine would agree with tha. Liberal democracies have mechanisms to vote out leaderships which do not respect popular opinion, or where the checks and balances are strong enough to force the leader to be impeached or resign if he breaks the laws of the land, like conducting an illegal war in the face of massive propaganda and lies.....this is shared by all these liberal democracies you mentioned, with the exception of India, which voted out the BJP a year ago when it reneged on its promises to favor the weak and underprivileged over the rich elite...
I'll bet this person is not one of the ones starving in Zim at the moment carting carrier bags full of cash around to buy the most basic of goods.
 
#10
No time for Empire bashers, there wouldn't even be an India if not for the British Empire.

Look at those that came before we did, you think some Muslim Nawab, or the Islamic Mughal Empire, was just peachy with their Hindu subjects? Is some absolute monarch maharajah "self determination"?

During an expedition to central India in 1868, Mr. Louis Rousselet described the execution of a criminal by elephant. A sketch was made of the execution showing the condemned being forced to place his head upon a pedestal, and then being held there while an elephant crushed his head underfoot. The sketch was made into a woodcut and printed in "Le Tour du Monde", a widely circulated French journal of travel and adventure.

Occasionally, executions would be prolonged either by having the elephant drag the condemned through the streets before the execution (usually by a rope attached to the elephant's leg), or through the use of an elephant that was trained to crush limbs first, and then the chest, often with excruciating slowness.

Most rajahs kept elephants for the purpose of execution by crushing. These executions were often held in public as a warning to any who might transgress. To that end, many of the elephants were especially large, often weighing in excess of nine tons. The executions were intended to be gruesome and, by all accounts, they were.

Some monarchs also adopted this form of execution for their own entertainment. Emperor Jahangir of India's long-running Mughal dynasty ordered a huge number of criminals to be crushed for this purpose, although the Mughals had no monopoly on death by elephant; during the 18th century the rival Marathas confederacy also used this method of execution. The Maratha Sardar Santaji Ghorpade (1764—1794) admitted to a weakness for this particular punishment and, for the slightest error, would order an offender to be crushed beneath the enormous feet of his royal elephant.

Throughout the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, exceeding and ignoring the limits decided by Islam for a judge, Muslim courts of law in South Asia commonly ordered their condemned to be crushed by elephants. Increased domination by the British Empire led to the decline and eventual end of elephant executions. Death by elephant is still not uncommon in parts of Africa and South Asia where humans and elephants co-exist, but these tend to be the result of wild elephants attacking humans rather than tame elephants being used by humans to kill other humans.
Ahh, the glorious days before us.
 
#11
I was in Sudan twice (Khartoum and its local out back areas) in 2003 and was talking to a UN guy who had been up north. He told me they had entered a village that had not seen a foreigner for years only to have a Sudanese man hug and embrace him and not let go while shedding loads of tears. He thought the British had returned to take over power again and everything would be better in a year or two, he was distraught when he was told that no the British were not returning and that it was only the UN.

There was plenty of old beford lorries left by us in 1956 still being used for military and civilian transport around the capitol as well, and any of the really imosing buildings were the old colonial buildings.



J
 
#12
"Won't be long before some self-important pr@t flies to Africa and prostrates himself in a gesture of an apology because we bought a load of slaves from a business minded Zulu a few hundred years back.........you mark my words. "

Sorry to say, but I'm sure I saw a report of just that nature in the paper a few days ago. Some utter nobody went to Ghana to apologise.

I'd like an apology from the north african countries for their part in the slave trade. I was in Oslo the other week and found a fascinating exhibition about European slaves in Africa. Did you know that until the end of the 18th Century African slavers used to sail off the UK coastline and as far afield as Iceland to raid ships, then drag the prisoners back to Africa for use as slaves? And that there was a slave relief fund which existed to free captured slaves? Or did you know how the Africans used to torture many innocent europeans to death, for no reason other than their own entertainment? Hmm, anyone else spot the silence of the Left on this issue?
 
#13
Don't forget the African free State of Benin - another example of how 'happy Africans lived free from the yoke of Western imperialists'...

From http://www.answers.com/topic/benin-1

The African kingdom of Dahomey originated in Benin. By the 17th century, the kingdom, ruled by an oba, stretched beyond the borders of present-day Benin, covering a large part of West-Africa.
Dahomey was known for its distinct culture and traditions. Starting in 1729, Dahomey started a female army system, with legislation stating that all females would be inspected by the authorities at the age of 15. Those that were determined to be beautiful would be sent to the Palace to become royal wives while those that were ill or physically unattractive were executed, and the remainder were trained as soldiers for a period of two years. Human sacrifice was a common practice; on holidays and special occasions, thousands of slaves and prisoners of war were sacrifices for gods and ancestors.

The slave trade was active for almost three hundred years. Dahomey had the habit of going inland for slave hunts every month, they ravaged villages and captured slaves for domestic use (also sacrifices) or to export to European countries. Due to the amount of Human sacrifices, the amount of slaves exported decreased from 20,000 in the end of the seventeenth century to 12,000 in the beginning of the 1800's; the decline is partly due to many colonial countries declaring slave trade illegal.


Edited to add source.
 

Goatman

ADC
Book Reviewer
#15
Strewth this is all very near the mark......one of the reasons I am struggling ( part from being thick ) with my current OU course is the unending Left Wing slant that the course material labours under.

Here's a fairly typical extract from the chapter on 'The power of Colonial States "

Each year a few young men (women were not allowed) were recruited in Europe to these superior civil services and sent out to the colony - only they had a clear career run to the the key positions at the top of the colonial bureaucracy, commanding exceedingly handsome salaries most of the way. No wonder that British rule in India was referred to by a critic as a 'Rolls Royce administration in a bullock-cart country ' (Schiff 1939,p145 )
I listen to the course cassettes (quaint huh? ) on the way into work...passers-by will have seen me bellowing red-faced at the radio. One such incident was caused when I heard the female 'War Studies ' "expert" from Sussex University declaring quite unblushingly that:

" counter insurgency was invented by the Americans following the succesful guerilla tactics introduced by Mao and Che Guevara " :frustrated:

Le Chevre
 
#16
BiGbAddAbOOm said:
I was in Sudan twice (Khartoum and its local out back areas)J
I had a really bad experience at the airport in Khartoum whilst en route when a big Sudanese bint came in the Gents whilst I was having a p*ss, punched me in the back and demanded 'Shigarette'!

I bellowed at her in Arabic - no idea if they spoke it there but worth a try! 'Imshe mooshtamam binta' [Scram you no-good woman] and she did.

In the meantime I managed to p*ss over my L foot. My mate was almost wetting himself with laughter as I am a non-smoker. I still get flash backs to this day!

Regarding the Empire when I was at school a very large proportion of the atlas was pink - as Great Britain. Now there is little to be seen of our splendid past except I can now look out of my front window in London and see women walking past my gaff in purdah. When I was in Aden looking out the window in Ma'alla I never thought for a minute I'd be seeing the same thing nearly 40 years later in my homeland.

Colonial Africa had interesting places, Matabeleland, Nyasaland, Bechuanaland and so on. It was stable [except for the Congo] and now look at it. I'd bet Cecil Rhodes is writhing in his grave ['To be born English is like winning the first prize in the lottery of life'] if he could only see what is going on in his model state today.

I will never see a Colonial Governor again parade in Whites with his feathered tricorn hat - a glorious site that has been confined to history with the passage of time.

Know I've posted in the wrong place, won't happen again, sorry, got a bit reflective!
 
#17
Goatman said:
Strewth this is all very near the mark......one of the reasons I am struggling ( part from being thick ) with my current OU course is the unending Left Wing slant that the course material labours under.

Here's a fairly typical extract from the chapter on 'The power of Colonial States "

Each year a few young men (women were not allowed) were recruited in Europe to these superior civil services and sent out to the colony - only they had a clear career run to the the key positions at the top of the colonial bureaucracy, commanding exceedingly handsome salaries most of the way. No wonder that British rule in India was referred to by a critic as a 'Rolls Royce administration in a bullock-cart country ' (Schiff 1939,p145 )
I listen to the course cassettes (quaint huh? ) on the way into work...passers-by will have seen me bellowing red-faced at the radio. One such incident was caused when I heard the female 'War Studies ' "expert" from Sussex University declaring quite unblushingly that

" counter insurgency was invented by the Americans following the succesful guerilla tactics introduced by Mao and Che Guevara " frustrated

Le Chevre
Looks like you'll be failing THAT course then!
 

Goatman

ADC
Book Reviewer
#18
jim30 said:
"Won't be long before some self-important pr@t flies to Africa and prostrates himself in a gesture of an apology because we bought a load of slaves from a business minded Zulu a few hundred years back.........you mark my words. "

Sorry to say, but I'm sure I saw a report of just that nature in the paper a few days ago. Some utter nobody went to Ghana to apologise.
I'd like an apology from the north african countries for their part in the slave trade. I was in Oslo the other week and found a fascinating exhibition about European slaves in Africa. Did you know that until the end of the 18th Century African slavers used to sail off the UK coastline and as far afield as Iceland to raid ships, then drag the prisoners back to Africa for use as slaves? And that there was a slave relief fund which existed to free captured slaves? Or did you know how the Africans used to torture many innocent europeans to death, for no reason other than their own entertainment? Hmm, anyone else spot the silence of the Left on this issue?
Jim30, I think the earlier quote was tongue in cheek.....the nobody in question , who alleges he is a descendant of Admiral Hawkins, the 'founder' of the British slave trade, took it upon himself to apologise in person , wearing chains and a t-shirt with the legend 'SO Sorry' printed on it.



This chap is a 'youth theatre manager'. His rambunctious Elizabethan forebear would have roared with laughter, downed another quart of sack and slit his gizzard.

The North African slavers referred to were called the Barbary Corsairs. It was in an attempt to stop their depredations that the fledgling US Navy mounted an expedition under Commodore Preble in what the Yanks called the Tripolitanian War. The action was one of the first battle honours of the US Marine Corps -
April 25-27, 1805 -- Capture of fortress at Derna, Tripoli -- Lt. Presley N. O'Bannon .

good 'ere innit ;-)
 

Goatman

ADC
Book Reviewer
#20
armchair_jihad said:
Goatman said:
Strewth this is all very near the mark......one of the reasons I am struggling ( part from being thick ) with my current OU course is the unending Left Wing slant that the course material labours under.

Here's a fairly typical extract from the chapter on 'The power of Colonial States "

Each year a few young men (women were not allowed) were recruited in Europe to these superior civil services and sent out to the colony - only they had a clear career run to the the key positions at the top of the colonial bureaucracy, commanding exceedingly handsome salaries most of the way. No wonder that British rule in India was referred to by a critic as a 'Rolls Royce administration in a bullock-cart country ' (Schiff 1939,p145 )
I listen to the course cassettes (quaint huh? ) on the way into work...passers-by will have seen me bellowing red-faced at the radio. One such incident was caused when I heard the female 'War Studies ' "expert" from Sussex University declaring quite unblushingly that

" counter insurgency was invented by the Americans following the succesful guerilla tactics introduced by Mao and Che Guevara " frustrated

Le Chevre
Looks like you'll be failing THAT course then!
:roll: if it wasn't a mandatory course I would not have gone near it with a barge pole...got a tutorial on Saturday and I'll be taking some black masking tape to put over my mouth....next time you're in London, count how many BMW and Mercs you can spot parked outside the Nigerian High Commission. Mentally price them ( £20K each ?) Then multiply by the number of Nigerian embassies in developed countries....with me? Okay now go to the DFID site and find out how much we STILL sub Nigeria in aid annually.....


<sigh>...see my problem ? I feel like a vivisectionist at a Teddy bears picnic at the tutorials.....

Le Chevre
 

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