Not such a bad thing after all?
Let us begin with the English bill of Rights of 1689.
Colonialism in Africa.
Actually not just the British.
My, my, ,my, well who can believe it, but, it wasn’t just a British thing after all. Just for a moment have a closer look at that map? Wasn’t such a long time ago either. Far as I can see, in the whole of Africa there were only two places not colonised? One, Liberia and two Abyssinia. Today known as Liberia and Ethiopia. Liberia being formed by free slaves after the American civil war and Abyssinia or Ethiopia I know not why. That’s a whole Continent. Don’t you feel like crying?
I’m surprised to see Italy there as it is a long time since I was last in school and have forgotten many things.
Now I can’t speak for any of the other colonisers, as it is outside my experience, but, I can speak for the English (as I lived in Southern Rhodesia) and the Portuguese because I went on holiday there many times. Mozambique that is.
What I’m going to say and of course upset many people by saying this, is. Although I lived in a country which rebelled against the British, I still believe that they had an enormous amount to offer and indeed did. However, people get caught up in their own ideas of freedom and then tend to lambaste everything British. Well, that’s not quite the truth and a bit of everything in between.
Australia and the rest.
Now where could that be? Is it in Africa, Australia, India, or elsewhere in the British Empire? Actually, it is Darling harbour in Sydney, Australia. Sure looks nice, but, what exactly started this and so many other beautiful spots in the world? The local yokels? Let me try and explain and why colonialism was not such a bad thing after all?
The history of mankind is about conquest, it’s as simple and tragic as that. So if you are going to be conquered who would you like to conquer you? Attila the Hun, Adolph Hitler, MaoTse-tung, Joseph Stalin and an almost endless list of one maniac after the other? This is where the British come in and to an extent the Americans as well, although the Americans were not colonisers until just lately. So there you have it and take your pick.
So I’m going in to bat for the British, their justice system, their education system, their bill of rights, their wealth (within the context of the times), but, more than any other thing, their sense of fair play? Don’t ever for one moment think that this is not important. As a matter of fact it’s the most important thing of all?
I am getting a bit tired lately of people always harping back to the past and always choosing the worst of everything that ever happened, instead of the best. The famine, the Boer war, transportation, racism. All of which happened hundreds of years ago, the thing being I didn’t live then and nor does anybody else living today. Don’t try and give me a conscience about this and better still don’t hate my children for this which had next to nothing to do with them.
I rest my case.
‘What is success?
To laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children; to earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends; to appreciate beauty; to find the best in others; to leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch or a redeemed social condition; To know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived;
That is to have succeeded’.
(Ralph Waldo Emmerson.)