When in Doubt Blame the Brits

This posting is dedicate to my friend Jim at the Northside Grill, as it reflects his world view quite well. Though Afghanistan was never really a British colony, more of a zone of influence. You would see more grand buildings if it had ever made it to full colony. Interestingly, the article omits the United States from the list of trouble spots that are former British colonies. 🙂 and also the interesting fact that Mozambique, and Rwanda have joined the British Commonwealth, though they were never British colonies and Algeria has applied to join. Must be something going on here….And to be fair the worst post-colonial catastrophe is probably the former Belgian Congo…though Indian Partition comes close.

From: http://possumhole.blogspot.com/2010/11/when-in-doubt-blame-england.html

Have you ever stopped to think about how many of the worst trouble spots in the world are former British colonies?A few minutes ago it was reported that Aung San Suu Kyi has finally been released from house arrest in Burma/Myanmar. It is worth mentioning that the woman has spent 15 of the last 21 years under house arrest. So, Burma, aka Myanmar. Former British colony. Blame Louie Mountbatten for leaving things in a mess, such that the nation has been ruled by a military dictatorship since 1962.Right, the war in Afghanistan. Another former British colony.And it spills over into Pakistan, which is another former British colony. Pakistan has perennial problems over Kashmir which it disputes with with India, another former British Colony.The endless misery of Palestine, and the lands stolen by Israel? Both former British colonies. In all fairness, Lebanon can be blamed on the French, just for variety.Remember the long and bloody insurgency in Sri Lanka, formerly known as Ceylon? Another former British colony.

Strikes and nasty economic problems in South Africa? Yet another former British Colony.

Election violence in Kenya? And another former British Colony.

Ongoing misery under Evil Dictator Mugabe in Zimbabwe, formerly known as Rhodesia? Still another former British Colony.

What’s my point? I don’t suppose I really have one, other than the general evils of colonialism. Thank goodness “we” don’t do that anymore.

Except that we do. Today the US and many European nations practice not military colonialism, but economic colonialism, the evils of which are more subtle, and far less apparent to the public eye

The British Empire circa 1930:

Footnote: I thought Jim would also like this instruction from the British Ministry of Transport in the 1950s:

‘Visitors are informed that in the United Kingdom traffic drives on the left-hand side of the road. In the interests of safety, you are advised to practise this in your country of origin for a week or two before driving in the UK.’

Which is almost as good as the famous newspaper headline: ‘Fog in the channel, continent isolated.’

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About creativeconflictwisdom

I spent 32 years in a Fortune Five company working on conflict: organizational, labor relations and senior management. I have consulted in a dozen different business sectors and the US Military. I work with a local environmental non profit. I have written a book on the neuroscience of conflict, and its implications for conflict handling called Creative Conflict Wisdom (forthcoming).
This entry was posted in Conflict History, Conflict Humor, Middle East Conflict, Ways to handle conflict and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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