Two items from worldwide internet press reports stay in my mind from yesterday. The first was a statement that in an East African country the population now viewed their former British colonial rulers more favourably than their present rulers. The second was the incredible affront to democracy (and to those who died for freedom in Europe down the centuries) that was delivered by a spokesperson for EU Commission President Barroso, on which I blogged on Ironies Too, linked here. I repeat that short incredible statement here:
“Those who compare the EU to the USSR show a complete lack of understanding of what democracy is and show a lack of respect for those who have fought for freedom and democracy.”
The disgraceful manner in which the EU behaves towards the third world is particularly evident in the fisheries agreements by which it forces small, economically vulnerable, independent island sovereign states to hand over the treasures of their surrounding seas to be plundered by the voacious appetites of the giant factory fishing trawlers, deployed across the world as a consequence of the EU’s own once rich seas of Britain, Holland and Denmark having been greedily denuded of fish.
Britain as part of the EU, now shares in the shame of being associated with these odious practices. It was not always like that, as the report from the East African nation mentioned above clearly shows. One book contrasting the differences in colonial administration between Britain and the countries of mainland europe is The River by Edward Hooper. Another which I have yet to read, my copy being still in the post, is the biography of my great-aunt, Margery Perham, entitled Into Africa by C. Brad Faught, which I trust will leave neither Britain nor my family with much of which to be ashamed. Such cannot be said of the first mentioned book which theorises that the spread of HIV from the simian species could well have been a legacy of colonial practises during Belgium’s African rule.
My own experiences of the difference between colonial governance as practised by mainland europeans and those of the British Empire were formed whilst spending almost the entirety of 1962 in delivering petroleum products to the seaports of the colonies all around Africa from the Congo to the Red Sea. While mostly calling at the English-speaking colonies I frequently saw at first hand the circumstances of ordinary Africans in the Portuguese East African territory at Beira and Lourenco Marques, but also West Africa in Lobito and Luanda, where the fighting was already underway. Once I penetrated far up the Congo to Ango Ango, almost reaching Leopoldville, that enduring monument to Belgium’s shame.
Why now do Britain’s present political leaders choose to set aside past good practice and submerge ourselves with the worst that Europe has to offer – Belgian and Portuguese administration in the form of Van Rompuy and Barroso, under the guiding control of France and Germany which has already resulted in the positioning of puppet governments both in Greece and Italy!
John Redwood MP queries on his blog this morning why some amongst us, constantly push for Britain’s withdrawal from the EU. Staying within is shameful, it is not a matter of trade and economics, but rather democracy and once again upholding the beliefs for which Britain was once proud to both stand and fight. Little and smallminded tinpot putative dictators like Barroso will never be able to understand that concept. Small countries tend to have small histories and thus their leaders little comprehend the importance of being able to stand tall in the world!