Thursday, July 31, 2008

Neo-colonial oppression by means of saying stuff

In a column on – oh, does it really matter? – Martin Jacques announces that Zimbabwe “hurts the British psyche”:

Because we suffer from an acute case of colonial amnesia, we seem to think that we have some unalienable right to lecture Zimbabwe on its iniquities.

Hmm. I’d have thought that it was freedom of speech that gave us the right to lecture whomever on whatever. And some might say that the lecturing is directed at Robert Mugabe, not Zimbabwe itself. Or that he spends far more energy ranting about us than we do about him. But no matter.

Jacques goes on:

Yet Britain's culpability for the country's plight - from tolerating Ian Smith's declaration of independence to the disgraceful land deal that guaranteed the privileged position of white settlers - is second to none.

Mugabe has been in power for 28 years. Britain is certainly culpable for the iniquities of colonial rule, and for bequeathing the colonial state and divided society that Smith then seized to rule over, but really. Mugabe’s had enough time in charge to bear the blame for his own mess. Other former colonies are in much better shape.

1 comment:

Bloggers4Labour said...

It's just as well Martin puts his name at the top of his articles - it saves me having to read any further.