Ill-informed PC journalists

One of the most crippling handicaps that modern Britain labours under is its ill-informed PC class of journalists.

Thus in the 15 October 2010 edition of the Times newspaper Ben Macintyre opines that “we” (he means us, but actually it’s he and his fellow journalists) suffer from “post-imperial guilt” which “would stop us from flying the flag” as the Chilean people are doing with their flag to rejoice in the safe recovery of their 33 miners trapped for 68 days 2300 feet underground.

Apparently for some of Macintyre’s acquaintances, the Union flag represents “a conflicted past”, when “Britons never, never, never shall be slaves, but had little compunction about oppressing if not actually enslaving others”.

The actual truth about slavery which Macintyre and others should learn by heart is that the people of every nation without exception, including Africans and Asians, participated in slavery and slave trading and some still do.  Britons were late-comers to the slave trade, but uniquely among nations, Britain first (in 1807) banned British subjects anywhere on earth from engaging in the slave trade, and then Britain established permanent anti-slavery patrols in the Indian and Atlantic oceans.  These patrols arrested the ships of any nations suspected of carrying slaves and, if doing so, freed the slaves and imprisoned the captain in the nearest British Empire port.  These anti-slavery squadrons were maintained, at British taxpayers’ expense, for over 100 years until the outbreak of the First World War in 1914.  In fact it has been truly said that never in the whole history of the world has one nation, acting on behalf of all, relieved the suffering of so many over such a period of time.

By contrast, the United States had to fight a civil war in 1861-65 until its slaves were freed.  Brazil, another “New World” country finally abolished slavery as late as 1893.  Nonetheless Brazil isn’t tormented by guilt-laden journalists: it is just getting on with building a modern economy for its people.

It would be interesting to know which peoples Britain is supposed to have “oppressed”.  This routine Marxist allegation has been taught now to a generation of children, but apart from dwelling on particular incidents involving individuals (which all countries show examples of), nothing is ever said to support this atrocious lie of state-sponsored “oppression”.

As for the Union flag, it is an integral part of the flags of three of the four largest provinces in Canada, of Australia and its six states, of New Zealand – all full democratic countries – and of the countless battle honours of British, Canadian, Australian and New Zealand regiments dating back hundreds of years in some cases.  Even Hawaii has a Union flag in the canton of its flag, commemorating the visit of one of her Majesty’s ships.  Such has been the association of the Union flag-flying Royal Navy with their freedom and safety that for several generations “Nelson” has been a favourite Christian name among Black people in South Africa and the West Indies, Nelson standing as proxy for the Royal Navy.

Indeed outside the narrow coterie of metropolitan journalists, the Union flag is seen around the world, as no other is seen or ever has been seen, as the flag of freedom.  Its arrival on the shoulders and vehicles of our troops in war-torn parts of the world throughout the 20th century has offered relief and safety to millions of people, who knew nothing of Britain and its people except its flag.

The British people, Mr McIntyre, do not suffer from post-imperial guilt.  They suffer from a PC plague which prevents them celebrating from time to time, the history-shaping achievements of the British Empire from which the United States itself also sprang.  On the other hand the PC plague celebrates every nationalism except its own as Macintyre celebrated the “happy nationalism on display in Chile”, seemingly oblivious or uncaring of the fact that until very recently Chile was in the international dog-house for its military dictatorships and undemocratic ways.

Perhaps we should forgive Macintyre for his crass unpatriotic ignorance.  He is 47 years old which means that in his education he suffered from the 1960s and 1970s’ generation of teachers, who, outside the independent schools, seemed determined to denigrate their own country in the eyes of our children, a tendency which has continued until very recently.

This is why it is so important to support Michael Gove (Secretary of State for Education) in his recently announced determination to restore proper narrative British history to our schools and to make it a compulsory subject to age 16 as Sean Lang of Anglia-Ruskin University argued recently in the Daily Telegraph (15 October).

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2 Responses to “Ill-informed PC journalists”

  1. twf says:

    Toussaint L’Ouverture is a prominent slave in the history of the slave trade. He rose up and fought the French oppressors. You can see a clip of his last moments in prison from the film “The Last Days of Toussaint L’Ouverture” – a short film –

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  2. Stephen Bush Stephen Bush says:

    This comment reminds us of the distinction between the institution of slavery and slave-trading. Slavery itself was abolished in the British Empire in 1833. Abolition was a key part of Jamaica’s history for instance, but also prompted the Boers in Cape Province to undertake the Great Trek into what was to become the Transvaal and Orange Free State in order to escape the British prohibition.

    While the trek was an attempt to maintain slavery, many slaves in other jurisdictions endeavoured to free themselves. A slave revolt broke out in 1791 in what is today Haiti, led by Toussaint L’Ouverture who unfortunately in 1801 started an all too familiar pattern by proclaiming himself president for life. In 1804 Haiti finally achieved independence from the French, who imposed stringent financial conditions which constrained development for a long time.

    Sierra Leone, which was set up by English settlers in 1787 to receive freed slaves, obtained independence from Britain in 1961 where the same dreary pattern of dictatorships and revolution commenced. This culminated in the sending of British troops in 2000 to restore order and bring an end to civil war.

    In 2003, the British asked the United States to intervene in Liberia (bordering Sierra Leone), a country founded by freed American slaves in 1822 having similarly fallen into chaos.

    The question remains as to whether there is any way, short of re-establishing a form of direct colonial rule, to prevent small, poor, countries in Africa and elsewhere falling into civil war or becoming subject to corrupt dictatorships, which damage themselves and their neighbours.

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