Monday, 2 July 2007

A Wicked Imperialist?

One of the things that can be guaranteed to get leftists of all kinds, from middle-class white liberals, through socialist ranters, to the whinging players of racial politics, really hot under the collar is the British Empire. One has only to mention it, to be met with cries of "racism" and "imperialism". Indeed, to even suggest that colonisation by the most advanced civilisation on Earth might actually have benefited at least some of the people who were colonised is, for those on the left, morally equivalent to proclaiming that one regularly feasts on the flesh of new-born babies.

And of course, anyone who suggests that people in, say, Africa might actually be better off if they were still governed by the wicked white British people, rather than by themselves, is clearly an unreconstructed white supremacist bigot, and a fascist imperialist of the worst kind.
So, I wonder what those on the left would make of Pius Ncube, the Archbishop of Bulawayo, and spiritual leader of Zimbabwe's Catholics, who had this to say recently:
I think it is justified for Britain to raid Zimbabwe and remove Mugabe. We should do it ourselves but there’s too much fear. I’m ready to lead the people, guns blazing, but the people are not ready.
So, we have a black man suggesting that a black country would be better off if the wicked white people invaded it. Must be a bit of a quandary for the left! He's right, of course (not to mention very brave); Zimbabwe could hardly be worse off than it is under Robert Mugabe's rule. At present, it has the world's lowest life expectancy, inflation at 15,000% and rising rapidly, and, in part because of Mugabe's policy of seizing land from white farmers who actually know how to make it productive, and handing it over to ignorant Zanu PF mobs, 95% of crops in some parts of the country have failed, leaving Zimbabwe on the verge of famine.

Personally, I wouldn't be averse to this country taking out Mugabe. Perhaps not with a full-on invasion: I doubt we have the resources for that, for a start. But, if it were possible for Mugabe to be assassinated without an invasion, then that is something that might be worth looking to.

But, at the back of my mind there's the nagging doubt that, even if Mugabe was killed, it would do much good in the long-run. From the track record of so many post-colonial African governments, it would only be so long before another Mugabe, another Mobutu, another Bokassa, arose to screw everything up.

But, in any event, next time someone whines to you about colonialism, or about white minority rule in countries like Zimbabwe, or South Africa, just tell them what the Archbishop of Bulawayo thinks, and ask them whether they really believe that the average Zimbabwean would not be a lot better off under either colonial or white minority rule than he is now.

No comments: