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Roger Smelly

Fears Over Island's Vat Deal

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Colonialism is not the only, and certainly not the best, conduit for the exchange of information technology.

 

How come Thailand - which was never colonised, is so much better off than Burma (ex-British colony) or Cambodia (ex French colony), why has Japan (only briefly occupied after World War II) been so much more successful than still divided Korea (former Japanese colony). In fact, when you look around the world for any other state that can be compared to Mugabe's Zimbabwe, you will find that they are all ex-colonies.

 

Your point is taken, but it's a bit chicken and egg. Countries that were capable of organising and defending themselves were less likely to become colonies. Japan was powerful, and Thailand was too, relatively speaking.

 

So these countries were stronger and more developed to start with than some of their neighbours that succumbed.

 

In Africa, Ethiopia was never colonised, and you could hardly argue that it has done better than Kenya, which was.

 

I'm not really a great supporter of colonialism, but it is difficult to see what else might have happened in the climate of the times. I do believe that Britain's record as a colonial power was better than most, and I also believe that present troubles spring primarily from independence being granted too soon.

 

It's rather touching that PK thought I was being serious when I said that Africa was rich and civilised prior to the colonial era. Perhaps some Grauniad readers really do believe that.

 

S

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The irony of Sebrof's post shouted loud and clear, but there is a message there. To get the message you have to forget about any altruistic intent. The fact that colonialism was beneficial is difficult to argue against, but the benefit was a by-product of where the substantial benefit was enjoyed, nevertheless, it was real.

 

There was a letter to a newspaper (can't remember which one) written by a Nigerian who had visited South Africa and his basic argument was that if colonial (or apartheid) powers had hung around a little longer in Nigeria then it may be in better shape than it is now. But what happened in Nigeria, Kenya, Zimbabwe etc. was that the white control just uppped and left, whereas, in South Africa it was a more controlled handover of power (and responsibility) to the indigenous. I don't support apartheid or colonialism, but there is an argument that a more organic dismantling of the old regimes is more beneficial than the UDI/coup/revolution type approach as the latter seems to be riven with opportunities for corruption and poor governance.

 

Bringing the debate back to the IOM, do we really have fears of an Idi Amin here? We have had centuries of experience of dealing with our lot. We have a government machine in place (some may not like just how it works, but it does), we have the democracy (if they can be shaken out of their armchairs on polling night) and we have the external relations (perhaps a little too shy and hiding behind the UK's apron). So, really, the step of independence wouldn't be that difficult. The big question is whether it would be beneficial.

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The Continent was carves up by the West so a lot of ethnic and religious tensions from arose out of that. But mainly I was talking about the West's economic policies in respect of keeping such countries from developing and remaining poor and support of dictators, how much of that do you think influences how much strife is seen in the Continent?

 

 

never mind the dark continent. cf the 'carved up' island lying to our west....

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The irony of Sebrof's post shouted loud and clear, but there is a message there. To get the message you have to forget about any altruistic intent. The fact that colonialism was beneficial is difficult to argue against, but the benefit was a by-product of where the substantial benefit was enjoyed, nevertheless, it was real.

 

There was a letter to a newspaper (can't remember which one) written by a Nigerian who had visited South Africa and his basic argument was that if colonial (or apartheid) powers had hung around a little longer in Nigeria then it may be in better shape than it is now. But what happened in Nigeria, Kenya, Zimbabwe etc. was that the white control just uppped and left, whereas, in South Africa it was a more controlled handover of power (and responsibility) to the indigenous. I don't support apartheid or colonialism, but there is an argument that a more organic dismantling of the old regimes is more beneficial than the UDI/coup/revolution type approach as the latter seems to be riven with opportunities for corruption and poor governance.

 

Bringing the debate back to the IOM, do we really have fears of an Idi Amin here? We have had centuries of experience of dealing with our lot. We have a government machine in place (some may not like just how it works, but it does), we have the democracy (if they can be shaken out of their armchairs on polling night) and we have the external relations (perhaps a little too shy and hiding behind the UK's apron). So, really, the step of independence wouldn't be that difficult. The big question is whether it would be beneficial.

 

Chief Minister refused to even contemplate abrogation in Keys Q's today.

 

Was also interested in Bernard Moffatt's comments today that 5000 union members in the IOM should be lobbying their head offices to put pressure on Downing Street. BM said that if 5000 union workers in the NW of England were threatened by this kind of funding cut, Tony Woodley would be on telly screaming about it. Every little helps - maybe?

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Was also interested in Bernard Moffatt's comments today that 5000 union members in the IOM should be lobbying their head offices to put pressure on Downing Street. BM said that if 5000 union workers in the NW of England were threatened by this kind of funding cut, Tony Woodley would be on telly screaming about it. Every little helps - maybe?

 

Maybe Bernie should also tell them we've been paying people £30k a year to drive buses for years with full pensions and see if other Prospect members in the NW give a toss about layoffs then as those jobs were sub contracted out at shit pay no benefits rates to Poles years ago in the UK. The fact is many government employees have been lucky and over paid for years.

 

Pure desperation I'm afraid.

 

The private sector have been shitting themselves about jobs for 2 years. Welcome to the club.

Edited by thesultanofsheight

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Was also interested in Bernard Moffatt's comments today that 5000 union members in the IOM should be lobbying their head offices to put pressure on Downing Street. BM said that if 5000 union workers in the NW of England were threatened by this kind of funding cut, Tony Woodley would be on telly screaming about it. Every little helps - maybe?

 

thing is and the way i look at it,

and im going from other ppls figures thay wrote on fag packets,

if the uk still think there paying us 100million more than thay should, dont you think its prob not a good idea to shout about it,

if it went on tv etc or got major public views, all the uk govenment would come out with is well if you want to be like that we just knock the other 100million off,

 

 

while its a total bugger to have happined sometimes its best not to bite the hand that feeds you, because the uk is still feeding us more cash than we should get,

 

in the end it will all come good, it might be hard for a lot of years and a lot of ppl may lose there jobes etc, but that is life, and to be fair how many off the ppl in the isle of man are really that hard up, i dont think there is that many,

 

As long as you can put food on the table items on your back and a roof over your head, what more do you need,

a lot of ppl think the 2nd car the 4 hols a year the feck of big tv is a right. its not its a luxury, a luxury that has been got to easy by so many, and will be hard to see let go.

 

the thick of it is, we all need to watch are spending there are going to be cut backs everywhere that will effect most of us. and there is not a lot we can do about it.

Edited by gazza

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Sebrof - I was referring specifically to the artificial borders established by the imperialists, not just Britain. And I think it pointless for people today to feel ashamed for things done a century or more ago. More useful to consider how we treat those in Africa today.

And I have already explained why these countries have not done well since decolonisation, which is simply the removal of European government, though the West still has economic control and political influence to a massive degree over these countries

 

But who are we to argue that we are more civilised. There are many aspects of our society that aren't civilised, if we judge by our standards.

Edited by La_Dolce_Vita

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It's rather touching that PK thought I was being serious when I said that Africa was rich and civilised prior to the colonial era. Perhaps some Grauniad readers really do believe that.

 

S

Whoosh!

 

So the British brought all those brilliant bits of civilisation and planted them all over the world out of some kind of charitable endeavour and didn't once think about self interest then. Well I never, Mr Sebrof's grasp of history is far and away ahead of most...

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The irony of Sebrof's post shouted loud and clear, but there is a message there. To get the message you have to forget about any altruistic intent. The fact that colonialism was beneficial is difficult to argue against, but the benefit was a by-product of where the substantial benefit was enjoyed, nevertheless, it was real.
Benefits to some.

 

There was a letter to a newspaper (can't remember which one) written by a Nigerian who had visited South Africa and his basic argument was that if colonial (or apartheid) powers had hung around a little longer in Nigeria then it may be in better shape than it is now.
But what was his reasoning. I am not necessarily saying that you fall into this trap, but this seems to be a popular argument that more often than not boils down to these indigenous people being incapable of running their own affairs. I haven't yet heard a good explanation of what would change if the European powers held on a little longer.

 

In fact, the European powers left the instruments and structures for taking control, exploiting, and oppressing the people - parliamentary government. When the people have never been accustomed nor had much in the way of civil liberties and equivalent to that fought for in European countries then they are ripe to be trampled over by the power hungry.

 

in South Africa it was a more controlled handover of power (and responsibility) to the indigenous.
But power has always remained in white hands and with those who have always controlled the economy.

 

We have had centuries of experience of dealing with our lot.
The Island's only had autonomous control since the 1950 really.

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....

Was also interested in Bernard Moffatt's comments today that 5000 union members in the IOM should be lobbying their head offices to put pressure on Downing Street. BM said that if 5000 union workers in the NW of England were threatened by this kind of funding cut, Tony Woodley would be on telly screaming about it. Every little helps - maybe?

 

How ridiculous.

 

Both Bernie and Stu would appear to be in La-la Land

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It's rather touching that PK thought I was being serious when I said that Africa was rich and civilised prior to the colonial era. Perhaps some Grauniad readers really do believe that.

 

S

Whoosh!

 

So the British brought all those brilliant bits of civilisation and planted them all over the world out of some kind of charitable endeavour and didn't once think about self interest then. Well I never, Mr Sebrof's grasp of history is far and away ahead of most...

 

Silly billy. I never mentioned WHY the greater powers (don't forget America and Japan and Turkey) got involved. That was pretty obvious. However, Britain also had a (perhaps fanciful) idea that it was the new Rome, and was bringing light to the dark corners of the world.

 

Read about Macaulay and later (for instance) the arguments between the colonists in East Africa and the Colonial Office over how development should proceed. It's a much more complex subject than the armchair Googlists tend to think.

 

Gladys' post is spot-on, and this time I am not being sarcastic. However, whilst I am not saying that Brown et al will be as bad as Mugabe, I don't have a lot of confidence that they could rise to the challenge of running an independent IOM.

 

S

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Sebrof - I was referring specifically to the artificial borders established by the imperialists, not just Britain. And I think it pointless for people today to feel ashamed for things done a century or more ago. More useful to consider how we treat those in Africa today.

And I have already explained why these countries have not done well since decolonisation, which is simply the removal of European government, though the West still has economic control and political influence to a massive degree over these countries

 

But who are we to argue that we are more civilised. There are many aspects of our society that aren't civilised, if we judge by our standards.

 

Whilst you are correct to say that many borders took no account of local realities, the fact is that Africa has had far fewer border disputes than it might have done, and for most countries the arbitrary borders have had little or no effect on economic performance. Generally, border disputes have been confined to countries where democracy has broken down.

 

Africa is a place of small tribes. Even the Kikuyu, Kenya's biggest tribe, probably only numbered half a million or so in 1890 when Britain started to get involved. Like most of Africa, the country was very sparsely populated, and Kenya's total population then was probably around two million. Western medicine (in this case perhaps a doubtful blessing) is chiefly responsible for a population of nearly 40 million today.

 

It was inevitable that any viable country in Africa would include a mixture of tribes, and I am not convinced that re-drawing the Kenya-Tanganyika border, for instance, (to avoid splitting the Masai), would have had any significant benefits to either country (or indeed to the Masai).

 

Furthermore, I don't agree with your economic analysis. Many structures were in place after independence to protect the economies of former colonies. The Commonwealth Sugar Agreement, for instance, protected sugar prices (Note to PK: that's why it's called a Sugar Agreement). In the seventies there was a brief rise in sugar prices, and Jamaica led the way in tearing up the agreement. The next year prices slumped. But at the end of the day, prices will find their level, and if that means the UK loses much manufacturing capacity to the Far East, that's the way it is.

 

I do agree with your point about our own questionable level of civilisation. We seem to have been taking one step forward and two back in recent years.

 

S

Edited by Sebrof

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However, whilst I am not saying that Brown et al will be as bad as Mugabe, I don't have a lot of confidence that they could rise to the challenge of running an independent IOM.

 

The airport runway would have to be 30 miles long and Douglas rebuilt in the finest marble to last a thousand years.

 

Christ almighty, it's the stuff of nightmares.

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However, whilst I am not saying that Brown et al will be as bad as Mugabe, I don't have a lot of confidence that they could rise to the challenge of running an independent IOM.

 

The airport runway would have to be 30 miles long and Douglas rebuilt in the finest marble to last a thousand years.

 

Christ almighty, it's the stuff of nightmares.

 

It's interesting that there are very few truly independent small countries. Monaco's defence is covered by France; Andorra is co-owned by France and the Bishop of Urquell (not the Pilsener, the Barcelonian). Luxembourg is pretty independent, but it has a much larger population (0.5m).

 

I really doubt that true independence will ever be either a reality or a benefit for the IOM.

 

S

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A Foreign Office Envoy was sent out to a remote African village close to a mountain which British geologists believed to be a major source of diamonds. The Envoy's brief was simple - "Win the sympathy of the local population so we can plunder the diamonds and any other natural resources. The villagers are simple folk and it should be easy to cheat them of their wealth right from under their noses. Just offer all the usual and we're in".

 

He arrived at the village and met the Cheiftain who had been educated in the UK.

 

"I would like to address all of the villagers if I may" he said to the chief.

 

"No problem", said the Chieftain.

 

The villagers were assembled in the village square and the British Envoy stepped up on to an orange box and spoke.

 

"I am here to promise you inward investment from her Majesty, Queen Victoria's Government".

 

The natives all jumped up into the air, shaking their spears and bellowing "Umbullah, Umbullah".

 

The Envoy was pleased with this obviously friendly reception, so he continued.

 

"We propose to build schools so all of your children can be educated"

 

"Umbullah, Umbullah" the natives cried.

 

"We will build hospitals and medical centres so we can eradicate leprosy and malaria", the Envoy continued.

 

"Umbullah, Umbullah" the natives enthused, thrusting their spears towards the heavens.

 

"And we will give you work mining pretty stones so you will be able to provide for your families" he concluded.

 

The natives danced into a frenzy shouting "Umbullah, Umbullah, Umbullah, Umbullah!"

 

The Envoy stepped down from his orange box, and spoke to the Chieftain.

 

"Well Chief, that went exactly as I expected" the Envoy said "Your village is really lucky".

 

"Yes it is" the Cheiftain replied "Would there be anything else I can help you with?"

 

"Well, yes there is" said the Envoy, "When I arrived I noticed a magnificent bull in your lower paddock down by the river, I would very much like to see him at close quarters" he said to the Chieftain.

 

"No problem" said the Chief, as they started to walk down towards the paddock. When they arrived, the Chieftain opened the gate to the paddock.

 

"Is the Bull aggressive?" asked the Envoy.

 

"Oh! no, not at all" replied the chief. "Just be careful not to tread in any Umbullah" he smiled.

 

Note to Forbes: those of us with a sense of humour call that a "joke".

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