In a shocking radio rebroadcast of BBC News commentary which was aired on Public Radio in the United States. The state funded international news outlet British Broadcasting (BBC). The one time largest most prolific Colonial government in the world, the United Kingdom. Declared the United States and its citizens a "tribal society".
On 11/18/2017 in what can only be called a scathing indictment of the American political system. The BBC ran a news commentary decrying the recent spat of dirty (pornographic) politics being played out in the United States news media. As I drove home from work last night at 3:00 Am in the morning, I was reminded of what it must have felt like to be under the rule of the British monarchy in the 17th and 18th Century Colonies. As the Alabama senate race allegations of sexual misconduct blared in my ears as expressed by a female commentator who's demeanor was pointed, angry and vindictive as if she were the victim of the crime being reported.
As the news progressed, I was suddenly assailed by a strong and loud female voice speaking in an upper class British accent. The commentary suddenly spiraled out of control as the commentator outlined the shortcomings of the American political system and the current spat of sexual allegations being thrown into the dirty arena of American politics. As I continued my commute I was driven back into my seat by the visions of Pedophilia in politics, allegations of misogyny and claims that the United States and its citizens are members of different tribes whom refuse to cooperate in any form whatsoever to resolve any political issue.
After I awoke from a fitful disturbed sleep. I immediately went to the BBC website to search for a (any) podcast that pertained to what I heard, which I was unable to locate. But what I did find was a disappointing litany of stories that repeated the American tribal pseudo-theoretical premise that American society is nothing more than loose conglomerate hostile inarticulate non-intellectual sub-humans who cannot cooperate long enough together to sweep a floor. I found this premise both strange and illegitimate at best. After all did we not descend from our benefactors in the United Kingdom? I already know this to be true, because I am a descendant of ancestors from the UK who came to the to this British colony in the 1790's.
However powerful the tone of the story may have been. The BBC's position is both historically incorrect and hypocritical in every sense. Afterall, for over two hundred years the British crown kept other societies in a state of servitude. The thirteen colonies were just one of many interests that the crown kept under control by iron fist rule and military intervention. The fact remains that in the two hundred forty years that the United States has existed. It's report card on human rights and freedom has very few failing grades.
THE GLARING DIFFERENCE IN OUR PEOPLES AND PRACTICES
There a very distinct and glaring political and social differences between the U.S. and the U.K. The American system is highly adversarial and American politicians are considered "Gladiators" in a tough arena where symbolic blood is drawn in combat to win the prize of service to the American people. Politics in the American sense are not for the faint of heart, the weak minded and those that wish to live in safe places surrounded by the like minded. On the other end of the spectrum the U.K. may possess a certain gentile methodology in parliament that would not fair well in American politics.
Thomas Paine once said; The harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph. What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly; it is dearness only that gives everything its value. I love the man that can smile in trouble, that can gather strength from distress and grow brave by reflection. 'Tis the business of little minds to shrink; but he whose heart is firm, and whose conscience approves his conduct, will pursue his principles unto death.
SO.... Lets take a look at the United Kingdom's political history and think about its position on human rights...
Mohandas K. Gandhi .. His single minded leadership shook the colonial overlords to the core
THE British Empire, a worldwide system of dependencies—colonies, protectorates, and other territories—that over a span of some three centuries was brought under the sovereignty of the crown of Great Britain and the administration of the British government. The policy of granting or recognizing significant degrees of self-government by dependencies, which was favoured by the far-flung nature of the empire, led to the development by the 20th century of the notion of a “British Commonwealth,” comprising largely self-governing dependencies that acknowledged an increasingly symbolic British sovereignty. The term was embodied in statute in 1931. Today the Commonwealth includes former elements of the British Empire in a free association of sovereign states.
Great Britain made its first tentative efforts to establish overseas settlements in the 16th century. Maritime expansion, driven by commercial ambitions and by competition with France, accelerated in the 17th century and resulted in the establishment of settlements in North America and the West Indies. By 1670 there were British American colonies in New England, Virginia, and Maryland and settlements in the Bermudas, Honduras, Antigua, Barbados, and Nova Scotia. Jamaica was obtained by conquest in 1655, and the Hudson’s Bay Company established itself in what became northwestern Canada from the 1670s on. The East India Company began establishing trading posts in India in 1600, and the Straits Settlements (Penang, Singapore, Malacca, and Labuan) became British through an extension of that company’s activities. The first permanent British settlement on the African continent was made at James Island in the Gambia River in 1661. Slave trading had begun earlier in Sierra Leone, but that region did not become a British possession until 1787. Britain acquired the Cape of Good Hope (now in South Africa) in 1806, and the South African interior was opened up by
Nearly all these early settlements arose from the enterprise of particular companies and magnates rather than from any effort on the part of the English crown. The crown exercised some rights of appointment and supervision, but the colonies were essentially self-managing enterprises. The formation of the empire was thus an unorganized process based on piecemeal acquisition, sometimes with the British government being the least willing partner in the enterprise.
United Kingdom: Imperialism and British politics
Imperialism was the key word of the 1890s, just as Home Rule had been in the critical decade of the 1880s, and the cause of empire was associated not merely with the economic interests of businessmen looking for materials and markets and the enthusiasm of crowds excited by the adventure of empire but also with the traditional lustre of the crown. Disraeli had emphasized the last of these...
In the 17th and 18th centuries, the crown exercised control over its colonies chiefly in the areas of trade and shipping. In accordance with the mercantilist philosophy of the time, the colonies were regarded as a source of necessary raw materials for England and were granted monopolies for their products, such as tobacco and sugar, in the British market. In return, they were expected to conduct all their trade by means of English ships and to serve as markets for British manufactured goods. The Navigation Act of 1651 and subsequent acts set up a closed economy between Britain and its colonies; all colonial exports had to be shipped on English ships to the British market, and all colonial imports had to come by way of England. This arrangement lasted until the combined effects of the Scottish economist Adam Smith’s Wealth of Nations (1776), the loss of the American colonies, and the growth of a free-trade movement in Britain slowly brought it to an end in the first half of the19th century.The slave trade acquired a peculiar importance to Britain’s colonial economy in the Americas, and it became an economic necessity for the Caribbean colonies and for the southern parts of the future United States. Movements for the end of slavery came to fruition in British colonial possessions long before the similar movement in the United States; the trade was abolished in 1800s and slavery itself in Britain’s dominions in 1833.Competition With France
British military and naval power, under the leadership of such men as Robert Clive, James Wolfe, and Eyre Coote, gained for Britain two of the most important parts of its empire—Canada and India. Fighting between the British and French colonies in North America was endemic in the first half of the 18th century, but the Treaty of Paris of 1763, which ended the Seven Years’ War (known as the French and Indian War in North America), left Britain dominant in Canada. In India, the East India Company was confronted by the French Compagnie des Indes, but Robert Clive’s military victories against the French and the rulers of Bengal in the 1750s provided the British with a massive accession of territory and ensured their future supremacy in India.
The loss of Britain’s 13 American colonies in 1776–83 was compensated by new settlements in Australia from 1788 and by the spectacular growth of Upper Canada (now Ontario) after the emigration of loyalists from what had become the United States. The Napoleonic Wars provided further additions to the empire; the Treaty of Amiens (1802) made Trinidad and Ceylon (now Sri Lanka) officially British, and in the Treaty of Paris (1814) France ceded Tobago, Mauritius, Saint Lucia, and Malta. Malacca joined the empire in 1795, and Sir Stamford Raffles acquired Singapore in 1819. Canadian settlements in Alberta, Manitoba, and British Columbia extended British influence to the Pacific, while further British conquests in India brought in the United Provinces of Agra and Oudh and the Central Provinces, East Bengal, and Assam.Dominance And Dominions
The 19th century marked the full flower of the British Empire. Administration and policy changed during the century from the haphazard arrangements of the 17th and 18th centuries to the sophisticated system characteristic of Joseph Chamberlain’s tenure (1895–1900) in the Colonial Office. That office, which began in 1801, was first an appendage of the Home Office and the Board of Trade, but by the 1850s it had become a separate department with a growing staff and a continuing policy; it was the means by which discipline and pressure were exerted on the colonial governments when such action was considered necessary.New Zealand became officially British in 1840, after which systematic colonization there followed rapidly. Partly owing to pressure from missionaries, British control was extended to Fiji, Tonga, Papua, and other islands in the Pacific Ocean, and in 1877 the British High Commission for the Western Pacific Islands was created. In the wake of the Indian Mutiny (1857), the British crown assumed the East India Company’s governmental authority in India. Britain’s acquisition of Burma (Myanmar) was completed in 1886, while its conquest of the Punjab (1849) and of Balochistān (1854–76) provided substantial new territory in the Indian subcontinent itself. The French completion of the Suez Canal (1869) provided Britain with a much shorter sea route to India. Britain responded to this opportunity by expanding its port at Aden, establishing a protectorate in Somaliland (now Somalia), and extending its influence in the sheikhdoms of southern Arabia and the Persian Gulf. Cyprus, which was, like Gibraltar and Malta, a link in the chain of communication with India through the Mediterranean, was occupied in 1878. Elsewhere, British influence in the Far East expanded with the development of the Straits Settlements and the federated Malay states, and in the 1880s protectorates were formed over Brunei and Sarawak. Hong Kong island became British in 1841, and an “informal empire” operated in China by way of British treaty ports and the great trading city of Shanghai.
The greatest 19th-century extension of British power took place in Africa, however. Britain was the acknowledged ruling force in Egypt from 1882 and in the Sudan from 1899. In the second half of the century, the Royal Niger Company began to extend British influence in Nigeria, and the Gold Coast (now Ghana) and The Gambia also became British possessions. The Imperial British East Africa Company operated in what are now Kenya and Uganda, and the British South Africa Company operated in what are now Zimbabwe (formerly Southern Rhodesia), Zambia (formerly Northern Rhodesia), and Malawi. Britain’s victory in the South African War (1899–1902) enabled it to annex the Transvaal and the Orange Free State in 1902 and to create the Union of South Africa in 1910. The resulting chain of British territories stretching from South Africa northward to Egypt realized an enthusiastic British public’s idea of an African empire extending “from the Cape to Cairo.” By the end of the 19th century, the British Empire comprised nearly one-quarter of the world’s land surface and more than one-quarter of its total population.
The idea of limited self-government for some of Britain’s colonies was first recommended for Canada by Lord Durham in 1839. This report proposed “responsible self-government” for Canada, so that a cabinet of ministers chosen by the Canadians could exercise executive powers instead of officials chosen by the British government. The cabinet would depend primarily on support by the colonial legislative assembly for its tenure of ministerial office. Decisions on foreign affairs and defense, however, would still be made by a governor-general acting on orders from the British government in London. The system whereby some colonies were allowed largely to manage their own affairs under governors appointed by the mother country spread rapidly. In 1847 it was put into effect in the colonies in Canada, and it was later extended to the Australian colonies, New Zealand, and to the Cape Colony and Natal in southern Africa. These colonies obtained such complete control over their internal affairs that in 1907 they were granted the new status of dominions. In 1910 another dominion, the Union of South Africa, was formed from the Cape Colony, Natal, and the former Boer republics of the Transvaal and the Orange Free State.
This select group of nations within the empire, with substantial European populations and long experience of British forms and practices, was often referred to as the British Commonwealth. The demands and stresses of World War I and its aftermath led to a more formal recognition of the special status of the dominions. When Britain had declared war on Germany in 1914 it was on behalf of the entire empire, the dominions as well as the colonies. But after World War I ended in 1918, the dominions signed the peace treaties for themselves and joined the newly formed League of Nations as independent states equal to Britain. In 1931 the Statute of Westminster recognized them as independent countries “within the British Empire, equal in status” to the United Kingdom. The statute referred specifically to the “British Commonwealth of Nations.” When World War II broke out in 1939, the dominions made their own declarations of war.
The rest of the British Empire consisted for the most part of colonies and other dependencies whose predominant indigenous populations had no such experience. For them a variety of administrative techniques was tried, ranging from the sophisticated Indian Civil Service, with its largely effective adoption of native practices in civil law and administration, to the very loose and indirect supervision exercised in a number of African territories, where settlers and commercial interests were left much to themselves while native Africans were segregated into “reserves.”
Nationalism And The Commonwealth
Nationalist sentiment developed rapidly in many of these areas after World War I and even more so after World War II, with the result that, beginning with India in 1947, independence was granted them, along with the option of retaining an association with Great Britain and other former dependencies in the Commonwealth of Nations (the adjective “British” was not used officially after 1946). Indian and Pakistani independence was followed by that of Ceylon (now Sri Lanka) and Burma (Myanmar) in 1948. The Gold Coast became the first sub-Saharan African colony to reach independence (as Ghana) in 1957. The movement of Britain’s remaining colonies in Africa, Asia, and the Caribbean toward self-government gained speed in the years after 1960 as international pressure mounted (especially at the United Nations), as the notion of independence spread in the colonies themselves, and as the British public, which was no longer actively imperial in its sentiments, accepted the idea of independence as a foregone conclusion.