Saturday, September 10, 2005

Britain's continued looting of Africa

http://www.guardian.co.uk/comment/story/0,3604,1552921,00.html

Richard Drayton, in the Guardian 20 August 2005, wrote about Britain's looting of Africa.

He pointed out:

Britain was the main slaving nation in the modern world.

The G8's debt-forgiveness initiative is not what it seems.

In order to benefit, governments must agree to "conditions", which include the privatisation of public services.

The money borrowed by Africa has already been more than repaid in interest.

The money borrowed by Africa has mostly gone to buy industrial imports from the west and Japan.

Africa's debt was trivial compared to what the west really owes Africa.

Joseph Inikori's book, Africans and the Industrial Revolution in England, shows how African consumers, free and enslaved, helped to develop Britain's manufacturing industry.

Africa's palm oil, petroleum, copper, chromium, platinum and in particular gold were and are crucial to the world economy.

The leadership problems in Africa are a result of 'two centuries of slaving, followed by another of colonial despotism'.

Idi Amin came to power in Uganda through British covert action.

Nigeria's generals were supported and manipulated from 1960 onwards in support of Britain's oil interests.

Mugabe 'learned too well from the British how to govern without real popular consent, and how to make the law serve ruthless private interest'.

British statesman, Alec Douglas-Home, agreed with the US president in 1960 that Patrice Lumumba, its elected leader, needed to "fall into a river of crocodiles".

More than 100 black people have died in mysterious circumstances while in police, prison or hospital custody since 1969.

Early this year, Gordon Brown told journalists in Mozambique that Britain should stop apologising for colonialism. The truth is, though, that Britain has never even faced up to the dark side of its imperial history, let alone begun to apologise.

Dr Richard Drayton is a senior lecturer in imperial and extra-European history since 1500 at Cambridge University. His book The Caribbean and the Making of the Modern World will be published in 2006.

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