Potiphar12's Blog
An Octogenarian in the modern world


I read this 2003 book recently by accident. It spends about 450 pages explaining how awful British Foreign Policy has been since WWII in ex-colonies and in under-developed countries. Support for friendly dictators and brutal repression of any popular  movement that hoped to do ordinary people any good and to threaten greedy British commercial interests. That sort of thing. Also, it seems, we are governed by a tight group of political/academic/media people who are cross-party, not truly accountable to anybody, and self-perpetuating.  Discounting the obvious bias, it was interesting and quite easy to believe. I bugged me a bit because it said little about how heavily we are all influenced by the climate we grow up in and how we do a lot of things that seem quite natural at the time and only appear evil much later. And perhaps if we had done the other thing – what seems right now – then the outcome might have been even worse.  As a young man I worked as a colonial civil servant and even had a small walk-on part in a minor security activity. I didn’t feel I was an evil-doer. And many people who worked there with me really thought they were there to benefit local people. There were goodies and baddies then, as there always will be. Your terrorist is my freedom-fighter and so on.

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