Thoughts from an active pensioner who is now somewhat past his Biblical "Use-by date"

"Why just be difficult, when with a little more effort you can be bloody impossible?"

Saturday, 30 January 2016

Keep Rhodes

Protesters with nothing better to do are demanding that the statue of Cecil Rhodes at Oriel College, Oxford, is removed on the basis that Rhodes was racist. The leader of the campaign is one Ntokozo Qwabe, who himself has benefited from the Rhodes scholarship, funded by a legacy left to the college by none other than the "racist" Cecil Rhodes.

One notices that he didn't turn down the scholarship and was happy to avail himself of funds left by this "racist imperialist". If he really believes Rhodes was so bad he should refund the money immediately and so 'putting his money where his mouth is'. But of course he won't and will no doubt have some convoluted excuse for not doing so.

Let's take a quick look at colonial Africa. When the British and other colonial powers went there, the population was a fraction of the present day population. The inhabitants, who weren't killed by constant inter-tribal warfare generally died of disease or starvation; the life expectancy of most of them was in the order of only 30 years. The colonists stopped the tribal warfare and helped establish agriculture along with basic education so that by the time that Rhodesia became independent, life expectancy was approaching that of many European nations. It interesting to note that life expectancy in modern Zimbabwe has now fallen back to the early thirties over the years since it was given self government and at the same time its education standards have tumbled for all except the privileged few.

I'm no mathematician, but I would suggest that if it hadn't been for the colonial nations, the probability of Ntokozo Qwabe even having being born, let alone surviving to his twenties would have been quite small. It was the "racist colonists" like Rhodes who are indirectly responsible for him actually existing and enabling him to be educated to a standard allowing him to attend Oxford.
He should shut up and give thanks for the colonists who changed Africa from a primitive tribal civilisation to, what was until independence, modern countries.

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