Monday, 6 May 2013

UK to pay compensation for 'poor' treatment under British colonial rule?

Well who'd have thought it.
Three 'Mau Mau' war veterans ( once regarded as terrorists no doubt) who were tortured in the 1950s at the hands of British colonizers,are 'in talks' with the British Government regarding compensation, and now thousands more could be in line for a pay out.

Colonialism was a particularly brutal affair. There are still a few people who are under the impression that it was those who were forcibly removed from the continent that suffered the most.
That would be incorrect.

Those living under colonial rule suffered greatly - systems were then put in place ( Native Administration) by Lord Lugard , to ensure the annihilation of trust, and an incalculable sense of self hatred that would eat away at these people for generations to come. To be fair on Lugard, I doubt even he thought that deeply about it... no... I suspect he just wanted an easier life.. found a way for the British to control without looking as though they were in control... Instil unpopular tax's etc, and seemingly keep their hands(and hearts) clean.
Clever really..(if a little devious)

But let's not be fooled into thinking that colonialism was an easy and dignified process, marked by the signing of papers or lands rights, and people simply being outsmarted.
Rape, killing, mutilation torture of men women and children, at a rate that could best be described as barbaric - even for those times. Often carried out in full view of others so as to scare them shitless.

"Official papers from the time confirm that prisoners suffered appalling abuses. Some died under torture, with colonial officials writing about prisoners being "roasted alive". In one of the few prosecutions brought against the torturers, in December 1954, a Nairobi judge, Arthur Cram, compared the methods employed to those of the Gestapo.

One of those abused was Hussein Onyango Obama, the grandfather of Barack Obama. According to his widow, British soldiers forced pins into his fingernails and buttocks and squeezed his testicles between metal rods. Two of the original five claimants who brought the test case against the British government were castrated." Source - the Guardian

So where does this case leave us?
What about those 'indigenous folk' who became loyal to the colonial system?..e.g chiefs and other bureaucrats.. or will they be excused under the.. 'do or die.. I didn't really mean it' law? (that I just made up)

I think it's interesting because as far as I'm aware no financial compensation has ever been paid to anyone for the abuse experienced under colonial rule. But here's where it get interesting.
If more of these claims are brought to court and won - it will be the British taxpayer who pays.. which begs the question - who among the tax payers should pay?. Surely not me !?"..now that would be taking the bloody piss! ;)

In all honesty I don't see how this is really going to work given the scale we're dealing with..( the Kenyan case is tricky also, given the fact that there were Kenyan 'loyalists' who fought against the 'Mau Mau for the British anyway.. don't ask.. sounds like one big bag a mixed up shit..) and to be honest, would the money help? and for how long.

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