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Kirk Susong
Kirk Susong
1 year ago

Like others, I applaud the author’s efforts here – what a lively, succinct synthesis of complex issues, people, movements, stretching over several decades.
It strikes me that essays like this are absolute successes, yet seem to generate a lot less engagement in the comments section, than anything vaguely connected to immigration or trans activism. That’s understandble – obviously hot button political issues generate the greatest emotional response. But essays like this provide an awful lot of food for thought and deserve greater attention.

O Thomas
O Thomas
1 year ago
Reply to  Kirk Susong

Yes, had exactly the same thought (and wasn’t going to comment myself!). It’s unfortunate that everything is so measured and engagement-optimised (no idea how things are run at Unherd, but I would be surprised if any modern media enterprise is an exception)– we might get more of this sort of writing otherwise.

Excellent essay.

O Thomas
O Thomas
1 year ago
Reply to  Kirk Susong

Yes, had exactly the same thought (and wasn’t going to comment myself!). It’s unfortunate that everything is so measured and engagement-optimised (no idea how things are run at Unherd, but I would be surprised if any modern media enterprise is an exception)– we might get more of this sort of writing otherwise.

Excellent essay.

Kirk Susong
Kirk Susong
1 year ago

Like others, I applaud the author’s efforts here – what a lively, succinct synthesis of complex issues, people, movements, stretching over several decades.
It strikes me that essays like this are absolute successes, yet seem to generate a lot less engagement in the comments section, than anything vaguely connected to immigration or trans activism. That’s understandble – obviously hot button political issues generate the greatest emotional response. But essays like this provide an awful lot of food for thought and deserve greater attention.

J Bryant
J Bryant
1 year ago

This is the type of essay where Aris Roussinos shines, imo. An impressively erudite essay on a subject most people probably haven’t considered.
He was also good in an early experiment by Unherd which I think they called “Edgelands”. He interviewed people who were arguably on the fringe of society. I recall he interviewed several members of Extinction Rebellion. They came across as real people, not monsters. But they did all seem to be slightly marginalized, perhaps a little lost and in search of a reason to get out of bed in the morning. Hopefully Unherd will commission him to do more of those types of interviews.

J Bryant
J Bryant
1 year ago

This is the type of essay where Aris Roussinos shines, imo. An impressively erudite essay on a subject most people probably haven’t considered.
He was also good in an early experiment by Unherd which I think they called “Edgelands”. He interviewed people who were arguably on the fringe of society. I recall he interviewed several members of Extinction Rebellion. They came across as real people, not monsters. But they did all seem to be slightly marginalized, perhaps a little lost and in search of a reason to get out of bed in the morning. Hopefully Unherd will commission him to do more of those types of interviews.

Caroline Ayers
Caroline Ayers
1 year ago

Wonderful essay! I knew nothing about this! Thank you thank you! I find the essay to be a really helpful “European” lens through which to view all of Britain’s colonial adventures. I had a peripatetic childhood with my father working for Shell, and living in Indonesia, Borneo and Nigeria. I am fascinated by our colonial past and also feel a great interest in and love for other places and other peoples (whilst absolutely loving England above all, since it is home, and a wonderful home at that.) I have always thought that British colonialism was a mixed bag, but overall did much more good than harm. It’s difficult to say that these days without being shouted down. And so many writers and activists seem to equate slavery (which really was HORRENDOUS) with British colonialism, which was not the same thing at all! This essay was FASCINATING, eye opening and also chimed with my own view of how the British approached their colonies. Thank you UnHerd! It would be fabulous if we could have more in depth UnHerd essays about British Colonialism and Empire generally, as there is not enough balanced, nuanced writing on this topic, and it would be a fascinating historical source to tap.

Last edited 1 year ago by Caroline Ayers
Charles Hedges
Charles Hedges
1 year ago
Reply to  Caroline Ayers

Do you know what cause the Biafran War ?
Nigerian Civil War – Wikipedia
1966 anti-Igbo pogrom – Wikipedia
Once Britain banned slavery, involvement in Africa was reducing slavery, reducing conflict between groups which developed into colonial administration.Reading Arthur Bryant reveals how many in Britain were against developing our influence overseas. The Liberals provided moral support for Livingstone to reduce slavery in East Africa and also develop the region economically. In Africa, expanding British influence was partly achieved through missionaries , especially those who were medics.
I would not say there is lack of nuanced or balanced writing, there is lack of writing by people who were actually there. Most anti Empire types are suburban academics who ahve neverrun a construction site, mine, oil rig, farm etc in former colonial countries and do not come from a family with such experience. I am talking about someone with J Master’s experience
John Masters – Wikipedia
The reality is that as we we ran down Empire , The Foreign Office deliberately ran down Colonial Support, especially after Suez in 1956 and became very pro EEC. Heath and Crispin Tickell were anti Empire and pro- EEC. A Ghanian in his 70s said to me a few days ago the British should have stayed another 15 years to train up more engineers, scientists and doctors. The reality as that in Africa and Pakistan the largest roup of trained middle class professionals were in the Army with very few outside of it, which was why there were so many coups. If Britain had stayed another 15 years and trained up a group of cvilian engineers, scientists, doctors, lawyers and business people, greater in number than Army officers, there would have been less coups.

Colin Elliott
Colin Elliott
1 year ago
Reply to  Charles Hedges

As far as old India (and therefore Pakistan) is concerned, there was a close connection between engineers and doctors, and the army. My grandfather was in the IP, and had 7 brothers, of whom 1 was in the Indian army in a regiment which still exists, 1 in the PWD, and 5 in the IMS.
The last all had military rank, because as well as tending to the army, civilian government employees, and public health (one became famous for mass surgery on cataracts), they also served the army.
The engineer was also associated with the military through mapmaking, and constructing railways, canals, roads and forts, as well as hospitals and other public buildings.

Last edited 1 year ago by Colin Elliott
Colin Elliott
Colin Elliott
1 year ago
Reply to  Charles Hedges

As far as old India (and therefore Pakistan) is concerned, there was a close connection between engineers and doctors, and the army. My grandfather was in the IP, and had 7 brothers, of whom 1 was in the Indian army in a regiment which still exists, 1 in the PWD, and 5 in the IMS.
The last all had military rank, because as well as tending to the army, civilian government employees, and public health (one became famous for mass surgery on cataracts), they also served the army.
The engineer was also associated with the military through mapmaking, and constructing railways, canals, roads and forts, as well as hospitals and other public buildings.

Last edited 1 year ago by Colin Elliott
Charles Hedges
Charles Hedges
1 year ago
Reply to  Caroline Ayers

Do you know what cause the Biafran War ?
Nigerian Civil War – Wikipedia
1966 anti-Igbo pogrom – Wikipedia
Once Britain banned slavery, involvement in Africa was reducing slavery, reducing conflict between groups which developed into colonial administration.Reading Arthur Bryant reveals how many in Britain were against developing our influence overseas. The Liberals provided moral support for Livingstone to reduce slavery in East Africa and also develop the region economically. In Africa, expanding British influence was partly achieved through missionaries , especially those who were medics.
I would not say there is lack of nuanced or balanced writing, there is lack of writing by people who were actually there. Most anti Empire types are suburban academics who ahve neverrun a construction site, mine, oil rig, farm etc in former colonial countries and do not come from a family with such experience. I am talking about someone with J Master’s experience
John Masters – Wikipedia
The reality is that as we we ran down Empire , The Foreign Office deliberately ran down Colonial Support, especially after Suez in 1956 and became very pro EEC. Heath and Crispin Tickell were anti Empire and pro- EEC. A Ghanian in his 70s said to me a few days ago the British should have stayed another 15 years to train up more engineers, scientists and doctors. The reality as that in Africa and Pakistan the largest roup of trained middle class professionals were in the Army with very few outside of it, which was why there were so many coups. If Britain had stayed another 15 years and trained up a group of cvilian engineers, scientists, doctors, lawyers and business people, greater in number than Army officers, there would have been less coups.

Caroline Ayers
Caroline Ayers
1 year ago

Wonderful essay! I knew nothing about this! Thank you thank you! I find the essay to be a really helpful “European” lens through which to view all of Britain’s colonial adventures. I had a peripatetic childhood with my father working for Shell, and living in Indonesia, Borneo and Nigeria. I am fascinated by our colonial past and also feel a great interest in and love for other places and other peoples (whilst absolutely loving England above all, since it is home, and a wonderful home at that.) I have always thought that British colonialism was a mixed bag, but overall did much more good than harm. It’s difficult to say that these days without being shouted down. And so many writers and activists seem to equate slavery (which really was HORRENDOUS) with British colonialism, which was not the same thing at all! This essay was FASCINATING, eye opening and also chimed with my own view of how the British approached their colonies. Thank you UnHerd! It would be fabulous if we could have more in depth UnHerd essays about British Colonialism and Empire generally, as there is not enough balanced, nuanced writing on this topic, and it would be a fascinating historical source to tap.

Last edited 1 year ago by Caroline Ayers
Ian Cooper
Ian Cooper
1 year ago

AR gives the impression that the mistakes made in Corfu were to be later repeated by Britain in the Middle East much more seriously, as if Britain and then America are in some way mainly responsible for the more recent disasters in that region. But might it not be better to point to the centuries of Ottoman imperial rule as to being the main cause of the lack of coherent political communities who could deal with the modern world rather more peacefully and successfully. My gripe is the West gets blamed for the whole mess of the Middle East rather just some of it.

Charles Hedges
Charles Hedges
1 year ago
Reply to  Ian Cooper

When Baghdad was sacked in 1258 by the Mongols. Ibn Taymiyyah said ijtihad- reasoning was dead. Most of the arabic knowledge was stored in the House of Wisdom was destroyed. The sack of Damascus by Timur the Lame in 1400 and then rule by the Ottoman Empire resulted in the decay of Arabic/Muslim knowledge. The arabic /Muslim World was more technically advanced in 950 AD than 1850 AD.
The Ottomans were superb at running an empire , they were ruthless and understood divide and rule. The modern arabic world was based on splitting the Ottoman Empire into components which could be run competently by those living within the boundaries. Boundaries are a problem where people are nomadic.

Emre S
Emre S
1 year ago
Reply to  Charles Hedges

Ottomans themselves suffered at the hands of the Mongols for many centuries – much like their ancestors the Seljuk Turks before them. This is likely one of reasons for the so-called brutality of their ways.

Emre S
Emre S
1 year ago
Reply to  Charles Hedges

Ottomans themselves suffered at the hands of the Mongols for many centuries – much like their ancestors the Seljuk Turks before them. This is likely one of reasons for the so-called brutality of their ways.

Emre S
Emre S
1 year ago
Reply to  Ian Cooper

The grievance of former Ottoman territories (such as the Balkans and Arabia) is the original victimhood story by the way. Long before Wokeism was a thing, people such as the Greek, Serbians and Arab nationalists have been tying everything bad in their country to the Ottoman occupation.
Nowadays white people like to complain that they’re the only ones getting the blame for their past imperial misadventures, but it’s only a continuation of what’s been happening for quite a while.

Last edited 1 year ago by Emre S
Charles Hedges
Charles Hedges
1 year ago
Reply to  Ian Cooper

When Baghdad was sacked in 1258 by the Mongols. Ibn Taymiyyah said ijtihad- reasoning was dead. Most of the arabic knowledge was stored in the House of Wisdom was destroyed. The sack of Damascus by Timur the Lame in 1400 and then rule by the Ottoman Empire resulted in the decay of Arabic/Muslim knowledge. The arabic /Muslim World was more technically advanced in 950 AD than 1850 AD.
The Ottomans were superb at running an empire , they were ruthless and understood divide and rule. The modern arabic world was based on splitting the Ottoman Empire into components which could be run competently by those living within the boundaries. Boundaries are a problem where people are nomadic.

Emre S
Emre S
1 year ago
Reply to  Ian Cooper

The grievance of former Ottoman territories (such as the Balkans and Arabia) is the original victimhood story by the way. Long before Wokeism was a thing, people such as the Greek, Serbians and Arab nationalists have been tying everything bad in their country to the Ottoman occupation.
Nowadays white people like to complain that they’re the only ones getting the blame for their past imperial misadventures, but it’s only a continuation of what’s been happening for quite a while.

Last edited 1 year ago by Emre S
Ian Cooper
Ian Cooper
1 year ago

AR gives the impression that the mistakes made in Corfu were to be later repeated by Britain in the Middle East much more seriously, as if Britain and then America are in some way mainly responsible for the more recent disasters in that region. But might it not be better to point to the centuries of Ottoman imperial rule as to being the main cause of the lack of coherent political communities who could deal with the modern world rather more peacefully and successfully. My gripe is the West gets blamed for the whole mess of the Middle East rather just some of it.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
1 year ago

An interesting essay.
‘We’ should have learnt our lesson but didn’t.
In 1878 we grabbed Cyprus, yet another pestilential nest of Greek nationalism, that would turn very nasty with EOKA*, Grivas & Co.

Perhaps Mr Roussinos could give us the gory details?

(*1956-1960.)

Kirk Susong
Kirk Susong
1 year ago

I think one of the main takeaways of this essay is that there is no clear lesson to learn. There is no course in human affairs, including foreign affairs, which is not rife with difficulty – none of the options pursued by the British over the course of the decades was ‘right,’ all of them had major problems. The pendulum keeps swinging back and forth, back and forth, for all of us.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
1 year ago
Reply to  Kirk Susong

The renowned Spanish philosopher George Santayana* thought the British, and in particular the English, were the greatest and most benign rulers since Ancient Rome.

I tend to agree with him.

(*1863-1952.)

Nicky Samengo-Turner
Nicky Samengo-Turner
1 year ago

Now replaced by Darren, Kevin , LeRoy and their equally vulgar, bovine, drunken doped- up violent and tattooed distaff free copulists Sharon, Kourtenay, and Tracy Dyan

Nicky Samengo-Turner
Nicky Samengo-Turner
1 year ago

Now replaced by Darren, Kevin , LeRoy and their equally vulgar, bovine, drunken doped- up violent and tattooed distaff free copulists Sharon, Kourtenay, and Tracy Dyan

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
1 year ago
Reply to  Kirk Susong

The renowned Spanish philosopher George Santayana* thought the British, and in particular the English, were the greatest and most benign rulers since Ancient Rome.

I tend to agree with him.

(*1863-1952.)

Albert McGloan
Albert McGloan
1 year ago

Nothing that wouldn’t have been solved with a well-prosecuted policy of decimation, old boy. What far-flung part of the Empire would you have enjoyed lording it over?

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
1 year ago
Reply to  Albert McGloan

Weihaiwei.

james goater
james goater
1 year ago

A splendid choice — and a far simpler task than lording it over the other British colony further down the coast, I would imagine.

james goater
james goater
1 year ago

A splendid choice — and a far simpler task than lording it over the other British colony further down the coast, I would imagine.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
1 year ago
Reply to  Albert McGloan

Weihaiwei.

Kirk Susong
Kirk Susong
1 year ago

I think one of the main takeaways of this essay is that there is no clear lesson to learn. There is no course in human affairs, including foreign affairs, which is not rife with difficulty – none of the options pursued by the British over the course of the decades was ‘right,’ all of them had major problems. The pendulum keeps swinging back and forth, back and forth, for all of us.

Albert McGloan
Albert McGloan
1 year ago

Nothing that wouldn’t have been solved with a well-prosecuted policy of decimation, old boy. What far-flung part of the Empire would you have enjoyed lording it over?

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
1 year ago

An interesting essay.
‘We’ should have learnt our lesson but didn’t.
In 1878 we grabbed Cyprus, yet another pestilential nest of Greek nationalism, that would turn very nasty with EOKA*, Grivas & Co.

Perhaps Mr Roussinos could give us the gory details?

(*1956-1960.)

Chris Amies
Chris Amies
1 year ago

This is a bit of history I literally had not heard about until reading Jules Verne’s “Islands on Fire.” Where he notes the British mania for erecting statues to the governors of Corfu.

Chris Amies
Chris Amies
1 year ago

This is a bit of history I literally had not heard about until reading Jules Verne’s “Islands on Fire.” Where he notes the British mania for erecting statues to the governors of Corfu.

Milton Gibbon
Milton Gibbon
1 year ago

Cracking essay. Up there with Mr Roussinos’ best.

Milton Gibbon
Milton Gibbon
1 year ago

Cracking essay. Up there with Mr Roussinos’ best.

Ian McKinney
Ian McKinney
1 year ago

Lovely piece.

Ian McKinney
Ian McKinney
1 year ago

Lovely piece.

edward coyle
edward coyle
1 year ago

Great essay. I believe they still play cricket on the island, with a pitch in the middle of the town. This is a slight variation on the considerations of Denis Healy, when as Defence Minister in the 60s implementing the East of Suez withdrawal of British troops, and the British High Commissioner in Aden as they watched an impromptu game of football of squaddies on the dockside as the navy prepared to move them out.
They agreed on two things as the lasting legacy of the British Empire; the game of association football, and the general understanding throughout the world of the expression ‘f**k off’.

edward coyle
edward coyle
1 year ago

Great essay. I believe they still play cricket on the island, with a pitch in the middle of the town. This is a slight variation on the considerations of Denis Healy, when as Defence Minister in the 60s implementing the East of Suez withdrawal of British troops, and the British High Commissioner in Aden as they watched an impromptu game of football of squaddies on the dockside as the navy prepared to move them out.
They agreed on two things as the lasting legacy of the British Empire; the game of association football, and the general understanding throughout the world of the expression ‘f**k off’.

Neil Ross
Neil Ross
1 year ago

After reading this only conclusion is that Corfu got the best possible option after 1815 compared to the alternatives!!

Last edited 1 year ago by Neil Ross
Neil Ross
Neil Ross
1 year ago

After reading this only conclusion is that Corfu got the best possible option after 1815 compared to the alternatives!!

Last edited 1 year ago by Neil Ross
Emre S
Emre S
1 year ago

Reminds me of that Fawlty Towers episode where the Germans gasp how did they ever win the war. I read this and wonder how the British ever had an empire.

Last edited 1 year ago by Emre S
Emre S
Emre S
1 year ago

Reminds me of that Fawlty Towers episode where the Germans gasp how did they ever win the war. I read this and wonder how the British ever had an empire.

Last edited 1 year ago by Emre S
O F
O F
1 year ago

Any chance of providing your contributors with a thesaurus ir employing a sub-editor to take out the constant repetition?

O F
O F
1 year ago

Any chance of providing your contributors with a thesaurus ir employing a sub-editor to take out the constant repetition?

Peter Kwasi-Modo
Peter Kwasi-Modo
1 year ago

I am not sure what the author meant by saying “British rule in the Ionians ended in the empire’s first bitter taste of decolonisation.” A century earlier, the American colonies “decolonised” themselves. And there are even earlier examples of decolonisation, such as Darien.

Peter Kwasi-Modo
Peter Kwasi-Modo
1 year ago

I am not sure what the author meant by saying “British rule in the Ionians ended in the empire’s first bitter taste of decolonisation.” A century earlier, the American colonies “decolonised” themselves. And there are even earlier examples of decolonisation, such as Darien.

Nicky Samengo-Turner
Nicky Samengo-Turner
1 year ago

And now full of drunken tattooed British sub pond life….

Nicky Samengo-Turner
Nicky Samengo-Turner
1 year ago

And now full of drunken tattooed British sub pond life….

Melissa Martin
Melissa Martin
1 year ago

Loved this. Guildford Street in Corfu Town & Garitsa have indeed a ‘crinoline’ charm. The Frenchies left their mark with the distinctively Gallic numbers on the houses.