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Of colonies and colonialism

The UN has been discussing colonialisation, and has come up with a list of 16 colonies:

Western Sahara - Morocco
American Samoa - US
Guam - US
New Caledonia - France
Pitcairn - UK
Tokelau - NZ
Anguilla - UK
Bermuda - UK
British Virgin Islands - guess...
Cayman Islands -UK
Falkland Islands (Malvinas) (sic) - UK
Gibraltar - UK
Montserrat - UK
Saint Helena - UK
Turks and Caicos Islands - UK
United States Virgin Islands - guess...

And among those countries pontificating on the topic are Iran, China (what about Tibet, eh?), Syria and Cuba...

"In congratulatory remarks, the representatives of Congo, Mali, Indonesia, Cuba and Saint Kitts and Nevis expressed the hope that the Special Committee would fulfil its mandate during the last three years of the Second International Decade for the Eradication of Colonialism by 2010".

So, step forward Tokelau with its GDP of $1.5m and population of 1,392, and Pitcairn with its population of 45. A bit of rooting around suggests that it is only Western Sahara and New Caledonia which show any great enthusiasm for independence.

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Blogger Arthurian Legend said... 12:30 pm

Well if your colonial master was either Morocco or France, wouldn't you be a little bit enthusiastic for divorce...?!  

Anonymous swift said... 1:08 pm

This 'special committee' sounds like the wet dream of some overfed, underworked diplomat from a failed state. Sit around making 'congratulatory' remarks, break for lunch, arrange a few meetings in the Caribbean, slag off Britain and America...
I'm sure the poor downtrodden people of Bermuda and Gibraltar must be wishing they could have a bit of independence and become like commmittee members Sierra Leone and Cuba.
Don't forget to put a note in your diary for 24th May - start of the Week of Solidarity with the Peoples of Non-Self-Governing Territories. Sure they'll be hanging out the bunting in the Falklands.  

Anonymous Geoff said... 2:06 pm

poor downtrodden people of ... Gibraltar

You are spot on the money, swift. Nothing poor and downtrodden here :-) We have just passed a new Constitution and inaugurated our first full Parliament to replace the old House of Assembly.

We need some 'colonial' ties to remain and our British citizenship - without those under the Treaty of Utrecht we would revert automatically to Spanish rule.

We are self-governing in every real sense but full independence as the UN see it would be politically as practical as building a prison out of meringue.

Our delegation will make our annual pilgrimage to the C24 in the first week of June.  

Blogger Croydonian said... 2:13 pm

As ever, the good people of Gibraltar have my best wishes in remaining attached to the UK and being far from poor and downtrodden.  

Blogger CityUnslicker said... 2:46 pm

No Scotland or Northern Ireland?

More's the pity.  

Blogger Croydonian said... 3:44 pm

What with the Caledonian Manifest Destiny still in full swing, I would have thought it was England rather than Scotland that should be considered a colony at the moment...


Blogger istanbultory said... 4:08 pm

Bermuda is a veritable slice of paradise: a stable political climate, successful courtship of foreign investment, good legal machinery, and sound macro-economic policies. Much that Europe could learn....I nearly forgot to mention that in Bermuda there are no taxes on profits, dividends or income; there is no capital gains tax, no withholding tax and no sales tax. Does it get any better than this?  

Blogger Croydonian said... 4:13 pm


Anonymous verity said... 8:15 pm

What about the Netherlands Antilles? Aren't they a colony?  

Blogger Peter said... 9:33 pm

Glad I saw this post - I've elaborated on it here


West Papua and Tibet seem to be the most noticeable absences from the list - all the more poignant because Indonesia and China actually serve on the committee.  

Anonymous verity said... 10:27 pm

Iain has his comment-approval turned off, and Croydonian has his turned on. Has the world gone mad?  

Blogger Jeremy Jacobs said... 11:22 pm

More UN nonsense.  

Anonymous Geoff said... 11:40 pm

Jeremy you are right - it is nonsense.

Every year Gib is hauled before the "UN Committee Of 24" and ordered to 'decolonize'.

Every year we say 'cheers anyway but we are quite happy minding our own affairs. Please just leave us alone'

Every year all of the UK-haters in the UN then try to hit everybody concerned over the head with a big stick.

You'll notice that the Spanish never get their arses kicked though.  

Blogger Damon said... 1:21 am

Just a comment, but Tokelau recently had a referendum on more autonomy and it failed: two thirds was required, and they only got about 60% in favour of greater autonomy. They are likely to have another referendum in the next few years. Just thought I'd throw that in.

Tokelau would have a greater chance of standing on the world stage if they had an airport in the archipelago and you didn't have to take a 40 hour ferry to Western Samoa every time you wanted to leave the archipelago....  

Anonymous verity said... 12:59 am

Geoff, the reason the Spanish don't get their arses kicked is, truth be told, the lefties consider Spain inferior. (Therefore, a victim. As in not a formal colonial power which spread its language and arts to two continents. Simply blink that away! Spain's a victim and can't be judged. It's not even Anglo-Saxon! All non-Anglos - excluding India, an honorary Anglo because they are as clever as we are, and the Chinese - don't count as victims. Spain does? What can I say?)

Only clever countries, of which there are around 14 in the world, get their arses kicked.

Lessee, who are they? Anyone want to compile their own list? (In no order): Great Britain, the United States, India, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, India, Germany, China, Denmark, France, Holland, Italy, Norway (for staying out of the EU as well as everything else), ummmmm ...  

Anonymous swift said... 7:44 am

Verity, can I nominate Switzerland? Dodgy banks, not in the EU, 'stole' Jewish money during WW2, low taxes...
Any country with a population smaller than London's, which has four official languages and only joined the UN a few years ago, should not be doing that well. Must be something wrong.  

Blogger Croydonian said... 8:37 am

Israel and Japan. South Africa switched sides, while Russia is in the throes of going the other way.  

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