Bill Carmichael: History lesson on blame game

APPARENTLY, it is all your fault. What is? Well, practically everything. The blame for all the world’s problems from Kashmir to Zimbabwe can be laid directly at your door, but only if you happen to be British, or, even worse, English.

The self-loathing Leftists who have such a baleful influence on our country want us all to wallow in agonies of post-colonial guilt.

But the latest charge comes not from the usual suspects on the left, but from a Conservative Prime Minister. Asked a question on the knotty problem of Kashmir during a trip to Pakistan this week, David Cameron answered: “I don’t want to try to insert Britain in some leading role where, as with so many of world’s problems, we are responsible for the issue in the first place.”

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What? So more than 60 years after independence, it’s Britain’s fault that India and Pakistan are at each other’s throats over Kashmir?

Not for the first time Mr Cameron has demonstrated a profound ignorance of basic history, which doesn’t say much for his education at Eton and Oxford.

In fact, Britain’s original plan for Indian independence envisioned a united multi-cultural state. It was the implacable opposition of Muslims, led by Mohammed Ali Jinnah, that led to the sub-continent being divided on religious lines, leading to the terrible slaughters of 1947 and today’s never-ending squabble over Kashmir.

But facts don’t matter in this blame game. This is not to say the Empire did not have its dark moments, but we have much of which to be proud – from the abolition of slavery (in the teeth of fierce opposition from Arab slave traders) to the defeat of the twin evils of fascism and communism.

Cameron made his trip to announce £650m in aid to Pakistani schools, at a time when the education budget in the UK is being cut. Pakistan is a nuclear power. Surely, if they can afford fighter jets, missiles and submarines, they can afford to educate their own children without constantly thrusting their begging bowl at hard pressed British taxpayers?

The contrasting fortunes of India and Pakistan give the lie to the myth that Britain is to blame for all the world’s problems.

They both gained independence at the same time. India has since become a vibrant and prosperous democracy.

Pakistan, meanwhile, remains a primitive backwater, infamous for poverty, corruption and terror. There may be lots of reasons for this, not least culture, religion and the propensity for work of the two populations.

But one thing’s for sure – it isn’t our fault.

Royally angry

I WAS having a coffee with a group of colleagues recently when, by way of small talk, someone asked what we were all planning for the Royal wedding holiday.

This innocent question provoked a volcanic eruption of rage from one of the party who, puce-faced and spitting Hobnob crumbs in fury, denounced the royals and the oppression of the “workers” by the aristocracy. Coming from a very comfortably-off senior public sector employee, this was beyond hilarious – but it got me to thinking, why are people on the left so angry all the time?

From the trust fund anarchists smashing up Oxford Street, to the well-paid union leaders plotting to ruin our summer holidays, to the fashionable luvvies bemoaning the loss of their fat Arts Council England grant, they are all constantly and invariably eye-poppingly furious about one thing or another.

I suspect this is little more than the howling rage of privileged, well-off people who see their taxpayer-funded entitlements challenged and don’t like it.

Take a chill pill guys. And for the record I’ll be toasting the happy couple and giving thanks – not least for the extra day off!