My father colonel ken barnes passed away a few years ago.he had been second in command of the jamaican defense force,and as a young army officer,attended sandhurst academy for british army officers. The West Indies was part of the british empire,and any aspiring soldier from any other caribbean island,had to go to jamaica,to join what was then the british West Indian regiment,which after independence in the early sixties,became the jamaican defense force……….so even though he came from trinidad,he stayed in jamaica,to become an army officer in the JDF.
When he came to sandhurst,he understood that he had to be better than the other officer cadets,to be accepted as equal,so he volunteered for everything,became heavyweight boxing champion,played full back for the rugby team,and did many unfamiliar activities,because he recognized the perception that mainstream society ( british/european ) had of black people.
He had absolute loyalty to britain as a british army officer,and even after independence, whenever the english national anthem was played,or the queens address on Christmas Day,he stood up and saluted for the duration.I was amazed by the unconcious,and instant reaction by my father on those occasions.
He absolutely bought into the GREAT in britain,and studied in great detail, ( and took immense pride ) in the acheivements of the british army over hundreds of years!
He retired in the 90`s,so never encountered any combat,but i can tell you,that he would have loved to have served in iraq,afganistan,or any other areas where there was conflict and the british army were involved……because he beleived total integrity of the british army unconditionally although jamaica was independent,and was not beholden in any way to allegiance to britain!
I know,as all my family does,( as well as the men who served under him ) that he would have been killed in battle,because he beleived that leaders should lead by example from the front,and would “NOT” expect his men to do something he isnt prepared to do! while i see him as the ultimate hero,and in films the hero leads his men from the front,and still lives through unlikely events,the reality of war doesnt follow that script! saving private ryan in the opening scene is the reality…the first few on the beaches get it immediately, and that would be my father….and he would be proud to be there!
Why am i telling you this…..because this week,we are remembering,and paying tribute to our heroes of the british army who defended our ideals,and made britain what it is today! while we are remembering all past glories,we really pay special importance,to the 1st and 2nd world wars.we are told we must never forget,or the mistakes of the past will happen again….but we seem to have forgotten certain groups of people,who played their part in keeping britain GREAT
Britain has been fighting their european “brothers” for hundreds of years…( france,germany,holland,spain,italy etc)….and since the early 1900′s have been utilising their colonies to help in man power,economic,and many other strategic ways.now that the european scramble for world dominance is over,a club for identity,brotherhood,and togetherness has now been created for the betterment of world peace.
Who is a member of that “club”?
Who has britain invited to be in their club? surely members of their empire that made them great,and fought alongside,and died,in defending the ideals of britain….or the children and grandchildren of their former allies who swore allegience to them (india,africa,west indies,and many more “children” of the mother land)…..no!…they have invited into their club,the very people they have been fighting over the last 500 years!!
Does that not seem strange? and is joanna lumely ( who fights for the rights of burmese soldiers ) and me,the only one’s who see’s the injustice,and unfairness of that dynamic?
I have nothing against any other european countries ( some of my best friends are german…ha ha heard that somewhere before? seriously tho’)…but how does anyone not question that scenerio? because its a question of who we consider worthy of being regarded as equal recepients of what our life has to offer,and who we also regard as being “just like us”.
while in times of trouble,the demands on the former colonies to protect the motherland was insisted upon,and given wholeheartedly,now in times of peace,they,and their families have been discarded.
This is clearly a racial ( note,i didnt say racist ) issue.
We do identify with people who we consider to be like “us”,and while identity and race before the 18th century,was based on culture,and ideology ( and should be now )….it has become about worthyness and equality based on colour!
The problem now with the EU,is that,while it was meant to be a RICH MANS club,the landscape of europe,has changed.Albanians,and Kosovans are now europeans, and they are coming to our countries. We envisaged sipping cappucinos with italians,croissants with the french,beer with the germans,and tapas with the spanish…( remember those same people our colonies helped us fight to conquer the world who are now our “brothers”)
While the africans,caribbeans,and all our previous “brother/children whatever we used to be,cant visit,or work in britain without jumping through hoops to maybe get a visa or work permit!
If you think things are bad now,with the influx of “unwanted” europeans…..i have bad news for you and your “real”european brothers….the “STANS” are coming………uzbekistan,krygryistan,turkmenistan,kurdistan and many more!