Like any one else with a brain, I find the modern-day obsession of ‘apologising’ for things done by our ancestors – sometimes centuries before we were even born – to be ridiculous. This completely pointless, vacuous virtue-signaling by self-loathing morons helps no one, and is clearly only done to parade their ‘right on’ credentials to the world. Unless we have grown out of this stupid habit by then, in 2223, our descendants might be lining up to make a big show of begging forgiveness for the fact that our generation ate meat, drove cars, kept animals as pets, or whatever other cause de jour has been dreamt up by the howling PC-mob.
Anyway, and as the BBC reports, the latest set of attention-seeking idiots to leap aboard this woke bandwagon of self-flagellation is the family of William Gladstone, the many-time (God-awful) Liberal PM at the height of the Victorian era:
Desperate to trumpet their utter stupidity to the planet, they are “apologising” for the Gladstone family’s ‘links to slavery’ – William Gladstone’s father having been a slave owner 200 years ago. Of course, what they – and all the others who feel the need to go public with apologies for stuff that happened centuries ago – really seek is affirmation, validation, and to display just how ‘with it’ they are.
No one disagrees that slavery was shockingly evil, but it was (and, indeed, still is) as old as mankind itself, and something which happened all over the world; yet it goes without saying that one will never see the descendants of a Viking raider, a Chinese Warlord, an Omani merchant or – shock! horror! – an African Chief queuing up to publicly wring their hands over things their forefathers did. And, of course, the fact that it was the British Empire which (at the cost of much blood and treasure) stamped out the vile practice is conveniently swept under the carpet, so that today’s British lefties can enjoy gleefully wallowing in their cesspit of fashionable guilt.
And why, one wonders, are today’s painfully-desperate-for-approval Gladstones not also apologising for the way Prime Minister Gladstone abandoned General Gordon to his fate in Khartoum? Gladstone washed his hands of Gordon, despite him being the scourge of the slavers in the Sudan. Not for nothing were the initials of the (ahem) ‘Grand Old Man’ reversed by his political opponents to instead spell ‘Murderer of Gordon’.
Equally, why are his descendants not moved to apologise for William Gladstone’s pathetic surrender of the Transvaal to the rebels in the First Boer War? Does it not bother them that, by choosing not to suppress the rebellion, the spineless Gladstone was condemning the Africans who lived in the territory to the horrific rule of Kruger et al?
With Gladstone’s pitiful desperation for peace at all costs, and with Kruger’s ghastly clique grabbing power again, no one would suffer more than the Africans who—it is often forgotten—made up the vast majority of the Transvaal’s population. A distraught Henry Rider Haggard[i] stated that they deserved ‘some protection and consideration, some voice in the settlement of their fate’:
‘They outnumbered the Boers by 25 to one, taking their numbers at a million and those of the Boers at 40,000, a fair estimate, I believe … as the lash and the bullet have been the lot of the wretched Transvaal Kaffir in the past, so they will be his lot in the future … after leading those hundreds of thousands of men and women to believe that they were once and for ever the subjects of Her Majesty, safe from all violence, cruelty, and oppression, we have handed them over without a word of warning to the tender mercies of one, where natives are concerned, of the cruellest white races in the world.’[ii]
Instead, with Gladstone’s work done, it fell to the missionary John Moffat to try to explain to the African chiefs in the Transvaal that they would no longer enjoy British protection or equality before the law. Moffat described how, ‘for the most part there was the silence of despair. One gentle old man, Mokhatle, a man of great influence, used the language of resignation, ‘When I was a child, the Matabele came, they swept over us like the wind and we bowed before them like the long white grass on the plains. They left us and we stood upright again. The Boers came and we bowed ourselves under them in like manner. The British came and we rose upright, our hearts lived within us and we said: Now we are the children of the Great Lady. And now that is past and we must lie flat again under the wind—who knows what are the ways of God?’’[iii]
Had Gladstone given the British army (there were 10,000 men available in Natal and the Cape)[iv] a few more months to destroy the rebels, the Transvaal would have remained British, the influx of Uitlanders in the late 1880s wouldn’t have been discriminated against, and the Second Boer War would never have happened. There would thus have been no Scorched Earth, no Concentration Camps, no post-war extremist Afrikaner nationalist governments of South Africa, and no Apartheid.
If this laughable troupe of virtue-signaling modern-day Gladstones are truly desperate to apologise for something, why not start with the failings of Prime Minister Gladstone… though I guess that wouldn’t get quite as many ‘likes’ on Facebook.
[i] Sir Henry Rider Haggard KBE (1856–1925). Born in England, Haggard famously would later write such classics as She and King Solomon’s Mines. At the time of the First Boer War, he was serving on the staff of Sir Theophilus Shepstone, Special Commissioner for the Transvaal
[ii] Creswicke, South Africa and the Transvaal War, Vol. I, p.103
[iii] Mason, The Birth of a Dilemma: The Conquest and Settlement of Rhodesia, p.110
[iv] Featherstone, Victorian Colonial Warfare, p.64