The Politics of Partnership

The Politics of Partnership

The Politics of Partnership

The Politics of Partnership

Excerpt

'Pax Britannica is essential for the maintenance of civilized conditions of existence among one fifth of the Human Race.'

LORD MILNER

Present-day Rhodesia is the child of crisis, or -- more precisely -- three great political crises. The nation was born in 1890 at the height of that Imperial tension between the European powers, chiefly Britain and Germany, which had begun with the Berlin Conference and the 'Scramble for Africa'. The next crisis came in 1952-3 when, despite the gravest warnings from members of the Opposition, from distinguished academic authorities and from angry, hostile African leaders, an obstinate Conservative government in London rammed legislation through the British House of Commons which established the Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland. The third and present crisis may be said to date from the African uprisings of 1959. It is a crisis which has produced the sorry spectacle of white men shooting black, after more than sixty years of peace.

More than a hundred of Rhodesia's African citizens have fallen before bullets. (The official figures and the claims of the African political parties do not agree; but it is agreed that in the four years since the present crisis began not one member of the white security forces, either soldier or police officer, has been killed.)

The politics of partnership, then, are marked by these three great events in the growth of the nation. And much as a child's character is determined both by heredity and environment, so it is true to say that Rhodesia today is very much a creature of these events. The crisis of 1953 and that of the present day may be ascribed to environment -- the earlier crisis endowing the Africans with political consciousness, and the present one producing in them a sense of national cohesion. But heredity is just as vital as environment in shaping the Rhodesia we see today; perhaps . . .

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