Zimbabwe: The return of colonial relations?
Posted: Monday, July 21, 2008
By Marion O'Callaghan
Monday, July 21 2008
Gordon Brown, speaking after the Zimbabwean elections, made two important points. They are of interest beyond Mugabe's Zimbabwe. The first was a general remark on colonialism. The Labour Party, according to Gordon Brown, was never part of colonisation – they colonised no one.
The second important remark concerned the conditions under which the UK's and Europe's opposition to the Zimbabwean regime would end. These conditions were not only free and fair elections. They were also the return of lands seized, to their owners, or the payment of compensation. It should be noted that without in any way denying the personal horror of gangs unilaterally seizing property, this last is in contrast with the recent Canadian Government's position on the alienation of Amerindian lands. It is also in opposition to one of the gains of the 1970s and 80s: the recognition of communal ownership – the type of ownership in pre-industrial societies.
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