Tue | Jun 15, 2021

The impertinence of David Cameron

Published:Thursday | October 8, 2015 | 12:00 AM


As I watched David Cameron visit Jamaica and boldly suggest to us that his government would stand 40 per cent of the cost of building a prison to house Jamaicans convicted of British crimes, I finally understood how the British ruled most of the world for a good century or two.

Mr Cameron was not in the slightest bit embarrassed by the very repugnant nature of his suggestion. To the contrary, he sold it to us as if it were the most brilliant and beneficial idea in the world. In fact, the way he put it, Britain was helping Jamaica, not offloading its costs unto us.

I can imagine that this same extraordinary self-confidence, born of a natural sense of superiority, formed the very basis of the cunning necessary to exploit tribal conflict and persuade one tribe to sell enemy tribes to the British in exchange for the proverbial glass beads and guns.

And for that crime, Mr Cameron has no apology. In fact, the subtext of his non-apology is that if you let us enslave you, I can come before your Parliament and pass off British taxpayer costs to your sovereign Parliament with a diplomatic smile and a stiff British upper lip.

Do the people that lead us have an inferiority complex when faced with Mr Cameron's self-confidence and determination to get the best for his people? Plus ça change.