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The Crown

Thomas C. Famous. Photo: Provided
Thomas C. Famous

“Politics is more dangerous than war, for in war you are only killed once.”

Winston Churchill

For months, I resisted watching a very popular Netflix series by the name of “The Crown”.

“Follows the political rivalries and romance of Queen Elizabeth II's reign and the events that shaped the second half of the twentieth century.”

Thinking to myself, why would I want to know anything more about the British Royal Family?

Well despite my initial feelings, I decided to watch all 3 seasons of the series. It has served as an eye opener on many levels.

Not so much about the Royals themselves, but more so about events going on in the United Kingdom (UK) post 1945.

It was interesting to see how the UK was embroiled in so many negative issues over a number of decades.

Crippling issues such as:

  • Environmental disasters of coal burning power plants creating deadly smog in London in 1952
  • An ill-fated military intrusion into Egypt in 1956
  • A deficit of 1 Billion dollars that they had to borrow from the United States under President Johnson in the 1960s
  • Coal Miner’s strike that caused widespread power outages for weeks in 1972

Now, arguably some may say oh well this was all a part of Hollywood fiction to sell a television series.

Therefore, one would have to actually fact check these issues.

The facts

In doing so, the facts are 5,000 persons died between Friday, December 5 and Tuesday, December 9, 1952 due in large part to the dangerous air quality caused by coal burning power plants. Up to 100,000 other persons suffered severe lung issues.

The facts also show that from January 5, 1972 until February 28, 1972 there were massive strikes by the Coal Miner’s Union over requests for pay raises.

This strike caused a state of emergency to be declared and with a shortage of coal for power plants the UK was forced to have a three-day work week in order to conserve electricity.

Most of those major issues happened at different time frames, all under the Conservative Party, aka the Tories, albeit under different leaders; Winston Churchill, Edward Heath and Anthony Eden.

One may rightly ask this question: “What does this have to do with Bermuda?”

Immigration & voting rights

You see, it was during this same post 1945 time period, that successive Bermuda governments opened the doors for massive migration of workers from the UK to come here and take up lucrative and secure jobs throughout our civil service and in the private sector.

Whether it be as; doctors, nurses, police officers, prison officers, government clerks or bank workers, thousands from the UK, left a country that was experiencing crisis after crisis, rising debt and increased unemployment, to come to Bermuda and other colonies, for secure employment and warm weather.

The then conservative United Bermuda Party (UBP), saw an opportunity to enlarge their voter base, by offering both Bermuda Status and full voting rights, to many of these persons after only three years of residence.

Yet, at the same time, born Bermudians were denied the right to vote, unless they owned property of a certain value.

The irony in this, is that, most of those who migrated from the UK, were from the working-class background, with many being supporters of the British Labour Party.

The net result being many persons who had a labour background in the UK, being given permanent residence and status, primarily, in order to bolster the vote count for a conservative party in Bermuda.

Hence, it was those who left the UK and all its challenges behind, in order to migrate here for job security, that voted, in order to preserve the shelf life of the United Bermuda Party, well right up until 1998.

For those who say immigration has nothing to do with politics, history does not lie.

4 Responses to “The Crown”

  • So correct (17/01/2020, 08:56) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    I also watch that series on Netflix. I was in awe and shocked. It is a good watch. You got that right. Politics is much more dangerous than war.
  • E. Leonard (17/01/2020, 14:09) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
    “Politics is more dangerous than war, for in war you are only killed once.”Winston Churchill. I take a different view from the late former PM that war is more dangerous than politics. The casualties of war include death, injuries..........etc. Many injuries resulting from war last a life time and perhaps more, impacting the injured member, family, nation.....etc. Mao Zedong observes that politics is war without bloodshed; a means of resolving conflict without resorting to violence.

    England (now the UK, which includes England, Scotland,Wales and Northern Ireland)was a small island nation but it exerted vast power and influence throughout globe.Britannia ruled the waves and the sun never set over the empire as the saying goes. Though it influence has declined, many issues around the globe can be tied to England/UK influence.

    Indeed, politics and immigration go together. This is evident everywhere, ie,UK (Brexit), US, Bahamas, DR,VI.....etc.
  • class mate (17/01/2020, 19:31) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    Remember the days when the pond bush was habitat when we skip school. In school we learn about Columbus, Drake, Hawkins, Morgan, Henry VIII, QE II, Prince Charles, Oliver Cromwell.......etc and little about West Indian/Caribbean history ( Columbus sail west and got lost and ran thought he ran into the East Indies. The islands were renamed West Indies to distinguish them from the East Indues. Columbus discovered nada). Today, you are differing with Sir Winston Churchhill, a war veteran like you. You is boi mai son! Major Bay Primary School(Now Williard Wheatley) alumni. More time.
    • Mangrove (18/01/2020, 12:20) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
      All the Pond Bush gone. Lord Bold Face, a Famous Antiguan calypsoian, say when you don’t know you don’t know. The Pond Bush or Mangrove served/serves several purposes, ie, protect coastalline erosion, filters runoff from land,breeding ground for fish, lobsters......etc. Spend many days in Pond Bush fishing. Now, due to lack government oversight greediness, and not giving a rat’s ass about environmental resources all the Pond Bush is gone. Cry me, BVI.

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