British Prime minister, Boris Johnson is coming under intense pressure to clarify his position on colonialism and racism due to a comment he made in 2002 on the subject.
While serving as a Tory MP, Johnson wrote in a 2002 article that the plights and problems of Africa “may be a blot, but it is not a blot upon our conscience (Britain).”
According to Mr. Johnson “The problem is not that we were once in charge, but that we are not in charge any more.”
The British Prime minister at the time was arguing that colonialism shouldn’t have ended and that the continent of Africa is reeling from poverty because its colonial masters left.
The said article written by Mr. Johnson was at a time he was the editor of The Spectator magazine.
Aspects of that article read also sought to argue that Africans hardly knew what was best for them until their colonial masters arrived.
Only the master knows best
“Consider Uganda, pearl of Africa, as an example of the British record. Are we guilty of slavery? Pshaw. It was one of the first duties of Frederick Lugard, who colonised Buganda in the 1890s, to take on and defeat the Arab slavers,” Mr Johnson said in the piece.
He continued that “And don’t swallow any of that nonsense about how we planted the ‘wrong crops’. Uganda teems, sprouts, bursts with vegetation. You will find fruits rare and strange, like the jackfruit, hanging bigger than your head and covered with green tetrahedral nodules. Though delicately perfumed, it is, alas, more or less disgusting, and not even Waitrose is pretentious enough to stock it.”
Mr. Johnson suggested that “The best fate for Africa would be if the old colonial powers, or their citizens, scrambled once again in her direction; on the understanding that this time they will not be asked to feel guilty.”
There have been calls from opposition lawmakers in Britain for Mr. Johnson to clarify these statements now that he is the prime minister of the nation.
This week he kicked against the damaging of some controversial statues of slavers and British colonialists in UK cities.
According to the Boris Johnson, these statues should stay up because they “teach us about our past with all its faults”.