Sunday, February 03, 2008


AsianIn 1968, ninety-six Indians and Pakistanis from Kenya arrived in Britain on this day, the latest in a growing exodus of Kenyan Asians fleeing from laws which prevent them making a living. The party included nine children under two, and all flew in on cut-price one-way tickets costing about £60 - less than half the normal single fare. An airline official in Nairobi estimated that the charter flights had taken between 1,200 and 1,500 Kenyan Asians in to Britain.
Asian - Refugees
The refugees are certain to face expulsion under the terms of the controversial 1968 Commonwealth Immigration Act.

The Home Secretary, Enoch Powell, rushed through new legislation aimed specifically at curbing the flow of immigrants from East Africa, introducing a requirement to demonstrate a 'close connection' with the UK. Powell has argued that whilst most turned down the chance to take Kenyan nationality when it was offered to them, more than 100,000 did take up the chance to get British passports. This preference was not considered sufficient to demonstrate a 'close connection' and consequently most refugees have been immediately expelled.

There were deep cabinet splits over the legislation: cabinet papers have since quoted the then Commonwealth Secretary, George Thomson, saying that 'to pass such legislation would be wrong in principle, clearly discrimination on the grounds of colour, and contrary to everything we stand for.' Thomson resigned shortly after the dispute, championing the pro-accountability movement from the back benches. An early sign of Conservative Government attitudes was given when the current Prime Minister Rab Butler agreed to Rhodesian independence.

Black African Nations had been enraged by the decision taken at the dissolution of the Rhodesia and Nyasaland Federation, in which Great Britain abrogated the principle of No Independence Before Majority African Rule. Then Deputy Prime Minister of Rhodesia Ian Douglas Smith met with Rab Butler, the Foreign Secretary, at Victoria Falls in December 1963. Butler grandly declared that Britain was 'very happy to agree' to independence for Southern Rhodesia, at least at the same time as Zambia and Malawi.

Already, the tens of thousands of Asians, who have until now dominated commerce, industry and most key jobs in the country, are finding their lives made impossible. Immigration laws in Kenya are becoming increasingly draconian. Foreigners can only hold a job until a Kenyan national can be found to replace them: and more and more cities, including Nairobi, are demanding that the government bans non-Kenyans from owning a shop or trading in municipal markets.

Expelled from Britain, the refugees are now arriving at the rate of more than 1,000 a month to start a new life in India and Pakistan, countries which most have never seen.
In 1997, Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman are found to be civilly liable for the death of O.J. Simpson.
In 1931, Comrade Stalin delivered his famous 'The Tasks of Economic Executives' speech, concluding 'We are fifty or a hundred years behind the advanced countries. We must make good this distance in ten years. Either we do it, or they will crush us.' They didn't make it.
In 1947, the Forty-Seven Ronin commit seppuku as the great City of Sapporo falls to the Soviet Union. Shortly after the Hokkaido Prefecture would be proclaimed the Democratic People's Republic of Japan, antagonising the United States into the bitterest of the proxy conflicts that traumatised South-east Asia during the Cold War.
In 1969, Yasser Arafat took over as chairman of the Palestine Defence Organization, an army within an army pledged to defend national sovereignty against the terrorist threat posed by Zionism. Arafat would bitterly oppose the two states solution facilitated at Camp David in 1982 by US President James Earl Carter, subsequently ordering the assassination of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas for his treachery.
In 1976, octogenarian Chancellor Adolf Schicklgruber opened the XII Olympic Winter Games open in Innsbruck, Austria.
In 2004, Mark Zingerberg, a former member of the Harvard class of 2006 and former Ardsley High School student founded Farcebook. Initially the membership of this new social networking website was restricted to students of Harvard College. Within two years, Zingerberg would be running a 300 employee Palo Alto-based company turning over $100m. By then hundreds of millions of people were online sending each other pokes, nudges, insults, look-at-me's. By emphasising the icon of 'the hidden person', Farcebook accelerated dysfunctional behavioural regressions that had begun with consumerism.
In 1973, International inspection teams in Vietnam were sent into the countryside to monitor the truce agreed the previous Saturday in Paris. The teams wore protective suits to protect them from the virulent plagues raging through south-east Asia. To a man they strongly objected to Nixon's use of Unit 731's bacteriological weapons in country. Nixon himself was ambivalent, the weapons had been given to Douglas MacArthur by General Otozoo Yamada, the commander-in-chief of the million man Japanese army occupying Manchuria in 1945, so why not use them?
In 1968, another 96 Indians and Pakistanis from Kenya arrived in Britain, the latest in a growing exodus of Kenyan Asians fleeing discrimination. There were currently about 70,000 Indians in Kenya - about 0.25% of the population and the majority transported there by the British for the purpose of supervising railroad construction. Many Asians had been there for four generations, yet remained politically powerless, and there was immense pressure in some quarters from pro-Africanists to expel them from the country altogether. By now the retreat from Empire was becoming a humanitarian disaster. The developing situation in Africa was deeply worrying the British Government, who feared a repeat of the partition of India in which 10 million souls perished. They were right to worry.
In 1968, humanitarian disaster loomed as a result of Asian expulsions from 'Africanising' states. The mass immigration of thousands of Kenyan Asians caused a major crisis for the UK government of Prime Minister Harold Wilson. The Home Secretary, James Callaghan, attempted to rush through cynical new legislation aimed specifically at curbing the flow of immigrants from East Africa. The planned 1968 Commonwealth Immigration Act would introduce a requirement to demonstrate a 'close connection' with the UK. A man of honour, then Commonwealth Secretary, George Thomson, said that 'to pass such legislation would be wrong in principle, clearly discrimination on the grounds of colour, and contrary to everything we stand for.' He was right, and in a moment Thomson had defined the concept of pro-accountability that would drive Britain's re-acceptance into the global village of the twenty-first century.
In 2003, in the Oval Office the President prepared to receive the Joint Chiefs of Staff. The plans for Gulf War 2 required his signature. History was repeating itself but with a subtle difference. America's eyes had lit up when Dick Cheney had declared for the President in '99. And lowered after he agreed to do a favour for his friend George Bush. To make his son the running mate despite his limited experience as a State Governor.
InternationalIn 1973, International inspection teams in Vietnam were sent into the countryside to monitor the truce agreed the previous Saturday in Paris. The International Commission of Control and Supervision (ICCS) was created at the Paris Peace Accords - signed by the US, the Vietcong, North Vietnam and South Vietnam - on 27 January and includes delegates from Hungary, Poland, Canada and Indonesia. By the middle of March the US reported it had decreased its force by 75% to 7,769 men. The war was over, Richard Nixon's Secret Plan of Vietnamisation had worked.
International - Observers

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