Day 6 – Burnham Overy Staithe to Wells-next-the-Sea

Overarching mist the colour of a tramp’s vest. At my minute, I expected Magwitch to spring out at Pip from behind an ancient tombstone. Miles of glorious galloping beach and I thought of our horse Prince Panache, born in our old stables a generation ago. For ZANE donors interested in this sort of thing, prepare for a boast! Our horse, Prince Panache, sleek as a seal, 17 hands, and like riding a Maserati, won the world championship three-day eventing (show jumping, cross country and dressage) in Lexington, USA, in the nineties (rider Karen O Connor. Fantastic achievement. Big obituary in Horse and Hound.

On we plod…

The Empire Fights Back

The accusation by Meghan Markle that she and Harry were driven from the UK to the US – that haven of racial harmony – because of racism is a wicked nonsense. Why on earth did the media allow her and Harry Markle to get away with such a disgraceful slur?

Why do lefty media pundits accuse the UK of entrenched racism just because we once had an empire? Why was “Black Lives Matter” allowed to flourish in the UK, with leaders and sports people taking the knee?

A Matter of Pride

Pundits speak of our involvement in slavery as if the UK had invented it. But they must know the reality – slavery was endemic in all societies throughout history. And although, of course, we have our share of bigots, we should be proud of the fact we are a remarkably tolerant society.

Why aren’t children in schools and universities taught that the abolition of slavery in the late 1700s was brought about because of our Christian conviction in the basic equality of all human beings, regardless of race? And why aren’t they taught that Britain was the first state in the world to abolish slavery within its own territories in the early 1800s? 

Britain’s imperial power was devoted – at vast cost – to the global suppression of slavery for the next century and a half. The campaign attracted widespread support, with an estimated one third of the male population in the UK signing abolitionist petitions. What other country has such a record?

American historian John Stauffer has written: “Almost every United States black who travelled in the British Isles acknowledged the comparative dearth of racism there. Frederick Douglass [the famous black abolitionist] noted after arriving in England in 1845:

“I saw in every man a recognition of my manhood, and an absence, a perfect absence, of everything like that disgusting hate with which we are pursued in [the United States]”.

The fact that Rishi Sunak is now prime minister of the UK, and that the country has more ethnic minorities in the cabinet than all EU member countries combined, is the fulfilment of our liberal, imperial vision. It should be a matter of great pride and not shame.

All these things should be taught to our young.

What’s in a Name?

When I started ZANE, I held a meeting for veterans in Bulawayo. I said that because of their loyalty, ZANE would look after their needs.

One very old but sprightly man called from the front row, “Even me?” 

“Why not you?”

“My name is Hauptmann Smidt. I fought in Hitler’s army!”

The room froze. Then laughter. I muttered that grass grows on all battlefields, and why not?

And so we did!

1 comment

    • Trevor Cass on September 9, 2023 at 10:27 am
    • Reply

    Good luck with your walk…around my favourite piece of English coast.
    I hope the heat begins to ease!

    Trevor Cass

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