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March 15, 2004

The Mother of All Lawsuits

From the Telegraph:


A half forgotten colonial expedition to subjugate a querulous African kingdom more than a century ago could bankrupt Britain if a Ugandan king succeeds in bringing a £3.7 trillion suit against the Crown.

I can't imagine that this lawsuit will amount to much, but what is interesting about it is to recognize the twisted world view that is not all that uncommon in developing nations. The people bringing this lawsuit are not only uncomfortably confused about world events, but about economics and their own place in the world.

Another courtier, Ernest Kizza, speaker of the Bunyoro parliament, appeared shocked that a multi-trillion-pound payout would have such a detrimental effect on the British economy.

"I am sure they can afford it," he said. "I think they spent that much in Iraq. But it is their problem. If the British had not destroyed our kingdom, today we would be a superpower. We would be telling America to shut up."


The world view of these local leaders is so limited that they have no effective understanding of events outside their borders. Victimization (darned, evil British folk), special capacity (we would be more advanced and wealthy than all the other nations of the world), and misplaced resentment (shut up, America, although Americans really have no role in this entire conversation) mix to display a vision of the world that has almost no resemblance to reality.

As I've said before, it passes as humor.

Read the story.

Posted by zombyboy at March 15, 2004 02:28 PM
Comments

Even more troubling about this article is that the Bunyoro kingdom is a rather small "kingdom" in Uganda with little or no legitimacy throughout the entire country. The Buganda kingdom, ruled by the Kabaka, has the majority of the power within Uganda and is usually appeased by Museveni on larger issues effecting the country.

Posted by: Kevin B at March 15, 2004 08:23 PM

Brilliant! Britain should open a multi-trillion pound (no, that's not enough, add a few noughts I think ...) lawsuit against the remnants of the Roman empire for invading the British Isles ...

Given that there hardly exists a part of the world which has not been colonised or otherwised controlled/subdued/exploited by another, where exactly does all of this lead?

Posted by: Mike at June 8, 2004 02:17 PM
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