Celtic League - Royal navy take 'The Chief' for a ride
CelticNews | June 14, 2008 at 02:53 amby
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In the glorious days of Empire when Britannia ruled the waves one
of the ways that the British imposed their writ was to periodically
have a warship visit the farther flung domains to impress the natives.
Such events followed a set pattern with the visit possibly coinciding
with a trip round the bay for the local 'Chief' or 'headman' and other
associated local dignitaries who would be suitably impressed by such
tomfoolery. Guns would sometimes be fired so that the natives would
be suitably awed and a contrived message would be conveyed from the
'Great Queen' (or King) in London - heart of the Empire. The events
would invariably conclude with the presentation of baubles such as
beads, mirrors, coloured cloths (always including a Union Flag) and
Britain has moved on since the days of Empire but old habits die hard.
There is still the occasional opportunity for the Royal Navy 'to do
its stuff' off one of the increasingly rare dependent territories
which still have not had the confidences to sever the umbilical link
Last week without a hint of irony at the 'Headman' analogy the Isle
of Man's radio station reported "CHIEF TO ARRIVE HOME ON ARK ROYAL".
The ensuing story(s) reported on what surely must be one of the final
'end of empire cruises' to be undertaken by the Royal Navy. The 'Chief'
it was reported together with other dignitaries would get a cruise
around the bay accompanied by London's 'boss' in the territory the
still appropriately termed Lt. Governor.
Just to ensure that any Manx natives who witnessed these events were
even more impressed the cruise was to be on HMS Ark Royal, variously
described as the Royal Navies 'flagship', an 'aircraft carrier' or
'most famous ship' ( It is actually a through deck cruiser, capable
of carrying VTOL aircraft, because in the financially constrained
days when it was constructed the United Kingdom could not afford
to replace its aircraft carrier fleet having grudgingly to accept
it could not field a credible deep-water navy)
Still, the Chief Minister's cruise demonstrates there are still some
gullible natives in the Isle of Man to be impressed and these days
you can throw in a helicopter ride as well!
However, we never did get to find out what (if any) baubles were given
to the Chief and his associates - is it still beads, a mirror and
a Union Jack these days?
J B Moffatt
Director of Information
The Celtic League has branches in the six Celtic Countries. It works
to promote cooperation between these countries and campaigns on a
broad range of political, cultural and environmental matters. It highlights
human rights abuse, monitors all military activity and focuses on
TEL (UK)01624 877918 MOBILE (UK)07624 491609
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