Rugby and the British Empire

Discussion in 'The Clubhouse Bar' started by Macsen, Jun 29, 2008.

  1. Macsen

    Macsen Guest

    I hope you don't find me patronising in any way for saying this, but do you think the level of interest in rugby is a reflection of the way the remnants of the british empire see each other?

    For instance, Australia and NZ were part of the british empire but are geographically far away and now feel left out. They don't get much attention and their way of getting it is to dominate the other 'British' nations at sport.

    Ireland, Wales and Scotland are geographically at the centre of things and get lots of attention, but often feel overshadowed by England and ill treated in the colonial past. That's why the bars are packed when the play England but are almost empty when they play the SH nations, despite the latter arguably being the more important games. When the celtic nations play each other it's more like a family get together.

    England on the other hand used to be a great colonial power which owned all the other countries, but in the last century has seen them all slip away. It wants to beat all the other nations to try to reassert its old colonial might. France had their own empire once and their rivalry with England is just an extension of that.

    Not quite sure where South Africa fits into all of this... any ideas?
     
  2. Forum Ad Advertisement

  3. Steve-o

    Steve-o Guest

    I guess it depends where you consider the "center of things" are.
    Maybe people like beating the Brits because they think Britain is that place.
    Just a thought
     
  4. There's a long running rivalry, and I suppose almost contempt, from the Scots towards the English. The irish and welsh are no different. i think most people in NZ and Oz see Scots seperate from the British because of imigration and the image we present of ourselves, especially through sport. Everyone loves to beat England. there's a certain air of arrogance about their media and supporters and I think that's why we all like to see them get beat. For us, Murrayfield is usually almost full when the big teams come to town even though we'll probablt get our arses handed to us.
     
  5. gingergenius

    gingergenius Guest

    You're basically right.

    Celtic Britain, along with the North of England, suffers from having a more rugged geography, and thus is sparsely populated and relatively poor. London is by far the most important place in the UK, whereas most other countries have several main centres. London's location makes the South dominant and this fosters tension - for people in other parts of England, and from the other British nations who feel overshadowed by the kudos that England gets from having London as its capital.

    Another thing is that the Celtic teams are never sustainably good. Thus, beating England is not only a historical 'get one over on the bully', but also the extent of their ambition considering none of them ever beat SH teams and rarely beat France.

    I get the impression that while England is hated by all the Celtic nations, we don't really have anything to hate them for. Our main concern is France. They've been our rivals for centuries, and why should a country of 50m people with a hugely successful history worry about its little neighbours when there's one of 60m right there with an almost equally successful history. There are a lot of similarities to be drawn between England and France; not too many to be drawn between England and say Wales.

    As for the SH teams, its always been anti-colonial. That's what the haka was all about; a Kiwi team just as white as the people they were playing deciding to draw from Maori culture to exotically intimidate opponents. Here it seems like there's the indigenous peoples vs colonialists vibe. The Australians are too racist to acknowledge their own indigenous culture but they take their grudge from the fact that we forced them all out there as a prison colony.

    South Africa's a bit different because the rugby team hasn't been the symbol of natives uprising against their colonial masters because natives weren't allowed to play. And the Englsih treated both the blacks and Dutch appallingly but this got overshadowed a bit by apartheid which wasn't our fault. Although I heard that Afrikaners and English really don't like each other, and since the entire SA pack is usually made up of Bothas and van der somethings that maybe makes it more dirty right there...
     
  6. Harpy106

    Harpy106 Guest

    The English had been at war with France for much of its history, and fought the Dutch over what is now South Africa (The Boer War). The French had a tendency to try to invade England through Scotland, so that alliance is strong and the Irish and Scots are relatively new to the UK. I think the Welsh became part of "Great Britain" in the 12th century, Scotland and Ireland in the 18th and 19th centuries. England was a powerful nation for a number of centuries, and I think politically and economically found ceding teritories quite difficult and this may have in some corners been manifested through arrogance and an unwillingness to admit to this new weakness.
     
  7. Steve-o

    Steve-o Guest

    1) Apartheid is Englands fault, indirectly. The Poms basically gave the country to white people, but on one condition, they must ensure that no black people run the country. Exactly the same with Zimbabwe.

    2) You're right, we're too busy fighting amongst ourselves to worry about anybody else.


    I'm so bored of topics that involve ethnic or racisal convict.
     
  8. InsaneAsylum

    InsaneAsylum Guest

    racist... that's almost laughable

    australia is a multicultural country consisting of people from nearly every ethnic background from around the world, me being one of them.

    approx 200 years ago, britian were sending prisoners out here as you say, but since the last century, a lot of things have changed in Australia.
     
  9. Cymro

    Cymro Guest

    Hmm I somehow doubt the British Empire was directly involved in allowing Mugabe come to power! Its quite an easy thing to blame others for faults. The French and Dutch must also take some of the blame. Now dont get me wrong the Apartheid was a dreadful thing to happen but to blame it on England is pretty poor, even if you say indirectly you still are blaming it!

    Your second point is very true! There is alot of conflicts in Africa in general, Nigeria, Mali, Kenya, Zimbabwe, Sierra Leone have all had noteable conflicts.

    It quickly ties in with the point about Mugabeland! South Africa have really not said anything about him almost destroying the country, actually has destroyed it! Im quite suprised no one has stood up or are we awating for the UN to step up ... we shall have to wait another 10 years for anything to be done!

    racist... that's almost laughable

    australia is a multicultural country consisting of people from nearly every ethnic background from around the world, me being one of them.

    approx 200 years ago, britian were sending prisoners out here as you say, but since the last century, a lot of things have changed in Australia.
    [/b][/quote]

    But its partly true! Australia have been harsh to its Indigenous Australians! If I remember off the top of my head did someone not have to apologise for the Stolen Generation?

    Theres more points on the wikipedia site: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Indigenous_Australians


    To be honest England are probably one of the most hated sports teams in the world in football, rugby and cricket!
    This is down to its past history when it was a superpower and ruled vast amount of land across the world and sometimes not in the greatest form either, in which many poeple were jealous!
     
  10. Prestwick

    Prestwick Guest

    Not quite accurate. For one, it wasn't "England". You'll find that allot of the guys sailing/marching out there were just as likely to be Scottish or Irish as they were English.

    Secondly, this wasn't government policy. This was mostly the work of private individuals like Cecil Rhodes. The British approach to colonisation was different to that of other European nations. British policy was one of lassaiz fare. It was committed, especially after the abolition of slavery in 1807 towards a free market approach. Britain themselves would not directly annex land under they were under severe pressure to. For example, the British government was pressed into annexing New Zealand due to French designs on those same islands while before then, American colonists were prevented from expanding westwards before 1776 because of aggreements at the time between the UK and the Indian tribes there.

    This meant that you had a lot of enterprising and private individuals, companies and politicians leaving England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales, operating outside of the British state apparatus and going out there to further the ends of the UK in how they saw fit. The East India Company may have had a Royal Warrant but it was the Enron of its time and operated at all times as a strictly independent company.

    Cecil Rhodes was the same. Fiercely independent, it was him and his zeal alone which forced the British flag northwards in what is probably one of the most ruthless and relentless corporate expansions in Victorian history. His companies have stood the test of time and ironically now under-pin economic performance in several Southern African nations. He was firmly of the opinion that any interferrence by London was not welcome and used his wealth and his connections to make sure that 'his' land was governed locally. In fact, it took local African kings going directly to London to win over popular opinion in some cases to stop Rhodes in his tracks and helped enable what is now Botswana to come under direct administration from London.

    In effect, it is rather obvious what the conclusion is. Just because a government adopts a hands off approach to administration, doesn't mean that the people (local and immigrant) will be any more free. It will just be Corporate interests doing the oppression rather than the state.

    Anyway, long story short, we didn't hand anything over. It was what the people on the ground in Southern Africa did when they made landfall which was crucial in what happened.
     
  11. InsaneAsylum

    InsaneAsylum Guest

    ok i see where you are going here, but just remember that not all australians are racist and not all treat aboriginals in a bad way.

    i personally do not discriminate against their race and believe me, all australians feel deeply sorry for those affected by the stolen generation.
     
  12. Cymro

    Cymro Guest

    ok i see where you are going here, but just remember that not all australians are racist and not all treat aboriginals in a bad way.

    i personally do not discriminate against their race and believe me, all australians feel deeply sorry for those affected by the stolen generation.

    [/b][/quote]

    Of course I know not all of you are racists, id be :blink: if you were all!

    I was putting my view across that many Australians did discriminate against the indigenous australians!
     
  13. jk885

    jk885 Guest

    He's saying that Australian governments and people have been incredibly discriminatory towards Indigenous Australians. Things have changed thankfully.
     
  14. DonBilly

    DonBilly Guest

    Has the standard of living of Indigenous Australians improved? I read recently in an American paper that they were still suffering a lot from alcohol, mono parental families, unemployment, violence, jails etc. It didn't look like they have benefited from the colonization of their homeland.
     
  15. BLR

    BLR Guest


    The thing about the 'Stolen Generation' at the time is that it was in fact for the percieved benefit of the Aboriginals. The Aboriginals still cannot handle modern life in a large part and the 'Stolen Generation' was a government excercise to nip this problem at the bud, after all, despite what the bleeding hearts will tell you Aboriginal life both then and now is a circle of destruction almost. If the Australian government were not involved in a badly conceived effort to allow the Aboriginies to assimilate in society they would have simply done what the early colonists did in Tasmania.

    Canada apoligised AFTER Australia for a similar situation with thier native peoples, are they more racist then us? Australia gives significant financial help to the Aboriginals yet it's hard to get them to use it correctly without abusing it.

    PS. ginger, stop trolling for gods sake, Australians have a grudge for being put on one of the most beautiful lands on the Earth, yeah right, come down one time, you'll see why so many English come down here every year. It seems all the 'convict' gibes come from UK jealousy that they are stuck in a dreary old place while we live it up in a bloody great country.
     
  16. InsaneAsylum

    InsaneAsylum Guest

    LOL watch out the ginga might get sunburn :ranting:
     
  17. InsaneAsylum

    InsaneAsylum Guest

    Has the standard of living of Indigenous Australians improved? I read recently in an American paper that they were still suffering a lot from alcohol, mono parental families, unemployment, violence, jails etc. It didn't look like they have benefited from the colonization of their homeland.
    [/b][/quote]

    the paper is right in making those statements. add rampant sexual abuse to the list. however the paper fails to highlight the complexity of the issue. the government has deemed alcohol as being a cause of these issues, so they have removed alcohol from these areas, however as soon as that happens, you have idiot ultra-humanitarian ultra-egalatarian arts students who protest that access to alcohol is a human right and taking it away from these aboroginals is a form of racism in itself... so the government can't win.

    the article also refers to the remote aboriginal communities in the upper part of the country specifically, it's not necessarily all aboriginals that should be stereotyped this way.

    it's a shame that seeing an aboriginal in melbourne (where i live) is a rare sight, but i've seen several people from aboriginal backgrounds wearing business attire, going to work in other capital cities around australia... there are aboriginal bums as well as there are bums from other races... it's just easy for the media to sensationalise it when it's aborigines. don't get me wrong, i'm not saying we can't or shouldn't help them.
     
  18. Maccaweeny

    Maccaweeny Guest

    1) Actually, Australian representative teams have adopted indigenous warrior dances before sporting events, much like the Haka. Most notably, the Kangaroos used to perform a native chant before league tests. It later fell out of dissuse due to criticisms about its authenticity; incidentally the Haka has been criticised in much the same way. Next time you make a (redundant) comparison, just make sure you have your facts straight.

    2) The transportation acts ended in the latter part of the 19th century, and were only active in the Swan river colony (i.e WA). In addition to the fact that, even then, the vast majority of immigrants were free-settlers (SA in fact never had established convict labour), it's quite unlikely that we have a chip on our shoulder about (not) being sent over here. The convict tag is a misinformed English stereotype to denigrate Australians, nothing more, nothing less.

    Of course, you're entitled to your opinion, then again, those with half an idea are entitled not to take it seriously.
     
  19. Steve-o

    Steve-o Guest

    Cymro, my comments went straight ouer your head.
    I don't hold England responsible for Apartheid, but they surely didn't help when they gave power to the minority, 9% of population (today), all the power. The English back then were just as racist as the Afrikaners and having a white government would help their already established trade relations. Alot of the apartheid governments policies were neo-British drafts or were drawn up with British influence e.g. Close Corporation Act.
    Brush up on your apartheid history, I got it drilled into me EVERY school year! And your knowledge of Zim history is non existent if you think Mugabe was the 1st president after getting independence.

    And I wasn't talking about the whole of Africa fighting, just South Africa. 3rd most bio-diverse country in the world, with 11 official languages and a whole bunch of other **** e.g. the largest Indian population outside India = VARIETY.
    Variety in a developing country = ethnic convict
    Ethnic convict = me getting bored
     
  20. DonBilly

    DonBilly Guest

    Are you sure about the Indian community? I am pretty sure there are many people of Indian origins in SA but I have the feeling that both in UK and the USA there should be more than in SA.
     
  21. sanzar

    sanzar Guest


    The thing about the 'Stolen Generation' at the time is that it was in fact for the percieved benefit of the Aboriginals. The Aboriginals still cannot handle modern life in a large part and the 'Stolen Generation' was a government excercise to nip this problem at the bud, after all, despite what the bleeding hearts will tell you Aboriginal life both then and now is a circle of destruction almost. If the Australian government were not involved in a badly conceived effort to allow the Aboriginies to assimilate in society they would have simply done what the early colonists did in Tasmania.
    [/b][/quote]
    Hmmm, not too sure I agree with you on that one. The fact was that the kids who were taken were almost always half-casts because it was believed that the Aboriginals as a race were "dying off" and so it would be noble at lease to save those with some European blood because, as they saying was back then, "Aboriginal blood washes out" (that is, after a few generations of breeding with whites there'd be no sign of any Aboriginal traits left).
    But no, things aren't an aweful lot better at the moment for them... they've got all the necessary rights these days, but they do very much exist in the peripheral of Australian society. It's a complex problem, but one that successive governments haven't done an aweful lot to address.

    Still, that doesn't make Australian's "racist", in fact it is widely percieved that Australia is a vastly more successful multicultural nation than Britain because we are more tolerable than the English as a society.
     
Enjoyed this thread? Register to post your reply - click here!

Share This Page