In the lyrics to the Gilbert and Sullivan opera "The Mikado," Gilbert put onto the Lord High Executioner's "little list" of people who would not be missed if they needed people to execute,
"The idiot who praises, with enthusiastic tone,
All centuries but this and every country but his own."
For the avoidance of doubt, and before anyone accuses me of being a misogynistic troll, I am certainly not endorsing Ko-Ko's proposed solution for people who take this approach nor even necessarily his characterisation of them as idiots.
But there are a number of journalists and columnists who remind me of those lines when I read one of their articles about foreign affairs.
One such item can be found in today's "Independent" and "I" by Mary Dejevsky, which you can read here and which establishes her as today's colonialist anti-colonialist.
If that criticism sounds like a contradiction in terms that's because this is precisely what her argument is.
After bending over backwards to see Spain's side of the dispute over Gibraltar and taking an ironic swipe at the Chief Minister of Gibraltar which took the form of a heroic attempt to find grounds for sympathy with the totalitarian dictatorship in North Korea, Mary Dejevsky then recommends that Britain should, quote
"summon up what remain of our colonial instincts one last time and overrule the
people of the Rock – for their own good."
This appears to mean she wants to impose on the 30,000 people of the Rock of Gibraltar a solution concerning the future of their home which they almost unanimously rejected in a plebiscite ten years ago.
If someone like Margaret Thatcher or David Cameron held a referendum in a British colony or territory which produced an overwhelming result, and then proposed ignoring that result, I am pretty sure that insults like "fascist" and "colonialist" would soon be flying thick and fast. I suspect that the Independent and very possibly Mary Dejevsky would be among those who were quick to criticise.
I would like to see better relations between Britain, Gibraltar, and Spain. That needs to be achieved through consensus and agreement. Over-ruling the wishes of the people of the Rock about the future of their home is not the way to get this.