30 SEPTEMBER

MAYOR OF CARDIFF INSISTS THE SWASTIKA FLAG IS FLOWN OVER THE TOWN HALL

[ 30 September 1938 ]

Today in 1938, the Swastika flag was raised over Cardiff’s Town Hall, where it fluttered alongside the flags of Britain, France and Fascist Italy. The instructions came directly from Tory mayor Oliver Purnell and within hours he had received a message from the German consul ‘expressing delight at the Lord Mayor’s gesture of friendship.’ 

BARBARA CASTLE SPEAKS OUT AGAINST BRITISH ATROCITIES IN KENYA

Barbara Castle MP
(National Archives of Malawi – CC BY-SA 4.0 – via Wikimedia)

[ 30 September 1955 ]

On 30 September 1955, writing in Tribune, the Labour MP for Blackburn, Barbara Castle, spoke out against British atrocities committed against hundreds of thousands of men, women and children in Kenya suspected of supporting or even sympathizing with Mau Mau rebels who were fighting colonial rule. ‘In the heart of the British Empire,’ she wrote, ‘there is a police state where the rule of law has broken down, where the murder and torture of Africans by Europeans goes unpunished and where the authorities pledged to enforce justice regularly connive at its violation.’1 The British run colonial administration detained tens of thousands of black Kenyans in prisons and forced hundreds of thousands of villagers into concentration camps where malnutrition killed an unknown number, possibly exceeding 100,000. It also oversaw the brutal interrogation and torture of detainees and dispensed arbitrary justice leading to the execution of over 1000 political prisoners.2

FOOTNOTES

  1. Ian Cobain, Cruel Britannia: A Secret History of Torture, Portobello Books, London, 2012, p. 85.
  2. Caroline Elkins, Britain’s Gulag: The Brutal End of Empire in Kenya, The Bodley Head, London, 2014 and David Anderson, Histories of the Hanged: Britain’s Dirty War in Kenya and the End of Empire, Phoenix, London, 2006.

Please feel welcome to post comments below.  If you have any questions please email alisdare@gmail.com

© 2020 Alisdare Hickson All rights reserved

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