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Let me, as a non-Brit, defend the British colonial record at least a little.  I don't know much about the record on British democracy and equal treatment of colonized countries, nor will I defend the exploitation that took place as a integral part of colonialsm.  I have heard the venom spewed by quite a few former colonial subjects so I have no illusions about the lack of perfection in the system. However, I have visited many of the former colonies and based on that and what I was taught in school (which pretty much jives with what I've seen), the British left most colonies, including Hong Kong, in pretty good shape financially and with a good basic governmental organization, common law, and a system of education. Contrast the former British colonies at independence with those left by other European countries and then begin the criticism afresh.  The declines that have taken place in some former British colonies can be laid at the feet of poor governance that arose after independence.  I expect thaqt Hong Kong will continue to flourish, however, even under the new Chinese Govt.

I can swear there ain't no heaven but I pray there ain't no hell. _ Blood Sweat & Tears
by Gringo (stargazing camel at aoldotcom) on Mon Jul 2nd, 2007 at 02:09:59 PM EST
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