Friday, January 13, 2023

Reviewing "Don't Tell the Newfoundlanders", a book about colonialism.

I posted a review of the book Don't Tell the Newfoundlanders on GoodReads.

The book was informative, but not what I expected. It was frustrating to read, and I had to put it down and do something else regularly.

Imagine a book about Xinjiang (New Frontier) that spoke as if all human history on that area of land started in 1955 (When Xinjiang was made an autonomous region by PRC) and made absolutely no mention of the Uyghurs. The book would be entirely quotes and discussion of jurisdictional squabbles between individual groups of Han Chinese politicians/bureaucrats, other Chinese colonies/autonomous regions/provinces, and the central People's Republic of China (PRC) government.

This is essentially what this book about is about, but for the British imposed colony of Newfoundland. The narrative is that Newfoundland was a "responsible government" in 1832 (a British colonial occupation is somehow claimed to be an example of self-determination), this artificial British granted legal fiction designation was rescinded in 1933, and Newfoundland became a province of the (also not self-determining, also not an example of "responsible government") Dominion of Canada in 1949.

Unlike with the Uyghurs who are relatively recent peoples to that region claimed by China, the Inuit, the Innu, the Mi'kmaq, and other Indigenous peoples have stewarded various parts of the lands some wish to call "Newfoundland and Labrador" for millennia.

The underlying policy discussed in the book is merely the British Empire consolidating debt and setting up protection of its British North American interests after the WW2, and yet this book claims there is something relating to "democracy" and "responsible government" involved.

Page 62 provides a good summary in the form of a quote from Hume Wrong:

"considerable interest in the House of Commons in the status of Newfoundland, adding that there was a strong feeling that the present system of commission of government over a people of purely British stock was repugnant to a great many members."

This book helpful in understanding what White Supremacy is, and learning about individuals that remain loyal to those worldviews, policies, and institutions.

Newfoundland stands as a cautionary tale of why we should be concerned about what China is doing in what it calls Xinjiang, given how much more damage the British Empire (re-branded Commonwealth, FVEY, etc) is causing and has yet to be held to account in any way.

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