June 30, 2012
Hong Kong Handover Marks End of Empire
David Cannadine, BBC News
The recent controversy surrounding the discovery that the British taxpayer is footing the bill for a family of former asylum seekers from Somalia who are living in a luxury town house in London reminds me that it's exactly 50 years since the colony of British Somaliland became independent. As such, it was by no means the earliest imperial territory to gain its freedom: India, Pakistan, Burma, Ceylon and Malaya had already preceded it in Asia; and so, too, had the Sudan and the Gold Coast in Africa.
But it was the independence of British Somaliland in 1960, along with the famous "wind of change" speech which Harold Macmillan delivered in South Africa earlier in the same year, which ushered in the decade when the dismantling of the British Empire reached its climax, as...
TAGGED: British Empire, Hong Kong