Saturday 21 September 2019

Mr Myers more like Mr Magoo

WHEN it comes to the British Empire, Kevin Myers is like a Mr Magoo crashing about, blinded by prejudice and by an inadequate grasp of history. Tata is today an admirable Indian company leading the way in areas as diverse as cars and IT.

However, its first major enterprise was not a cotton mill as Mr Myers asserts in his recent article -- Tata's first business success was actually in selling opium to the Chinese.

Mr Myers is right when he writes that "it is inconceivable that the Tata company could have prospered as it did without the legal certainties of British rule".

This British rule involved forcing reluctant Indian peasants to grow poppies and then forcing the unfortunate Chinese to legalise opium.

The Opium War was fought purely to force the Emperor to allow this poison into China, so as to enrich mostly English opium dealers, operating from India.

Around the same time the British suppressed the Indian Mutiny by tying patriotic rebels to the mouths of cannon and blowing them to bits.

Are these the "legal certainties" to which Mr Myers refers? Real history is in history books, Mr Myers, not in glossy corporate handouts.

TIM O’HALLORAN

23 FERNDALE ROAD, DUBLIN 11

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