It was with interest that I read James Gray’s column last week about his visit to Tibet.
When I think of the Tibetan situation I imagine how I would feel if I were Tibetan. Try this: Image Hitler winning the second world war and occupying Britain. The royal family and Churchill escape to America, which remains neutral, to set up a government in exile. Then the Nazification of Britain is undertaken, all Government buildings except the Houses of Parliament and Buckingham palace are destroyed. All places of worship and libraries are destroyed with the books burned in the street.
All universities are destroyed with Oxford and Cambridge used for target practice by the Luftwaffe. Over the next 20 years eight million people are killed, Museums and art galleries looted and items sold on the international black market. There would be an influx of Germans to run the new government, industry and commerce, the official language would be German and a picture of Hitler would be on every street. Indigenous Britons would have to swear allegiance to the Nazi party every Sunday. Then Hitler dies and his closest subordinates (the equivalent of the gang of four) are blamed for past ‘mistakes’ but the Nazi party remains in power and the nazification of Britain continues with most shops, hotels and offices run by Germans. Britons are marginalized and cannot get jobs. Germany becomes the economic powerhouse of the world. A delegation of American politicians arrives in Britain on a fact finding tour and is shown new housing projects where indigenous English people live. They are well looked after with all their material needs met. The American politicians go away thinking ‘well there are some human rights abuses but most English people are much better off than they were when there was rationing’.
If it’s a choice between material needs and political or religious freedom then freedom wins every time. Would Mr Gray’s conclusions be different without his Chinese minders in Tibet
Richard Moulton and Anne-Marie Willis