Category Archives: History of New Zealand

History of the Commonwealth of Nations

Mistakes made by leaders of powerful countries have been legion throughout history. Enormous losses in the human and animal races have been the result. It is arguable that had George V of England and Kaiser Wilhelm of Germany not disliked each other, and had had more control over the ambitions of their respective political leaders, there would not have been a First World War. Again, if Blair, Aznar and Barroso had exhibited more guts on that island in the Azores, they might have persuaded George Bush Jun. to stop telling himself and them what he (and they) knew to be a lie – that Saddam was storing massively dangerous secret weapons in Iraq – and better methods than medieval ones could have been used to depose a dictator. And 100,000 Iraquies would not have died, nor nearly 4000 young servicemen and women from the USA. Continue reading

Canada

This is the second largest country in the world, and yet there is little mention of her in the media. Unless one of Canada’s great cities holds an Olympic Games, as did Montreal, you never hear about Canada. The same situation abounds with the two great islands of New Zealand. The reason for this lack of newsworthyness is probably that Canada (and New Zealand) are very well governed, exceedingly rich, and both are willing members of the Commonwealth of Nations. Continue reading

British politics; Grenville & three Greys

William Wyndham Grenville, son of Prime Minister George Grenville, and a first cousin of the Younger Pitt was born in 1759. He went to Eton and Oxford (as do and did so many PMs), and was sitting in the House of Commons as a Member for a Buckinghamshire constituency for only eight years before being raised to the peerage as a Baron in 1790 when he was 31.

One year before becoming a Baron he was Home Secretary, and became Foreign Secretary during crucial years for the British Empire – 1791 to 1801.

During cousin Pitt’s second administration Grenville chided him not very gently for his policies at home, which kept him out of the Cabinet, but Young Mr Pitt could not ignore Grenville’s immense popularity both inside the House and out of it.It was just as well that after Pitt’s premature death, Grenville was personally invited by George III to form a coalition government. For those students who are not quite certain what a ‘coalition government’ is, Britain has one now. Mr Cameron (Conservatives) and Mr Clegg (Liberal Democrats) are joint prime ministers, and the Cabinet contains officials from both parties. Another famous coalition was in action throughout the Second World War, with Clement Atlee as Deputy Prime Minister to Winston Churchill. Continue reading