Cameron Demands Return of Chinese Slavery | Beastrabban\’s Weblog

Campbell-Bannerman shown being castigated by John Bull for the election image of 'chinese slavery' used by the Liberal Party during their successful election campaign of 1905. Liberal leader (and later Prime Minister) Sir Henry Campbell-Bannerman successfully drummed up indignation about the issue but, on forming a government, did nothing about it.
Campbell-Bannerman shown being castigated by John Bull for the election image of ‘chinese slavery’ used by the Liberal Party during their successful election campaign of 1905.
Liberal leader (and later Prime Minister) Sir Henry Campbell-Bannerman successfully drummed up indignation about the issue but, on forming a government, did nothing about it.

David Cameron, or one his underlings at the Tory party conference this week declared that British workers should work like the Chinese in order for Britain to compete in the global marketplace.

This comment, coming from a party intent on destroying workers’ rights and the last vestiges of the welfare state, as well as forcing the unemployed to labour for zero pay under workfare schemes, has sinister overtones of the ‘Chinese slavery’ denounced by British working class organisations at the beginning of the last century.

The term refers to harsh conditions forced on immigrant indentured Chinese labourers in South Africa, which became a symbol for the employers’ oppression and exploitation of the working class. Brewer’s Dictionary of Phrase and Fable describes it thus in this entry:

Chinese slavery. Virtual slavery; excessively hard graft for negligible rewards. The phrase became widely used as a political slogan by the LIBERALS from 1903, when Balfour’s CONSERVATIVE government (1902-1905) introduced indentured coolies from China to combat the shortage of Kaffir labour in the Rand gold mines after the dislocation caused by the South African War. They were kept in compounds and only allowed out under permit. (p. 229).

I apologise for the use of the word ‘Kaffir’.

Source: Cameron Demands Return of Chinese Slavery | Beastrabban\’s Weblog

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9 Thoughts to “Cameron Demands Return of Chinese Slavery | Beastrabban\’s Weblog”

  1. Well there are many similarities between the Tory party & the Chinese; most striking similarity their lack of Human Rights.

    1. There is definitely a link between lack of workers rights and human rights – in the US for instance there are no compulsory days off a year, and during the Clinton administration Jerry Williams was sentenced to 25 years to life, for stealing a $1.25 pizza. If the government can legislate to work you into an early grave, they can also legislate to put you in an early grave.

  2. NMac

    Not too long ago the Tories used to denounce China in the strongest terms. Now, it seems, they like their slave labour practices.

  3. I would have thought it obvious why immigrants are welcomed here by both Tory and Labour- Who else you gonna use as cheap labour?

    1. Mike Sivier

      It’s not as clear-cut as that, unfortunately. Makes a nice soundbite though – for a UKIP politician.

    2. Roland

      When you think of what we have done to these countries we should take the immigrants in or help them re build there own country all this was done for the US I see there not taking many NO leave it to there underlings to sort it out what are we going to bomb next for the US, And remember if the US push use into a war with Russia it will be europe and us that gets the hammer

  4. Roland

    The Chinese had some thing to work for not as here

  5. Kaffir is also an insulting and contemptuous term also used by some Muslims for non-Muslims or non-believer’s

    Origin: Late 16th century from Arabic kāfir ‘infidel’, from kafara ‘not believe’.

  6. The tories will be bringing back the workhouses, just you watch!

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