Kathryn Tidrick

Kathryn Tidrick lives in Delhi. Her book, Empire and English Character, was reviewed by Angus Calder earlier this year.

On the Game

Kathryn Tidrick, 22 December 1994

The British acquired their Empire in an untidy, un-coordinated fashion of which they became rather proud. This vast imperium, they said to themselves, exists almost entirely as the result of undirected individual enterprise – undirected yet tending mysteriously towards a common end. There was no master plan, indeed no conscious design. British activity across the globe had simply produced its natural and inevitable consequence.

Who’s to blame?

Kathryn Tidrick, 25 February 1993

For a few years in the mid-Seventies I lived in Tanzania, my husband being at the time one of the horde of expatriate ‘advisers’ who flocked there hoping to be of service to Nyerere’s revolution, Even then it seemed the lights were going out in Africa, as country after country came under the control of greedy elites which used the power of the state to line their own pockets. Tanzania promised to be an exception to an already dreary tale of corruption and decline. Yet many of those who arrived in the early years of the decade feeling a modest hope for the future and a fine moral enthusiasm for the present, were to depart by the end of the decade sadder but not wiser men; or, if they did feel wiser, it was mostly because they had embraced that most conventional of all wisdoms, racism – this presumably being the only way they could find to account to themselves for Tanzania’s descent into a dark age from which it has only recently, with great difficulty, begun to emerge.’

Vron Ware is described on the dust-jacket of Beyond the Pale, her study of the difficulty white feminists have had in being fair to brown races which appear to oppress their women, as ‘a journalist and feminist design consultant’. Footnote 17 on page 256 enlightens. Ware, I discover, is the co-author of At Women’s Convenience: A Handbook on the Design of Women’s Public Toilets. A useful publication, to be sure, but one which reminds me, as I am reminded a dozen times I day in not conducive to a sympathetic reading of Ware’s book, of the vast gulf separating India, where I have been living for almost three years, and England, where women’s toilets apparently disappoint only in their design and not in the frequency of their occurrence.

God’s Own

Angus Calder, 12 March 1992

It is no surprise when you arrive in Harare, formerly Salisbury, and a taxi driver recommends the Courtney Hotel. After all, there is still a hotel named after Speke in Kampala, Uganda, and the...

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Malise Ruthven, 18 February 1982

Edward Said is the first Palestinian to have stormed the East Coast literary establishment. His achievement has partly been the result of what his more paranoid opponents must regard as his...

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