29 January 2009

To say the same to the English



Cartoon by Henricartoon

by Frederico Duarte Carvalho*

This issue of the English domain over the Portuguese is an ancient thing. A very ancient one, and part of our History. To help you understand what's going on, let's say that it started with the Anglo-Portuguese Treaty of 1373, which evolved into the Treaty of Windsor (1386). There was also the dubious Methuen Treaty (1703) and the disastrous Convention of Sintra (1808) which allowed for "the retreat of the French troops, on board of English ships, carrying their weapons, luggage and the product of the plundering done in Portugal". Nevertheless, it was Eça de Queirós and Ramalho Ortigão who figured the English out, and traced several portraits of the English colonisers in the book "The Mystery of the Sintra Road", like this acid image:

"What fecund transformation did England operate on India? The transformation of poetry, of imagination, of the sun, into something dull, trivial and full of coal. I was in India, gentlemen. Do you know what the English transformers did? The translation of India, a mysterious poem, into the mercantile prose of the Morning Post. Under the shadow of traditional buildings they place bales of pepper; they threat the great Indian race, the mother of ideal, like Irish dogs; they navigate tourist boats on the divine Ganges for three shillings a head; they force the traditional dancers to drink pale ale and teach them to play cricket; they use gas to open squares in the sacred forest; and on top of all of this, gentlemen, they dethrone ancient kings, mysterious ones, almost made of marble, and they replace them with fellows with sideburns, ridden with debt, red-faced, that are either forced at Botany-Bay or become governors of India! And who does all of this? An island, half made of ide, half of roast-beef, inhabited by spring chicken in high collars, beer containers!".

In fact, if there's something that people around here really enjoy, it's a nice march against the Britons (which in our national anthem later changed into "cannons"). But the fights are reduced to the vain glories of ball games. Politically, it seems that the English still win. The last person who affronted them was Gonçalo Amaral, the former PJ coordinator in the McCann case, who was removed from the process on the very same day that Gordon Brown accepted to sign the Lisbon Treaty. The former PJ member criticised the national passivity towards the English by recalling the letter from Marquês de Pombal to Lord Chatham, in 1759, in his book "The Truth of the Lie": "(...) I'm aware that you cabinet has taken an empire over ours, but I'm also aware that it's time to end that. If my predecessors were weak enough to concede you everything that you wanted, I will never concede you anything except what I must. This is my final resolution; regulate yourself accordingly (...)".

We are now forced to realise that we don't have a prime minister who can say the same to the English...


source: 'Para Mim Tanto Faz' blog, 29.01.2009


* Journalist, author and blogger

5 comments:

  1. So basically, it's the case that throughout history, the English scr**** the Portuguese and nobody dared to stand up to them - except for rare exceptions like Pombal and Amaral.

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  2. I have already expressed my opinion on this, and although I do believe that English arrogance has a big share of the blame, one mustn't forget that, as in any soccer match, one team plays as well as the other one allows it to do so.

    In polite terms, one cannot expect that, laying on one's back, one after allowing one's tummy to be scratched, to be treated in the same manner as as someone who has a spine.

    In layman's terms, one cannot wave one's ass without expecting that what will happen, will happen...

    Portuguese, stop whining, and start to act. Beforehand before it hurts. Not afterwards, when you may protest as much as you want, but have to get used to the pain...

    Textusa

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  3. Bravo GONÇALO AMARAL,por tudo e por ser considerado também por enfrentar o "império" ........
    Bravo ao Jornalista e Blogger que escreveu
    o Seu pensamento e opinião;
    Bravo a Textusa, pela objectividade também;
    Bravo Joana e Astro por mais fácilmente nos fazerem chegar as notícias.

    Muito obrigada.
    ********************************
    Puxa, isto tudo está cada vez mais triste,embora haja 1 clown,que em entrevista a uma Tv,até abana as bochechas.Julga, C.S., que está nalguma festa infantil e que os espectadores são idiotas?

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  4. Eu não gosto do...sabem quem.

    Mas,carta rogatória por carta rogatória....

    Então ?

    Como foram tratadas as 2 cartas rogatórias,uma para uk e a outra para os Países Baixos, idas de Portugal?

    Além de 1 mini tv ,abri a pág. da sic.Espero que o comp. não se estrague.

    Agora já é às 18:00 mas se calhar nem será às 18:00.....

    Ao menos que conte as conversas e as ordens do G.B. quando cá veio.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Aguardo ansiosamente que este blog (que acredito ser INDEPENDENTE), faça referência às declarações da Procuradora Candida Almeida, ontem na RTP 1, e nos ajude a entender
    " o que se passa afinal ".

    Obrigada, Joana e Astro

    ReplyDelete