Chris respects peoples of Himalaya

NOT EVERYONE IN THE WEST THINKS WELL OF THE PEOPLES OF THE INDIAN SUB-CONTINENT; DEPLORABLY, SOME STILL VIEW THEM AS INFERIOR!  CHRIS RESPECTS PEOPLES OF INDIA, NEPAL, BHUTAN, PAKISTAN AND BANGLADESH BUT HE HAS A LOW OPINION OF MOST POLITICIANS AND OFFICIALS IN THESE COUNTRIES, WHO ARE OFTEN CORRUPT AND SELF-SERVING. THE LEGISLATION THEY PUT IN PLACE, IS SLEDOM FOR THE BENEFIT OF ORDINARY PEOPLE. MOST POLITICIANS, OFFICIALS AND EDUCATED PEOPLE IN THE INDIAN SUB-CONTINENT VIEW WITH CONTEMPT THE 'TRIBAL'/'HILL-PEOPLE'. THE GOVERNMENTS OF INDIA, NEPAL & PAKISTAN ARE NOT THE SLIGHTEST BIT INTERESTED IN PROTECTING THE PEOPLES, ENVIRONMENT AND FLORA OF THE HIMALAYA.  OVERALL, THE SITUATION IN BHUTAN IS BETTER, THOUGH FAR FROM PERFECT - AS IS THE CASE IN EVERY WESTERN COUNTRY  THEY CRY 'CROCODILE TEARS'.  CHRIS CHADWELL GENUINELY CARES AND IF A SINGLE INDIAN BOTANIST CARED THEY WOULD JUMP AT THE OPPORTUNITY OF COLLABORATING (AND BEING INSTRUCTED BY CHRIS, WHO IS THE WORLD AUTHORITY ON THE FLORA OF THE NORTH-WEST HIMALAYA) - AT NO COST TO THEM.....  CHRIS CO-FOUNDER AND HAS BEEN LONG-TERM EDITOR OF THE HIMALAYAN PLANT ASSOCIATION, SINCE 1990 - FREE MEMBERSHIP WAS OFFERED TO BOTANICAL INSTITUTIONS AND INDIVIDUAL BOTANISTS IN INDIA - NOT ONE HAS JOINED AND ONLY ONE IN NEPAL DID.  SINCE THE RELAUCH OF THE ASSOCIATION IN 2016, WHEN A NOMINAL CHARGE OF £10 HAS BEEN BROUGHT IN, NO ONE HAS JOINED FROM THE INDIAN SUB-CONTINENT HAS JOINED; PLENTY COULD AFFORD IT (AND NOW IT HAS BECOME STRAIGHTFORWARD TO MAKE PAYMENTS IN THE UK).  THIS TELLS YOU ALL, ALONG WITH CHRIS HAVING SPENT MORE THAN THIRTY YEARS BENDING OVER BACKWARDS OFFERING TO HELP INDIAN BOTANISTS, YET NOT ONE HAS BOTHERED.....

THERE IS A PROBLEM.  RACIST ATTITUDES REMAIN IN THE UK, AS EXEMPLIFIED BY THE BREXIT VOTE, WHEN NAIVE, POORLY EDUCATED PEOPLE WERE TRICKED BY THE LIKES OF POLITICIAN BORIS JOHNSON,WHO BROUGHT OUT THE WORST IN THEM.  IT WAS CONSIDERED AN OFFENCE TO CRITICISE NON-WHITE PEOPLE, BUT YOU COULD SAYS THINGS BAD ABOUT EASTERN EUROPEANS IN PARTICULAR AND EUROPEANS IN GENERAL AND GET AWAY WITH IT.  I SAW LITTLE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE EXTREME ELEMENTS IN UKIP AND THE NATIONAL FRONT OF THE 1970s - WE HAD A STUDENT IN THE LOWER SIXTH AT MY SCHOOL (WHO WAS RE-TAKING MOST OF HIS 'O' LEVELS) WHO WENT ON NATIONAL FRONT MARCHES.  OUR SCHOOL HAD VERY VIEW NON-WHITE PUPILS.  THEY TURNED DOWN ROLAND BUTCHER, WHO WENT ON TO BE THE FIRST 'BLACK MAN' (OF WEST INDIAN PARENTS) TO PLAY CRICKET FOR ENGLAND; ONCE HE REACHED COUNTY LEVEL, THE SCHOOL WANTED HIM BUT HE RIGHTLY DECLINED.  HIS YOUNGER BROTHER WAS IN MY YEAR BUT HAD NEITHER HIS BROTHER'S TALENT NOR APPLICATION.  THERE WAS ONE 'BLACK' GIRL IN MY CLASS (OF WEST INDIAN PARENTS) AND ONE ASIAN BOY THE YEAR BELOW ME WHO MADE THE FIRST XI FOOTBALL TEAM.

A PROPORTION OF BRITISH PEOPLE WHO HAVE LIVED IN BRITAIN FOR GENERATIONS, CONSIDER THEMSELVES SUPERIOR TO NON-WHITES INCLUDING CERTAIN CLOSE MEMBERS OF MY FAMILY - MUCH TO MY DISMAY.  THEY ARE BIGOTS. 'LITTLE-BRITAINERS'. FROM TIME-TO-TIME, SOMEONE SAYS SOMETHING TO ME ON A TRAIN PLATFORM OR WHEN I AM BEING HOSTED BY THEM WHEN I LECTURE TO SOCIETIES AROUND THE COUNTRY, WHICH REVEALS THEIR REAL THINKING AND ASSUMPTION THAT I WOULD THINK THE SAME WAY.  AT TIMES, I CHALLENGE THEIR ATTITUDES.

MY LATE GRANDMOTHER WAS SCARED OF 'BLACK' PEOPLE; SHE THOUGHT THE BIBLE (SHE WAS PROTESTANT) SAID BLACK PEOPLE WERE BAD.  AS FAR AS I KNOW, SHE NEVER EVER SPOKE TO A NON-WHITE PERSON, OTHER THAN MY WIFE!  WHEN I USED TO REGULARLY GO TO INDIA, SOME MEMBERS OF MY IMMEDIATE FAMILY WERE CONCERND I WOULD PRODUCE 'BROWN' BABIES....  SHE LIVED IN SOUTH-EAST ENGLAND ALL HER LIFE, IN A RURAL VILLAGE IN SOMERSET TOWARDS THE END.  I DON'T THINK ANYONE IN THE VILLAGE OR CHURCH WERE NON-WHITE.

NOW LET US BE FAIR HERE.  OVERALL (AND THERE IS PLENTY WRONG) BRITAIN IS ONE OF THE BETTER PLACES IN THE WORLD IN TERMS OF TREAMENT OF IMMIGRANTS (THOUGH OF COURSE, WHO CONSTITUTES AND IMMIGRANT).  MY LATE MOTHER WAS PASSIONATE ABOUT ALL ASPECTS OF HISTORY INCLUDING LOCAL AND FAMILY, UNDERTAKING, DESPITE HER DREADFUL HANDWRITING (WHICH I INHERITED), HIGH STANDARD GENEAOLOGICAL RESEARCH AT A TIME THTA IT WAS MUCH MORE TIME-CONSUMING INVOLVING EXAMINATION OF PARISH CHURHC REGISTERS, EVEN GRAVE-STONES IN CHURCHYARDS.  SHE TRACED THE CHADWELLS BACK TO 1720 IN THE BUCKINGHAMSHIRE VILLAGE OF IVER; WITH ISOLTAED CHADWELLS IN AND AROUND SLOUGH FROM THE 1600s - SO ALTHOUGH I WAS NEITHER BORN NOR BROUGHT UP ANYWHERE NEAR SLOUGH, MY FAMILY COUNTS AS LOCALS.  HOWEVER MY PATERNAL GREAT GRANDMOTHER EMIGRATED FROM SCOTLAND TO IVER AT THE END OF THE 19TH CENTURY (SHE WAS MARRIED IN HER HAMLETS PARISH CHURCH NEAR KILMARNOCK); WORK WAS SCARCE AND AS FAR AS I CAN WORK OUT, SHE SEEMS TO HAVE TRAVELED SOUTH FOR HUNDREDS OF MILES LOOKING AFTER A PRIZE BULL WHICH A LOCAL LAND-OWNER HAD BOUGHT TO COMPETE IN AGRICULTURAL SHOWS AT WINDSOR AND THE LIKE.  SHE WAS AN ECONOMIC MIGRANT THEN, FROM ANOTHER COUNTRY.....  MY MOTHER SAID THAT IN THE 1930s, GUEST HOUSES HAD SIGNS ON THEM SAYING, "NO IRISH, NO WELSH, NO DOGS"  (SLOUGH HAS ALWAYS BEEN A TOWN WITH JOBS WITH MIGRANTS CAME TO FILL - IN THE 19TH CENTURY BRICK-FIELDS BROUGHT LABOURERS TO SLOUGH, LANGLEY & IVER TO WOK IN THE KILNS BUILT BESIDE THE SLOUGH ARM OF THE GRAND UNION CANAL, CONSTRUCTED TO TRANSPORT BY BARGE BRICKS UP TO THE METROPOLIS.    MY WIFE IS FROM THE FAR EAST AND CATHOLIC.  MY THREE SONS ATTENDING A CATHOLIC PRIMARY SCHOOL, WITH IRISH AND TO A LESSER EXTENT ITALIAN) FIRST AND SECOND GENERATION, HELD SENIOR POSITIONS IN THE PARISH AND THE MAJORITY OF THE PUPILS WERE OF IRISH PARENTAGE.  WHEN MY SONS WERE AT THIS SCHOOL, ITS REPUTATION HAD RISEN AND LOTS OF NON-CATHOLIC 'CHRISTIANS' WERE KEEN TO GET THEIR CHILDREN IN BECAUSE THE MAJORITY OF PUPILS WERE 'WHITE' (BY THEN, THERE WAS A LARGE NUMBER OF PUPILS OF INDIAN-SUB-CONTINENT PARENTAGE LIVING IN LANGLEY - THOUGH GRADUALLY A SIGNFICANT OF PUPILS OF EASTERN EUROPEAN PARENTS, ESPECIALLY POLISH HAVE MOVED IN).

MY GRANDMOTHER'S SISTER CLEARLY HAD SIMILAR VIEWS BUT HER ANXIETY ABOUT OUTSIDERS WAS MORE EXTERME AND LOCALISED.  MORE THAN TWO DECADES AGO, SHE PASSED AWAY A LONG TIME BACK, I WAS ONCE HOSTED BY HER OVERNIGHT.  I WAS GIVING A SLIDE-SHOW TO A VILLAGE HORTICULTURAL SOCIETY JUST 3 MILES FROM WHERE SHE LIVED, IN RURAL BUCKINHAMSHIRE, IN A HOUSE WITH TWO OTHERS, A MILE FROM ANY OTHER HOUSES.  SHE HAD WORKED FOR A WHILE AT A BANK IN A SMALL TOWN & VISITED LONDON TWICE.  SHE COULD NOT COMPREHEND WHY ALSO THESE PEOPLE FROM OTHER COUNTRIES CAME TO BRITAIN AND NO DOUBT MUCH OF HER VIEWS STEMMED FROM WHATEVER TABLOID NEWSPAPER SHE OCCASIONALLY READ (THESE RE-ENFORCE PREDJUDICE).  THE PROGRAMME SECRETARY OF THE SOCIETY PICKED ME UP FROM HER SMALL HOUSE, WHICH I HAD REACHED BY BUS (I DO NOT DRIVE).  OVER BREAKFAST SHE COMMENTED THAT THE SECRETARY DID NOT SEEM THAT BAD AT ALL - HER CONCERN BEING THAT PEOPLE WHO LIVED IN A DIFFERENT VILLAGE, 3 MILES AWAY, MUST HAVE HAD TWO HEADS AND PRACTISED CANNABALISM OR SOMETHING SIMILAR.  PEOPLE WHO BARELY VISIT CITIES IN THE UK LET ALONE ABROAD, LIVE IN AN ISOLATED WORLD.  IT DOES NOT AUTOMATICALLY MAKE THEM EVIL PEOPLE.  AND ONE MUST CONSIDER WHAT IT MUST BE LIKE FOR AN OLD LADY LIVING BY HERSELF (HER HUSBAND HAVING PASSED AWAY), LIVING IN A TOWN, WHEN THE WHOLE COMPLEXION OF A STREET CHANGES OVER THE YEARS, THE SIGHTS, SMELL OF FOOD, DRESS, RELIGION, ALTERS - THIS INEVITABLY TAKES GETTING USED TO.

I HAVE BEEN SOMETHING OF AN OUTSIDER ALL MY LIFE.  I WAS SEVERELY BULLIED AT SCHOOL, NOT BECAUSE OF THE COLOUR OF MY SKIN OR RELIGION BUT TREATED BADLY AND NOT MADE WELCOME, INDEED FELT IN MUCH DISTRESS, SO HAVE ALWAYS STOOD UP AGAINST BULLYING WHEN I OBSERVED IT IN MY SON'S SCHOOL - EVEN THOUGH THE HEADS AND PARISH PRIEST TRIED TO PRETEND IT DID NOT HAPPEN AND WHEN I MADE A MAJOR STAND, THE SCHOOL SIDED WITH THE  FAMILY OF BULLIES, BECAUSE THEY WERE OF IRISH BACKGROUND, WHEREAS I WAS ENGLIUSH AND MY WIFE, WHO TAKES HER CATHOLICISM AS SERIOUSLY AS ANYONE IN THE PARISH, WAS NON-WHITE AND VIEWED AS INFERIOR, MAKING UP NUMBERS WHEN IT SUITED THEM.  I MADE A FORMAL COMPLAINT TO THE BISHOP BUT HE JUST COVERED IT UP - AS IS THE WAY OF THE WORLD.....

RETURNING TO THE ATTITUDES OF SOME TOWARDS THE PEOPLES OF THE INDIAN SUB-CONTINENT.  BECAUSE INDIA, NEPAL, PAKISTAN ARE CHAOTIC PLACES IN COMPARISON TO THE UK (THIS IS FACT, NOT A MATTER OF OPINION) SOME INDIVIDUALS INTERESTED IN EXPLORING FOR PLANTS IN THE HIMALAYA FELT THEY DID NOT NEED TO ABIDE BY ANY OF THEIR RULES BECAUSE THEY WERE FROM THE FORMER COLONIAL POWER....  WHEN INQUIRIES WERE MADE TO ME, I TOOK TIME AND EFFORT TO EXPLIAN THE SITUATION AND THAT THEY COULDN'T JUST "GO AND TAKE WHATEVER THEY WANTED" - THEY NEED TO CONTACT THE AUTHORITIES AND INSTITUTIONS IN INDIA, NEPAL, PAKISTAN OR BHUTAN.  AND IT WAS NOT JUST ABOUT WHAT RULES AND REGULATIONS EXISTED FOR IMPORTATION BACK INTO THE UK BUT PLAYING BY ANY RULES WHICH APPLIED IN THOSE COUNTRIES.  IT CERTAINLY WAS OFTEN DIFFICULT TO DISCOVER EXACTLY WHAT THE RULES WERE.  IT CAME AS A SHOCK TO ME IN THE PAST WHEN I WAS TELEPHONED ON A NUMBER OF OCCASIONS BY SCOTTISH RESIDENTS WHO HAD ALREADY SPOKEN WITH EDINBURGH BOTANIC GARDEN STAFF, THAT THEY SEEMED BLISSFULLY UNAWARE OF ALL THIS.  EDINBURGH BOTANICS STAFF ARE PAID FULL-TIME, WITH PENSIONS.  I WAS A FREELANCER OPERATING OF A SHOE-STRING BUDGET AND THEN TO FIND DR WATSON FROM EDINBURGH PLAYING THE 'HOLIER THAN THOUGH' GAME WITH KADKHA'S BBC ARTICLE - TALK ABOUT DOUBLE-STANDARDS, ESPECIALLY AS I HAD COLLECTED BOTH BOTANICAL SPECIMENS AND SEED FOR EDINBURGH - THEY NOT ONCE MENTIONED ANYTHING ABOUT PERMISSIONS..... AND IT WAS AN ENDINBURGH-TRAINED PROFESSIONAL WHO INTRODUCED ME TO SEED SHARES (GATHERING OF SEED FOR SPECIALIST GARDENERS TO ATTEMPT TO COVER SOME OF THE COSTS).  WHEN DR WATSON GOES ON EXPEDITIONS TO THE HIMALAYA, ALL HIS COSTS ARE COVERED ON TOP OF USUAL PAY (AND PENSION CONTRIBUTIONS). TALK ABOUT THE .....,.
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