There’s a tired Zimbabwean joke that asks the question, “What did Zimbabweans use to light their homes before candles?”  The answer, of course, is electricity…  This joke epitomises the sad decline in Zimbabwe’s living standards after more than 20 years of socialist rule.  Now that Zimbabweans can’t even get candles, they go to bed at dusk and rise at dawn.  They have no food to eat because the crops have failed – again.  Yet back in the so-called “bad old colonial” days, Rhodesia (as this once happy and prosperous nation was named until 1980) exported food crops to its African neighbours.  Rhodesia (not Zimbabwe) was rightly called the “breadbasket of Africa.”  It took twenty years of socialist government to destroy all that. 

So why compare Britain with Zimbabwe?  Because socialists destroy economies.  The former Russian dominated Union of Soviet Socialist Republics was the classic example of this.  And, of course, North Korea and Burma are modern day examples.  The British people go through a phase of self destruction every fifteen or twenty years; they vote a socialist government into power.  “New” Labour has been in power now for eleven years, and the British economy is creaking under the strain.  It’s not quite as bad (yet) as it had become in 1979, before Margaret Thatcher’s government was voted into power to rescue the country, but it’s heading that way. 

The main difference between Britain and Zimbabwe is that the people in Britain will still be able to change their government when they finally wake up to the damage that their folly in voting for socialists has done. 

Another difference is size; it takes longer to destroy a big economy than it does to destroy a small one.  The British Economy is massive compared with what the Rhodesian economy was in 1979; even so, Rhodesia’s was the second largest (and most successful) in Southern Africa.  Yet it took Mugabe and his socialists about twenty years to destroy what they had inherited from the Rhodesians.  British Socialists, led by Blair and Brown, have brought the British economy to a sad state of disrepair after only eleven years, and Comrade Brown’s government still has two years to run.  But the Brits will almost certainly dismiss the Labour Party from office when the time comes.  It will take a new capitalist government ten years of hard work to return Britain to the economic powerhouse it was when the socialists took power in 1997. 

Meanwhile, there are many common factors between the British and Zimbabwean economies.  Both countries were once able to feed their own populations.  Now both Britain and Zimbabwe are heavily reliant on imported food.  This state of affairs is entirely due to socialist interference in both countries. 

I am not at all surprised that neither Britain nor South Africa will use their influence in Zimbabwe to ensure free and fair elections.  Both Britain and South Africa have socialist governments.  They both share the same beliefs as Mugabe and his Marxist Zanu-PF party.  Both governments wish they could use the same “encouragement to vote the correct way” as Mugabe’s government is using now.  And, who knows – both the British Labour Party and the South African ANC Party may yet resort to Mugabe’s methods of “encouragement”.  Like all socialists, they believe that voters simply don’t understand what’s best for them.


Author, Peter Davies was a soldier in Rhodesia from 1963 to 1975, where he took part in the capture and interrogation of terrorists.  His novel, Scatterlings of Africa, is based on his own experience during Rhodesia’s war on terror, and personal observations of how terrorist activities impacted Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) and its people.

Readers who would like to make a contribution to help innocent pensioners, who are unable to buy food and other basic necessities in Zimbabwe, should please contact Patricia Williams by email

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