As Others See The Englishman

Date Published: 
Jamaica Gleaner


The Northern Daily Telegraph of November 24 published the following:—

"England from the outsider's point of view" was the subject of an address given to Blackburn Women's Liberal Association in the Reform dub last night by Mr. Arthur Wilkinson,(jnr.), who holds a scholastic post in Trinidad. Mrs. Carmichael, J.P., presided.

Mr. Wilkinson said that before going out nine years ago he had the impression that the regarded an Englishman as being of the true John Bull type—blunt and intrinsically honest. Some of those ideas he had changed very rapidly, and more of his impressions had altered during the time he had spent in Trinidad, the British West Indies, and with touring football teams in other parts of the West Indies. He felt that many of the people in our colonies regarded us as a very selfish and snobbish crowd. England, they said, had got more territory than she deserved and was naturally content that things should remain as they were.


Yet, although England seemed to have lost some of the respect she commanded in former years, when everyone looked to her for a lead, she still appeared to be considered by the most levelheaded of the outsiders as standing along among the nations as the one bulwark of democracy. She stood in the eyes of the world as a Liberal Government—the middle course. But she must avoid the danger that has beset Liberalism in this country. She must have no truck either with the extreme political policy on the one side or with that on the other. He did not advocate a policy of isolation, but considered that England should be strong enough to stand on her own.


Alluding to the colonial position, Mr. Wilkinson declared that if a plebiscite showed that a colony desired a change of control, they should be allowed to have it. A colony dissatisfied would only bring trouble.

English salesmanship, he said, was bad in many of the colonies he had visited. The foreigner discovered what people wanted, and then went out of his way to manufacture it. The English people seemed to rely on past reputation, and tried to tell the people what they ought to have.

Wilkinson was the Captain of the Trinidad football team which beat Jamaica in the season of 1935-36.