Old UK military film about Belize incredibly smug and insulting


Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2018/04/11/old-uk-military-film-about-bel.html


Wow. That’s remarkably insulting.

I remember visiting Belize in the 80s. I had a wonderful time. I swear I remember some of the locations shown (is that the airport in Dangriga?). It seemed like the national sport was feeding English soldiers spicy food and watching them keep a stiff upper lip.


One of my work colleague & his spouses are up and moving there in a few months - we’re all jealous. Then again - perhaps it pales in comparison to the sunny warm British beaches?


At least he didn’t call it a shithole country.


That doesn’t sound like any squaddie I have met. They tend to order the hottest food available of their own free will.

Whether they can handle it is another matter.


To be fair, “smug and insulting” is kind of Britain’s thing.


This was my experience in Belize when I visited about 10 years ago. Haters can go pound sand (which was also quite nice).



You don’t create an empire with unassertive kindness. Smug and insulting is pretty much how the Brits roll.


Holy shit that’s a nasty example of racism and colonialism at work.

The Harrier jump jet was introduced in 1969, so the video has to be from the 70’s or later. At a guess, I’d say it was pre-Thatcher, because it’s hard to believe that degree of nakedly racist contempt for Belizians would have passed muster in the later 80’s.

Eta: @the_borderer points out that Belize became officially independent in 81. My gut tells me that this kind of contempt for an officially sovereign ally would definitely not pass muster, so 1970’s it is.


Jealous because they are moving to Belize or jealous because he has spouses, plural? :wink:


Belize - one spouse would be one too many


I was just there in January. Great place, totally unlike the video above. Caracol was mind-blowing


Didn’t John Cleese (as Basil Fawlty in “Fawlty Towers”) claim that Torquay was the ‘English Riviera’?


I was able to witness this procedure on more than one occasion. The cook says “You like spicy food, or I make special for you no spicy?” The squaddie says “Spicy food will do nicely.” The cook adds extra pepper sauce. The squaddie eats, turns bright red, sweat rolls down his face, and he says “It’s lovely, thanks.” It’s quite a show.


Belize officially became independent in 1981, although it was self governing for over 10 years before that.

My guess by watching the video is mid 1970s.


I wonder if Tangerine Dream got money for the use of their music… And wow that was just cringe inducing.


The narrator is complaining that the people of Belize are too lazy to grow food for the British military.

Because as we all know … officers will not do manual labor.


The tank looks like a Scorpion, which came into service in 1972/3. So mid 1970’s is probably the lower bound, given that new equipment may take a while to get out there…


There’s a 4-part BBC documentary on the decline of the British Empire that I found interesting, and the host/narrator is desperate to coax some kind of approval out of residents of the former colonies – at one point the Indians he talks to grudgingly admit they do like to play cricket.


On the one hand: cricket.

On the other hand: