Empire (2012) s01e03 Episode Script

Playing the Game

The British Empire lasted over 300 years.
It made Britain the most powerful nation in history.
It also shaped a fundamental part of the British character.
The empire offered the inhabitants of a grey, damp island in the North Atlantic, the prospect of limitless adventure.
You might discover a diamond field and become unimaginably rich or you might perish in a malarial swamp.
Either way, the thing to do was to "play up, play up, and play the game.
" Wherever the flag was planted went a passion for sport.
And the spirit of fair play.
Yes, yes, yes, yes! But sport was about more than just good clean fun Hey! it was an entire way of looking at the world.
And it was one of the foundations of the empire.
In its wide-open spaces, a particular kind of British hero was born, exploring the unknown places of the Earth, hungry for glory and adventure, courageous, intrepid and ruthless.
For the builders of empire, it was how you played the game that mattered more than victory, mattered more than life itself.
To Britons in the mid-19th century, the heart of Africa was as mysterious and unexplored as the dark side of the moon.
It proved a magnet for Victorian adventurers.
They were drawn by an obsession to get there first, and to put new names to new places.
On the 17th of June, 1857, two Englishmen arrived in East Africa.
Their names were Richard Burton and John Hanning Speke.
They dreamed of finding what had eluded explorers for millennia.
"Where did the most famous river in civilisation begin? "What was the source of the Nile?" The two men could hardly have been more different.
Burton was 36 and already famous as a charismatic adventurer, a man who'd smuggled himself into Mecca disguised as an Arab, a man known for liking to charm snakes and wrestling alligators, a man who would eventually learn to speak 29 languages.
He had a slightly sinister expression to his face, which wasn't helped by a scar on each cheek, where a javelin had pierced right through his face.
But it was the eyes that everyone remembered.
One poet described them as having a look of unspeakable horror.
His companion was his complete opposite.
John Hanning Speke was clean-living with a taste for tweed suits.
But he shared with Burton, the cast of mind that made the early pioneers of empire - an obsessive, often foolhardy determination.
The pair came to loathe each other and would become bitter rivals.
Together, they travelled over 1,500 miles through swamp, desert and jungle.
For two years, they journeyed into the interior, battling dysentery, fever and wild animals, scorched by the tropical sun.
You get a sense of how heroic this expedition was when you look at this 19th-century map of Africa.
They had landed on the east coast and various places around here, Madagascar, Zanzibar, Mozambique and so on.
They are known.
But inside Africa, the whole heart of Africa, is just marked "Unknown Parts".
Thousands upon thousands of square miles.
But somewhere in there was the source of the Nile.
When Burton went down with malaria, Speke pressed on alone.
And on the morning of August the 3rd, 1858, a year after they had set out, John Hanning Speke looked out on a vast expanse of water, which he immediately, of course, named Lake Victoria, and which he believed to be the source of the Nile.
"I no longer felt any doubt,"he wrote, "that the lake at my feet gave birth to that river, "whose source has been the object of so many explorers.
" It was no more than a hunch, though, as it later turned out, he was right.
Despite the fact his evidence was really pretty thin, Speke hastened back to camp and six weeks later was reunited with Burton.
"I've found the source of the Nile," he told him.
To which Burton replied, "Oh, no, you haven't.
" The two men agreed it would just be safest not to talk about it any more.
And for the remainder of their time in the jungle, they maintained a frosty, English silence on the subject.
Victorian explorers like Speke and Burton were the pathfinders of empire, fanatical not for power, but for knowledge and excitement.
And they helped to create the image of the classic British hero.
Their accounts of their travels inspired tales of adventure for a British public hungry for excitement.
King Solomon's Mines was published in 1885 and was a huge bestseller.
Filmed many times since, it tells the story of three British adventurers who play the game to the hilt.
Together, they cross Africa in search of the lost diamond mines of an ancient civilisation.
King Solomon's mine.
Its author, Henry Rider Haggard, was an old colonial.
He'd spent seven years in southern Africa.
The British public devoured his thrilling tale of danger and exploration.
It came complete with a map of his hero's journey into the unknown.
It's written in blood, a very good start, on a strip of fabric torn from a dying man's shirt.
And it shows the routes you have to take across the Kalekawe River, avoiding the bad water between a couple of mountains called Sheba's Breasts, to the idols guarding the cave where the treasure is.
In this quiet country house in Norfolk, Rider Haggard produced rip-roaring yarns for generations of schoolboys to read under the bedclothes, as well they might.
His massively popular tale, She, comes with a powerful dash of Victorian male fantasy.
She, or "She who must be obeyed'", is an African goddess, white as it happens, made immortal by killing her lovers.
The narrator is at last allowed a peep at her extravagant charms.
"For a moment, she stood still, her hands raised high above her head "and as she did so, "the white robe slipped from her, down to her golden girdle, "bearing the blinding loveliness of her form.
" This is enough to burst the buttons on your Victorian waistcoat, but what it does point up is the way in which the empire opened up the possibility of all sorts of intoxications that were quite unknown in respectable old England.
For Rider Haggard's heroes, the empire was a vast playground for a particular kind of British male.
He's a fellow with a stiff upper lip, athletic and unpretentious.
He is fair, he is honest, and he's steady.
He's an amateur and you can find him all over the empire from Khartoum to Calcutta to Cape Town.
If you needed three words to sum him up, "A decent chap.
" The decent chap was a contradiction.
Sturdy and self-reliant, yet ready to obey orders without hesitation.
He was nurtured in a place far removed from the heat and dust of the colonies, The English public school.
The public school's heyday was the height of the Victorian era.
Schools like this took boys and turned them into the governing class of empire, the future prefects of the colonial world.
They couldn't expect an easy ride.
Life in a Victorian public school was specifically designed to work against the comforts of family life.
"The chief thing to be desired", said one headmaster, "is to remove the child from the noxious influence of home.
" There was a good reason for this strict regime.
"It was to make the boys Christian gentlemen, "manly and enlightened, "finer specimens of human nature than any other country could furnish.
" The words of Rugby's celebrated headmaster, Thomas Arnold.
This is the room known as Upper Bench, where Dr Arnold taught some of the sons of the wealthier Victorian middle class.
But from what they were taught, you would never guess that Victorian scientists, engineers, architects and explorers were about to forge the modern world.
It was rather the ancient Romans who provided the model.
Victorian headmasters and politicians didn't look forward but back to the classical world, in which civilisation was spread at the point of the sword.
This is a timetable from 1899 and it shows that if you were a 16-year-old in the upper middle part of the school, this will be what you'd study.
Divinity, Classics, Classics, Classics, Classics, Classics, Maths, Natural Science, Classics, Maths, Classics, Classics, Classics, Classics, Classics, French, History, French, Maths, Classics, Classics, Classics, Maths, Classics.
Small wonder, that is, one visitor to another public school remarked, not one boy in ten could tell him where Birmingham was.
But a public school education wasn't really about learning where Birmingham was.
A particular idea of Christian values, discipline, respect for rules and ritual, these made up the public school's true mission, the moulding of character.
But there was something else fostered here that would prove an even more powerful builder of empire.
The British public school practised two religions - Christianity and sport.
No! According to one Victorian headmaster, sport was the rock on which Britain's greatness was built.
Well played, son! "Englishmen," he said, "are not superior to Frenchmen or Germans "in brains or industry or the science or applications of war.
"In the history of the British Empire, it is written that "England owes her sovereignty to her sports.
" The values of organised games were said to express the values of empire.
Physical courage, team spirit, and, er, having a go.
And it was the game of cricket which gave rise to one of the most famous of all famous empire poems.
"There's a breathless hush in the Close to-night "Ten to make and the match to win "A bumping pitch and a blinding light "An hour to play and the last man in "And it's not for the sake of a ribboned coat "Or the selfish hope of a season's fame "But his Captain's hand on his shoulder smote: "'Play up! Play up! And play the game!"' Oh! Beautiful shot! In the poem, the scene shifts from the cricket field to a bloody battle in the African desert.
The schoolboy is now a soldier, his comrades in arms dead or dying all around him.
But then his spirits soar as he hears his captain's voice calling, "Play up! Play up! And play the game!" It's majestic and it's idiotic at the same time, to our eyes at least, because war isn't a game.
And yet the fact that the poem could be written in that way tells us something rather profound about the way that the British viewed their empire.
The battle which had inspired the poem was fought by British troops in the biggest country in Africa, Sudan.
In such remote outposts, the heroes of empire achieved sometimes mythical status.
In 1884, the empire found a hero who played the game with a passion that bordered on madness.
He was a soldier who showed that heroic failure could be even more inspiring than victory.
Charles Gordon was a maverick, a general who disobeyed orders and wrote his own.
He became an imperial martyr in one of the strangest episodes in the history of empire, the Siege of Khartoum.
The capital was surrounded by thousands of Islamic warriors, followers of a religious leader, sworn to end British rule.
He called himself "the Mahdi'", "the Expected One".
The man sent from Britain to stop the Mahdi, roared on by the London newspapers, was already a legendary soldier and a fervent Christian.
General Charles George Gordon was an extraordinary man.
He was thin, he was 51, he was unmarried and he had blue eyes with a faraway look in them.
Other places, they'd just have called him a crank, but as it was, the British public, whipped up by the press, came to share his unshakable self-belief.
General Gordon could save Khartoum.
Gordon's orders weren't to fight, but to evacuate the British force there.
But Gordon himself had something rather more heroic in mind.
From the governor's palace, he announced he'd hold out against the Mahdi until reinforcements were sent.
The siege of the city began.
The British government, furious with Gordon's disobedience, refused to act.
The press were outraged at this treatment of their hero.
"Gordon had been deserted!" they cried.
"He must be rescued.
" General Gordon was a hero, not just because he was a remarkable human being, but because he seemed to express Britain's moral purpose.
The newspapers twigged that in a way that the prime minister William Gladstone didn't.
Gladstone didn't want a war, but the press and public opinion forced his hand.
The army hastily assembled a relief force, but by now it was too late.
After ten months under siege, every scrap of food in Khartoum had been eaten.
The dead lay in the streets, the Mahdi's men were at the gates.
The water level of the Nile, protecting the city, dropped further every day.
Holed up in the governor's palace, Gordon was relishing the part he'd given himself in this imperial tragedy.
He lit candles in his rooms, almost offering himself as a target to the Mahdi snipers.
A companion begged him to stop.
"When God was portioning out fear "to the people of the world," he told him, "at last it came to my turn and there was no fear left to give me.
"Go tell all the people of Khartoum that Gordon fears nothing.
"Because God has created him without fear.
" When the attack came, it was unbelievably savage.
The siege had lasted 317 days.
It ended in a bloodbath.
Gordon was killed in the battle.
The Mahdi's followers brought him Gordon's head as a trophy.
The General's body was never found.
Khartoum and the Sudan belonged to the Mahdi.
The Mahdi's great-grandson still lives in the city.
Ah! Good morning, good morning, good morning.
Good morning, Imam.
Good morning.
- Welcome to Sudan.
- Thank you for having us.
And you are most welcome.
What sort of a man was your great-grandfather? The Mahdi was a world-denying figure.
Although he wanted to change the world, he really wanted to change it in favour of the next world.
So, actually, he was world-denying.
Almost the aspirations of a mystic.
Whatever kingdom he had in mind is a kingdom in heaven, not here.
When you think about it, they're really pretty similar individuals, aren't they? I mean, they're both religious, they were both ascetic men.
Yes, yes.
Gordon, too, was a man who mortified the flesh and denied the world.
And he was a great hero in Britain in the way that the Mahdi was a popular hero here.
That's why there is this tragedy, that there was this conflict between people, who, in a world differently organised, could have been very close friends.
What do you feel about General Gordon? He had no business combating people who were asserting themselves.
The whole basis is that power corrupts.
And if you have power, it's very difficult for you to accept other human beings as your equal.
Because you feel that the very powerful situation makes you some kind of God.
Then you make the rules.
Then you make the Everything.
You decide everything.
And this, of course, is a great human failing.
If General Gordon had only done as he was told and evacuated Khartoum, he'd never have become the imperial hero he immediately turned into, even though he would have saved thousands of lives, his own included.
The people of Britain didn't much care whether or not Sudan was in the British Empire, but this wasn't about a place, it was about an idea.
That idea was summed up in the famous painting Gordon's Last Stand by George W.
Gordon waits at the top of the steps, careless in the face of death.
He makes no attempt to defend himself.
His pistol hangs loosely in his hand, his sword remains sheathed.
He looks his killers in the eye.
"Do what you have to do.
" This wasn't the death of an imperial conqueror, this was a martyrdom, sanctifying the empire with heroism and personal sacrifice.
The memory of Gordon's solitary end refused to fade.
Even after the death of the Mahdi, the British public and the British press continued to thirst for revenge.
The task fell to a man of a very different kind from Charles Gordon.
Even by his own men, Sir Horatio Herbert Kitchener was often described as a man with no soul.
The Daily Mail dubbed him "the Machine of the Sudan".
On the 1 st of January 1897, a meticulously organised force left Egypt for Khartoum, over 600 miles to the south.
The British force advanced steadily across the desert, laying a railway line behind it at the amazing rate of a mile and a half a day.
On the train which followed came guns and troops and supplies.
And three gunboats which had been built on the Thames, disassembled and shipped up here to be put back together on the banks of the Nile.
It was a relentless progress.
This was a new kind of warfare, the moment the empire entered the Machine Age.
Waiting in Khartoum were the Sudanese warriors, the dervishes, sometimes known as "whirling dervishes" after their ecstatic religious dance.
Dervishes still gather on holy days in Khartoum to pray, celebrate and dance.
The great poet of empire, Rudyard Kipling, wrote about them in the imagined words of an ordinary British soldier, who recognised that in some strange, foreign way the dervishes, too, "played up, played up and played the game.
" Kipling's soldier raises an imaginary glass to his fearless foe.
"So 'ere's to you, Fuzzy-Wuzzy at your 'ome in the Soudan "You're a pore benighted 'eathen but a first-class fightin' man" The dervishes might play the game in the old-fashioned way, but the empire had moved on.
Kitchener would rely on rather more than fighting spirit to win in battle.
The British like to think of their military history in events like the Spanish Armada or the Battle of Britain, when, outnumbered and outgunned, Britain survive by virtue of guts and ingenuity.
But the truth is that in most of Britain's empire wars, Britain's inventiveness in science and industry had simply given it much better ways of killing people.
On Kitchener's desert train had come machine guns and thousands of rounds of ammunition.
At Omdurman near Khartoum, the stage was set for one of the bloodiest battles in the history of empire.
The British forces were drawn up down by the Nile over there and the Mahdi's men held the high ground.
Winston Churchill was a young officer with Kitchener and he described coming out one morning and seeing the entire hillside moving.
Thousands upon thousands of dervishes advancing on a front he reckoned was four miles wide under innumerable banners, and with the sun glinting on the tips of their spears.
Spears against machine guns.
The result was never in doubt.
Kitchener was watching the battle from horseback.
At about 11:30, so five hours after the fighting began, he put his binoculars away and remarked that the enemies seemed to have been given "a good dusting".
They then broke for lunch.
The casualties were about 10,000 Sudanese dead to 48 British.
The body of General Gordon's foe, the Mahdi, was dug up and thrown into the Nile.
Kitchener was presented with the Mahdi's skull as a trophy of war.
The story went that he planned to use it as an inkstand.
Queen Victoria was not amused.
Ornamental skulls weren't her idea of fair play, even if Kitchener had added a million square miles to her empire.
Where Gordon had failed, Kitchener had succeeded spectacularly.
But it wasn't Kitchener, the Machine of the Sudan, who became the empire's romantic hero.
That role belonged to Charles George Gordon.
Idealistic, reckless and slightly deranged.
And, now, very dead.
That was how the empire really liked their heroes.
Heroic disaster always seemed to stir British hearts quite as much as victory.
Whether it was the explorer Captain Cook, killed by Hawaiian islanders in 1779.
Or Sir John Franklin, frozen to death trying to find the Northwest Passage through the Arctic.
Or the Charge of the Light Brigade, riding fearlessly and pointlessly into enemy cannon fire in the Crimea.
They all played up, played up and played the game.
Tales of heroism provided spectacular stories for the citizens of what was soon calling itself "the Mother Country".
Publishers were churning them out well into the 20th century.
One of the main outlets for this kind of material would have been the market of Sunday school prizes.
Um, giving things as gifts to good spellers in class.
"The Romance of Colonization.
" Wouldn't be a title of a book you'd see today.
I don't think you would see that very often, no.
Whoa, there are loads of them.
I think it very much reflects the way that people saw the world and, you know, one of the major elements is, of course, Britishness, patriotism, excitement in the empire.
I think that the striking thing is certainly the message of the text, which is, this is all about bringing civilisation to benighted parts of the world.
But, then, just the glorious and alluring images.
Society was awash with this kind of comic or cigarette card collection, annuals.
A lot of people would find all this stuff unspeakable now, wouldn't they? Ghastly racist propaganda.
I think it tells us a lot about the world view of the time.
It's also interesting in magazines like Chums, there were so many of these Chums! What a great name.
- Dozens and dozens - At the mercy of the witch doctors.
This one, of course, is full of militaristic heroism of the British Armed Forces.
And, of course, the standard themes about English history.
And the wider world in the empire.
"A fight with the Zulus.
" Um, here, for example, there are copies of The Wide World, which, to all intents and purposes, are very much the same stuff yet again.
When you start looking in the magazine and you get adverts for Canadian Club Whisky or Burlington belt trusses or briar pipes that you realise the target audience.
Chap who needs a truss is going to be damn-all use in some of these situations! Such tales might satisfy the armchair imperialist at home.
But out in the colonies, playing the game was something to be done more energetically.
For the British, sport was part of the civilising mission of empire the gift of the Mother Country to her colonies, whether it involved chasing a ball, smashing it with a racquet, or whacking it with a club.
The sporting gospel was carried to the farthest flung corners of the empire.
Hong Kong's life as a British colony began in the 1840s as a trading post for nearby China.
Even here, there was always a place for one of the emire's great obsessions, horseracing.
They used to say that when the French took a colony, they built a restaurant.
When the Germans took one, they built a road.
When the British pitched up, they built a racecourse.
Happy Valley Racecourse in the heart of Hong Kong is a legacy of the days of empire.
Over 20,000 people come here every Wednesday night.
It was the British who developed the razzmatazz of the modern turf.
Today's inhabitants are such enthusiastic gamblers that bookies here take as much money in one night as in the whole of Ascot Week.
I am going with Number 7, Something Special, in the next one.
Let's find out what the minimum bet is.
Can I have $10? It's about a pound, I think.
$10 on Something Special, Number 7, in the 8:10.
- $10 on Number 7, right? - Number 7, Something Special.
Hey! Whoo! I can't believe it! That is amazing! I won! I won! It's amazing! I won! First time! $36, which is about just over three quid.
We're not even gonna get a round of drinks out of it! Wherever in the empire sport was played, it was supposed to bind subject peoples to their colonial masters.
But the spirit of fair play and the interests of empire would eventually clash head-on.
The West Indian island of Jamaica had been a British colony since 1655.
Yes, yes, yes, yes! The British introduced cricket to Jamaica in the 1830s.
Ooh! It soon seemed to enter the bloodstream of the island.
He's got a good eye, that boy in the yellow shirt, hasn't he? - How old are you? - Ten.
Ten? You play much cricket? Who's the best cricketer here? - You are! - No, him! Who's the best? You're the best cricketer, are you? - Me.
- You're the best one.
- And him.
- And me.
You're the two champs.
But there was a problem here.
How could a game, which prided itself on fairness work in an empire divided between rulers and ruled, and, therefore, very obviously unfair? Cricket in the West Indies would become not a unifying force, but a symbol of oppression.
In 19th-century Jamaica, whites owned the land, blacks worked on it.
While cricket was supposed to be good for subject races, at that time, black and white rarely played together.
It's a practice day at Sabina Park, the home of Jamaica's Kingston Cricket Club.
When it was formed in 1863, it was a place for white men to play the game.
Even when black and white began to play on the same side, racial tensions in the game remained.
No black player was ever selected to captain the national team.
Whites were chosen to bat, while blacks were relegated to bowling or fielding.
It wasn't quite the done thing for white men to do a lot of running around in the tropics.
And besides which, there was a distinction between brawn bowling - and brains - batting.
Batting was for white men.
Change had to come.
It arrived in the person of Frank Worrell, who, in 1960, became the first black player to captain the West Indies team for an entire series.
When Worrell brought his team to England, they showed they could play the game rather better than their hosts.
The Oval will have never have known a scene like this.
Victory in the series by three matches to one confirmed the West Indies as the most powerful side in the world.
It was generally felt that here is the right person at last to lead a West Indies team.
Because I think before there wasn't that unity based on who was appointed captain, who was appointed vice-captain.
Now, it was just felt that the players have a captain they can fight for.
So I think it was greeted with cheers throughout the entire Caribbean.
And I think many people are saying, "At last we have the right man to lead.
" It was like a Mandela moment.
It certainly was.
That's why I said that.
- Free at last, free at last.
- Free at last, at last, at last! Students now become the teachers.
England taught the West Indies cricket.
And it was a grand opportunity for the students, now, to reverse that process.
And in the mind of many of the West Indian players, this was, you know, the turning point, I think, for everyone.
Sort of like sweet revenge.
In the end, the British idea of fair play undermined the very notion of empire itself.
If a black cricket captain, why not a black prime minister? In 1962,Jamaica became the first Caribbean island to gain independence.
And through the 1960s all over the empire, from the West Indies to Fiji, the Union Jack came down.
As the empire crumbled, so did reverence for the things and attitudes it held dear.
The uniforms, the flag, the moustaches This wasn't playing the game, this was having a laugh.
A laugh at military valour.
At sporting prowess.
At the thrill of adventure and exploration.
The empire was gone.
The only way to cope with its loss was to see its absurdity.
Well, ladies, shall we retire? We'll be in to spank you later, you firm-buttocked young Amazons, you.
I'm terribly sorry.
I don't know what came over me.
All right, Morrison, I think you know what to do.
Yes, of course, sir.
I apologise to you all.
Pity, really, he seemed a nice enough young man.
Now, why are these Why is it funny? Because I think it's such an absurd thing that they're doing.
And yet they all take it absolutely seriously.
And that's what the empire was all about, really, wasn't it? Doing very, very strange things absolutely seriously.
Clive, what are you doing? I say, Cooper, what's going on? Oh, er, it's nothing really, sir.
He was just explaining I was passing the port from left to right.
This whole thin veneer of control, of which passing the port is one, being gallant about ladies is the other.
You know, if that starts to crack, the whole thing just collapses.
And I think it's just because of the formality of it.
And, of course, the fact they go and shoot themselves, which is the kind of ultimate logical end to letting down the empire.
Where did the idea of Ripping Yarns come from? Well, really from all those books.
It was a literary idea.
It was all those books that were written sort of in the '20s and '30s.
And maybe before the war, even, which I vaguely knew about, which are all stories of pluck, heroism, courage, duty.
So why did you find it funny? Was it just because you were young and truculent? When I started to think about this, with a sort of clear light of the '60s upon us all.
I mean, suddenly we were free to talk about anything we wanted to.
Um, I suddenly thought that, yes, it was, it was really absurd.
And it was a rich vein.
And a lot of people, kind of, obviously shared that, that literary upbringing and understood quite Understood what we were on about.
What's funny is being funny in a place where you're not supposed to be funny.
So is all that's left of empire just a bit of a joke? Not entirely.
Hello, you boy in the corner there.
You ought to be a Boy Scout.
You're a fine-looking fellow, and I know you'd make a jolly good backwoodsman, by the look of you.
You're ugly enough, anyway.
Robert Baden-Powell founded the Boy Scouts in 1907.
This die-hard imperialist wanted to enlist ordinary British boys to the service of the empire, not just the officer class of the great public schools.
He gave them military-style uniforms and funny rituals, so these boys, too, could play up, play up and play the game.
Ah, good.
Today the Scouts are going as strong as ever.
Hey! Here at an annual camp in Norfolk, Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts learn about living in the wild Oh, good.
staying healthy, and becoming more confident.
Okay, wait, next time Baden-Powell had toyed with the idea of calling his organisation, "Young Knights of the Empire".
But by the time I joined it, it had nothing to do with empire.
What it fed on and continues to feed on is young people's appetite for adventure, for sleeping out, for cooking under the stars, for cleaning your teeth with a twig in a stream.
Can I join your breakfast? - Yes.
- Sit down.
Good! What do you learn in Scouts that you wouldn't learn somewhere else? It's just like some things you learn in school, like English and Maths, but, like, you don't learn that in Scouts.
It's like other things, like adventure and A lot of other things that just might come in handy in life.
- Do you still do knots? - Yeah, we do knots.
- Yeah.
- Who's got a bit of a rope? You can all demonstrate your knots.
- Put your hand in there.
- Okay, go on.
That's it.
Very good! Get me out.
And do they still have that, you know this What was it called? The Scout Oath or the Scout Promise? - Promise.
- And how does it go? "I promise to do my best, to do my duty to God and to the Queen, "to help other people and to keep Scout Law.
" Do you have a good deed every day? No? Aren't you supposed to help little old ladies across the road? No, they can do it themselves.
The Scout movement now numbers over 41 million boys and girls from North America, to Europe, to Africa.
The Scouts were set up to protect the empire from the fleshy corruption which Baden-Powell saw threatening it.
But they've turned into something entirely different.
International and inclusive, while still fostering the same spirits of self-reliance and public spiritedness.
And here's to 'em, I say.