Looking at events at Batang Kali in 1948 where 24 ethnic Chinese rubber plantation workers were murdered by a patrol from the Scots Guards it is hard not to conclude that both the military command and the colonial administration in Malaya was not even second rate, but decidedly third rate. So, I was surprised to learn that the decidedly seedy administration there was rated among one of the best in the British Empire. One cannot help wondering what the majority were like. Empires are based on race and any organisation built on such a foundation is inevitably both corrupt and corrupting. Nowadays, the kids who would have gone into the old Colonial Office now work for so-called Non-Governmental-Organisations. They do not seem to be doing a very good job of avoiding the pitfalls that plagued their grandfathers, great-grandfathers and great-great-grandfathers.