“Cameron now has the audacity to suggest that perhaps the former British empire was not altogether shameful. “I think there is an enormous amount to be proud of in what the British empire did and was responsible for,” he said this week, during his Indian trip. “But of course there were bad events as well as good events. The bad events we should learn from and the good events we should celebrate.”
It may be that the opinions of Niall Ferguson are having some effect on people such as Cameron. Ten years ago, his book, Empire: How Britain Made the Modern World, and its TV version, suggested that for much of the world Britain was the engine of modernity and therefore more beneficial than harmful. He admitted its grave flaws (racism, economic exploitation and violence, for a start) but urged us to think about the many forms of creativity that Britain also distributed around the world. It pioneered free trade and spread the rule of law over vast areas. [the “yay!” is implicit]
The chronically leftist London Review of Books called Ferguson’s book a “panegyric to British colonialism.” But Ferguson argued that, though it often failed to live up to its own ideals, colonialism was much preferable to any imaginable alternative.
As an old admirer of McGeachy, I can’t help but be pleased that his sensible ideas have slowly become acceptable and may eventually becomes fashionable.”
- Robert Fulford, “Colonialism: Revisited”
Actually Robert Fulford, colonialism was and still is shameful, and Cameron should have apologized. Honestly though, I don’t even know what to do with this article except to show you guys the responses. I’m also just gonna go ahead and assume the commentators are mostly white beneficiaries of past and ongoing colonialist practices.
Here’s his email if you want to add your own response: firstname.lastname@example.org