Objectivity and imperialism
The chaos in Iraq, together with the growth of Western impatience with so-called “failed states” and calls for a new kind of ‘benign imperialism’ (i.e. us telling them how to run their societies) has led to an interesting outbreak of collective amnesia in Britain about the whole imperial adventure. As an Irishman, I’ve never succumbed to the concept of the British Empire as one of nature’s Jolly Good Ideas, but feeble-minded folks in Britain — under the tutelage of right-wing media historians like Neil Ferguson and Thatcher-worshipper Andrew Roberts — seem to have donned rose-tinted spectacles when looking back at the imperial past. All of which makes this fierce polemic by Seamus Milne very timely and appropriate.