Sunday, 8 May 2016

Should we be proud of the British Empire?

After last week's absolutely disgraceful edition on the subject anti-Semitism I really couldn't face watching today's The Big Questions on the question: Should we be proud of the British Empire?

I've not looked at the guest list yet but if I know The Big Questions the front row won't be full of mutually-respectful academics and authors. It will probably be full instead of flame-throwing controversialists. 

So let's look at the programme's website now:
Taking part are the writer and historian Lawrence James, writer and historian Charles Allen, Owen Jones of the Guardian, commentator David Vance, the speaker's chaplain, the Rev Rose Hudson-Wilkin, the entrepreneur Dr Kartar Lalvani, Femi Nylander from Rhodes Must Fall Oxford, Dr Andrea Major from Leeds University, Dr Anindita Ghosh from Manchester University and Jagraj Singh from the educational charity, Basics of Sikhi.
Well, it looks as if I might be mostly wrong. I see academics and authors after all, alongside Sunday morning BBC One regulars Owen Jones and David Vance (and both Owen and David are first-rate, watchable controversialists). 

Still, I'm going to sit this one out. If any of you watched it please give us your take below. (Consider it a (very) Open Thread if not. Did anyone watch Robert Peston's new show on ITV?).


  1. That's a bit like asking "Should I be proud of that time I went breaking and entering into everyone's property down my street - I really made a mess of the ones who put up any resistance, but - honestly - you should have seen the state of some of those places, I tidied them up, taught them how to cook a nice roast and generally pepped things who's to complain if I nicked a bit of stuff?"

  2. "What have the Romans ever done for us?"

  3. yet more insidious leftist propagandist tripe vomited into our homes and ears. The BBC's rent-a-mob audience nodding sagely at every slight against EVIL empire vs three or four mild-mannered historians who wouldn't say boo to a goose made a mockery of BBC's so called impartiality!

    History is never black and white, unless you are a leftist guardian reading zealot, or the BBC.

  4. David Vance always does well in his usual role - minority of one. He never seems fazed by booing and hissing. The BBC was unfair to stuff the audience with ethnics and lefties all bursting with anti-colonial resentment. Much of their anger at the British Empire probably conceals a tinge of shame at their own countries’ incompetence and backwardness.

    Kudos to Vancey for keeping calm and carrying on.