Yearly Archives: 2022

Indians in Eastern Africa: Sir Henry Bartle Frere’s Vision and the Networks of Empire*

The British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and former and current Home Secretaries Priti Patel and Suella Braverman are all second generation Indian East Africans. Families like theirs acquired a precarious status, subordinate to White settlers and officials but elevated above

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What are the British Empire’s “Legacies”?

Before he became a beleaguered Chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng wrote that “generations of politicians, historians and campaigners have made the British empire in their own image, promoting it as a vehicle for whatever cause they happen to espouse”. Since then, his

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The War on Woke is 200 years Old

One of the Brexit populists’ most successful political strategies, played out in the recent Tory leadership contest, has been culture war: an assault on reformist and liberal agendas including anti-racism, that are now condemned as “woke”. With Suella Braverman Priti

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Where is Empathy in the Empire Culture War?

The problem with making the history of the British empire a weapon in a divisive culture war is the omission of empathy that such an act entails. Conservatives feel that radical activists are determined to see Empire as an evil

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Nadhim Zahawi and the Iraqi Civil Service: a benefit of empire we should teach our kids?

The Education secretary has now joined the Equalities Minister, arguing that the ‘positives’ of the British Empire should be taught to British schoolchildren. As if they haven’t been taught to us all for the last one hundred years. Nadhim Zahawi’s

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The British Empire and Race: A Debate with Robert Tombs

Alan Lester Background: On 9th January 2022, Robert Tombs, Emeritus Professor of French History at the University of Cambridge and myself debated the legacies of the British empire, all too briefly, on the GB TV News Channel’s The Debate programme.

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