Forget the breast beating (Andy Holt)
If Danus Skene wishes to flagellate himself over his perception of the part his ancestors played in British colonial history (Spaekalation, The Shetland Times, 16th May) that of course is his right.
What he should not be allowed to get away with is presenting a “horrible histories” version of events in order to serve his political goals.
While there can be no denying that some terrible things were done in the process, great swathes of our former empire benefited hugely from the legacy of colonialism in the form of agricultural, industrial and entrepreneurial development, infrastructural improvement, democratic governance and the millions in aid given annually by succesive goverments from our taxes.
A legacy which sadly in many cases has been squandered by corruption on an industrial scale, nepotism, murderous tribalism, personality cults and religious fanaticism. To cover their tracks despots, like Mugabe in Zimbabwe, still routinely invoke colonialism as the source of their woes 60 years after we left.
Perhaps instead of breast beating and bleating about our guilt for our colonial past we should expend a little more energy confronting some of these leaders of our former colonial possessions with their atrocious behaviour towards their own people.
The suggestion that we dismantle the United Kingdom on the pretext of paying for past sins and as recognition of our supposed diminished influence in the world is frankly, risible.