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Empire is never black and white but decolonisers just won’t see it

Friday, 20 January 2023 - 3:15pm

My run-in with the Rhodes Must Fall movement shows how little appetite there is for nuanced discussion of colonialism. Instead, activists are driven by hatred of the Anglo-American liberal world order, writes Nigel Biggar

'It was early December 2017 and my wife and I were at Heathrow airport, waiting to board a flight to Germany. Just before setting off for the departure gate, I checked my email one last time. My attention sharpened when I saw a message in my inbox from the University of Oxford’s public affairs directorate. I clicked on it. What I found was notification that my “Ethics and Empire” project had become the target of an online denunciation by a group of students, followed by reassurance from the university that it had risen to defend my right to run such a thing.'

Read Nigel's essay at The Times


Image: Adrian Dennis/Getty Images; Alamy