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Friday, October 18, 2002

My former neighbour Felipe Fernandez-Armesto was on Melvyn Bragg's BBC programme 'In our Time', yesterday. The topic for discussion was (largely) The British Empire and Slavery.

Felipe, so plum-in-mouth, you'd believe him to be English not Spanish, praised The British Empire for its major legacy: the abolition of slavery, an evil that had been with us for aeons. My chest swelled with pride.

Entirely thematically, he mused on what we would see as the legacy of the American Empire. Now, it is not my place to belittle American contributions to the World's well-being. I will not, therefore, suggest Coca Cola.

No, something more serious is called for. How about the pump-action shotgun?

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