A FEW years ago I was wandering through a market in Omdurman in the Sudan when I was accosted by an angry old man. “Why did you leave us?” he said. “Things were so much better when you were here.”
We British are so used to being told by foreigners how awful we are that at first I didn’t understand his point. Then slowly it dawned.
Here was an old man who had compared how things were under the enlightened colonial rule of the British with how things were now under a corrupt, warring, Islamist regime. He was under no illusions who had been better at running his country: us.
Yet you’d never sense this truth from David Cameron’s disparaging remarks in Pakistan the other day about Britain’s colonial legacy, nor from the generally demeaning way we are treated on the international stage.
Everywhere you go, everywhere you look Britain is having its nose rubbed in it on an almost daily basis by a viciously ungrateful world. We’ve just given Pakistan £650million for schools (or more likely for IEDs to blow up our troops in Afghanistan).
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