Sunday 18 February 2018

Ruth Dudley Edwards: I'm proud to be Irish -- and I'm proud to be British too

We are not the most oppressed people ever, in fact, we are among the least oppressed, says Ruth Dudley Edwards

JOHN, an old friend, English and well-informed about history, rang me on Wednesday night to rant about the coverage of the Queen's visit.

"Dammit!" he cried. "They're going on about the 1916 executions without mentioning that this insurrection took place when the UK was fighting for its life! Maybe it was unwise to hang or shoot these people, but surely it's understandable. It's being presented as an atrocity, which it bloody wasn't."

I agreed with him. I'm always annoyed at our lack of perspective about the wrongs done us by our colonisers. Look, every country in the world has trouble with the neighbours. We had only one neighbour, so all our grievances are focused in one direction. What do you think it was like being Poland? What do you think Germany or France would have done in the face of an armed revolt when they were fighting a war in a place they thought was part of their territory? They would have rounded up all the rebels and killed the lot, that's what.

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