Sunday 18 March 2018

Empire's shadow

• Kevin Myers, in his article of June 5, bemoans the fact that a book by Kenyan leader Joma Kenyatta was banned in Ireland in 1953, while in contrast he commends the queen for honouring Kenyatta, when he later became the Kenyan head of state.

Interestingly, Mr Myers forgets to mention that Queen Elizabeth also awarded medals and knighthoods to people who were involved in running the colonial regime in Kenya during its conflict with the Mau Mau insurgents in the 1950.

Research carried out by Prof Caroline Elkins of Harvard University, which is the basis of her 2005 book 'British Gulag, The Brutal End of the Empire', illuminates the truly shocking behaviour of her majesty's forces in Kenya at the time. Prof Elkins claims that up to 100,000 members of the Kikuyu tribe, of which Joma Kenyatta was a member, were killed. Many of the British colonial officers, whom Queen Elizabeth honoured with George's medals, CBEs etc, were also responsible for what was termed the 'rehabilitation process' of the natives in Kenya.

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