We're Erasing the British Empire from Schools History, Says Paxman

Daily Mail (London), October 18, 2011 | Go to article overview

We're Erasing the British Empire from Schools History, Says Paxman


Byline: Sarah Hajibagheri

JEREMY Paxman has attacked 'the dreary educational establishment' for treating the British Empire as 'irrelevant'.

The Newsnight presenter is angry that a key part of British and world history spanning more than 400 years is not being taught in schools.

He added: 'This great motive force of our country for so long is not even part of the school curriculum.

'The dreary educational establishment has passed judgment. It was a bad thing, end of story.

'"It's irrelevant," was the way one particularly benighted teacher put it to me.' Paxman, 61, who also hosts University Challenge on BBC2, added: 'It's to the Empire that we owe our sense of ourselves as somehow special, our distrust of continental Europe, the Windsor family's tenancy of Buckingham Palace, the tandoori restaurants and open-allhours corner shops on our high streets, the high proportion of us who carry passports and much of the international work of British charities.

'It has even changed the genetic make-up of the British people.' Suggesting that Britain's modern foreign policy had been shaped by the Empire, he said: 'This may be the first American war in Afghanistan but it is the third British campaign there. …

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