There are not many countries in the World who have not, at some point in their history, been a bit evil and had a slash and a hack at the population of some other country. Usually in order to take land or take the other countries resources. When a particular country takes over enough countries, it has itself an empire and as far back as the Assyrians in 2000 BC. there have been empire builders.
Britain at its peak, controlled the largest empire that the world had ever known, stretching all over the globe from North America to Australia and from Canada to the southern tip of Africa. These huge landmasses, their people and their natural resources were controlled and dominated by Britain.
Now some people will argue, and they do, that the British Empire was a force for good, dragging otherwise backward nations into the modern era and giving the world a unifying language and that is not really in dispute.
The truth behind the highly polished image is the ugly reality that the British Empire invaded, oppressed and oversaw countless atrocities and to agree with our Prime Minister, we are to blame for many of the current conflicts of the Worlds trouble spots.
Critics argue that there is nothing to be guilty about ignoring the recent exposure of a 50-year British government cover-up of official documents detailing the brutalisation, starvation, torture and castration of thousands of Kenyans in the 1950's and ignoring the coincidence that many of the world's conflicts are in former British colonies from Kashmir, Palestine, Iraq, Kurdistan, Yemen and Somalia to Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Afghanistan and Cyprus so you have to be wearing the most thickest of blinkers to dispute what Cameron said in Islamabad.
Of course, Britain's is only one of the colonial empires whose destructive inheritance can be felt across the world but the failure in modern Britain to recognise the empire for the murderous exploitation that it was is to excuse our disgraceful past behaviour while condemning others that did, or attempted to do, the same.
Histories most reviled imperialists were the Nazis and while we were probably not as bad as the Nazis, the British empire has done far greater and lasting damage than the Nazis by the very virtue of our being around for so much longer.
One does not need much of an imagination to realise the damage the British empire wreaked, glancing at the British Empire map and looking at where the problems are today should be obvious, but it amazes and saddens me that some people on my island are still of the opinion that Britain did these countries a big favour by ruling over them.
Should we apologise for our imperial legacy? Yes but saying sorry just doesn't seem enough somehow.