This book, somewhat unusually, began as a speech.
At the end of May 2015, I was invited by the Oxford Union to speak on the
proposition ‘Britain Owes Reparations to Her Former Colonies’. Since I was
already scheduled to speak at the Hay Festival of Literature in Wales later that
week, I thought it might be pleasant to stop in Oxford on the way and debate
there again (as I had once done, on behalf of the United Nations, a decade
earlier). The event, in the Union’s impressive woodpanelled premises dating
back several centuries, was a success and I left pleased enough, but without
giving the proceedings a second thought.