Madam Miaow has produced a superb dissection of Ferguson’s lowbrow television tirade, and particularly his absence of research.
Ferguson is a man of little learning who wears it heavily. I recently discussed his hateful and lightweight theories on why Muslim societies are in some way inferior. Ferguson is so enamoured of the idea that only our more virile culture really knows how to run places, he has become an apostle of “liberal interventionism”.
Sierra Leone is a charlatan’s dream because the Western public is so ignorant of it, any amount of tosh can be spoken with apparent authority. If you read my book The Catholic Orangemen of Togo, you will understand in depth just why the claims are utter nonsense that this was a great success for Blair’s “Liberal Interventionist” foreign policy.
One of the loudest, and the most ignorant, of those making those claims was Niall Ferguson. On p16 of The Catholic Orangemen I write:
The Sierra Leone War of 1898 to 1900 rates not a mention even in Thomas Pakenham’s magisterial survey The Scramble For Africa. Niall Ferguson’s Empire mentions Sierra Leone just twice. He notes its founding in 1797, and next gives us the year 2000 and the views of Tony Blair and his acolyte Robert Cooper on how Sierra Leone justifies “A new kind of Imperialism”. In missing out the intervening years of actual Empire, Ferguson shows the same lack of historical perspective as undermined Blair and Cooper’s analysis. Of course the latter two aren’t pretending to be historians.