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Your report (11 October) on the Cecil Rhodes statue at Oriel College quotes the historian Prof David Abulafia in defence of Rhodes: “He believed he was bringing benefits to Africa”, and before condemning him, “one has to understand what his intentions were”. Rhodes’s clearest statement of intent, his “Confession of Faith” written in 1877, makes it clear that his African expansionism was for the benefit of the English, rather than anyone else, and since “Africa is still lying ready for us, it is our duty to take it”.
Author, History of Africa
• Daniel Trilling (Britain is learning the hard way that migration can’t be turned on or off like a tap, 12 October) writes that Priti Patel includes students, carers, the sick and retired people among the 8.5 million “economically inactive” people who could fill job shortages. No mention of MPs in the list?