I do think that the view of the Empire has been obscured under general ignorance for too long. Most brits know little or nothing of the Empire; it is not something commonly taught in schools these days, and nor does it always form part of 'popular' history.
As empires go, I must admit that the brits gave back more than most, but we still took a heck of a lot; and often at the point of a bayonet.
How many people know, for instance, that we used concentration camps on the Boers in South Africa, or that we fought two wars against the Chinese to keep the drug trade flowing freely?
I don't think its all that healthy to indulge in an orgy of self flagellation, as Germans all too often do when looking back on the last century, but all countries have skeletons in their closests; high time we brits faced up to our own I think.
"If I looked like Himmler, I wouldn't go on about race so much"
- Albert Forster, Gauleiter Danzig West Prussia