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Sunday, September 24, 2006

 

The great slavery debate

I’m a little pissed off hearing about continual calls from a minority for Britain to ‘apologise’ for its role in the African slave trade. What I’d like to hear from these miserable ingrates is a big ‘thank you’ to Britain to be one of the first nations to legislate against the slave trade (Slavery Abolition Act anyone?) and one of the lead fighters against it from the 1820’s onwards. The Royal Navy playing a lead part in the prosecution and capture of slavers on the high seas (Even if a few greasy politicians at home were still lining their pockets from this appalling state of affairs). I get even more annoyed when a committee headed by El blubberino Prescott is considering the issue of a ‘statement of regret’ or some such nonsense on March 25 2007.

Excuse me? Britain as a nation has paid in full for it’s previous role in the ‘Africa trade’. You might as well shout at modern day Italians for some of the excesses of Imperial Rome. The people responsible (And their victims) are long dead and buried. If the complainants can’t handle that then they should damn well go out and get a proper life instead of playing the ‘Victim’ card and trying to cadge cash off the already hard pressed UK Taxpayer. Better still; they should try taking legal action against the Arab nations who were the most active slavers, or the African tribal elders and chiefs who sold their own people in the first place. In fact, they might try doing something in modern day Mauritania, where slavery is still openly practiced.

Furthermore; said whingers can go and kiss the gravestones of William Wilberforce, Granville Sharp, William Smith and Thomas Fowell Buxton instead and offer up some prayers of gratitude for to these 'White oppressors' work as abolitionists. People who are descended from one time African slaves owe these men (Amongst many other Britons) a great deal.

Modern Britons like myself (Of whatever ethnic heritage) have nothing to do with the plight of the complainants ancestors, so why are we being held accountable?

Think about it; if you go far enough back in time everyones ancestors must have included some slaves. That’s history for you. This exercise all sounds like a lawyers money making scam to me, but then I’m an old dyed in the wool cynic. You get that way in my job.

8 Comments:

Blogger delcatto said...

Thinks:
"Hmmm...my parents are Irish emigrants and I was born here. There might some wedge in this for me, I know about the spud famine, diaspora and 'The Troubles'...where is that phone number for that law firm 'Squeezem, Tillit, Hertz and Bloodstone',ambulance chasers par excellence."
Silly me...I'm already a taxpayer.
You can see the feckless opportunists reaching for the phones already.

Monday, September 25, 2006 4:13:00 pm  
Blogger David said...

Good on you Bill...

Maybe we should ask for an apology from Algeria for the Barbary Pirates who preyed along the South coasts of England & Ireland & further afield during the 17th & 18th Centuries.

Whole villages in Ireland were stripped of their people who were shipped back to Algeria slaves

Monday, September 25, 2006 4:24:00 pm  
Blogger Alex Fear said...

Spot on Bill,

Too tired to find a link now, but there was a guy a short while ago who took a trip to Africa to apologise for his family owning slaves.

Little did/does he realise that the Africans he was apologising to were most likely the ancestors of the ones who sold the slaves in the first place.

And where are those slaves ancestors now? Living it up in America, Land of the Free. It was this 'land of the free' that was responsible for the bulk of the slave trade (which you correctly state), Britian fought to abolish- gunning down slave ships and so on.

The majority of Britains black population came freely from our colonies and Jamaica in search of work and better lives/pay.

Monday, September 25, 2006 11:21:00 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Alex, erm how do you think our black population ended up in our colonies and Jamaica to begin with..................

Tuesday, September 26, 2006 3:28:00 pm  
Blogger Alex Fear said...

Oh please! So my black and asian friends who have come here from SA are really still slaves to the Dutch?

Most of Europe is historically guilty of the slave trade, but at least we woke up and put a stop to it!

Tuesday, September 26, 2006 11:45:00 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Alex, Leaving aside the fact that you refered to Jamaica in your previouse comment, it should be pointed out that the black and asian members of my family who came here from SA were until recently very poorly treated as second class citizens!
Finaly the 'Living it up in America' comment, have you looked at the levels of deprivation between and black and white Americans!
I personaly think that stamping out the salve trade (or having a decent stab at it) was probably the British Empires greatest gift to the world, but the fact is we were morally obligated to do so by our earlier actions and you can't get away from that (unless it seems you are the Japanesse government but thats another issue) just because you take someone to hospital after you beat them up dosn't mean they should feel any gratitude towards you, even you were a member of gang that carried out the beating and you stopped first!

Thursday, September 28, 2006 10:49:00 am  
Blogger Alex Fear said...

SA excluded, given the state of the majority of the African continent, with war, starvation, aids, government corruption and suffering, I'd pretty much say their ancestors were living it up in America- comparitively.

Yes there is poverty in America but they have opportunities and are afforded some protections and rights by law.

The second class citizen comment doesn't really hold water, there are plenty of white british people who are also treated this way by their own countryfolk.

You are right though in stating we have our share of blame, but the original argument here was of apologies being made to present-day Africans, and unfortunately, these are the ones who sold the original slaves!

Thursday, September 28, 2006 8:42:00 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There was a program on C4 about a year or so ago??? where some people of African descent went back to Africa to investigate the slave trade and find out where their families came from.

They were discussing the slave trade and how bad it was, the tour guide, also African turned to them and said that slavery was bad but remember it wasn't the whites that started it, they just plugged into an already lucrative market. Tribes would raid other tribes and take slaves either to work to death in their fields or to sell on

Monday, January 08, 2007 7:35:00 pm  

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Exasperated expatriate expostulations all the way from British Columbia, Canada. As if anyone really cared. Oh, I also watch Icelandic Volcanoes and seismic activity. Don't ask me why.

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