Sunday, November 26, 2006

Mr Tony and the slave trade


This week Tony Blair is to deliver a 'historical expression of regret' for the British state's involvement in slavery; However, he will stop short of making an explicit apology. It was reported that Whitehall advisers had warned that a full apology could open the door to claims for reparations from the descendants of slaves. He will, however, back a United Nations resolution by Caribbean countries to honour those who died at the hands of international slave traders.

But although the 200th anniversary of the abolition of slavery will be marked in March 2007, the Prime Minister appears keen to apologise sooner rather than later - perhaps because he may have been forced to leave office by March.

As Tory frontbencher Chris Grayling said a few days ago: "I find it quite astounding that at a time when violent crime is rising and jobs and services are being axed from hospitals that so much ministerial effort seems to be being put into planning Tony Blair's legacy."

Blair should be apologising for the lives lost in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Are we going to apologise for everything that our forefathers may have done? Slavery was a terrible stain on history...but then history is peppered with mass killings and slavery. See here and here for some of the less discussed ones. Or go here or here

Typical Blair grandstanding. Tony’s pathetic guilt-trip is for all the wrong reasons. For Tone, his "legacy" is all... Actually, if I were in Tone's position, I would be sparing more of my time and energy on thinking about Yates of the Yard and the "cash for peerages" scandal.

12 comments:

Voyager said...

Why doesn't Blair apologise for the way my ancestors were treated by this country ? The poverty they had to endure, my great-grandmother's early death from typhoid.

I am affronted that he apologises because his ancestors were slavers making money out of human misery, but he admits no responsibility for the conditions my ancestors had to endure, or the workings of the Poor Law.

If Blair's Government can pardon soldiers shot for cowardice in WWI, and for the Irish Potato Famine, and for Slavery - he can apologise for the miserable living conditions my ancestors endured in this country

istanbultory said...

If he had any honour (and in my view he doesn't), he would apologise to each and every one of us for his staggering incompetence in domestic policy and war-making ways in foreign policy. Before Plod comes knocking at the door...

Croydonian said...

As I'm forever pointing out, as many slaves went North across the Sahara as endured the Middle Passage, but our Arab chums are not big on apologising.

Anonymous said...

No doubt all of you will be just as quick to absolve the Japanese next time so whingeing Briton starts off on Japan's failure to apologize for the war, right? Typical British hypocrites.

istanbultory said...

Exactly, Croydonian.
Due to the enormous length of the Arab Slave Trade, from 700 AD to the First World War, it is impossible to be certain of the numbers of Africans sold in this system. Estimates place the numbers somewhere around 14 million: at least 9.6 million African women and 4.4 African men.

Check this out:
http://www.faithfreedom.org/Articles/SStephan/islamic_slavery.htm

Ellee said...

Perhaps it is because next year is the 200th anniversary of the Abolition of the Slave Act 1807 and he feels there will be pressure on him next year and wants to get in quick.

istanbultory said...

There will certainly be pressure on him next year- the knives will be out....

Anonymous said...

I find it sad and incredible that he feels the need, and this Government certainly will, apologise for the slave trade on the 200th anniversary of the forst act in the world to abolish slavery.

No apologies should be necessary..at least not to rational people.

Croydonian said...

Anon at 3.19 - nope. I don't suppose anyone posting here buys into the idea of collective guilt. I don't want the Celts, Romans, Angles/Saxons/Jutes, Vikings or Normans apologising either.

Anonymous said...

You are totally right Istanbul Tory.

I love picture of Herr Blair behind bars.

Ellee said...

Let's hope William Wilberforce gets a mention who abolished slavery, he came from my home town of Wisbech.

istanbultory said...

the "Liberator of Iraq" will probably proclaim himself the inheritor of Wilberforce's legacy...