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Ruth Kelly admits the New Labour's implication in the slave trade:
"I think the majority of people think it was right to utterly condemn the history of our involvement in the slave trade and also to express our deep sorrow at our involvement in it."
apology is really pointless though.
Obviously it was a bad thing, but essentially he is apologising for something he didn't do, to people to whom nothing happened.
in a way that could perhaps be classified as "too subtle"
And passing judgement on peoples' behaviour with today's moral standards also seems pointless.
to Theo for the CIA's involvement in the Iran-Contra deal.
why the hell should the government apologise for the monarch?
because of the slavery apology, which (I agree with fullerov) was pointless.
was a pointless bit of hand-wringing.
I don't really see much difference anyway.
which is obvious.
as opposed to admitting some kind of culpability which would be stupid, because he isn't involved in it, as far as I've been led to believe.
However, it's still broadly silly. The notion that slavery is all about white westerners rounding up Africans is a myth so far as I understand it.
Certainly slavery has existed for a very very long time. Moreover, I understand it was part of African society and in fact the slaves were simply sold to the whites by their (black) African owners. So yeah, we can apologise but Africa better do so too...
It's as stupid as expecting the Japanese to apologise over their treatment of our POWs in the 2nd World War, I reckon.
some POW's and Officials in the Imperial Govt. were (and still are) alive when the demands for an apology occurred.
Although I don't think the Japanese government should apologise to POWs as it was a different regime that was responsible, the difference is that it happened within living memory and some of the people who were directly affected are still alive.
It's not even about the length of time, I just don't think the current Japanese regime can really apologise for that - it has no real meaning.
The POWs were treated apallingly but then that was largely down to a cultural thing in the first place. But to demand apologies now just seems to be about those POWs carrying around this hatred without anything left to really apply it to.
but that's kind of what I was getting at - the demand for an apology is motivated by personal history and feelings, rather than the overdone political correctness behind statements like "The PM refused to apologise for slavery" which have appeared in the press, like it was something he actually should have done.
about slavery being 'part of African society' has been rather overstated. The African kingdoms that engaged in slavery only existed in the context of the incipient European imperial expansion anyway.
You can't really assign culpability or an 'origin'. There's no point apologising when nobody who was involved in the slave trade (in the imperial context) is actually around anymore.
I was told it was just something that happened.
Clearly we were au fait with slavery too. I meant more that the west didn't invent it and bring it to the world, it just existed.
happened. The problem I have is that it's been used as an alibi by imperial apologists like that toad Ferguson.
What I was trying to suggest is that you can't make this distinction between 'European' and 'African' in terms of blame. They were all part of one extended system. Slavery was an emergent property of that system.
they were going to call the new shopping centre in Bristol Merchant's Quarter but it had to be changed because of slavery links, I mean who is making these complaints/links/appeals besides uber-sensitive white councilors who want to seem ultra PC?
Now it's going to be called Cabot or somehting...
who wanted to change the names of all streets and landmarks associated with slavery, as a way of expunging the dark side of the city's history. There was a predictable and justified outcry when it was pointed out that this would include changing the name of Penny Lane.