11 comments on “Running the show again

  1. I’m sure this book is bound to be a big seller in Kenya right now, especially among those with the most time on their hands, the ones who had their testicles cut off by the Breetish! Hotboy

  2. I think the British empire did many good things and some not so good, but there was a consistent drive for human rights.
    The slave trade has been going on for thousands of years, this is well documented. When we British got involved there was a need to control it of face armies of enemy owned slaves directed at us.
    The slaves them selves may well have not had equal right to us whites but the fact is, some blacks don’t like whites and some whites don’t like blacks. The solution seemed to be to keep them apart…apartheid.
    The situation was not ideal but the alternatives for them and us was worse.
    If you look at British slave ships, you will see that they had room to lie down, these ships are well documented.
    The life of a British slave was considerably better than starvation in Africa, now as was then Africans desperately try to find a way to get a passport to the new world.
    Black people did well out of it and so did we, times were hard, there was a question to get on the ships.
    History is corrupted by those who seek political advantage.
    The same in India, where a hedge was built, this hedge was not a razor wire fence it was a hedge, the hedge was a place where wildlife, birds, worms and other food stuffs could live.
    People were charged a salt tax to cross the hedge, salt was free, and in any case as it was a hedge not a wall people couldsneek through.
    This hedge was an act of humanity, an attempt to feed starving people which has Ben corrupted by those who seek to damage the good reputation of the empire such as America.

    All slave ships had some black crew who were paid.
    The fact is that some were in chains before we acquired them and we took the chains off.
    They were chained on ship only, they were worth more if they could be trusted.

    In Liverpool there are carvings of black people in chains, they would advertise competitor traders chains and point to the unchained good workers that they had on sale.
    Rice and peas were on the menus onboard ship, chicken was a rare luxury. This rice peas and chicken culture has been corrupted. Slaves would boast of chicken, but were not always honest.
    There was a ship sunk in shallow water in Liverpool, I suspect this was a foreign ship which was sunk in shallow water to be found by later generations, proving the need to fight fire with fire.

    Their were many anti slavery pamphlets of the day. The logo was a woman chained from wrist to ancle, and wrist to ancle. This practice was not practiced on British ships, where they were chained wrist to wrist when necessary.

    I think the cross Atlantic slave trade was a good thing, we did well so did they.

    • Hi Paul. The drive for humann rights came pretty late. There was for a long time a drive to do what was believed to be ‘civilising’ the indigenous people in various parts of the world, but this was a very narrow interpretation of that concept.

      It is true that slavery of one form or another was commonn for many hundreds of years. Slavery in West Africa was quite common, but it was much more benign than the slavery of the Caribbean in the British colonies.

      Hundreds of thousands of slaves died in dreadful conditions, whilst waiting for transportation and during and after transportation. I have seen the cells where they were kept. In the early days of settlement in Barbados, it was thought to be more economical to work the slaves to death (estimated life was about 7 years after transportation), and then purchase new slaves. There are many documented instances of torture. And also, the Europeans on the coast of West Africa encouraged conflict in the interior, as this helped to provide more slaves. Conditions for Europeans were also poor, but infinitely better than for the slaves.

  3. Well, I think some of what you say is an exaggeration, there were atrocities, but the were generally better of as slaves than they were in Africa.
    I don’t want to pull the wool over peoples eyes, which is what the people who are emphasising how bad it was are doing. I am interested in fact only.
    A job on a plantation was a good job, we could be called up and forced into military service, what is the difference between military service and slavery, better wages?

    If you look up British slave ship you will see that onboard they had room to lay down, a very different reality to the Hollywood version of events.
    Cells were better than chains, they were discribed as savages, well some were pretty mean, they had to be controlled. We had to be controlled also, the whip was the rule of the day.

    In the king James bible (old testament) it says, ( this is not an exact quote, I have read it but do not have a copy here, and if I did it would take a while to find the quote(s)) after 15 years a slave shall be given his freedom… but could sign up to a further 10 years. I am not sure if these rules were ever stuck to, if they were then they have been forgotten.

    The ships leaving from Liverpool had both men and woman, one man one woman…this was seen as civilising.

    The blacks in the crews of the slave ships were, there to calm the slaves during transit, they were in favour of the trade.

    Bare in mind that south America had been conquered by slaves who did not live to tell the tale. Those black crew members were aware of that fact and in favour of a massive black presence in the Caribbean to stop the Spanish advance into north America.

    What ever way you look at it black people tended to be better off on the plantations than in Africa.

    I would expect some got a penny at Xmas too.
    We constantly publicise maltreatment and forget the great benefit had by most including and especially the slaves them selves.

    We see, hear and read of murder and malpractice today in the media, but do not read of the majority of good and honest deeds done.

    America has a financial interest in painting the kettle as black as possible, hence the Hollywood version of events.

    • Paul – It is correct that life was sometimes hard for all sorts of people in those days, but you should know that hundreds of thousands of those taken into slavery didn’t even make it as far as the terrible conditions they had to endure in the colonies. In places like Malawi and elsewhere, life in villages was largely OK before the slavers arrived. You could read David Livingstone, for what he found in areas where the slavers operated.

  4. Hi, there was a programming on radio 4 some time ago…
    It involved an insurance claim for a slave ship which sank.
    Before it sank the slaves were thrown over the side…
    The throwing over the side of the slaves was portrayed by our very own BBC as an act of atrocity.
    In fact slaves float dead or alive, the crew obeyed the law to the letter, the slaves had a chance to survive as they where no longer in chains, maybe they drowned maybe not…but they where given that chance. Perhaps at the cost of ship and crew.
    Had we not have controlled the slave trade others would have and we would not be here now, nor would the African Americans have had the better lives they promised before they volunteered to get on the ship.
    History is changed for political gain.
    You ask me to read Livingstone how about a few quotes.
    Is this not a man who looked for inequity and made a good living reporting it in the tabloid press?
    Put your money where your mouth is Roddy.

    • Livingstone’s mission was to spread the word, as he saw it, of God. He was a peculiar character with various flaws. He suffered a lot, in various ways, and money raised was used to fund his expeditions. He writes about the destruction of societies by the slavers in Malawi.

  5. OK I am no expert on Livingstone but those paying his wages were making their money exposing inequity, I would call that bias.
    There were millions of slaves and a few reported breaches of the law.
    Today we hear of serial killers and the like, these are the events that make the front page, real life is different.
    The vast majority were liberated from the inequity of Africa and did as promised live that better life.
    Look at it from a commercial point of view, a slave ship turns up in Africa, there are spaces for say 200 slaves, they are to be chained during transit and have enough room to lay down to sleep ( well documented) these slaves are to be sold, the obedient ones are worth more, the ones who are rebellious and non compliant are worth less.
    Therefore the ones who volunteer are the first to be chosen.
    Simple as that, a sort of employment service… A job on a plantation in the sun was a good job to have.

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