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The leader of Plaid Cymru must attend a struggle session

Adam Price, the Leader of Plaid Cymru, writes in Nation Cymru:

Wales, colonised and coloniser: a reflection

The murder of George Floyd and the desperately unequal burden faced by people of colour in the grip of the global pandemic have placed the question of racial injustice, at the forefront of our politics, in Wales just as in the wider world.

Accepting that to be silent at this time is to be complicit, I have committed to use the platform that I have to call for action: for the Welsh Government to instigate a wide-ranging review into the realities of structural racism, to decolonise the curriculum and to build a National Museum to celebrate the history of people of colour.

In the middle of this global moment of truth some criticism – some of it fair and some it not – has been levelled at me for some comments that I made about the Welsh colonial experience. I have spoken publicly about this before and I planned to do so again, having discussed it in depth with Plaid’s BME Section and others. While continuing to reflect on the criticism I have been more interested in listening than defending or explaining myself, not wanting to distract from the bigger issues at hand. But in response to claims that my actions mean Black Lives do not matter in Wales, I feel it’s now right that I respond.

Gwan, give us the dirt.

In October last year in an article headlined Westminster owes Wales reparations, I wrote:

“The Wales Office – that colonial outpost of a Westminster Government – stands in Whitehall in the building that once housed the Slavery Compensation Commission which infamously paid out to the slave owners after abolition rather than the newly liberated slaves. The argument that the British Empire owes reparations to the people of its former colonies is powerfully well-made by the Indian politician Shashi Tharoor. But England’s first colony should be added to that long list of creditors.”

You may have noticed that Mr Price mentions that when the British government abolished slavery in British colonies it “infamously” paid compensation to the slaveowners. He is right, it did pay an enormous sum to free the slaves. I am not sure what other path to liberating them Mr Price thinks the British government of 1833 ought to have followed. Perhaps that of France? The French revolutionary government declared all slaves in the French colonies free as early as 1794. Unfortunately words are not deeds, and in most places the declaration was ignored. Then in 1802 Napoleon restored slavery, and that was that for another forty six years. The other way of defeating a well-entrenched pro-slavery interest is this. While sometimes that sort of thing has to be done, I cannot help thinking that the British method was better for everyone, including the slaves.

I digress. Mr Price continues,

Much of the criticism has focused on the use of the word ‘reparations’. Historically this has been used to denote payment by way of compensation by a State to make amends to those it has wronged e.g. the reparation payments imposed on Germany after the 1914-1918 War.

In recent discourse, however, the word has been more closely associated with the campaign to recognise the financial debt owed to the descendants of the victims of the transatlantic slave trade and to the former colonies of Western countries, including Britain, in Africa, the Caribbean and South Asia and elsewhere (a campaign I fully support). In many conversations I have had since I spoke in October I’ve come to understand that many people of colour strongly believe that the word reparations should now be reserved exclusively for the context of slavery and western colonialism in acknowledgement of the unique scale of human suffering involved.

Now that we know that small self-appointed groups can take words out of common ownership, let’s buy up some Welsh words for our exclusive use. I am sure progressive Welsh speakers won’t mind the loss of them. They can always use English words instead.

Mr Price concludes:

I didn’t fully appreciate the force of this argument nor the strength of this feeling. I recognise now that this was a mistake. It was wrong to blur this distinction, and I would express myself differently today. If my poor choice of words caused anyone pain then I am profoundly, deeply, genuinely sorry.

Not a dry eye in the house.

51 comments to The leader of Plaid Cymru must attend a struggle session

  • darthlaurel

    I’m also sorry….sorry that people are as dumb as a post reason-wise and not smart enough to keep that to themselves. Do we really want and need to know how easily everyone is led by the nose?
    As for me (and like most people before they came to America) no one in my family tree was rich enough own any THING, much less another person. So I don’t feel personally or historically responsible for slavery. At all.

  • James Hargrave

    An old American friend, long dead, from the South, an historian of some repute, is my touchstone. His grandfather, whom he knew, had fought for the Confederacy, as one did, and the family had owned slaves, as one did: they were far from the rich plantation owners of popular imaginations. And that was then, and there. He felt no personal or historical responsibility – and why should he.

    No doubt one should practice abasement because one’s gt, gt grandfather earned his living as an artisan in wherever, and among those who paid him for his work was someone whose family money had come from shipping, and some of those ships probably carried (insert slaves, sugar, tobacco or some other current evil), and, and…. Mea culpa, we are all guilty, etc., etc.

    Meanwhile, my college library wants to ‘diversify its holdings’ in order to ‘encourage our members to educate themselves on White privilege’. I was tempted to recommend books on eugenics, or perhaps the collected writings of Dr Verwoerd, but have instead asked them to withdraw volumes I gave them (my work as author/editor) and burn them. Achieve diversity teh simple way: get rid of the all the books by white males, living or dead.

  • Mr Ed

    But England’s first colony should be added to that long list of creditors.

    I learned long ago that England’s first colony (if you disregard Ireland as that was Norman adventurism) was Bermuda, GPD per capita a tidy $99.400 (USD) in 2016, more than double the UK’s figure.

    Do Black Bermudans get reparations for living in such a rich country, but White ones don’t? Or do you have an Apartheid-style racial classification board so if you are 25% Black and 75% White, your ‘Black’ credit from the reparations is reduced by 75% and your White tax (if there is one) is reduced by 25%?

    And do they get anything for being such capitalist exploiters that they are richer than the coloniser?

  • John

    So would someone notionally black like, say, President Obama be obliged to pay himself reparations on account of his 50% whiteness? Maybe he could pay his daughters as they are less white than he is. Would that be acceptable?

    Are the descendants of white slaves to be considered payers or recipients? How about black slave owners?

  • “Please, Sir, I Want Some More”

    If you give them money, more will come — and they will never stop insisting you still owe them. If they are going to nag, let’s not give them any incentive. It’ll save money, and cut down on the clamor.

  • Stonyground

    Non of this stuff makes any sense. Non of the descendants of slaves have suffered in the slightest. Nobody owes them a single penny.

  • WELSH-ENGLISH (WOKE-SANE) TRANSLATIONS

    I didn’t fully appreciate the force of this argument nor the strength of this feeling.

    I didn’t fully appreciate that the strength of this narrative means that questioning the force of the argument would threaten my career.

    If my poor choice of words caused anyone pain then I am profoundly, deeply, genuinely sorry

    If my so-last-year choice of words causes my career pain then I will be profoundly, deeply, genuinely sorry.

  • The other way of defeating a well-entrenched pro-slavery interest is [the US Civil War].

    There is also Haiti, where Napoleon’s attempt to re-enslave was defeated by the rebels, aided by the yellow fever that reduced the French ranks, and the resumption of war with Britain which (especially after Trafalgar) made it impossible for him to send replacements for them.

    “If black poverty were caused by white racism, blacks in Haiti would be the richest in the western hemisphere. They are instead the poorest.” (Thomas Sowell, quoted from memory)

  • XC

    You really don’t want a US Civil War.

    I grew up in the deep deep south in the 60’s and was surprised when we moved “north” (to North Carolina – Americans will appreciate that humor) that it was not “the War of Northern Aggression.” (Later in life I was surprised to learn that the proper name for the Atlanta airport was Hartsfield not “that damn Atlanta airport.”)

    Please note that 100 years later people were still complaining about Sherman. You don’t want one of those either.

    -XC

  • So would someone notionally black like, say, President Obama be obliged to pay himself reparations on account of his 50% whiteness? (John, June 22, 2020 at 5:10 pm

    If “reparations” were truly for “slavery and western colonialism” then Barack would pay twice: one for his paternal Swahili ancestors’ involvement in the Arab slave trade (slave raid as it should rather be called), and once for his maternal white ancestors involvement in – whatever they were involved in (you can judge the various web claims for yourselves).

    However I feel confident that this was just another foot-in-mouth moment for Mr Price and he actually meant “western (only) slavery and western (only) colonialism”.

  • Rich Rostrom

    Brazil abolished slavery without compensation or violence. The story seems interesting. Apparently the consensus on the issue shifted so quickly that by the time compensated emancipation was seriously proposed, there was overwhelming support for straight abolition. This even though not long before, a “free womb” proposal got nowhere.

    Of course this was in the 1880s…

    Also: the slavery interest in the British Empire was far weaker than in the US – having no direct political power, and being demographically minuscule by comparison. It could have been abolished without compensation.

    It would be interesting to study the thinking of those who accepted emancipation but insisted on compensation. While respect for property rights would seem to apply – the reason for emancipation is that this particular form of property is ilegitimate. Why should slaveholders be compensated for the loss of what was never theirs? If they deserve compensation for the loss of valid property – why is the valid property being abolished?

  • George Atkisson

    XC –

    I instigated something similar back in my US Navy days. A group of us were casually talking about anything and everything under the sun. Someone mentioned the Civil War for some reason, then looked at me. He asked, since I grew up in the South, if there were still any hard feelings. I cocked my head, put on a thick Southern accent, and said, “ Civil Wo-Ah? Do you-all mean the Wo-Ah of YANK-ee Ah-Gression?” There was utter silence for about 3 seconds. Then I laughed and we moved on to other things. 😜

    It’s only been 150+ years since that war ended. The Welsh have been holding on to their conquest and oppression for rather longer. 😳🙄😒

  • Rich Rostrom (June 22, 2020 at 7:06 pm), Brazil was the last country in the western hemisphere to abolish the slave trade and then the last to abolish slavery. They abolished the trade only after they found themselves in an undeclared war with the Royal Navy, whose ships raided into their harbours and humiliated them. The abolition of slavery was a similarly late and pressured deed. The same lack of will that made abolition late also ensured that no-one would be paid.

    IIUC, Britain was the first large-scale actual abolisher. The government naturally paid those who had invested money in ways the government itself had called legal the year before – and that most of the rest of the world was still calling legal the year after.

  • bobby b

    “It would be interesting to study the thinking of those who accepted emancipation but insisted on compensation.”

    When we (in the US) imprison someone for a crime, and then years later find that he was innocent, he is usually released along with some (largish) civil-settlement payment that purports to recompense him for his lost years and suffering.

    I think that’s the underlying basis for reparations – monetary compensation for life and liberty unjustly denied.

  • Rob

    About 2,000 people in Wales will take him seriously. Unfortunately most of them are in positions of influence. Normal people will think he’s a complete bellend.

  • Natalie Solent (Essex)

    Rob, basically I agree. It’s only a comment section, but I think the response to his statement by the commenters on Wales Online is fairly typical.

    Last time I looked into it, support for Welsh independence is rising but support for Plaid Cymru isn’t.

    Plaid Cymru used to be left wing, but in an old fashioned way. Price annoyed the woke flank of his own party by inserting the (white, colonising) Welsh into the list of victim groups and annoyed the older style members by apologising for it.

  • Zerren Yeoville

    Perhaps the question of ‘reparations’ should be approached from the perspective of restorative justice, i.e. restoring a person to the position or condition they might reasonably expect to be in today, had the offending action not taken place.

    In the specific case of present-day descendants of Africa-sourced slaves, this would imply that the most appropriate form of reparations to offer would be a one-way flight to the present-day African state in which their ancestors originated, and possibly also a one-time lump sum equivalent to the annual per-capita GDP (or alternatively the median annual personal income) of the receiving country, for the purpose of assisting them to settle into the first year of everyday life there.

    This is unlikely to be a particularly onerous burden on the Western taxpayer, given that the 2018 GDP of the typical west African state of Guinea-Bissau was under 800 USD.

    The only trouble is, I can’t see too many of those clamouring to be paid ‘reparations’ being eager to claim them in this form. Which of them would give up life in Birmingham or Bristol for life in Benin or Burkina Faso instead?

    In which case they should be bluntly told that it is wholly sufficient ‘reparation’ that they now live in an advanced Western country which offers them opportunities for personal advancement and a comfortable lifestyle which they simply would not have if their ancestors had been not been Western-owned slaves (rather than Arab-owned or rival-tribe-owned slaves) at a time in history when slavery was endemic to every society on earth.

  • Used to be Banned

    The nazis sent a working party to look at American eugenics practices which they quite liked but concluded were too extreme (changed their minds later of course).

  • Used to be Banned

    Rich Rostrom the question was not new, on the Restoration of Charles ll there were calls to free thousands of Royalists sent into Caribbean slavery by the previous Republican regime. It was decided against as this would negate said property rights of those who held them.

  • Fraser Orr

    In regards to slavery reparations in the USA: they have already been paid, in gigantic amounts of blood and treasure. And the payment was made to people who ACTUALLY were slaves.

    However, as I was reading this, it did make me think of a reparations movement that I could get behind. How about we pay reparations to the black community for the utter failure of government in big cities to provide them with a decent education or protect their children from mob violence. By robbing them of an education they left them in poverty, trapped in the slavery of hopelessness. Perhaps, though, instead, we could pay those reparations by first taking the money away from the failed schools that have entrapped them all, and allowing parents to redirect the money taken from the tax payers to improve the lot of many. Give parents control. Parents who, like parents of all colors and all stripes, love their children, hope for their children and want the best for their children. Parents who are fully aware that education is the underground railway out of slavery of our day.

    That is a reparations movement I can get behind.

  • Mr Ecks

    Gary–you lying Marxist stooge–there are no 60,000 UK deaths from the CCP virus made by your not-very-good Chicom pals.

    95% have died of something else and had the CCP label put on them by liars and govt bedwetters. It is a damp squib flu and you remain a nasty deceitful little stooge of evil.

  • Nicholas (Unlicensed Joker) Gray

    And when will someone get around to making the countries of the middle East pay compensation? They have lots of wealth, and, I believe, used to import lots of slaves- in fact, the Royal Navy used to try to liberate the slave-ships taking slaves to Arabia. Is this true? Or has someone been lying about that religion of love, Islam?

  • Phil B

    Rich Rostrom, June 22, 2020 at 7:06 pm

    “It would be interesting to study the thinking of those who accepted emancipation but insisted on compensation.”

    If you live in the UK, you can easily satisfy yourself or find out from a large number of individuals about accepting something thay did not want but insisted on compensation. Simply talk to firearms owners who had their rights abolished after Michael Ryan committed murder in Hungerford when self loading rifles were arbitrarily banned and although compensation was promised some of the owners of the firearms concerned are still awaiting the cash compensation for their property. My ex-brother in law for one. Similarly, you could ask people who had their handguns confiscated after Thomas Hamilton killed those children in Dunblane how they accepted the ban and, from your phrasing of the question, unreasonably wanted monetary compensation for something that was not only legal the day before but the Government actually gave them a license for the items.

    This is a VERY slippery slope to claim the moral high ground:

    (T)he reason for emancipation is that this particular form of property is ilegitimate.

    Not at the time it wasn’t. That we, two hundred years later are uncomfortable with the concept does not mean that it was “illegitimate” at the time. Unless we are comfortable with anyone in Government declaring something morally repugnant and illegitimate at their whim. For example, firearms. Just as a “for example” you understand. Over 1,600 years of rights thrown onto the scrapheap.

    After Dunblane, Jack Straw promised that the Handgun ban would make the streets of Britain safer once handguns had been removed from the hands of the law abiding. I will leave it up to others to demonstrate how much safer the streets of the UK are today, 33 years after Hungerford when AK47’s (banned in 1988) are freely available to criminal gangs and how much safer from handguns the British public is 24 years after they were banned.

    Suppose a Green Government comes into power. Cars can be declared morally repugnant for destroying the planet. Ban them and no compensation, because why should those selfish individuals be rewarded for their selfishness?

    Similarly, if a hard left/communist (All property is theft) gain power and private ownership of land and housing is banned, then what?

    Happy with those two scenarios (I presume you live in a house and own a car)?

    Without property rights safeguarded under the law, then why would anyone want to do anything (engage in trade, build a business, invest in housing or farms etc.) if the Government can declare the thing illegal and confiscate it without compensation? Result, Zimbabwe and most of the rest of Africa.

  • David Norman

    Bell end indeed. If you have pretensions to be woke you surely have to be staggeringly stupid to think you can get away with claiming slavery victimhood status for the white and British Welsh. Even now he is being mealy mouthed about the extent of his anti woke sin; he didn’t make a ‘poor choice of words’, his thinking was a blasphemy.

  • JohnK

    The pathetic, whining Welsh bell end is a prime example of what happens when you set up pretendy wee parliaments, as Tony Blair did on a whim.

    They exist, so they have to do something to validate their useless existence.

    Wales is hardly England’s first colony. In 1200 England had only recently been conquered by the Normans. England was in effect a Norman colony. Its nobility was dispossessed and all their land was taken without compensation. The conquest of Wales was not done by “England” so much as by the Norman overlords of the English. At this point, the English language did not even exist. The Normans spoke French, and what the poor folk spoke did not matter.

    I suggest this Welsh no-mark direct his complaints to the President of the French Republic, as he is the direct successor to the Duke of Normandy. I am sure he will receive a respectful hearing, and no doubt lots of lovely compensation.

  • James

    I’m Welsh. Gibs me some of dat sweet, sweet English monies.

  • Ferox

    How long did the Barbary pirates raid Europe and carry off its peoples into slavery in Africa? When should the people of Europe and their descendants expect to receive payment?

    What is the etymology of the word “slave”? When should the people of eastern Europe be expecting payment from the various oil sheikhs littering the Middle East?

    Naturally that’s all different, because reasons. To take the demands of the newKlan seriously is to give them entirely too much credit. Their demands for reparations will always be in an amount that can’t possibly be paid – otherwise they might get what they asked for. What they really want is the excuse to rape and pillage and burn people whose skin color they dislike.

    It’s just that simple – they hate white people. They like to rape, pillage, and burn. All the rest is smoke and bullshit.

  • To add predictable insult to predictable injury (or is it vice versa?), the BBC is sacking 60 BBC Wales employees as part of finding the £100 million the (very white and male) previous and current BBC Director Generals have committed to spend so there can be much more (much more !! 🙂 ) diversity programming.

    I think we’ve finally found a group that are lower in the PC pecking order than (biological, straight) women: the Welsh!

  • JohnK (June 23, 2020 at 11:04 am), Mr Price’s former demand that the Welsh be compensated by the English as part of reparations for

    slavery and western colonialism

    faces an even greater problem than the one you state. Not only should they be dunning the Normans not the English, but since the Normans conquest replaced slavery with serfdom in Wales, just as it did in England, Mr Price should complain about slavery or western (Norman) colonialism, since in Wales’ case, the two were opposites, the second ending the first.

    Of course, that’s not the only place where that little logical problem arises.

  • Lord Coke

    Weren’t the Normans from Norway? The ancestral descendants of the Normans have a sizable sovereign wealth fund the Welsh should seek to attach upon successful litigation at the ICC.

  • Paul Marks

    This is Frankfurt School Marxism – and Plaid is a far left party, so there is nothing odd about this.

    What is odd is that most of the comments do not even seem to understand that this is Frankfurt School stuff – and start discussing race and slavery, which is of no relevance what-so-ever to any of this.

    Minnesota never had slavery – and Mr George Floyd being killed had nothing to do with him being black.

    Wake up people – the Frankfurt School of Marxism is not some new thing, it is many decades old.

    If people can not recognise Frankfurt School language after all this time (and treat this stuff at face value – as if it really was about race and slavery and so on) then they are rather stupid.

  • David Norman

    Paul Marks. Err . . . what? Mr Price’s piece is a climb down from a view he expressed about race and slavery and to that extent it is indeed about race and slavery however much Frankfurt School language it uses. It would of course be rude of me to suggest that anyone who can’t see that was being rather stupid.

  • Paul Marks (June 23, 2020 at 3:46 pm), we all know that, to the woke, the overwhelming majority of Black Lives and Black Livelihoods don’t Matter. The rare black life that ‘matters’ to Antifa is the black life – or rather, the black death – that they can exploit.

    However they pretend they think Black Lives Matter precisely to surround themselves with useful idiots. Being able to expose succinctly the gross falsity of their public line is useful, both with those idiots and with others, less idiotic but naive, who can thereby be kept from falling for it.

    If you are in a discussion, showing people that black lives matter least to those who pretend they care the most is an essential precondition for being able to suggest (without jargon) that power (by the FSoM route) is what does matter to them.

  • Joseph S

    Lord Coke….Normans from Norway? Surely not, but rather from Normandy, part of what is now France.

  • Fraser Orr

    @Joseph S
    Lord Coke….Normans from Norway? Surely not, but rather from Normandy, part of what is now France.

    Actually northern France was a stopping off point. Norman, from North Men, were actually Viking raiders from Scandinavia who settled in Northern France, and eventually took over England. I imagine that is what he was thinking off.

    OF course, ultimately those Scandinavians ultimately came from the rift valleys of Africa. So perhaps, if you go back far enough, African Americans are owed reparations from African Africans?

    It is also worth pointing out that it was mainly Africans and to a lesser extent Arabs, who actually hunted down, captured and enslaved the men and women who were sold in the west. Not that that in anyway absolves the shocking behavior of the western slave owners, just that there are few races who didn’t have their hand in that pot of evil.

    As for me, an American tax payer, well I only came to America a few decades ago, and my ancestors were laboring serfs from Ireland and Scotland. So, I’d say I was among the least culpable for American slavery of almost anyone — even though it is my taxes that will no doubt pay for any “reparations”. Having said that, I suppose it is possible that one of my ancestors hammered a rivet into a boat that was used in the slave trade. So perhaps I am culpable after all.

  • Joseph S (June 23, 2020 at 6:58 pm), Normandy is called Normandy because the Normans (the Northmen) from Norway (in Norwegian, the word ‘nordmann’, pronounced ‘norman’, denotes a Norwegian person) settled there in the 10th century by invitation of King Charles the Simple, who pointed out in 911 AD that as the Normans had already conquered it and the effete Carolingians had no hope of expelling them, would they care to legalise the situation in a deal according to which the Normans would pretend the king had given Normandy to them and the king would pretend to be happy about it?

    So Lord Coke is right; the conquerors of Wales were previously the conquerors of England, and before that they were the Viking conquerors of Normandy, and they originally hail from Norway (or at least there is no historical record of their conquering Norway from anyone).

    BTW, the Celts did not originate in Wales. It seems clear from Greek and Roman historians (and archeology) that the Welsh must have conquered Wales (from the beaker people?) so should probably pay their historic debts from that before demanding others settle historic debts to them.

    As the Welsh were part of the Roman Empire during Hadrian’s reign, do the Jews get to claim against them or can the Jews only dun the Italians – before then moving on to claim for injuries done them in further centuries, for which a whole raft of people must owe them?

  • lucklucky

    “David Norman
    June 23, 2020 at 4:47 pm

    Paul Marks. Err . . . what? Mr Price’s piece is a climb down from a view he expressed about race and slavery and to that extent it is indeed about race and slavery however much Frankfurt School language it uses. It would of course be rude of me to suggest that anyone who can’t see that was being rather stupid.”

    Well you are. It seems you can’t even see the Marxist logic, the issue has nothing to do with slavery or race. That is only a pretext.

  • David Norman

    Luckylucky. I think that in view of the way you express your point, I will take your contribution as a compliment.

  • it was mainly Africans and to a lesser extent Arabs, who actually hunted down, captured and enslaved the men and women who were sold in the west (Fraser Orr, June 23, 2020 at 7:43 pm)

    ‘Mainly’ understates the case. To the best of my knowledge and belief, there is no historical instance of an English-speaking trader ever enslaving a non-slave African and there is no reason to believe the thing ever happened. They obtained their entire stock by purchase from African chiefs, who controlled the trade, and the traders when they were at the African coast.

    This is not so completely true of the Dutch/Boers and the Portuguese. The latter once found themselves at war with an African tribe in the area of modern Angola, and are known to have added some prisoners taken in battle to those they sent for sale in Brazil. Although I do not know a specific demonstrated case as regards the boers, they likewise sometimes were at war with African tribes, must have taken prisoners, and are known to have sometimes sold a proportion of adult warrior slaves abroad precisely because it was safer than keeping large numbers close to areas they knew and could escape to, so it seems very probable.

    The British traders dealt overwhelmingly with Africans, not Arabs. The Arabs, with their Swahili African collaborators were huge enslavers in much of Africa but the western bulge where British traders operated was furthest from their power centres; the Africans there mostly did their own enslaving. Of course, Africans did their own enslaving all over Africa, but the Arabs, operating mainly in the east and north of Africa, took more slaves from Africa to the islamic world first to last, than went to the entire western hemisphere, and unlike the Europeans, they enslaved most of them.

  • Actually northern France was a stopping off point. Norman, from North Men, were actually Viking raiders from Scandinavia who settled in Northern France, and eventually took over England. I imagine that is what he was thinking off.

    Indeed. And one of those North Men scallywags stuck “de” in front of his name to posh it up a bit & make it seem more French, the rest of his name meaning Land Owner, or “Have Land” 😉

  • Used to be Banned

    The Queen is the inheritor of the Duchy of Normandy the last parts of which are the Channel Islands.

  • Used to be Banned

    Ferox, 1830’s from memory. It was not just Europeans being enslaved by Barbary Corsairs, having lost the protection of the Royal Navy US merchant ships were being attacked with crews and passengers kidnapped.
    The USA got some warships together quite quickly to launch their first overseas incursion, without approval from Congress, which is why ‘The Shores Of Tripoli’ feature in The Marines marching anthem.

  • Johnathan Pearce

    I remember reading Robert Nozick’s Anarchy, State and Utopia and he wrote, from a radical libertarian point of view, for the case for rectification of past injustices. But pretty soon practicalities arise. Inevitably, the agency doing the rectification, and judging on who gets what and gives to whom, is the State. And given the inevitable political horse trading and appeals to emotion as well as reason, the situation is pretty much going to spin out of control.

  • James Hargrave

    What abolition of slavery in Brazil did produce, indirectly, was a republican/military coup a year later, which ushered in low scale civil war in the 1890s… As we know, Brazil has been a model of good governance ever since.

    And freeing slaves does not necessarily improve the lot of the ex-slaves on the material front in the short term at least.

  • freeing slaves does not necessarily improve the lot of the ex-slaves on the material front in the short term at least. (James Hargrave, June 24, 2020 at 7:16 am)

    While you can find examples in the short term (I note one in my penultimate paragraph here), it is basic to a lot of ideas liked on this blog, from Adam Smith’s economics to Thomas Sowell’s politics, that people can manage their affairs better than third parties, whether those third parties are educated enlightened Virginia slave owners or politically-correct modern bureaucrats, so one would statistically expect it to be only in the short term or in the untypical case.

    However I have also commented on Thomas Sowell’s use of Haiti as a rather powerful disproof of the idea that black poverty results from white racism.

    Of course, the Haitians are better off than they would be if still slaves ruled in 1790s style, and they were bound to resist Bonaparte’s attempt to re-enslave them. Sowell is making a follow-on culture point rather than one directly about slavery.

    And of course, one can choose freedom even when believing it means poverty.

  • Dr Evil

    The men on my father’s side, his father, his grand father et al were all miners. The only black thing they owned was coal.

    Price, like most of these woke idiots, is talking rubbish.

  • Lord Coke

    OF course, ultimately those Scandinavians ultimately came from the rift valleys of Africa. So perhaps, if you go back far enough, African Americans are owed reparations from African Africans?

    African Africans? No money there yet. In litigation, you’ve got to go for the deep pockets now. And that would be the Norwegians. And then there’s the matter of how easily White guilt can be imposed on the Norwegians. I’m pretty sure they’d tear down statues of Eric the Red, Leif Ericson or Harald Hardrada, but when it comes to the money, things may be different. After all, they invented the Danegeld.

  • Fraser Orr

    James Hargrave
    And freeing slaves does not necessarily improve the lot of the ex-slaves on the material front in the short term at least.

    “On the material front” is a pretty weak qualifier. There is this notion that slavery was an economic condition — stealing labor from people for no pay. But that isn’t true. Slavery is robbing a man or woman of choice, of self determination, not money.

  • bobby b

    Lord Coke
    June 24, 2020 at 12:52 pm

    “In litigation, you’ve got to go for the deep pockets now. And that would be the Norwegians.”

    You mean, of course, the civic nationality and not the physical nationality? Us diaspora’ed Norwegians get a pass, right?

    (I’d have a go at the Finns. They have more money, and they’re already depressed.)

  • JohnK

    Phil B:

    You make good points about the measly compensation offered to those honest British gun owners who had taken the time and trouble to own their guns legally.

    Obviously, the criminals who did not bother with the paperwork kept their guns, a state of affairs which seems to have taken the likes of Jack Straw by surprise.

    I notice that this year we mark the centenary of gun control in the UK. The 1920 Firearms Act was based on a lie, that it was meant to disarm criminals, when its whole point was to disarm the law abiding, whom HMG had decided could not be trusted.

    When the government does not trust its own people you do not have the basis for a free country, and it is hardly surprising that, one hundred years later, we are not free. Imagine a footballer who, for sincere political reasons, refused to “take a knee” for a radical Marxist black power gang, for instance.

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