Slavery reparations sought from Britain by 14 Caribbean nations

Rick Moran
Could this be the decade that slavery reparations become a reality?

If not, it won't be for a lack of trying. This is the obvious next step for poor countries getting poorer because of bad economics, bad politics, and bad, bad leaders. Former colonial powers are to be milked for all the cash that can be gotten by laying a guilt trip on the good socialists who run these countries now.

Any successes enjoyed by the former colonies will no doubt encourage African Americans to try the same ploy here.

Jamaica is leading the way in pushing for reparations from Great Britain.

The Telegraph:

A coalition of 14 Caribbean states, including Jamaica, agrees with Mr Thompson, and is now mounting the first united campaign for reparations from Britain over its role in the Atlantic slave trade.

Represented by CARICOM, the regional organisation, the group is prepared to sue in the courts. It has hired Leigh Day, the London law firm that last year won £20 million for Kenyans tortured by the British during the Mau Mau rebellion of the 1950s.

This month it will unveil a list of 10 demands for Britain, France and Holland, including funds likely to total billions, an apology, and assurances slavery will never be repeated, The Telegraph can disclose.

Professor Verene Shepherd, the chairman of Jamaica's reparations committee, said British colonisers had "disfigured the Caribbean," and that their descendants must now pay to repair the damage.

"If you commit a crime against humanity, you are bound to make amends," Prof Shepherd told The Telegraph. "The planters were given compensation, but not one cent went to the freed Jamaicans".

From the mid-18th century, British merchants shipped more than three million people from west Africa to the Americas, taking the lead in an Atlantic slave trade pioneered by the Dutch and Portuguese.

About £4 trillion was extracted from the region in unpaid labour alone, according to researchers at the University of Birmingham, and the vast profits went to financing the construction of modern Britain.

And what does the British government think?

Mark Simmonds, Mr Hague's minister with responsibility for the Caribbean, said during a visit to Jamaica in November that "slavery was abhorrent" - but dismissed all talk of reparations.

"Do I think that we are in a position where we can financially offer compensation for an event two, three, four hundred years ago? No, I don't," said Mr Simmonds at a press conference.

Indeed, some international law experts have dismissed the threat of a pan-Caribbean lawsuit as nonsense, arguing that regardless of its evils, the slave trade was legal under British law at the time.

Yet campaigners - including Lord Gifford, a British hereditary peer and barrister who runs a law firm in Kingston and advises the reparations committee - remain unbowed, saying that the slave trade "breached the natural law that man is free".

"There is no statute of limitations on a crime against humanity," Lord Gifford, who defended members of the Guildford Four and Birmingham Six, told The Telegraph. "The claim is soundly based in law."

Blaming slavery for the results of the dastardly policies of every government ever formed in those countries is a political construct, not a reality. It is the excuse used by incompetent and crooked leaders who need to deflect blame from themsleves and put it on someone else.

And while they're at it, perhaps the Caribbean countries could sue the Arabs who were instrumental in enslaving Africans to begin with. For the most part, it wasn't British, or Dutch saliors who took people from villages to be sold into slavery. It was Arab raiders who got rich selling slaves to the Europeans.

But the Arabs have their own colonial past that they try to blame for their current failures, so they will no doubt get a pass.

Where's the historical cut off for slavery reparations? Can the French sue the Italians for Rome selling their people into slavery? Or the Spanish? And why stop there? The Greeks had their own slavery system, taking captives from several tribes in southern Europe.

The very notion of reparations should be repugnant to the modern world. Remember the odious practice, yes. But demand payment from innocent people whose great-great-great grandfathers were guilty of the sin of slavery has nothing to do with justice and everything to do with cold hard, cash.

Could this be the decade that slavery reparations become a reality?

If not, it won't be for a lack of trying. This is the obvious next step for poor countries getting poorer because of bad economics, bad politics, and bad, bad leaders. Former colonial powers are to be milked for all the cash that can be gotten by laying a guilt trip on the good socialists who run these countries now.

Any successes enjoyed by the former colonies will no doubt encourage African Americans to try the same ploy here.

Jamaica is leading the way in pushing for reparations from Great Britain.

The Telegraph:

A coalition of 14 Caribbean states, including Jamaica, agrees with Mr Thompson, and is now mounting the first united campaign for reparations from Britain over its role in the Atlantic slave trade.

Represented by CARICOM, the regional organisation, the group is prepared to sue in the courts. It has hired Leigh Day, the London law firm that last year won £20 million for Kenyans tortured by the British during the Mau Mau rebellion of the 1950s.

This month it will unveil a list of 10 demands for Britain, France and Holland, including funds likely to total billions, an apology, and assurances slavery will never be repeated, The Telegraph can disclose.

Professor Verene Shepherd, the chairman of Jamaica's reparations committee, said British colonisers had "disfigured the Caribbean," and that their descendants must now pay to repair the damage.

"If you commit a crime against humanity, you are bound to make amends," Prof Shepherd told The Telegraph. "The planters were given compensation, but not one cent went to the freed Jamaicans".

From the mid-18th century, British merchants shipped more than three million people from west Africa to the Americas, taking the lead in an Atlantic slave trade pioneered by the Dutch and Portuguese.

About £4 trillion was extracted from the region in unpaid labour alone, according to researchers at the University of Birmingham, and the vast profits went to financing the construction of modern Britain.

And what does the British government think?

Mark Simmonds, Mr Hague's minister with responsibility for the Caribbean, said during a visit to Jamaica in November that "slavery was abhorrent" - but dismissed all talk of reparations.

"Do I think that we are in a position where we can financially offer compensation for an event two, three, four hundred years ago? No, I don't," said Mr Simmonds at a press conference.

Indeed, some international law experts have dismissed the threat of a pan-Caribbean lawsuit as nonsense, arguing that regardless of its evils, the slave trade was legal under British law at the time.

Yet campaigners - including Lord Gifford, a British hereditary peer and barrister who runs a law firm in Kingston and advises the reparations committee - remain unbowed, saying that the slave trade "breached the natural law that man is free".

"There is no statute of limitations on a crime against humanity," Lord Gifford, who defended members of the Guildford Four and Birmingham Six, told The Telegraph. "The claim is soundly based in law."

Blaming slavery for the results of the dastardly policies of every government ever formed in those countries is a political construct, not a reality. It is the excuse used by incompetent and crooked leaders who need to deflect blame from themsleves and put it on someone else.

And while they're at it, perhaps the Caribbean countries could sue the Arabs who were instrumental in enslaving Africans to begin with. For the most part, it wasn't British, or Dutch saliors who took people from villages to be sold into slavery. It was Arab raiders who got rich selling slaves to the Europeans.

But the Arabs have their own colonial past that they try to blame for their current failures, so they will no doubt get a pass.

Where's the historical cut off for slavery reparations? Can the French sue the Italians for Rome selling their people into slavery? Or the Spanish? And why stop there? The Greeks had their own slavery system, taking captives from several tribes in southern Europe.

The very notion of reparations should be repugnant to the modern world. Remember the odious practice, yes. But demand payment from innocent people whose great-great-great grandfathers were guilty of the sin of slavery has nothing to do with justice and everything to do with cold hard, cash.