Slavery, The West’s Crime

Slavery reparations are due from the West to countries where it stole labor and the lives of many to extract progress for itself.

Nothing short of a massive transfer of wealth from the developed to the underdeveloped world, and to the descendants of slavery and colonialism in the west, can heal the deep wounds inflicted.

We now enjoy the fruits of our forefathers. Is it not entirely logical that these fruits falling from trees planted from the purloined heritage should now recognise the enforced investment by the ancestors of one group of people to another? Or should the boundaries of an undeclared war be respected?

This is a difficult and divisive question but the answer depends on what your situation is vis a vis “The West”.

Slavery is a crime. War is a way to bury crimes. When a war happens in society rather than the battlefield, it is hard to know from the result, who indeed is the winner? Was the Cold War “won” by the collapse of the Soviet Union? How is that winning when now American Government domination of its culture is in the hands of the most wealthy. Will Trump now start to lash out with budgets at disasters or war provocations from North Korea? Or will he act like a surgeon and excise with exact and incisive negotiation, the exact words required to permanently solve the most dangerous problems in the world? Not so far.

The “we have excellent weapons” arguments only go so far before they result in escalation. But it worked for the slave masters who were our great-great-great-great-grandparents, possibly. One of the reasons for the Second Amendment is that it makes slavery less likely. One of the reasons for the First Amendment is it makes despotism less likely. The UK’s role in gathering slaves was not taught in English History at school. Not that I recall.

The British were involved and derived much wealth from the Slave Trade until it was made illegal in 1833 with “apprenticeships” an interim arrangement in which slavers were “compensated” with “20 million paid to the planters”.

Not many Slaves, the people who were harmed by slavery, remain as victims of the West’s social cannibalism. The descendants of slavery are now citizens proper and whether their lives have suffered or gained due to the upheavals of slavery, it is debatable, but the singular fact must remain, they have lives and share in the spoils of progress.

So are they owed a financial reparation for the crimes of our great great great great grandparents? I am not sure if that would make sense or even do good. But sure, why not? They bail out the slavery based banks so why not?

Slavery can never be fixed. It should not have been but it was. I think cases of reparation that hark back to the disadvantages present in 1833 are interesting, but it is a stretch to consider that it could be heard. But if they should, then, of course, the Justice system must hear such cases.

The one thing that the West could do however, without cost or pain, is to treat all citizens with absolute equality, no matter where they or their grandparents came from. That is something that America needs to do better. It is the very least we can do to repair the damage of Slavery. Treat each other right.

Right Takeover

The forces behind Brexit are not working in the interests of the population but taking advantage of the opportunity provided by the false referendum to change Britain from a semi-democratic group of nations into a tax avoiding paradise that does not give a toss about the concerns of the many for the privilege of the few. Many of those who avidly defend it have vested interests. Some do not. They are decent people who do not understand how much the EU benefits their lives and believe that a brief period of isolation will give the UK more power. They are to be respected, sure. But they need to reconsider. A final vote on the deal is more than necessary. Or they are collaborators in an ideological and irreversible takeover by the Far Right. And that Great Repeal bill to reduce all laws into target practice for the most Tory of mindsets, that must fail or Parliament has become irrelevant.

The Government has been taken over by people who do not need pensions and see poverty as a disease that can be wiped out by starvation.

David Milliband has pitched in on the argument.

Tower in Flames

That the building industry thought that it was not risky to clad a high rise apartment block in flammable cladding is frightening enough. You may hope that it was mere oversight how many councils decided that the look of a building trumped the safety factors and not just clad their building in a pre-packaged instant disaster, but now are leading in the race to become of most productive in the calculation of terror.

That Governments implicate themselves by bonfires of regulation to allow businesses to do whatever they felt could be acceptable risk. It was not just trying to make things look better by covering these buildings with a flammable cosmetic. It is building in vapid negligence of safety regulations.

The non-flammable may be more expensive prior to the first fire. Now, perhaps it should be the only option on the market. The fifth tallest skyscraper residence, in Dubai, all 89 stories of it evacuated without even a single injury.

The money they spend on this edifice to structured living with unnecessary luxury, a concentration of wealth so desperately crammed together, these “homes”. Unbridled luxury or high rise poverty, the destruction of homes is the most terrible fear.

Notwithstanding, the safety record of that building compared to Grenfell, and witness now the Governments of the world have failed to regulate for safety due to budget constraints. That’s one terrifying omission. We want Governments to remove regulations that expose our lives to risks that can be avoided? The difference to less flammable classing for at least 80 dead people was only £300,000 at Grenfell. It would have been more on this and the 30,000 other risk clad buildings in the Middle East. Just think, the masses live in Tinderboxes at the dawn of the age of global warming. Good plan? Leadership? Or just an illustration of something more sinister? Human greed seems to create blindness to consequences of broadly shared risk. The owners of these buildings have a problem. The risks their designs pose to insurers and the risk of the loss of life and the loss of living. Cramped quarters are still someone’s digs. 80 stories of people Losing everything is tragic, but it is not as criminal as they at least got everyone out.