Tag Archives: Slave trade

Church of England creates community fund as compensation for investment in the slave trade

The Church of England has committed £100 million to a fund to “address past wrongs” over its investments in the slave trade in the 18th century. Of course, people will say it is too little, too late and will not reach those most affected, and I have some sympathy for that reaction. But it is nevertheless both a substantial commitment and a symbolic act which will hopefully encourage other public bodies to follow suit.

As an active member of the Church of England I applaud the stance of the Archbishop of Canterbury. Faced with demands for compensation he commissioned the “Church Commissioners Research into historic links to transatlantic chattel slavery“. (The Church Commissioners are the trustees responsible for the charitable funds of the Church of England.)

He has now set up an oversight group to manage the new fund “with significant membership from communities impacted by historic slavery”. However he does not use the term “reparations”, as the fund will not pay individuals; instead it will finance community projects in areas most affected by the slave trade.

Nothing can ever compensate for the greatest crime in western history, but that does not mean that nothing should be done.

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged and | 24 Comments

Why good statues of slaves must replace the bad

Statues, as David Olusoga reminds us, are but a distraction from the real issues of race inequality, we as a nation and as a party must change.

But, but, but… They remain a very visual presence in places where people congregate. As an insular Londoner, I have been well aware of the long and principled campaign to remove the bronze Colson, the man who branded his properties on their chests.

How, then can any Liberal Democrat want to continue celebrating such ogres?

Reasons for removing or pulling down statues of slave traders and owners vary greatly. Some deserve a dunking, like Colson. Others, displayed in places of leaning with full histories attached, as history is should represent the truth, whole and inclusive.

Posted in News and Op-eds | 5 Comments
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