Caribbean slave descendants, some of whose ancestors worked for David Cameron’s distant family, are calling for an apology and billions of pounds in reparations
The group is ready to sue in the courts and 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.
This isn’t going to get anywhere in law.
“You can’t have it both ways,” said Prof Shepherd. “Your society was developed. You are enjoying a lifestyle because of the blood, sweat and tears of people in the past.”
“It is a question of priorities,” said Lord Gifford. “And this needs to be added to the list of priorities.” He called on Mr Cameron to be inspired by his ancestry to “take a lead” on making amends.
And that’s why, because you cannot have it both ways.
If you have indeed done something bad then you can indeed be made to pay restitution. But the amount of that is determined by what would have been the situation if you had not done that bad thing. You’ve got to make people whole again.
And in the absence of the slave trade those Jamaicans would be in Ghana (for example), and be rather poorer than they are. However vile the slave trade was, however appalling the treatment of their forbears, they themselves are better off than if it had not happened.