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Don’t be silly

The British government at the time took out a loan to pay off slave owners across the Empire, a sum that was only finally paid off in 2015.

That’s to fall for Osborne’s party trick. The Consols were paid off, yes. But they were paid off by issuing new bonds. After all, UK govt debt did increase by £62 billion that year.

We’re still paying the interest on that £20 million bribe used to free the slaves.

10 thoughts on “Don’t be silly”

  1. Buying slaves to manumit them was standard practice. Abolitionists had been doing it for centuries. The only difference in the 1840s was the UK State compulsarily purchased them en mass, then closed the market.

  2. No matter how much you pay, it’ll never be enough for the current generation of grifters.

    Of course.. The situation will be “different”, and there’ll be a lot less Shouting if the “Owner” unto the seventh generation (and beyond) turns out to be non-white, and not that much high-profile.
    No profit in that, innit?

  3. Everyone descended from anyone who worked in a Lancashire cotton mill ought to pay reparations. Ditto for London sugar mills, Bristol tobacco factories, etc. In fact everyone descended from people who mined the coal for the factories. In fact everyone who grew the grain that fed the miners, …..

    The one group that needn’t pay are the descendants of the Africans who ensalaved the poor blighters in the first place.

  4. The Brits probably avoided a fair bit of bloodshed by paying that “bribe”, though almost 200 years later there is a certain segment that thinks the bloodshed would have been preferable.

    Frederick Douglass, who escaped slavery, eventually had his freedom purchased for by (I think) English benefactors to ensure that he couldn’t be recaptured and returned to slavery.

  5. I guess the Jamaica revolt was a bit of a wake up call. Also The Great Reform Act swept away all the rotten boroughs ( S Baldrick ) and allowed slavery to be properly debated in Parliament.

  6. Getting slavery abolished without paying compensation would have taken longer, the beneficiaries were not the slave owners but the slaves who didn’t have to wait until there was enough political will to do it without compensation.

  7. Borrowing to free the slaves was one of the very few kinds of government borrowing that I consider to be good value. So much of government borrowing is either wasted or spent on things that we could have waited a bit longer for. But for this one cause, even still paying interest on it, it was the right thing to do.

    Maybe the Americans will finally abolish slavery there soon.

  8. I had to explain this once to a German friend, who didn’t realise how the chain of events worked and actually how peaceful it was.

    He ” So the British paid the slave owners compensation ?”

    Me “Well not really. The Govetnment bought the slaves off of the owners. In order to free them.”

    He “Why didn’,t they just take the slaves off of the owners ?”

    Me “Because Britain isn’t France or Russia.”

  9. Today, I legally own some property. Tomorrow, the government plans to enact a law that makes my property ownership illegal and then deprive me of my property without compensation. Is this a good precedent to set? Discuss.

  10. As always, I whine about the failure of the Algerians, Moroccans etc to pay reparations for all the white slaves kidnapped by the Barbary pirates. And that awful Irishman, Niall of the Nine Hostages for enslaving all those Brits.

    Of course, there’s also the entertaining purchase in Vidin of his wife by Samuel Baker. Do the Turks owe the Brits reparations for selling an eventual British subject or the Brits owe the Hungarians cash for buying an enslaved Hungarian??

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