Fringe Box



Letter: Cllr Potter Misses the Point

Published on: 26 Jul, 2020
Updated on: 27 Jul, 2020

From: Dave Middleton

In response to a comment from George Potter on Gordon Bridger’s letter: Colonisation Was a Benefit to Many Parts of Africa

Cllr George Potter completely misses the point.

Yes, British merchants took part in the slave trade and British businessmen traded and owned slaves and that was completely wrong, as it was in all other nations and civilisations, both in the past and today.

But, and this is an important fact, apparently deliberately overlooked, well over two-hundred years ago, the British Parliament, recognised that such activity was abhorrent and actively, at massive expense to the nation, brought it to an end in all parts of the world where it had influence.

I was taught the above at school back in the 1960s and 1970s.

There is no doubt that the British have done more to bring to an end the scourge of slavery than any other nation on earth, aside perhaps from the Union in the American Civil War, which took place some fifty years after the abolition of slavery in the British Empire.

Rather than constantly being beaten over the head about participation in the slave trade, Britain should rightly be praised for realising it was wrong and effectively bringing it to an end.

As for Cllr Potter’s rather insulting exhortation that Mr Bridger should pick up a history book to review colonialism in Africa, I don’t think, bearing in mind that Mr Bridger, unlike Mr Potter, I suspect, speaks from actual experience of living in Africa, experience of speaking to and living among the people of various African nations, that he needs to.

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Responses to Letter: Cllr Potter Misses the Point

  1. David Middleton Reply

    July 26, 2020 at 10:52 pm

    Please let it be noted that this letter was not in response to Cllr Potter’s letter [as originally indicated]. It was submitted and intended as a response to Cllr Potter’s comment on Mr Gordon Bridger’s letter pointing out that many aspects of Britain’s colonisation of Africa were beneficial. Hence the final paragraph.

    Editor’s response: Apologies for our error. The reference has now been corrected.

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