Wednesday, 10 June 2020

The slave trade 'rescued slaves from night-black Africa'

Slavery is highly topical so here is a post I wrote about it years ago. In it I quoted from a very good interview with the then (black) Governor-General of Jamaica in the Spectator:
As we waited for the tea, Cooke began to speak in patriotic terms of Jamaica as a colony of "marvellous antiquity", far older even than British India or Australia. "Now hear me on this. When Australia was just a convict settlement, Jamaica was an established outpost of British commerce and British civilisation. "Civilisation? "Yes," he replied. "Even during slavery the British were sending some very good people out to Jamaica . . . missionaries, reformers . . . but, as I said, to Australia, just convicts." "But Jamaica was a brutal place . . . the plantation," I said. Cooke was not going to condone slavery, was he? "Well, neither am I going to harp on about the wickedness of slavery. Jamaica's greatness was due entirely to slavery."


  1. Would you have liked to be a slave? To work without compensation and live where you were told?

    Or was slavery tolerable when it happened to others?

    1. I read a biography of Tippoo Tip. The preface to the 2000 edition apologised for incorrect ideas in the book, published in 1907. They changed the spelling of his name. It was based on his own interesting account of his exciting and profitable life. I didn't read it feeling moralistic. He was only doing what others did and what devout Mahometans had always done (as had Christians). I suppose he was a sort of Arab Flashman except not a coward.://