Cameron - Former
Minister's ancestral ties to slave trading in question
David Cameron was a British Prime
Minister, who it appears,
continues to think of the poorer members of society as chattels. Workers
are disposable items like slaves, who should be milked without mercy to
prop up Conservative policies that
were then, and are now sinking the economy. To wit the burgeoning National
Debt, and housing crisis that slavers of old would not bat an eyelid
about. Work harder, cried Liz
Truss, lasting all of 44 days in office. Towing the party line as to
continued growth in a world that is already burning to ashes in climate
wonder where these blood sucking policies, that you may agree is nothing
less than societal vampirism in a modern world, springs from. Is it
ingrained in his DNA from past generations, or just part of his upbringing, that cast his
Vampire like Tory policies in stone. And what does his ascension to the
House of Lords mean in terms of human
rights in the UK?
REUTERS 24 NOVEMBER 2023 - THE CROWN, THE CABINET AND THE UK'S LEGACY OF SLAVERY
The plantation known as Farm Pen once stretched across 760 acres of flat, fertile land not far from here.
The estate was owned in the late 18th century by a British banking family that included George Smith, a wealthy member of
parliament who invested deeply in the slavery economy. In 1798, records show, 237 people were enslaved on Farm Pen and two nearby plantations.
Smith ran his business from afar. He never lived at Farm Pen and instead oversaw his interests here from a country estate just outside of London, more than 4,500 miles across the Atlantic
The Smith family legacy is a remnant of a colonial empire built in part on slavery. It also directly connects two of Britain’s most powerful people today to that troubling past: Reuters found that Smith is a direct ancestor of both
King Charles III and
Hunt, the country’s finance minister.
In examining the genealogies of some of the most notable British politicians and royals, Reuters found examples of contemporary elites whose direct ancestors participated in myriad aspects of the Transatlantic slavery economy. Among them: Hunt and three other sitting government ministers – including
David Cameron, the former prime minister who joined the cabinet as foreign minister this month.
Previous reporting linked Cameron to an indirect slaveholding ancestor. Reuters found that Cameron is a direct lineal descendant of Alice Eliot, who owned a plantation in Antigua in the early 19th century where more than 200 people were enslaved. Eliot is Cameron’s great-great-great-great-great-great-grandmother.
Reuters also found that King George II, Cameron’s great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-grandfather, was a financial investor and governor for the
Company, which prospered greatly from the slavery trade during the 18th century.
Cameron did not comment to Reuters for this article. During an address as prime minister to Jamaica’s parliament in 2015, Cameron said he hoped that Britain and
Jamaica “can move on from this painful legacy.”
The ancestral links of Hunt and Charles to George Smith, revealed by the Reuters analysis, tie the family of Britain’s new king to slaveholding right up to the nation’s abolition of the institution in the 1830s. Previous reporting has linked
III’s lineage to slaveholding in the 1700s.
Hunt did not comment on the Reuters findings. Through a long political career, Hunt has condemned racism and praised the contribution of Black Britons. He signed a pledge in 2020 that calls on
Conservatives to raise awareness of racial prejudice.
Buckingham Palace referred Reuters to a passage of a speech by Charles last year to the
Commonwealth leaders in Rwanda. “I cannot describe the depths of my personal sorrow at the suffering of so many, as I continue to deepen my own understanding of slavery’s enduring impact,” Charles said.
The king has also spoken in the past about “the appalling atrocity of slavery.”
The Palace said in April it is cooperating with an independent study exploring the relationship between the monarchy and the slavery trade, noting that Charles takes the issue “profoundly seriously.” That study comes as leaders in
Jamaica and other
Caribbean nations have called for reparations from Britain for slavery.
Today’s royal family itself has been jolted by questions of race. The family denied it was racist following comments in 2021 by Charles’ younger son,
Harry, and Harry’s wife, Meghan, the American daughter of a Black mother and white father. The two said they stepped down as working royals because they had not been supported by the royal household and indicated this was in part linked to Meghan’s Black ancestry. The couple declined to comment.
Because British involvement in slavery took place far from home, only recently have many white Britons begun to consider the deep influence their country had on slavery, and that slavery has had on their country. Less examined: how the British system of slavery shaped America’s.
As part of a series on slavery and America’s political elite, Reuters earlier this year reported that a fifth of U.S. congressmen, living presidents, Supreme Court justices and governors have direct ancestors who enslaved Black people.
Britain dominated the development of slavery in North America and the Caribbean, trafficking millions of enslaved Africans across the
Atlantic Ocean and governing colonies whose legal systems classified human beings as property. The British monarchy promoted the acquisition and expansion of colonies – including what became the American states of Georgia and Carolina – that relied on the labor of enslaved Africans. British ships delivered Black people to the shores of what would become the United States. From large houses of finance to individual investors, Britain invested in those ships, the plantations to which the enslaved were brought, and the crops produced by the backbreaking labor that followed.
Those connections continued even after America declared its independence from Britain in 1776. British banks backed large parts of the U.S. slavery economy, and British factories were the world’s largest customers for the cotton produced by plantations in southern U.S. states. American slaveholders also adopted some of the mechanisms of repression used by British enslavers in the
“The technology of slavery, the legal framework, and indeed the supply of people – the American colonies under British rule are no different from the British Caribbean. They’re part and parcel, obviously, of the same imperial system,” said Nick Draper, co-founder of a groundbreaking project at University College London that includes an online repository identifying slaveholders at the time Britain abolished the practice.
The story of George Smith, the ancestor of both King Charles and Hunt, illustrates many aspects of Britain’s role in a global slavery empire, and how that influenced what slavery became in America.
“Without Britain, the growth of slavery in America, the particular manifestation of it in cotton, just wouldn't have happened,” said Trevor Burnard, a history professor and director of the Wilberforce Institute for the Study of Slavery and Emancipation at the University of Hull.
“To understand American slavery,” Burnard said, “you have to understand its connections with Britain.”
INVESTING IN SLAVERY
Smith was born in 1765, the son of a banker. The family was prominent. Its red brick Georgian mansion still stands outside the central English city of Nottingham, and the Smith crest can be seen in the stained glass windows of a medieval church at the city center.
After completing his education, George Smith lived in London during his early 20s, and then bought into a West India merchant partnership called Edward and René Payne & Co in 1789. Such companies were at the heart of the British role in the global slavery economy, facilitating the flow of sugar, rum and coffee from the Caribbean to Britain’s big ports in London, Bristol and Liverpool.
Reuters examined more than 2,000 pages of letters, ledgers and invoices related to the Smith banking business. That included records of Payne & Co’s trade with Caribbean plantations and merchants. The records show that Payne & Co worked closely with slaveholders and traders, including some in the United States.
One 1802 invoice, for example, names a South Carolina merchant, John Tunno, as a client. Tunno’s firm placed advertisements in a Charleston newspaper offering for sale “Windward Coast Negroes” – enslaved African “men, women and boys,” the ad says, from the continent’s western coast.
Edward Payne, founder of the firm, had also done business with slaveholder John de Ponthieu. A 1772 letter to de Ponthieu, written from
Barbados by a man involved in the slavery trade, describes a “miserable passage” of a ship carrying 375 enslaved Africans. Water and provisions ran critically low and the crew “buryed (sic) 115 slaves” during the journey. It was standard practice at the time to throw the dead, and sometimes the sick, overboard.
The money to finance that trade came in part from British merchants taking fractional ownership of ships used to transport the enslaved. Capital also poured in from large firms such as the Company of Royal Adventurers of England Trading into Africa. In 1663, it was granted a monopoly by
King Charles II for the British slavery trade. The grant enabled the company, later known as the
Company, to buy people captured in Africa and ship them to Britain’s colonies.
John Montagu, a current-day earl and member of the House of
Lords, is a direct descendant of Edward Montagu, an earl who was a founding investor of the Royal African Company, according to the firm’s charter. Edward Montagu also was president of a royal committee responsible for, among other things, expanding slavery in North American colonies and facilitating the flow of enslaved Africans.
Asked about that lineage, Montagu said in a statement to Reuters that “any feelings of pride in our ancestors should be, and will be, tempered by any knowledge of connections with slavery.”
Many investors were aware of the details of what their money was financing, said Nicholas Radburn, a historian at Lancaster University and author of Traders in Men, a recent book that traces the evolution of the Transatlantic slavery trade.
Outfitters of slaving ships, for instance, would often go aboard and immerse themselves in the grim details: “How many feet of chain do we need? How many shackles do we need? How much food do we need to put onboard? How many guards do we need? How many weapons? How long will this voyage be? How many people will die on it?” Radburn said. “These are the sort of macabre calculations that are inherent to the business of the slave trade.”
THE FAMILY BUSINESS
In 1791, at age 25, George Smith gained a seat in parliament. There, he voted for greater rights for two of Britain’s most oppressed minorities at the time – Catholics and Jews – and supported electoral reform to enfranchise more people. A political rival declared in one debate that “a more honourable man did not exist.”
But Smith appears to have stayed silent on the slavery trade at key moments in Parliament. He didn’t take part in an unsuccessful April 1791 vote on abolition of the trade, according to voting records, or in two other failed abolition votes.
Whatever his reasoning, one fact is clear: Ending slavery would have been bad for the family business.
In 1794, Eli Whitney patented the cotton gin, a machine that would transform the U.S. slavery economy. That year, George Smith was working at his family banking business, which was founded in Nottingham, a center of the British cotton industry. Mill owners including the Arkwrights, one of the richest families in the industry, were Smith family clients.
By the 1820s, George Smith was also providing credit to cotton brokers in Liverpool – the primary destination of U.S. cotton in the
pre-Civil War era.
Other British banks such as Barings and Rothschild were more active in funding the shipment of cotton. But the firm that was likely the largest player was founded by ancestors of another member of parliament today, Geoffrey Clifton-Brown.
Reuters found that Clifton-Brown’s direct ancestors included brothers William and James Brown, who founded Brown Brothers along with other family members. (William’s son married the daughter of James, and their son was Clifton-Brown’s great-great-grandfather.)
The Brown brothers’ firm was the precursor of banking house Brown Brothers Harriman & Co, now based in New York. At one point, the American firm controlled 15% of all cotton shipments into Liverpool. Brown Brothers Harriman declined to comment. The bank says on its website that its role helped to “perpetuate the Southern plantation economy and its use of slave labor, a source of profound regret today.”
The Brown brothers, one based in Liverpool and the other in New York, supported all stages of the cotton supply chain from plantation to mill, including shipping goods in their own vessels. When some clients defaulted in the 1830s, Clifton-Brown’s great-great-great-great-grandfathers took possession of several plantations in Louisiana and Mississippi. The properties had hundreds of enslaved workers when they were sold by the firm almost 20 years later.
Clifton-Brown declined to comment for this story.
George Smith also owned bonds from banks that lent money to American plantation owners, including the Planters Bank of Tennessee and the Planters Bank of Mississippi. The bonds were valued at more than 10,000 pounds – 12.8 million pounds in today’s money, by one calculation. Leather-bound ledger books from the time illustrate that the purchase of bonds from planters’ banks was widespread in Britain, including among the middle class.
Financial historians say slavery-linked financing, from Baring’s funding of the Louisiana Purchase in 1803 to retail bond sales and the development of tools for hedging cross-border cotton sales, helped build London into the global fulcrum of finance that it is today.
“The financial system that was built in the course of the 18th century was significantly shaped by the needs of this slave economy – credit, instruments of exchange and trade – so that the acceleration of the financial revolution was, in part, a function of the slave economy,” said Draper, who was a senior investment banker at JP Morgan Chase & Co before becoming a historian.
Here in Jamaica, the Smith family owned three plantations west of Kingston with a total of 237 enslaved people in 1798, records show. The largest of the plantations, Farm Pen, evolved from producing sugar to rearing cattle and growing crops for the local market. It sat on land alongside the Rio Cobre between Kingston and Spanish Town, an early capital of colonial Jamaica.
Two British travel writers visited Farm Pen in 1837, when the land was still in Smith family hands. Slavery had been abolished on paper, but workers were still forced to labor there. The writers, Joseph Sturge and Thomas Harvey, noted that the plantation was “furnished with that relic of former times, the stocks.”
Such business helped make George Smith wealthy. He acquired a country estate, Selsdon, south of London, where he built a neo-gothic mansion with turrets and archways. The estate, with gardens and parkland, was featured in books and periodicals that were the 19th-century equivalent of modern celebrity lifestyle magazines.
Like many British plantation owners, the Smiths were absentee landlords. The day-to-day running of the plantations in Jamaica was left to a manager, who kept the family informed of developments. But that didn’t mean they and other owners were uninvolved.
Owners, generally, would often be “spurring on” the managers, said Radburn, the historian at Lancaster University: “‘OK, we need more, we need to increase production, or we need to buy more people to increase my income.’” The money enabled lives of “frivolous, conspicuous consumption,” he said. “It’s often so they can go on a grand tour of Europe, so they can build a new wing on the country house.”
The Smiths and their partners gained control of more plantations – and more than 700 enslaved workers – in the late 1820s, when a large customer defaulted.
One of their plantations was the Holland Estate in St. Elizabeth Parish on the west of the island, an expanse of about 4,000 acres surrounded on three sides by wooded hills and bordered to the south by the Black River. The Smiths’ share was just under 40%.
The lead creditor, John Gladstone – father of future British Prime Minister William Gladstone – enlisted the Smiths to join him in purchasing an additional 118 enslaved people in the hope of doubling sugar output, documents reviewed by Reuters show.
In 1833, parliament voted to end slavery. The Slavery Abolition Act took effect in 1834 – but for several years the newly freed workers would be forced to toil for their former enslavers without pay. Their so-called apprentice status kept them in the fields, although they had to be compensated to work over 45 hours a week. Parliament voted to end the apprentice system in 1838.
While John Gladstone had operational control of the estate, he kept the Smiths abreast of affairs with regular and detailed updates about costs and revenues at Holland. He sought their approval for changes in managerial or working arrangements, letters show. The Smiths’ replies to Gladstone have not survived.
Gladstone’s letters emphasized details relating to bad weather or other operational misfortunes. Yet he conveyed little interest in the welfare of the enslaved, discussing only their productivity. In one letter, dated August 13, 1834, he discussed the plan to “break in the negroes by degrees.”
Another letter, written by Gladstone’s son Robertson, discussed the reluctance of apprentices to work hours above the statutory limit for a fee. Robertson Gladstone proposed that food rations should be denied to children under the age of 6 – children older than 6 worked – unless their parents agreed to the additional hours.
“If they are not disposed for their children’s sake to avail themselves of so advantageous an offer it would be well at least for a time to withhold all supplies,” Robertson Gladstone wrote to the estate’s manager, on behalf of all the owners.
Typically, those rations supplemented food provided by the children’s parents, who were allowed to cultivate small plots of land, historians say.
When Britain abolished slavery, the government offered no compensation to the enslaved. But it did compensate their enslavers for the loss of what was considered their property: the people they had held in bondage. Britain borrowed 20 million pounds in 1835, equivalent to about 40% of the government’s total annual expenditures, to pay slaveholders.
Ledgers from the time, preserved in Britain's National Archives, record the names of George Smith and his relatives as recipients of almost 3,000 pounds in compensation for losing the people enslaved at Holland Estate alone – by one calculation, some 4 million pounds in today’s money.
Smith died in 1836.
'A UNIVERSAL WRONG'
The warehouses the Smith family funded in the old West India Dock in London’s East End still stand. There, ships once unloaded goods from Jamaica and other Caribbean colonies. A plaque at the dock entrance bears its original inscription, announcing an undertaking that “under the favour of God, shall contribute stability, increase and ornament to British commerce.”
The buildings are dwarfed now by the glass and metal skyscrapers of Canary Wharf, built on the former docks. And yards behind the plaque at West India Docks is an empty pedestal.
Until 2020, it held a statue of Robert Milligan, one of the founders of the docks, who also traded in enslaved people and owned plantations in Jamaica. It was removed in 2020, during protests inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement, which helped accelerate a re-examination of Britain’s links to slavery.
Very few people living in Britain owned slaves – less than 0.1% of families when parliament voted to end slavery in Jamaica and Britain’s other colonies. In U.S. states where slavery was legal, in contrast, there was about one slaveholder for every four households in 1860, the year before the start of the Civil War.
That might explain why a recent poll pointed toward an ambiguity in British public opinion. The 2021 Ipsos survey showed that Britons were evenly split between those who said they are ashamed of the nation’s involvement in slavery and those who said they are proud that the UK was one of the first countries to abolish the trade – 20% on each account. Another 18% said they feel both proud and ashamed, and 42% said either that slavery was too long ago to feel either way, or that they didn’t know.
Some Conservative Party politicians and academics have pushed back against efforts to explore how historical figures and institutions benefited from slavery.
Former Prime Minister Boris Johnson in 2022 bemoaned the toppling of a statue related to the slavery trade, saying, “What you can’t do is go around seeking retrospectively to change our history.”
And current Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has rejected calls for Britain to apologize to Caribbean countries or pay reparations, saying that “trying to unpick our history is not the right way forward.”
Views are different in Jamaica, across the Atlantic.
Today, the land where the Smith plantation Farm Pen sat is owned by Jamaica’s government. The place is overgrown with grass, palm trees and acacias, and the fields are dotted by piles of dumped rubble.
A few miles away, in capital Kingston, Mayor Delroy Williams earlier this year pointed toward the turquoise waters of the harbor. “This was where the ships transporting Africans from West Africa docked,” Williams said. “But do we want to just remember here as that? No, we really want to move Kingston and move Jamaica, into an era of self-respect, of honor, and of dignity, human dignity.”
Vast wealth was sent to Britain, he said, with no regard for “the devastating consequences to Jamaica and to other countries that experienced this system.” By slavery’s end, more than 1 million people had been forcibly taken from Africa and sent to Jamaica, according to data compiled by academics.
“Not to feel guilty for a universal wrong would be wrong,” said Williams, who favors reparations for the many ills left in slavery’s wake. “All the benefits derived from slavery come right down to the current British society and the negative impact on the Jamaican society.”
In the past decade, Caribbean leaders have publicly called for Britain to pay reparations for its role in slavery. In 2013, CARICOM, an intergovernmental organization of more than a dozen member states in the region, established a commission on the subject. Its chairman has argued that Britain owes the descendants of the enslaved 76 billion pounds, saying in 2017 that the funds would be used to revitalize the region in “a Marshall Plan to help to clean up this mess that we inherited.”
Near another former plantation where George Smith’s firm once did business, Winsome King sells ackee fruit from a market stall. She too favors reparations.
“Some people say forget about it, but some people only forget about things that doesn’t happen to them,” she said. The British, she said, “should do the right thing.”
PROFITING FROM SLAVERY
Reuters examined the genealogies of some of Britain’s most notable politicians and found, in many levels of government, descendants of people who participated in aspects of the slavery economy. Reuters scrutinized thousands of pages of documents, including birth records, guides to royal peerage, wills, corporate records and correspondence. The work was then reviewed by Rachel Lang, an author and honorary research fellow at University College London. Lang previously was a primary researcher and genealogist for a research center at UCL that documented the sweep and depth of British slaveholding.
BBC NEWS 28 OCTOBER 2023 - HISTORY OF SLAVERY CONTINUES TO HAUNT BRITISH ROYALS
King Charles's state visit to Kenya next week will have plenty of toasts of friendship, but it also promises to address the "painful aspects" of the past relationship with Britain.
The legacy of colonialism, with thorny questions and calls for apologies and reparations, will be an inescapable talking point on the first state visit to a Commonwealth country since King Charles took to the throne.
Palace officials will want the trip to be positive and forward-looking, but they'll be all too keenly aware of how last year's Caribbean tour by Prince William and Catherine was overtaken by arguments over the long shadow of slavery.
Protesters held up banners saying "Apologise", demanding formal royal recognition of the historic wrongs of the slave trade.
But royal historian Prof Heather Jones says that even if the King wanted to deliver his own symbolic apology, beyond the "personal sorrow" that he has already expressed, he would need the approval of the government.
"As a constitutional monarch, he is constrained in what he can say publicly," says Prof Jones, of University College London.
And Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has rejected such calls for an apology and reparations, telling MPs that "trying to unpick our history is not the right way forward".
It's also a multi-faceted question - the issues in Kenya about the colonial legacy are very different from the questions about slavery being asked in the Caribbean.
But there have been royal interventions. This summer the Dutch King Willem-Alexander apologised for his country's historic involvement in the slave trade and said in terms of stopping slavery, his ancestors had shown a "crystal-clear lack of action".
There was a public recognition of the financial gains from slavery of his own Dutch royal family in the 17th and 18th Centuries, with King Willem-Alexander commissioning a study into these connections.
Buckingham Palace is also supporting an independent study into the slave trade and the British monarchy in the 17th and 18th Centuries, with King Charles taking the issue "profoundly seriously".
That's due to be completed in 2026, but another important new piece of historic research has recently been published, which looks at the British Royal Family's attitudes towards slavery in the late 18th and early 19th Centuries, in the crucial years when anti-slavery campaigners fought to stop this human trade.
Prof Suzanne Schwarz says it was a complex picture, with the royal family in the reign of George III deeply divided over the slave trade, in the way that wider society in Britain was divided. The past was as morally conflicted as the present. Her research in the English Historical Review shows there are no simple conclusions.
Her study shows that two close relatives of George III - his son, the Duke of Clarence, and his nephew, the Duke of Gloucester - became important and rival figures on either side of the campaigns for and against abolishing the slave trade.
Prof Schwarz, who had access to the royal archives, found documents showing how much the Duke of Gloucester, who "drew on radical new ideas", was a pivotal figure in the campaign against slavery.
Her research shows him sharing information and co-ordinating efforts in speeches and parliamentary bills to stop slavery, including working with the leading abolitionist in Liverpool, William Roscoe.
The young duke spoke in the House of Lords against slavery, directly against the King's son, and Prof Schwarz says his presence in the Lords was seen as "vital to the progress of abolition".
The Duke of Gloucester was also a significant supporter of disrupting the slave trade after abolition, with the Royal Navy intercepting slave ships.
Showing how much he was part of the drive to stop slavery, the Duke of Gloucester was a pallbearer at the funeral of the great abolitionist, William Wilberforce, in 1833.
But opposing him in every way was his cousin - George III's son, the Duke of Clarence, and the future
The Duke of Clarence, the study shows, was a forceful defender of the lucrative use of slave labour in the colonies, at a time when public opinion in Britain was turning against slavery.
Prof Schwarz, of the University of Worcester, describes him as a "high-profile apologist" for slavery who "articulated pro-slavery ideas that found support among the political elite".
She highlights how the Royal Collection Trust still has an elaborate silver "Jamaica Service" given in the early 1800s to the Duke of Clarence in thanks for his efforts in defending the slave trade.
Against campaigners who saw slavery as brutal and inhumane, he insisted that enslaved people were well-treated. And he argued on commercial grounds that those wanting to stop the slave trade were a threat to "colonial wealth, the sinews of our commercial existence".
What remains much more ambiguous is the attitude of the Duke of Clarence's father, George III, who signed the law abolishing the slave trade in 1807 - although the legislation to free enslaved people wasn't passed until 1833. It was also the slave owners who then received compensation, rather than the emancipated slaves.
Prof Schwarz says George III's position on slavery was much more nuanced, with conflicting evidence about his views, in a reign that was also interrupted by illness.
George III wasn't personally a slave owner, and a previously revealed essay by him, which drew on work by French writer Charles de Montesquieu, makes a strong moral case against the slave trade, describing it as an "execration".
Biographers of George III have pointed to this as evidence of his personal opposition to slavery.
But Prof Schwarz says her research suggests that on balance, behind the scenes, he was opposed to parliamentary moves to abolish the slave trade and he seemed closer to the pro-slavery views of his sons, including the Duke of Clarence.
"It is entirely possible that the King was drawing a distinction between his own private morality and public morality, and that he was sympathetic to the moral condemnation of slavery at an intellectual level while justifying it on military and economic grounds," she writes.
And while the arguments continued, hundreds of thousands of people were being abducted, transported and forced into slavery, until, after several failed attempts, the Abolition of the Slave Trade Act was passed in 1807.
This analysis of royal attitudes to slavery in this era has been described as a "more intensive investigation than ever previously done", particularly in examining pro-slavery views, according to Prof Trevor Burnand, director of the Wilberforce Institute at the University of Hull.
There is also a much wider question about how much the past can be judged against the values of the present day - and whether someone today should have any accountability for the actions of their ancestors.
This year there were a number of family initiatives. Descendants of the reforming 19th-Century statesman William Gladstone apologised to the people of Guyana, in response to their family's links to slave ownership.
"It is about acknowledging that the slavery still has a massive impact on many people's health and wider socio-economic status across the world," said the Gladstone family.
For Prof Jones, the new research shows the royals of the early 1800s were of their time. "They were not isolated and aloof from wider society but were very much integrated into political debates and lobbying," she says.
She believes that for the modern-day royals it's difficult to get into arguments about apologies without stepping into politics.
King Charles has consistently emphasised the importance of diversity and referenced historic injustices. It's a clear focus of his visits, both at home and abroad. And Prof Jones says that the way forward is to open up the history, in all its contradictions.
"I think there is no doubt from what he has said that he abhors slavery and by allowing academic researchers to fully investigate the history of the royal involvement in slavery, using the royal archives, and to publish what they find, he really signals this."
RIGHT TO BUY SCHEME
One of Maggie Thatcher's genius schemes, endorsed by Lord
to give council's more legroom for their corrupt planning committee's,
that was to profit the land owners and landlord's enormously. In the
process, making millions homeless. Any prime minister with even a grain
of common sense, would have known that the level of corruption in local
authorities, would doom millions of families to a lifetime of renting.
The exact opposite of her sermons, that were disingenuous to say the
least. Or maybe even, like Boris Johnson's
diatribes, downright lies.
Margaret Thatcher’s policy of selling off council housing, also known as the Right to Buy scheme, was introduced in the Housing Act 1980. It gave secure tenants of councils and some housing associations the legal right to buy their homes at a large discount, ranging from 33% to 50% of the market
value . The policy was motivated by Thatcher’s belief in the virtues of home ownership, individual freedom, and the free market. She wanted to create a “property-owning democracy” and reduce the role of the state in providing social housing .
The policy was very popular among council tenants, who saw it as an opportunity to own their own homes and benefit from rising house prices. Between 1980 and 1997, over 1.7 million council homes were sold under the
scheme . However, the policy also had negative consequences for the supply and quality of social housing. The main reasons were:
The policy did not require councils to replace the sold homes with new ones. In fact, councils were prevented from using the proceeds of the sales to build new council housing, and instead had to pay off their housing debts and transfer the remaining funds to the central
government . This resulted in a chronic under-supply of new social homes, especially in areas where property prices were high, such as London and the south-east of England. In 1982, 200,000 council houses were sold to their tenants, but only 15,000 new ones were built .
The policy reduced the quality and diversity of the remaining council housing stock, as the most desirable and well-maintained homes were sold off, leaving behind the less attractive and more problematic ones. This created a stigma and a spiral of decline for council housing, as it became associated with poverty, unemployment, crime, and social
exclusion . The policy also reduced the choice and mobility of council tenants, as they had fewer options to move to different areas or types of accommodation .
The policy contributed to the rise of private landlords and the growth of the private rented sector, as many former council homes were sold or rented out by their owners to private tenants, often at higher rents and with less security. Some of the buyers were speculators or investors, who bought multiple properties and left them empty or under-occupied, or drove up prices for local buyers. Some of the sellers were council tenants who could not afford to keep up with their mortgage payments or maintenance costs, and had to return to the social housing sector or become homeless .
The policy also had wider social and economic impacts, such as increasing inequality, segregation, and gentrification, as well as affecting the health, education, and
Well-Being of council tenants and their communities.
The policy was modified and restricted by subsequent governments, and was abolished in Scotland in 2016 and in Wales in 2019. However, it is still in force in England, and was extended to housing association tenants in 2016 by
David Cameron’s government, despite opposition from housing campaigners and experts. The policy remains controversial and divisive, as it is seen by some as a success story of empowering council tenants and creating wealth, and by others as a failure that caused a housing crisis and social injustice.
DEBT - ROGUES GALLERY
forbid the British might actually admit having being built their nation
on slave trading. Apologise? You must be joking. The Brits don't
apologise for anything. Mainly because there is so much to reckon with:
No affordable housing, wrongful imprisonments and the National Debt,
making many of the inhabitants of the UK financial slaves. It seems to
all go back to the mindset of the Kings (and Queens) of yesteryear.
Setting a benchmark for being British, as enslaving the electorate to
support he elite ruling class. In this case, council employees,
councillors, members of parliament and the house of lords. Then there
are landlord chums and corporations who fund political parties like the
United Kingdom has many political parties, some of which are
represented in the House of Commons and the House of Lords.
Below are links to the websites of the political parties that were
represented in the House of Commons after the 2015 General Election:
DEMOCRATIC AND LABOUR PARTY