No apology and no reparations from UK Prime minister

| 01/10/2015 | 61 Comments

Cayman News ServiceCNS): David Cameron said that the UK government will not be making any reparations for Britain’s role in the historic slave trade and has urged Caribbean countries to “move on”. Speaking during a trade visit to Jamaica this week, the UK prime minister was keen to emphasise the role Britain played in abolition as he announced a £300m development package for the Caribbean and £25m in British aid for a new Jamaican prison.

Caricom nations are currently engaged in a campaign requesting governments of former slave owning countries compensate the region, claiming that not only has the legacy of slavery undermined the development of the Caribbean but the European nations gained significantly and are still benefiting from the trade today.

Jamaican PM Portia Simpson Miller said she had spoken with Cameron about the issue of compensation, and demonstrators gathered outside the parliament building during Cameron’s speech. Many Jamaicans wanted to see Cameron apologise because aside from being the UK leader, his family was one of many that historic records show owned slaves.

But as Cameron acknowledged that “these wounds run very deep”, there was no apology when he described slavery as “abhorrent in all its forms”. He added, “I do hope that, as friends who have gone through so much together since those darkest of times, we can move on from this painful legacy and continue to build for the future.”

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, who lived in Jamaica for two years in his youth, said that as prime minister he would be ready to apologise for the slave trade. Speaking at Labour’s annual conference in Brighton, Corbyn said it was “the most brutal part of our history and the history of Jamaica”.

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Category: Caribbean, UK, World News

Comments (61)

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  1. Diogenes says:

    Can we look forward look forward an apology from the Cayman slave owning families?




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  2. Anonymous says:

    I would not trust a red cent to politicians in these corrupt countries. All they will do is mismanage the funds, divide them amongst themselves and squander everything on nepotism, politically motivated handouts and campaign strategies.

    To create fairness and transparency, a non-government non-profit could be established to manage the disbursement of funds to the people or to set up support programs for the illiterate, underprivileged and homeless.




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  3. Unison says:

    Typical UK or any colonial power for that matter. You do damage, wrongfully take lands, steal, rob, rape in the name of the Queen. Then you feel after a 100 years its all washed away. Yet you are notorious for pitting people in prison who can’t pay your fines. And you call this Justice! Ha! smh




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    • Diogenes says:

      Yeah! Tell the UK to keep its stinking 300 million pounds. You can’t take it a keep your moral indignation pure, after all.




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  4. Anonymous says:

    Want to watch a great YouTube video that covers/speaks to this news article very well ?

    Go to YouTube and type “The Truth about Jamaica and Jamaicans”




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  5. Anonymous says:

    Police talk to Scranton community in face of concerns! DO THE MATH! LETS SEE THE SMART PEOPLE HERE!




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  6. Anonymous says:

    Dear PM David Cameron,

    The typical modern reality of any given formerly (and still) British-ruled Caribbean country tends to be that of the White minority being the wealthiest and the poorest being made up of the majority Black population.

    Nevertheless, the only response by you in 2015 is apparently a collection of words of advice to “move on”.

    Interestingly, reality has not “moved on” has it?

    I could go on to highlight that Britain acknowledged responsibility when they paid the White former slave and land owners after abolition – but of course gave ‘eff all to “freed” former slaves.

    Naturally, that preference continued throughout the 150 years up until now, so yet again, we see that reality has not “moved on”.

    Fast forward to today and we see a clear pattern surrounding wealth in respect to racial background in the Caribbean. Again, we witness a stubborn refusal to “move on”.

    We see the current tensions in even this originally peace-loving, tiny island nation, who’s greatest flaw is too much of a Christian nature for its own good and survival, which are undoubtedly fuelled by the age-old racial prejudices that have swelled in its presence along with the newcomers over the past 30 years. Yep – another case of people not being able to “move on”.

    It is what it is Cameron. Personally, I could not care less about reparations – at the end of the day, you would only be paying me with money (now backless and fiat, of course) that is stained with the blood, guts and tears of my fore fathers and fore mothers. The simple truth is that the country and economy over which you pretend to rule was built by the hundreds of years of free, inhumane, genocidal, depraved and rape-filled labour of my ancestors.

    My only aim is to ensure you understand that if there is a refusal to “move on” – it exists on both sides of the reality.

    – Whodatis

    P.S. Tell your sexy wife Sam I say hello.




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    • Anonymous says:

      As a matter of interest, have you had much success tracking down the descendants of the UK based absentee owners of the plantations that your ancestors worked on in the Cayman Islands?




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      • Anonymous says:

        Once again, ignorance raises its fluorescent head. You clearly have no idea of Cayman / Caribbean history – especially as it concerns the last 100+ years. If you did you would not have asked that question.

        Anyway, I will engage you in sarcastic and cynical discussion on the issue of the British led Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade and its 450 year slave-based economy-society the moment you finish having one with a European Jew.

        – Whodatis




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        • Anonymous says:

          So that we can better understand exactly where you are coming from, please tell us where your parents came from and when?

          First generation passion must be so exciting for you. The contrived outrage. The manufactured self pity. Anything to fit in with your adopted narrative.




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          • Anonymous says:

            Poster,

            Via my contributions to CNS I have expressed words of support for women’s rights and gay rights to name a few. However, never was I demanded to present evidence of a vagina or homosexual lover.

            I trust you manage to sort out your personal issues surrounding this particular topic sooner rather than later.

            Sincerely,

            Whodatis

            P.S. I trust that my post provided you with something greater than a cheap opportunity to take pot-shots at Whodatis – and to make mockery of such an integral and influential period of human history.

            Have a great weekend.




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            • Anonymous says:

              You’ve gone off piste as always. Always happens when your own background is put under the flourescent glare.

              Anyway there’s no point playing on page 2 so let’s catch up next time.




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              • Anonymous says:

                You sought my post in the back pages of CNS – just saying.

                Anyway, the fact that you intended to whittle this issue down to my personal ancestry speaks volumes regarding your ignorance and arrogance on this matter.

                – Whodatis




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          • Anonymous says:

            He is half-muggle. Real driftwood blood flowing in there.




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            • Anonymous says:

              It’s an odd feeling to be so flustered over by callous individuals in this virtual and anonymous world.

              Interesting that this issue ended up here as well.

              Twisted people amongst us for sure.

              – Who




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      • Anonymous says:

        My family’s main country estate was acquired with wealth from a relative’s success in the import/export business in the late 18th/ early 19th centuries. We have no reason to be ashamed of our past. And it is a lovely estate, been in the family for generations. Ironically it is now run by a trust based in the Caribbean, so the fees are probably reparations, of sorts.




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        • Anonymous says:

          Sorry to highlight your ignorance, but this is just self-righteous justification. Your family’s success is a result of its sins, plain and simple.




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          • Anonymous says:

            You say sins, I say entrepreneurship. We the one with banked family capital and a cracking country pad in Gloucestershire.




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  7. Anonymous says:

    If reparations were truly possible, then all Native Americans should be living off a trust fund for life.




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  8. Anonymous says:

    If they really want reparations, they can start by imposing a ‘proceeds of slavery’ tax on the estates of the wealthiest slave owners whose descendants are still wealthy today.

    It would be similar to the court seizing cars and homes (proceeds of crime) that were purchased with ill-gotten money or used to facilitate crimes (eg. drugs, robberies, prostitution, etc.).

    It would be such an embarrassing experience, ancestry.com would be overloaded with individuals searching their roots for the slightest hint of slavery.




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  9. Anonymous says:

    The descendants of slaves of African origin who are born Jamaicans have won a prize in the lottery of life. The losers are those whose ancestors stayed there.
    Can anyone name an African country where the quality of life for black people is better than that in Jamaica? There isn’t one.
    Stop moaning, begging and work to make things better!




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    • Shhhhhhhh. says:

      The ones who stayed were free. The ones who were taken by force were beaten, raped, murdered, used as forced labour, and dehumanized. The descendants still have the socio-economic scars, or do you have no understanding of what took place and what remains today to remind those with some consciousness to comprehend it all? Your callous comment indicates your ignorance and lack of understanding of Caribbean history, and “The crossing” if you even know what that was. By the way, I am white, and ashamed of what my ancestors did years ago. I am reminded every Caribbean day by what I see around me, because I am conscious!




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      • Anonymous says:

        “The ones who stayed were free.” Free to do what? Wallow in poverty, corruption, disease and starvation, that’s what.
        How many Jamaican schoolgirls were kidnapped to be forced into marriage with guerrilla fighters?
        How may Jamaicans were killed in tribal conflict?
        How many people in Jamaica died from Ebola last year?
        How many Jamaicans died from HIV /aids, malaria, yellow fever or TB?
        The average life expectancy in Africa is less than 60. In Jamaica it is 73.
        The 9 poorest countries in the world are all in Africa: Sierra Leone, Burundi, Eritrea, Democratic Republic of Congo, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Somalia, Malawi and Ethiopia. The average GNP per capita of those 9 is $US155 a year. In Jamaica it is $US3400.
        As stated before: those Jamaicans today, whose ancestors were slaves, are the lucky ones.
        It has absolutely nothing to do with Caribbean history anymore.




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    • Anonymous says:

      Well said 3.06 pm….its been hundreds of years, enough time to join the ranks of those who improve their lot through working for a better community instead of moaning in a weed induced haze.




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  10. Anonymous says:

    It’s one of Jamaica’s most significant imports – Jamaican criminals deported from other countries. Clean up your act rather than pursue fantasies.




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  11. Dandumb says:

    I am of Carib decent. You all need to give me money and pay rent for taking over my home. Blacks, White’s, Brown’s and the lot of ya.




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  12. Anonymous says:

    A people who don’t know their history are doomed to fail. The comments on this particular topic just makes you realise that folks truly are ignorant. For those who came in late, when slavery was abolished in the West Indies, these countries had to pay the slave owners for the property that was now free, i.e. the slaves. In addition, all the income that the slave owners lost as a result of the abolition of slavery became a debt that was due. That debt is still being paid today. When countries like Jamaica obtained Independence, they started off with that debt. A debt that is still being paid today. Prior to independence, black people like me could not go to certain schools, could not seek higher education, could not govern. These were the ideals of those who were either white or the families of those who were rich. Today, while many of these countries are mired in debt (as is the Cayman Islands which is in debt while still breast feeding from Mother England), the pride of the people in knowing that they no longer have to go hat in hand to Mother England for sustenance is what nationhood is all about.

    Being independent is hard. It takes its toll but it also provides strength of character. It is the same as when a child moves out of his parents’ home. It is a struggle at first to pay the bills and there are times when you have to go back to your parents for help, but at some point, you do finally start to stand on your own.

    In terms of reparation, the Jews were rewarded by many nations for what they lost in World War II. The Holocaust Museum continues to this day to hunt down and convict those who perpetrated the killing of Jews during World War II. If the Jews can continue to benefit from the wrongs that were done to them, why then can’t the descendants of slaves, most of whom built the empire that is the United Kingdom get an apology at a minimum and debt forgiveness at most?




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    • Anonymous says:

      You would of course have been far better off if you had remained in Africa??.




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    • Anonymous says:

      Please supply the names of the freed slaves still suffering and we will compensate them admirably. Otherwise get a life and get on with it. In the meantime could you please look into modern day slavery here in Cayman with the appalling wages paid to certain Philipino and other workers for long days, and then compensate them for their trouble. Or is that an inconvenient truth that should be brushed under the carpet?




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    • Anonymous says:

      You cannot compare the holocaust with slavery. What you have to remember is that at the time owning a slave was not breaking the laws of the time. My suggestion would be cast the chip off your shoulder and live for the present and stop looking for a free handout.




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    • Anonymous says:

      You don’t even know what your talking about the Cayman Islands don’t receive no funding or no financial aid from the U.K. not even after Ivan. Please educate me if I’m wrong but show your facts links articles etc.




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      • Anonymous says:

        The poster 12:20 is referring to the payments made to slave owners to compensate them for having free their slaves. The fees paid out in Cayman ranged 46-75 pounds Sterling per slave, showing “that slaves in Cayman were valuable out of all proportion to what they could bring in from their labour”. This sudden large infusion of funds “allowed the wealthier owners to explore other ventures, such as ship owning, ship building , turtling, and shopkeeping”. Craton: Founded upon the Seas: pg.111




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    • UK Driftwood says:

      They hunt down the nazis because some are still alive, if you want to go traipsing around the graveyards of England and the US you are most welcome because you may find that all the slave masters are now dead!!!’




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    • Shhhhhhhh. says:

      Well said indeed. Most of the folks here do not have a clue as they cannot see from under mother England’s frock tail. They will never understand the dignity and pride that accompanies independence and paddling your own canoe! They will succeed in time, with or without reparations.




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    • Anonymous says:

      Pray tell, what schools in Jamaica were black people not permitted to go to before independence from the UK? You are making it up – and also forgetting that the UK had to send an army to ensure slaves were freed, decades before the U.S.




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  13. Anonymous says:

    The cheque is in the mail, as soon as we receive our compensation from the Vikings, Romans & Normans.




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  14. Anonymous says:

    Back to Africa says:
    01/10/2015 at 11:02 am

    I totally agree with Back to Africa comments. Jamaica and other caribbean countries should by now be charting their own destiny in stead of looking out for handouts and cash. This reparation B**ls*it has to stop sometime/somewhere! A good start will be execution of most these greedy/selfish politicians. For any country to survive there needs to be accountability, responsibility, law and order – that is what Jamaica and some other countries need not reparation.




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  15. Anonymous says:

    This is a paradoxical issue. Yes it was a horrendous chapter in mankind’s history but for descendants of slaves to be asking for financial reparations from descendants of slave traders and owners is too far-fetched to be considered. Not only was there the human toll but consider the costs of how those European empires were enrichened by the blood, sweat and tears of those slaves. How could that cost ever be evaluated?

    An apology however is a different thing. What does that cost Cameron or other European leaders? It’s not as if an apology is suddenly an acknowledgement of questionable events which “may or may not have happened”!! But perhaps the same mentality which existed in Europe when they first sailed ‘to bring God to the heathens of the New World’ still largely exists.

    BTW I’m a Caribbean (Cayman) native of proud African and European heritage.




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  16. One Love says:

    I have no ill feelings for Caricom but they waited too long to do this. Because we are in a recession it just makes them look DESPERATE.




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  17. Anonymous says:

    This is a lost cause and unfortunately for the Caricom countries seeking reparations, they “get wah da duck get”.




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  18. Just Saying says:

    If these countries can’t make it on their own, they should have sought reparations ‘before’ they went independent or made an agreement as part of their severance.




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  19. Not in Favour says:

    This is a hoot. On one hand these people begged for independence, celebrate it every year, and then when they can’t make it on their own, they find someone to blame and punish for their shortcomings. It’s a farce – the reparations ship sailed centuries ago.




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  20. Back to Africa says:

    Slavery was abolished in the early 1800’s, so the world has had 200 years to advance. The problem is, these countries have maintained a legacy of corruption (which is a part of their ‘African’ heritage) that’s why they can’t manage their money, fight crime, feed their people or provide jobs. Jamaica has a 70% illiteracy rate which contributes to so many of their problems. They need to tackle the illiteracy problem by setting up FREE adult training centres for illiterates, study groups at local churches and import volunteers and missionaries to help out. As the saying goes, “give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime”. Hence, before asking for handouts, they need to teach their people to “fish” so that they will learn the true meaning of ‘independence’.

    In any case, for these former ‘slave states’ (per say), to really have a case, they would need to join up with the African countries. Africa suffered the biggest loss of all, as they lost entire royal bloodlines (kings, queens, princes, etc.) and entire villages through civil war, genocide and forced slavery. Unfortunately, many African nations ‘sold’ slaves to the European traders or even worked for them as trackers, hunters and slave masters. Hence, Africa is more to blame than the European traders so the Caribbean leaders are barking up the wrong tree. It’s like a foster child blaming a foster parent for abuse or low-income living when they should be blaming their biological parent(s) for putting them up for adoption or losing them to the system in the first place.

    Furthermore, as ‘independent’ countries in the year 2015, they need to promote a concept of independence by teaching their people to rely on themselves. Slavery has existed for thousands of years, even before Jesus walked the earth, so it is NOT unique to the Caribbean or North American blacks. Have Central or South American countries sought reparations for their slave periods? Has Cayman?

    For them to seek reparations 200 years after the fact is like a woman seeking alimony from her first husband after she’s remarried 3-4 times. It’s ridiculous and embarrassing.




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    • Anonymous says:

      Back to Africa: Can you tell us what the apostrophe in “1800’s” stands for? Do you maybe mean 1800s? Back to school, bobo.




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    • UK Driftwood says:

      Then why does does this blinking country keep allowing so many to come here get work permits and if Mac gets his way give them status. This government needs to look at it’s crime figures and nationalities of offenders. Cayman may keep slagging off the white ex pat but we spend our money here buy and rent property here and don’t rob and burgle the Caymanian community




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      • Anonymous says:

        Great comment and honest as well….thank you 9.04.
        Let’s pray Mac does not succeed in turning us into Jamaica.




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  21. Datisme says:

    Chagos!




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    • Anonymous says:

      Bingo!




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      • Anonymous says:

        Not drawn for 42 weeks, one lucky commenter has played “The Chagos Card” which makes you the lucky recipient of a star prize – the Geirge Foreman grill.
        You now move into the “Caymankind Supernova” round and that is where the big money is!




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  22. Anonymous says:

    Good for Cameron. The Caricom countries would only waste funding in any case.




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  23. Anonymous says:

    Well done Dave! These victim-mentality obsessed left-wingers need to be told straight where to go.




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  24. Rum Ting says:

    But even if we get a big fat reparations settlement it will do no good because the money transfer shop closed………




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  25. Knot S Smart says:

    Have they tried asking their African brothers who sold them to the British and Europeans?…




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    • Anonymous says:

      Exactly Knot S Smart. They tryin’ to reverse the ‘whip’ on the slave masters who no longer exist. None of us today are slaves so how can we point fingers? Can the descendants of slave owners be held liable for their ancestors simply because they were born into the wrong bloodline? We need to cut this cord and move on or simple-minded black people will forever toil with the idea of debt collection as a solution to bad government, corruption, inadequate education and poor life planning.




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  26. Anonymous says:

    The UK is financing that prison so they can send the 600 Jamaican prisoners in the UK back to Jamaica. That is a great idea. Cayman should get in on this.




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