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calamity

Slavery in Glasgow

Elaine C Smith and author Dolan seem to think we should be apologising for the wealth in our city given through the slave trade by the tobacco lords etc... leading up to the Commonwealth Games being held here... why should we... I dont suppose the ordinary soul in the street back then knew there were slaves or cared , as they worked 16 hours a day and were mostly like slave themselves... tied to employers. †Maybe Elaine and co.... should be putting their power and resources to better use in Glasgow..... Slavery was terrible.... we all know that... but we cant go on apologising for our past.. or half the world would have to as even Africans shared the spoils in the slave trade... some still are along with Eastern Europeans. so get that mess cleaned up and leave Glasgow alone....
Alycidon

It could be argued that the slavery of past centuries was no different to the conditions which these Bangladeshi workers are working in today, terrible working conditions, terrible living conditions, no prospect of ever getting away from the daily drudge. †They are not slaves in the true sense of being owned, but to my mind that is but a small detail.
Maybe Elaine C Smith would like to start a campaign to boycott Primark
Fireman

This country, in my opinion, †is experiencing the growth of apologists or revisionists. †

I have a friend who is a curator in Glasgow Museums (GM) and every week gets messages that this person or that person wanting them to re-write specific historically proven subjects to their version of what they believe is the correct history.

I was invited to write a brief history of Glasgow Fire Brigade for GM, which was put on display in the Museum of Transport. I later received a telephone call from the curator leading the project that a Glasgow City lady councillor had complained that the sexist term 'Fireman' was used on the panels and wanted it changed to 'Firefighter' to be inclusive of both sexes and the curator was to report back to her immediately when it was done. I explained to the curator pre-1948 Glasgow Fire Brigade (and on to about the 1990's) there weren't any female firefighters, only Firemen!

I believe the curator got a great deal of satisfaction putting the councillor right.
Fat Cat

Alycidon wrote:
It could be argued that the slavery of past centuries was no different to the conditions which these Bangladeshi workers are working in today, terrible working conditions, terrible living conditions, no prospect of ever getting away from the daily drudge. †They are not slaves in the true sense of being owned, but to my mind that is but a small detail.
Maybe Elaine C Smith would like to start a campaign to boycott Primark


Ms Smith should be apologising to the Scottish public for inflicting herself on us.  
cybers

Och i like big Elaine .... When she isnae trying to use her faux henglish accent which is pure Barry White Byraway....

She is a member here too  
calamity

Oh mammy.... am deid.. no but seriously... were getting the eastend aw done up and money spent for the Commonwealth games. surely this could put a dampener on it.. we shouldnt forget the money made from the tobacco lords in Glasgow but nor should be feel guilt for their greed.  The poor folk here at that time were no more than slaves theirselves.. and probably never knew what went on with the toffs...or their lifestyle, it seems Elaine got hold of this idea to back Dolan after watching the film Lincoln and finding out Robert Burns was once leaving to work in Jamaica in this trade... all I can say is for that I take my hat off to Elaine, for staying awake for the full film to watch Lincoln.....I love history but this film took the biscuit on the boredom scale..
cybers

Yir lucky they never slapped yi in leg irons and whipped you to make sure yi made the end of the film...

The past cannot be undone and it seems anyone who might have had a wee bit of fame but is kinda dropped by the wayside now needs a soapbox to be standing on and a drum to be banging in the name of justice for past indiscretions.

The slave trade no matter how distasteful happened we cant right that wrong by saying sorry when as you say it was a minority who perpetrated the event there was probably far more cheap whitey sold off to slavery than the exotic black man...

After all there was little or no shipping costs to Scotland the Highlands and Islands if they were already born here to poor stock. We have bigger things to worry about... She should be banging her drum about the forced slavery of today caused by the governments shambolic the Workfare programme... 40 hour week for nothing but self esteem... Probably the same thing said to the black fellas now said today. Degradation of the poor by the rich.
IBrown

It is quite an emotional issue and when I worked in racial equality for a short time in 2000, I did voice some of what has been already said here in response to some of the things said to me; it doesn't wash - there is a deep-seated sense of injustice there and in my opinion it is right that the right people do give an apology. Common folks were largely powerless to †change their own lives far less anyone else's, but Governments weren't and didn't. As has been said, it is barbaric how Governments treat people at times, from determining that some people are not good enough to raise their own child and whisked children in their thousands to the other side of the world, to dehumanising people and making laws stating that human beings are no more than goods & chattels.
calamity

Well maybe they should start with the church who seemed to gain a lot from this trade from the tobacco lords.... they even built St Andrews for their own use and built their houses round it, still standing...so if the church put their stamp on slavery , what would the common man have thought or done..let them , the church say sorry...
cybers

Churches don't do sorry....they do whitewashes and cover ups.
applemaca

Would be more like it if she, Elaine C Smith, spoke out about her friends at GCC, "£1 Land Deal" & the rubber stamping of the request to demolish a listed building in the eastend!
Gina

The only people who can apologise for an offence are the people who commited that offence but in the case of slavery the offenders are long dead.

Move along folks....nothing more to see here.
calamity

The way it should be Gina... and we should all move on...
AlanM

It strongly recommend reading Stephen Mullen's book "It Wisnae Us" which covers Glasgow's involvement in the slave trade and keep an eye out at Doors Open Weekend when he usually does a walk and talk around the Merchant City.
TT

Agree with you entirely, Gina.  Only the people who committed the crimes can make the apologies in any worthwhile sense.

The facts are that black Africans sold into slavery were often sold by their own countrymen, and that white criminals were also sent off to the West Indies to toil on plantations.  So, it wasn't all a matter of whites maltreating blacks.  As several posters have pointed out, in the heyday of the slave trade many ordinary punters in Britain lived in conditions that were little better than those of slaves.  Even after the slave trade was abolished  the tin miners in certain areas of Britain were still virtual serfs.
IBrown

TT wrote:
Agree with you entirely, Gina. †Only the people who committed the crimes can make the apologies in any worthwhile sense.

The facts are that black Africans sold into slavery were often sold by their own countrymen, and that white criminals were also sent off to the West Indies to toil on plantations. †So, it wasn't all a matter of whites maltreating blacks. †As several posters have pointed out, in the heyday of the slave trade many ordinary punters in Britain lived in conditions that were little better than those of slaves. †Even after the slave trade was abolished †the tin miners in certain areas of Britain were still virtual serfs.


Since I last posted on this, there was a TV series 'The Mill' set at the other end of the industry here in the British Cotton Mills. Quite an eye-opener where children were 'bought' by Mill-owners and worked 'in bondage' an 18-hour day, 6-day week.

Much like Serfdom you mentioned. Can't hold ordinary people of that time responsible when they themselves were slaves in their own country.
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