Exploitation past and present
Article from Cllr Nick Byatt, Chairman of the Lincolnshire Independents
- A new Historic England Audit reveals the villages built with slave trade money.
- It cited the ‘plantation-owning Chaplin clan’ from Blankney, near Metheringham who, they indicate, built the village and Blankney Hall having received compensation for their plantations in Grenada in the West Indies.
Renewed interest into historic slavery was triggered by the Black Lives Matter campaign but in reality, All Lives Matter. It is important that we should become more aware of our history and how it has shaped our present. By its very nature history is written by the victors in war and the powerful who controlled the information sharing of the time. On that basis history has not been presenting the full picture. Partial truths have the potential to so easily lead us into learning the wrong lessons so uncovering what really happened is important for us all.
We could easily condemn our forebears for their selfish and cruel actions and perhaps console ourselves that we are more enlightened as we have come a long way from the feudal times of ‘knowing our place’ to having clear human rights. Of course, with such rights come personal responsibilities which some members of society still fail to respect or accept. However, critical to the here and now is what we do with the knowledge that we now gain.
Right-minded people will see that exploitation in any form is reprehensible and this must be the key lesson we draw from this review of our history. Context is naturally important and it must be acknowledged that much of the historic activity was legal, even if not moral, at the time. Most of us now display improved civilised behaviour yet, sadly, exploitation remains solidly with us and remains a stain on the traits of many human beings.
Slave-trading in the 18th and 19th century provided wealth to those involved in every stage of the activity but active exploitation remains with us today and is lining the pockets of the avaricious and unscrupulous.
There have been many exploitation examples in recent months with, seemingly little signs of it reducing. Headline active exploitation cases such as the 39 Vietnamese suffocated in a cargo container by people smugglers, the Rooney family enslaving vulnerable people for personal gain or youngsters trapped in county lines drug trafficking all prick our consciences for a while.
The many recent scams in relation to COVID-19, show active exploiters who see us as their prey. Yet in many ways we may unwittingly be supporting their despicable activities through passive exploitation. Many protest groups already point to cheap overseas labour in, for example, the clothing market as exploitation, often of children. But there are countless people in this country being exploited now for cheap labour, or sexual activity, that we frequently fail to notice.
More national attention is now being focussed on these issues. The Organised Immigration Crime Campaign, supported by Lincolnshire Police, has just been launched and this week The Children’s Society is running a ‘Look Closer Campaign’ (twitter #LookCloser) about child exploitation. Exploitation, whether active or passive, is real and it is nasty. We all need to become more aware, understand what is happening, and do what we can to reduce its effects.
The Times 8th February https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/historic-england-audit-reveals-the-villages-built-with-slave-trade-money-nfsbh3skq
The Lincolnshire Independents are Independents in Lincolnshire with a network of support and affiliated to the Independent Network.
Cllr Nick Byatt, Chairman 07875120904 email@example.com
Cllr Marianne Overton Leader text/phone 07920 235 364 firstname.lastname@example.org @overtonmarianne
Comments are closed