Birmingham Stage Company


17 May 2023

I feel so naive, but I cannot believe our country's Home Secretary actually said: "The defining feature of this country's relationship with slavery is not that we practised it, but that we led the way in abolishing it. We should be proud of who we are." Just in case the Home Secretary is seeking better advice, Britain didn't 'practise it' - we were the leaders of the slave trade - second only to Portugal and Brazil - for a period stretching from the late 1500's to the early 1800's. The 'defining feature of the country's involvement' was that we bought 3.25 million Africans and horrifically enslaved them. But for some reason Braverman wants to focus on the years right at the end of this monstrous period when in 1807 we finally decided to abolish the trade - and generously compensate the slave owners. (Make note: we only abolished the trade in 1807 - we didn't abolish slavery itself until 1833). Is she really that ignorant or just wicked? It's a measure of my naivety that I was genuinely shocked to read her twisted take on history.

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