Slaves in Ancient Egypt are often prisoners of war, or inability to pay their debts and sometimes people sold their children or themselves into slavery because of poverty and needed food and shelter. In Egypt it was noted that the lives of slaves were often better off than a freeman elsewhere and young slaves could not be put to hard work or had to be brought up by the mistress of the household. The Bible too made references to slavery, which was common practice in antiquity. In Ancient Athens about 30% of the population were slaves and they could save up to purchase their freedom or could win freedom through bravery in battle.
In Ancient Rome freed slaves were allowed to become Roman citizens but during the Republic, Roman military expansion was a major source of slaves, some became manual labourer or in domestic services, others employed in highly skilled jobs and professions, even teachers, accountants and physicians. In Britain between 1699 and 1807 more than 3,351 voyages set out from London to West Africa as part of the transatlantic trade, which reached its peak in the 1780s and more and more people began to voice concerns about the moral implications and the brutality of the system. In 1776 the House of Commons debated a motion 'that the slave trade is contrary to the laws of God and the rights of men". The campaign to end slavery began in the late 18th century
Even today many countries are discovering elements of slavery in some labour-intensive industries and in the oldest profession in the world, where young innocent South-East Asians or Eastern Europeans had been smuggled into various countries as cheap labour and forced to work for pittance with no free time. These smugglers need to be stamped out and their slaves freed. By the same token, any smuggling of goods or people has no place in developed nations in the 21st century. Brexit will end all the EU restriction on Great Britain's future trade with all developing nations, we could look forward to helping many smaller nations progress, especially in view of the havoc caused by the Covid-19 on poorer economies still without water or sanitation. There is much to do globally and Britain is not afraid to extend a helping hand wherever possible.
We should be extremely proud of Britain's history, even though some who have migrated here for better work and pay, cannot see beyond their own immediate growth and attainment. The fact that they are here at all, enjoying the lifestyle that had evolved through the age long before their arrival, with infrastructure progressively improved by the taxpayers and traders who have made this country the fifth largest economy in the world, life for everyone has improved by leaps and bounds even for those EU citizens who migrated here unhindered in the last few decades, and with the 1950s Windrush migration our population today has increased by 50%.This must be the largest population explosion in the history of the British Isles.
I am specially proud of Britain's colonial history. Being Chinese born in India I count myself very fortunate to be calling Britain home, enjoying so many privileges, excellent culture of great diversity and able to develop my interests in any field I choose with no hindrance or prohibition from government, local authorities or neighbours. This is the most tolerant country I have encountered in the 55 years since leaving India and having visited over 85 countries in my life. Britain's greatest achievements in colonising almost half the planet had to be its strength and vitality in engaging half the world population into its history book, despite many criticism by sceptics decrying Britain's ulterior motives in her colonisation, the Empire had to some extend civilised many primitive tribal cultures, introducing western refined traits and mannerism, promoting education into villages and lifting peasants livelihood by building colonial railways to connect remote towns and suburbs. Most important of all is the introduction of the English language to the Commonwealth nations so they can come together to share in their community spirit, with a common communication language which Her Majesty the Queen reveres.
Britain's young citizens today, blacks, whites and all colours are in the best place possible to build a nation of great diversity, growing up together in harmony in the most progressive environment since ancient time. Each individual in school by the age of 18 is made fully aware of his or her rights as an upstanding citizen of the UK, with law and order to ensure everyone is entitled to their privacy, their rightful ownership of their property and goods, and the health and safety of family life from birth to death. British values in addition bestow on each family their right to peace and quiet, good manners and behaviour and to live life at our own pace and choice with no hindrance or violation. It is only right that their young vision is uplifted to achieve their best, without bitter historical grievances piled on their young shoulders to prevent them to stand tall as their school-mates. Their families too have a part to play in ensuring these young ideals are not tampered with fear and guilt, as equality and respect can only be achieved by fair play, with the condition of reciprocation: do unto others as you would have others do unto you,
This piece had taken longer to write as we experienced several demonstrations by thugs invading the protests of BAME minority groups, completely out of context with the brutality of Police in Minnesota trying to arrest George Floyd using fake money at a corner shop, which reported it to the Police, a crime that needs to be stopped and traced to the real perpetrators to eradicate this serious national fraud. Such crimes must be dealt with, but the Police has in this instance, utilised a new technique they learned to deal with terrorism that has reared its ugly head in the last decade. US law has found the three policemen guilty of manslaughter and they face imprisonment accordingly.
Wednesday 12th August 2020