29 March 2007

Hague on Slavery Apology

William HagueIn the current edition of The Difference magazine, William Hague writes about the inspiration of William Wilberforce's life:

"Many people have argued that it's a nonsense to apologise for something that happened before they were born, but there is an extent to which the benefits of the slave trade are still being enjoyed by the descendents of those responsible. Similarly, the economic and psychological legacies of that holocaust for people from Africa still impact on Africans and people of African descent today, leading many to call for a formal apology from governments of countries that profited. While Tony Blair has expressed 'regret' he has fallen short of a full apology. According to Hague: 'Of course it is beyond regret, it is one of the greatest catastrophes in history.' On a global level there is, he says, 'a vast collective guilt ... and Britain was 'a great agent for change.' 'One of the reasons Wilberforce is such an inspiration is that his own life is an example of what he preached,' says Hague. 'He approached life with the same generosity of spirit that he advocated for others. He ended his life relatively poor, but he has left an enduring framework for society which is being celebrated centuries after his death."

To read more of "William by William: Hague is inspired by the life of Wilberforce" obtain the magazine here.

To let others know who inspires you, add your comment here.


Anonymous said...

There is a very interesting advert currently doing therounds in cinemas for the Royal Navy. In it a black woman sailor (or actress?)celebrates the fact that it was the Royal Navy that effectively ended the slave trade by hunting own the ships of all nationalities that plied the trade and destroyed many of the slaving ports. Why do we not hear more of this story? It was a seismic shift that took place in human affairs when the trade was banned. Can anyone inform me if any other nation had previously banned slaving within its territories?