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> Should Glasgow Apologise For Slavery?, Increasing calls for the city to say sorry
GG
post 29th Apr 2013, 07:29pm
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Calls are growing in the Scottish media for Glasgow to apologise for its alleged historical inks to the slavery. Although the city – unlike some English cities – had no direct involvement in the slave trade, supporters of a call for Glasgow to apologise claim that the city benefited because the 'Tobacco Lords' accumulated wealth as a result of slavery.

Last week, Chris Dolan, a Scottish author who has written a book about white workers on Caribbean plantations, said that a public apology by Glasgow for its connections to the slave trade "would be beneficial". Mr Dolan claimed that a Glasgow apology would indicate that the city is willing to own up to its history, adding that the upcoming Commonwealth games in the city in 2014 would be the perfect platform to stage an apology.

Later in the week, the Glaswegian comedienne Elaine C Smith added her voice to a growing number calling for an apology from Glasgow. Baillieston-born Ms Smith said that she had been moved to speak after watching the film Lincoln in the cinema. The former Rab C Nesbitt star added:

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"Half of Glasgow was built on the back of slavery [...] Confessing to our past as a nation is also important in the run-up to the referendum, which to me is all about becoming a grown-up country that's as good and as bad as other nations in the world, rather than the beatific one that's apart from all others.

We need to get out of that collective permanent adolescence, where we always blame our parents for everything. I think an apology would show we are a nation ready to look at itself and acknowledge what we were responsible for. Imagine what kind of country we might have become had Robert Burns gone to manage the plantations."

Other voices have since joined the call for Glasgow to apologise, although some commentators prefer to point to the prominent role Glaswegians played in the eventual abolition of the slave trade. Still others say that an apology would be pointless and achieve nothing.


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Strangelove
post 29th Apr 2013, 07:41pm
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To what end? All it accomplishes is allowing some douche bags, suffering from White Guilt, to feel good.


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norrie123
post 29th Apr 2013, 07:48pm
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Its not something that I feel guilty of

No doubt right enough, Slavery was evil


What next, should we apologise for all the sins of previous generations?

Bye for now, norrie
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tarheels
post 29th Apr 2013, 07:50pm
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HEAR HEAR RIELLY , TARHEELS CHEERS ALL


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*Guest*
post 29th Apr 2013, 07:57pm
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Apologise for something I had nothing to do with, don't think so. The government apologising for its role in Slavery, fine go ahead, but I would never agree with Slavery in the first place so should not apologise for something I haven't done, wouldn't do or condone anyone or Nation doing. So again I say why should the normal person be apologised for?
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*Irene Ka*
post 29th Apr 2013, 07:59pm
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What is the point of an apology from people who are generations removed from the actual situation? The only apology that would have any value is if the people who were the perpetrators of the crime where the ones making the apology. We can only go forward by behaving in an appropriate way in the society that we now live and making sure that anything akin to this type of behavior never happens again. That is much better than an apology from those who have no real connection to the events.

Of course, it is part of the history of Glasgow and Scotland and should be recorded as such - good or bad.
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methane
post 29th Apr 2013, 08:00pm
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While slavery is abhorent. I don't see the point unless we also apologised for the other things such as treatment of Italian and Irish immigrants at various times in the past. Scotland should also apologise for its role in the opium trade through Jardine Mathieson. I think it's really attention seeking?
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*Guest*
post 29th Apr 2013, 08:07pm
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Chris Dolan is absolutely correct.

He is not asking individuals living in Glasgow today to apologise. He is asking Glasgow as a city and Scotland as a mature nation to acknowledge the role we played at that time in the misery of slavery.

Much of Glasgow's wealth was built on slavery.
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27stowst
post 29th Apr 2013, 08:08pm
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So are we to apologise to all the weans who died cleaning chimneys, or down pits, killed in accidents in the factories???? In this country!! We have evolved and I don't feel the need to excuse my ancestors deeds. It certainly wasn't the common man who reaped the benefit of slavery. Of course it was inhumane but my own mother was 'in service'. Who will apologise to her descendants? My uncle died in WWI. Pretty heinous I think. But not looking for an apology, just hoping for no more war.


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DavidT
post 29th Apr 2013, 08:08pm
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People in various parts of the world (africa included) got rich on the immoral slave trade. The 'tobacco' barons of Glasgow made a fortune from it. Apologising for history serves no purpose. Where would it end? The guilty are dead and gone.
If modern people would allow it to happen again then maybe they should apologise.
I voted no.
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*seadog*
post 29th Apr 2013, 08:12pm
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Slavery was legal back then.
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Kassy
post 29th Apr 2013, 08:15pm
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I agree what is in the past is over with and dig it up to say sorry would not benefit anything.

If you have to apologize for everything that our Ancestors have done you could fill a library on it.

Leave things alone or you end up festering on them and we all no were that leads.
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Jupiter
post 29th Apr 2013, 08:28pm
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Ive no doubt Glasgow and in particular the wealthy speculators and entrepreneurs hailing from the city were up to their necks in the slave trade and the transportation trade when owners quickly transferred slave ships to prison ships.
The misery and suffering inflicted on untold numbers is well documented.An insidious chapter in British,Scottish and indeed Glasgow history.
Caribeann countries have vast numbers of people with Scottish surnames,eg Grant,Gordon,McDonald,Graham,Stewart to name but a few.
But an apology? Who would be the person to do the apologising?How would it come about? At a gathering of athletes at the Commonwealth two bob Games? And what if the apology is rejected?
Oh,Oh, egg on face! Finally what about the other big country whose tobacco and cotton fields were populated by slaves brought to their shores by Scottish ships ? Sorry America.
I often wonder how these ideas take root?
As a Glaswegian my view it has happened,its regretable but it cannot be undone or mitigated by an apology.

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medevial
post 29th Apr 2013, 08:49pm
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If someone has a guilt that requires a good scratching, then help another of their choice, in the present. Apologizing for "past wrongs" has no historical or current value. Everyone could apologize for something they've done, and in turn, could be the recipient of apologies from others - the list is endless. The same could be said for cities and countries for that matter. This consideration ignores the historical context of slavery which cannot be altered by unproductive, redundant utterances.
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Dylan
post 29th Apr 2013, 08:55pm
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We can not go through life apologising for old mistakes and refighting ancient battles.

The time is now.

Move on. !!!


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