Two Old Codgers

How the World strikes us

Glasgow University has pledged to raise £20 million over the next 20 years to fund a new research centre which will be
Glasgow Uni
a joint venture with the University of the West Indies. This is an attempt repay money used to fund the university in the late eighteenth and early 19th century by prominent business men who were involved in the slave trade. Reprehensible though the trade may be it is important to keep it in context. Slavery has been part of human history for thousands of years. We are told that the pyramids were built with slave labour; people were dragged from Britain and Europe as slaves in the Middle East, and, of course, to Rome.

In the first thousand years AD European slaves became widely popular throughout Muslim countries, marking the true beginning of the global slave trade. Throughout this period, Vikings were also taking slaves across Europe, concentrating heavily on The British Isles.

Another staggering statistic is the number of slaves in the U S A. In 1860 the population was said to be 31,443,321 which included 3,953,761 slaves.

I cannot help thinking that Glasgow University is trying to ease a collective feeling of guilt. They appear to think that by spending money on some no doubt laudable project they will make it alright. If they could have
Throw money
spent money to repatriate the slaves or at least make their life easier that would have been using money to right a wrong but no amount of money spent NOW will do anything to put things right. It seems to be a twenty-first century belief that if you throw money at a situation you will make it better.

In 2017, there were 1,793 people killed on the roads in Britain and 24,831 people were seriously injured. Imagine if you had lost a dearly loved person in such an accident. Would any amount of insurance payment have made it better? It is almost an insult to their memory.


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