Sunday 11March 2007...The Slavery issue...
Why should the British apologise for something that ended 200 years ago? Why don't we English have to apologise to the French for a thousand years of fighting, or the Celts for invading their lands 1500 years ago? Why are people in the BBC so wet?
Richard Edwards, England
Should we apologise for the slave trade? That's like asking should the Nazis apologise for the holocaust! Just ask a racist the answer to both questions. Implicit within this question is the assertion that there is an uncertainty about whether the slave trade was wrong and this needs a debate! True if you were a slave trader or a descendent you did very well out of slavery and were fully compensated for your loss of property when the trade was abolished in Britain.
Dr Alexander Peach, Centre for Research in Ethnic Relations, University of Warwick
I have been in a relationship with a black man for 18 years. Through my eyes and experiences I've had meeting his family and friends I have no doubt that the damage from slavery still lives on in our society today. An apology on its own isn't going to do much but recognising and trying to deal with the problems black people have would be a positive move but a huge task.
Louise Blackwell, England
With Britain's imperialist past we have many things to regret but it's pointless singling out one episode which ended nearly 200 years ago to apologise for. We should instead be apologising for our present - the terrible death and destruction we have brought to Iraq for instance.
Dr John Baker, Scotland
Slavery must be viewed through the eyes of the time and not through our eyes of today. It must not be forgotten that there was over a million and half white Christian slaves in captivity in the Barbary states of North Africa at the same time.
W. Neville Oldham, England
Not only do I feel that Tony Blair should apologise for the slave trade. I also think the politicians at the time of slave emancipation should have apologised. I also believe that there should be a commeroration day (if there isn't one?) to mark the end of slavery.Just like VE Day. The slave trade may well have been abolished 2 centuries ago, but there are still people out there who would still be be prepared to carry out the same atrocities all for the sake of financial gain.
Nick Rowland, England
No, I think the Queen should apologise for the slave trade, as the monarchy and the aristocracy benefited the most than the average British man, and the families of these people are still benefiting from it today. Also, it is about time the monarchy and the British government acknowledged and apologised for the Empire, where thousands of families were tortured and murdered for the wealth in places like India and Middle East. These countries were pillaged and it is still happening today due to this British Imperialist attitude.
D Benning, England
Yes of course it is a terrible thing that these people were taken form Africa and treated worse than animals. But it seems no one mentions the fact that 200 years ago the poor English people my family included were treated just as bad. Some were taken to Barbados as white slaves before the black slaves arrived. But the white people would burn so bad in the sun that they would die as a result. So that's when they took the black people as slaves to Barbados. No one human being has the right to treat another human being in such a way.
Janet Bristow, England
These were some of your comments on the slavery issue on the Politics Show on Sunday 11 March 2007 at 11:30 GMT on BBC One.
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