Showing posts with label slavery. Show all posts
Showing posts with label slavery. Show all posts

Saturday, 23 September 2017

**Edinburgh Enlightenment

For centuries Scotland had kept close and political links to Europe and continued.  
Frances Hutcheson, David Hume and Adam Fergusson were part of the community of European scholars – connected to Diderot, Goethe, Montesquieu and Voltaire. In Scotland the most literate nation in Europe in 1750.

Voltaire said, “We look to Scotland” – does Scotland still have this clout? 
Voices against slavery. Scotland owned a third of Jamaica in the 18th century.

The Advocates Library – production of genius and learning, enabled her sons to make distinguished figures.

Adam Smith supported the fight for independence in American colonies and saw slavery as uneconomic and immoral. He questioned the meaning of freedom in society.

David Hume saw slavery as ‘cruel and oppressive.’ The dominant statue on the Royal mile is of David Hume (1711 – 1766) Philosopher and historian; Scot and European. Man of the Enlightenment. He rented his home James Court to James Boswell, critic, writer and biographer of Samuel Johnson.

Hugh Blair (St Giles 1758 – 1777) supported Burns and the Ossian poems. Burns’s The Slaves Lament.
William Robertson preached against and sent his sermons to William Wilberforce 1788.
William Creech – Bookseller, Publisher, councillor and secretary of chamber of commerce.
He petitioned Parliament to ban slavery.

 (The Skating minister – Scottish National galleries)
Henry Raeburn’s painting of his friend the Reverend Robert Walker skating on a hard winter’s day more than two centuries ago is one of a select number of paintings, like Leonardo’s Mona Lisa or Munch’s The Scream, which is immediately recognisable.

Sunday, 9 April 2017

English Untruths

The English Press wrote of the death recently of the Sinn Fein leader Martin McGuiness, of his murderous acts when he was younger as an IRA leader.
Crucially they conveniently failed to mention ‘Bloody Sunday’ in 1972, 26 unarmed civilians were shot at in the Bogside Derry, Northern Ireland during a peaceful protest march against internment. 15 were killed. Many of the victims were shot while fleeing from the soldiers and some were shot while trying to help the wounded. The Saville Inquiry (1998)  reinvestigated for 12-years, made public  2010, concluded that the killings were “unjustifiable". It found that all of those shot were unarmed, that none were posing a serious threat, that no bombs were thrown, and that soldiers "knowingly put forward false accounts" to justify their firing. British PM David Cameron then made a formal apology on behalf of the UK. 

They also conveniently failed to mention English criminally corralling women and children for murder during the Boer war, where they starved to death, in the first extermination camps.
They also failed to mention the hanging of the Irish leaders of the Easter Rising or of sending tanks into spectators at a football match in Dublin.

In Ireland, India and elsewhere England created divisions with their ‘Divide and Rule tactic. They sent over Scots who stole land in the North of Ireland. In any conflict there is usually two sides that are unable to find common ground or communicate.

Scotland also took part in the slave trade (Tom Devine, Recovering Scotland’s Slavery Past , The Caribbean Connections 2015). In Scotland we try to acknowledge our part and attempt to recognise our very weaknesses.

We cannot build a fair, or equal society built on Lies.  In any conflict there are usually two sides that are unable to find common ground or communicate

Sinn Fein Martin McGuinness helped bring about the Good Friday peace agreement in 1998 - with Unionist Ian Paisley 'the chuckle brothers'. He was involved with the IRA. My parents are from Northern Ireland and I remember visiting there when the helicopters were circling overhead and there were many barricades. Who wants hard borders again? I won't condone the terrors of the Troubles but there were dreadful murders by the English in Ireland too.

Those in England today appear to care nothing of what Brexit means for Ireland or for Scotland. In fact they care more about Brexit than they do about the UK breaking up, according to polls! Time to take control away from the centre (London) and return it to the people!