By Andrew Allison, Head of Campaigns
On Monday, I wrote about Nick Buckley, the former CEO of the charity Mancunian Way (which he founded) who had been summarily fired from his job by the trustees for criticising the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement. And today I have a story which has been reported in the Welsh press about a man who did something similar and has now been told by his local rugby that he is no longer welcome.
Wales Online doesn't reveal the name of the man, however, a quick Google search produced the "offending" tweet.Read more
The following is a guest post by Roger Helmer, a former MEP and a former Chairman of The Freedom Association.
As the old song puts it, “Sorry is the hardest word to say”. It’s also dangerously ambiguous. If I accidentally step on a friend’s toe, I say “Sorry”, and I mean that I accept it was my fault, I regret it and I apologise. If on the other hand my friend gets a terminal cancer diagnosis, I also say “Sorry” – but I mean something quite different. I mean that I deeply regret the news and sympathise with the friend. But I don’t accept responsibility, because I didn’t cause the cancer. And I don’t apologise, because it is not something I did, and to apologise for something one did not do is an empty, pointless and vacuous gesture.
So with slavery. I greatly regret that Britain was involved in the slave trade, and that Britons and British companies profited from slavery (whilst also remembering that virtually all races and nations in history have owned and traded slaves – this is not a black and white issue). But I don’t apologise for it, because like everyone else in Britain today, I didn’t do it. It was abolished by the UK in 1833. I was born 111 years later. And I take great pride (for my country, not for myself) in the fact that the UK was the first country in the world to abolish slavery; that the Royal Navy played a pivotal and sustained rôle in interdicting the trade in the Atlantic; and that Britain stumped up a huge amount of money to compensate owners for freeing the slaves (not that slave-owners had any moral right to the money, but without it the slaves would not have been freed). The words “ransom” and “redemption” spring to mind.Read more
Andrew Allison, Head of Campaigns
The death of George Floyd in Minneapolis has horrified the world. Derek Chauvin, the police officer who pinned him down with his knee on his neck, despite Floyd clearly telling him that he could not breathe, cannot be justified, and it is correct that Chauvin and his three former colleagues are prosecuted. But that did not justify the scenes we witnessed in central London yesterday.
I was genuinely shocked when I saw a picture of the protest in Hyde Park yesterday afternoon. We still have a right to protest; of course we do, but during the current restrictions we have to protest in a way that does not spread COVID-19. This begs the question: why were so many people allowed to congregate breaking social distancing guidelines?Read more