Sunday, November 26, 2006

I demand an Apology!

Because about 800 years ago the English settled in my home town as part of the on going effort to subjegate the Welsh with landed Norman gentry, this in turn resulted in the uprising of Owain Glyndwr in the 14th Century as the last Welsh Prince of Wales(which is a score for us, England has yet to have an English Monarch :p hehehe!). This resulted in my home town being razed to the ground due to its strategic importance to the English, and the fact that Owain had a bit of a tiff with his neighbour Reginald de Grey. Probably didn't return his matching barbeque set or something.

Clearly I may or may not have been related to someone involved in that traumatic and harsh period and so I deserve an apology from the British Government for something they have no control over. You know. Because it happened hundreds of years ago. And they weren't alive then.

So guess what story has wound me up today? Now regular readers (there's two, I counted) may be aware that I am not a fan of Bush's booty call but I have to speak up for Blair here. Why exactly should he be apologising? Firstly, the slave trade was never technically legal in this country, it just wasn't illegal until 1806 and slaves could actually win legal freedom well before that*. Coincidentally around the time that the whole dust up that preceeded the American War of Independence was starting, but that's another issue entirely.*

Point is, why should any goverment have to apologise for the acts of persecution and human rights abuses from centuries ago? Let me put it a different way ... 'WHAT'S THE POINT?!, WHY THE HELL DO WE LISTEN TO MORONS?!'.

I mean really! Children die of starvation every minute, 2/3s of the world population don't have clean drinking water, human rights abuses are actively supported NOW by our goverment, slavery is actively going on both as a business globally and as a cultural relic in many African tribes.....the list goes on. The point is this - There are things that actually matter going on in the world. So how abut this - all of the money, time and effort you've spent whingeing about something that a) happened over 200 years ago, b) has nothing contemporary to do with you and c) happened to someone who isn't you because you aren't 200 years old - all of that time and effort - how about you campaing about real things? Instead of manufacturing problems that aren't problems, instead of creating issues that aren't issues - how about you campaign about something that really matters?

Apologies for the rant but this irks me, people with nothing better to do with their time that they need to validate their pitiful existence by pretending that something that happened centuries ago has really scarred them. The slave trade was and is bad, a terrible thing that reduced the sum of human existence down to a commodity, to pile of cash and a shelf life, we all agree on that but....

If an apology is forthcoming, and it looks like common sense has prevailed and there isn't, I also expect apologies to Catholics for the deaths legally carried out by protestant Monarchs, to protestants for deaths carried out by catholic Monarchs, from the Egyptians to the Jews for the whole slavery thing, the Italians to everyone in Europe for the Romans treatment of them. Obviously Scandinavia has a lot to answer for, not least York. Then there are the areas that are now Austria, Germany and Hungary. They need to apologise to everyone that the Italians just apologised to, as obviously should the Muslims. The Mongols need to apologise to most of the world because they enslaved a lot of people, as did the Spanish. Anyone descended from the Aztecs and the Incas need to apologise to descendants of people in that region of the world who weren't - lots of slavery and blood sacrifice there. The Spanish in turn need to apologise to those people for wiping out their forefathers. The Turks should apologise to most people in mainland Europe but particularly Eastern Europe, who in turn need to apologise back.

Britain should apologise to everybody, if it's breathed we've beaten, killed and nicked from it.

Am I labouring the point, or can we just tell these people to either shut the hell up and campaign about something with value or stop pretending to care about 'sensitive issues'?

*Apologies for simplifying the issue here, this was running into an essay about various repeals, exceptions and precedents that was incredibly dull to anyone but me!


Famulus said...

You forgot to mention the Inuit. I'm sure that they are due something.

And the French should apopogise too. Without them the American colonies would have lost the war of independance. So they are also responsible for Bush.

Arty said...

BRAVO, hear hear, and well said!

The big apologies all around paragraph was the best.

The South Africans got an apology from De Klerk because it happened to them and their parents and grandparents.

There are black MPs, baronesses, secretaries of state, chief justices, astronauts, mayors, millionaires, entrepreneurs, and bishops in the UK and US. As far as I am concerned, the ability and opportunity to reach those heights are atonement enough.


MattJ said...

I think maybe atonement is the wrong word, that would imply that people have achieved the positions or been given the opportunity to succeed as some kind of apology or recompense as opposed to it simply being right that they have the same opportunities as anyone else (social hierarchy notwithstanding).

You hit the nail on the head with De Klerk - it was current and warranted an apology and much more, and it's a difference seasoned capaigners of pointless causes will always fail to see.

Invader Stu said...

Ummm.... sorry.

lunaliar said...

Ahhh... I'm just basking in the profound wonderfulness of a well-conceived rant. Good show, Matty boy!

Love from Texas,


Arty said...

I couldn't think of the right word, still can't, but atonement is as close as i can get, can you help?

MattJ said...

Goof point. errrr. How about redress?

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