Jamaica seeks reparations from Britain over slavery

Angela Channing

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Jamaica is preparing to send The Queen a bill for Britain's role in kidnapping, brutalising and transporting 600,000 Africans to their country and forcing them to work as slaves. The wealth of Britain was built on slavery so it's only right that the people who build that wealth should be paid for their labour and compensated for how they were treated.

The article talks about £7.6 billion but I think that's way too low. I reckon we owe Jamaica hundred of billions of pounds. If 600,000 slaves were paid a wage of £20,000 in today's money (so I don't have to consider inflation over the years) and they worked for 30 years that would be a labour cost of £360 billion. I wouldn't know how you would reach a figure to compensate for the violence and brutality that the slaves were subjected too but it would be at least double or treble that so the bill could be up to a trillion pounds.

 

EEisdying

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Absolute nonsense on the 360bn.

The 7.6bn is the modern day equivelant of the payment made to slave owners during the transition period. Even the Jamaican's aren't daft enough to ask for slaves wages to be paid from 200 years ago.
 

Angela Channing

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Absolute nonsense on the 360bn.

The 7.6bn is the modern day equivelant of the payment made to slave owners during the transition period. Even the Jamaican's aren't daft enough to ask for slaves wages to be paid from 200 years ago.
Why is it nonsense? Why shouldn't they be paid for the work they did?

£20k a year is a relatively low wage so it's not an unreasonable sum to demand for the work that the slaves did. However, even that isn't enough because it only would recompense for the work they did and not compensate for the brutality the slaves endured. I think reparation should be in the region of £1,000,000,000,000, as explained in my previous post, and even that would be cheap for what the UK did to those people.

I think it's insulting to think slave owners losing the right to keep slaves is equivalent to the suffering the slaves had to put up with.
 
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EEisdying

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Why is it nonsense? Why shouldn't they be paid for the work they did?

£20k a year is a relatively low wage so it's not an unreasonable sum to demand for the work that the slaves did. However, even that isn't enough because it only would recompense for the work they did and not compensate for the brutality the slaves endured. I think reparation should be in the region of £1,000,000,000,000, as explained in my previous post, and even that would be cheap for what the UK did to those people.

I think it's insulting to think slave owners losing the right to keep slaves is equivalent to the suffering the slaves had to put up with.
Your completely ignoring lower living standards,wage inflation and a myriad of other factors. A quick Google shows you the average wage for a British labourer in 1834 was £27 annual. Adjust for inflation that's £3,589 annual.

If there seeking parity with British workers of the time then that's what it should be compared to as wages and living standards for British workers in the 1800s were far different to the modern scenario you keep comparing it to. Paying foreign slaves more than 7x the wages earned by our British ancestors earned is ludicrous. How many other nations do you want to start handing out billions of pounds to? You'd bankrupt the country.
 

Angela Channing

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Your completely ignoring lower living standards,wage inflation and a myriad of other factors. A quick Google shows you the average wage for a British labourer in 1834 was £27 annual. Adjust for inflation that's £3,589 annual.
I'm not ignoring anything. If I built an house 50 years ago and sold it today, I would expect to be paid the current market value not it's value 50 years ago plus inflation. Another example: when the Winklevoss brothers sued Mark Zuckerburg for stealing their idea which eventually became Facebook, the $65 million compensation they received wasn't based on the value of the company when they created it (which would have been next to nothing) but on the market value when they submitted their claim. Basing compensation for slavery on £27 a year would be insulting.

If there seeking parity with British workers of the time then that's what it should be compared to as wages and living standards for British workers in the 1800s were far different to the modern scenario you keep comparing it to. Paying foreign slaves more than 7x the wages earned by our British ancestors earned is ludicrous. How many other nations do you want to start handing out billions of pounds to? You'd bankrupt the country.
How many other nations? Every country that was negatively impacted by slavery should be compensated. If you steal from someone you shouldn't complain when they ask to be compensated for what was rightfully theirs. It's not "handing out" money to other countries, it's paying back what was illegally taken from them.

As for bankrupting the country, the UK (and other countries that participated in the slave trade) should have thought how kidnapping the most able people from different countries would deprive those nations of the means to grow their economies instead of creating the poverty that exists in many of them today. The wealth we have in the UK today was seeded by the proceeds of the slave trade and we need to do the right thing which would be to share that wealth with the countries that created it.
 
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