HM Treasury Proud of Paying Slave Owners
We just happened to stumble across this tweet on David Olusuga’s timeline and had to take a moment of silence to take in what was written. Essentially, HM Treasury wants the British taxpayer to feel proud for paying slave owners.
Well actually, the original tweet by HM Treasury has been deleted, so the tweet we saw didn’t contain the statement. Fortunately, it looks like David was able to capture the image before it was lost to the ether.
Here’s what he tweet says;
“Here’s today’s surprising #FridayFact. Millions of you helped end the slave trade through your taxes.”
The caption on the image reads as follows;
” Did You know?”
“In 1833, Britain used £20 million, 40% of its national budget, to buy freedom for all slaves in the Empire. The amount of money borrowed for the Slavery Abolition Act was so large that it wasn’t paid off until 2015. Which means that living British citizens helped pay to end the slave trade.”
Before you ask, yes we are in 2018. There are no words…..well there are but we’re just at a loss as to how to put them together.
It’s as if there is a sense of pride. I guess when you look at the words it looks nice. “British citizens helped pay to end the slave trade.” I guess in some way that can have a positive spin.
There are many reasons why slavery ended. That payment, however, 40% of the national budget, went to paying slave owners. Compensation for their ‘loss’. The slaves, however, after 300 years of slavery, received nothing. To this day, the case for reparations continues.
While we are grateful for having learnt about this, we have to wonder why and how a tweet like this was ever published. This can’t be a mistake. Somebody must have wanted this information out there.
The fact that the tweet is now retracted is not really surprising.