The hardest word

March 27, 2007 at 3:12 pm (Espresso)

“I’m sorry,” is a common British refrain. Except, that is, when it comes to apologising for slavery. Today a protestor interrupted a service at Westminster Abbey to commemorate the abolition of the Slave Trade Act 200 years ago. “You should be ashamed,” the man, Toyin Abgetu, shouted at Tony Blair, who was there, as was the woman who recently won an Oscar for her portrayal of Helen Mirren. It probably took poor Tony a moment to realise it wasn’t the war he was referring to. Why is it so hard to say sorry? Because most of the clothes we wear, like my trainers, are made by near slaves in countries like Macau (which I thought was a bird).



  1. aMmAr said,

    so wuat do we learn frm this ?

  2. peyvand said,

    I don’t know man. If there were an apology we’d at least know that in 196 years there would be one for Iraq too. Blair’ll be long gone but the queen will still be in power.

  3. SurfaceEarth said,


    Well said.

  4. Dandelion said,

    Do you know what an apology actually is? Google it. It’s logically bankrupt to apologise for something you didn’t do. It cheapens the whole concept.

    It’s a 200 year anniversary. No-one alive today bears any responsibility for what happened then, however horrendous. So how can any of us be sorry for it?

    This is one situation where Tony Blair can take the Bart Simpson approach: “I didn’t do it”.

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