Echoes Of History : The Grandkids Go On A Tour Of London :(Year Zero + 20): Section 2
Surely they could have thought of a more relevant and historical figure when they replaced the warrior’s statue. Perhaps one of the many Prime Ministers since the Year Zero Revolution or one of the many multiethnic actors or actresses who had made it big in modern Hollywood or even in a British series since. No Prime Minister had done a particularly great job. 20 years after Year Zero and the casting down of the slave traders and the colonialists, the cleansing of the old Culture of Hypocrisy, and the Anti-racial realignment of Comedy, they had struggled to make an economic difference to match the cultural one. Britain had still been embarked on its departure from the European Union, and economic carnage in that year resulting from the disastrous coronavirus crisis combined to put Britain into a spiral of debts and belt tightening. Still the visible signs of lingering racism had been thoroughly removed and the people waited for the expected resurgence of economics and true racial harmony.
Unfortunately the figures for black and ethnic employment worsened along with the figures for white unemployment. Once the virus emergency passed and the government debts were revealed everyone went back to work as hard as they could in order to pay their reestablished rents and their higher taxes. Many of the High Street shops never reopened, as cheap internet products often from highly efficient China or other low wage places continued to sweep away the unprofitable shops, and bypassed British and even European manufacturers. Tales of foreign modern slavery in the production factories of the Far East or South Asia and other places continued, and even in the fields of Britain with migrant labour, and continued to abound and increase as the competition for jobs raged in Britain and across the world.
Some brave voices pointed out that the Anti –Racist Reformers, who were not the government initially, should put their efforts towards dealing with the evils of Modern Slavery and harsh working conditions, rather than statues and monuments from the now distant past, or comedy and film censorship. As much of it happened in distant foreign countries they didn’t bother tackling those injustices,
and even in Britain they preferred to campaign against easier targets, such as University Lecturers who did not tow their line on removing famous figures of the past from view, people who wanted to preserve the monuments and statues of the unpalatable past, and racist managers who did not favour candidates of ethnic background.
The economy did not get so great, but when had it ever been great for the ordinary worker. The Prime Ministers, Tory at first, even while the Anti racist committees did their work, coexisting in an unnatural relationship. Their performance was so bad, given the unemployment, and the economic downturn, that the electorate, when they got their chance did elect a more left wing and vehemenently anti racist government, who took the job of changing the nation by rooting out all forms of racism far more seriously. For the first time for years a new department of Race Adjudicators entered offices and workplaces to assess whether fair opportunities were being given to all races and ethnic backgrounds. The CEO’s and Directors of quite a few companies did step down in favour of Black and ethnic candidates. The boards became far more mixed. And more women of all backgrounds also.
Expectations were high as Labour pledged to create a fair mix of backgrounds in all organisations, including the police, but progress floundered somewhat because of the generally high rate of unemployment.
Black men and sometimes women, from deepest Sub Saharan Africa waited in chains in a dirty room in a Libyan town, fearful, and short of food. Their journey to Europe had been ended prematurely by the people smugglers, who had taken all their money for the trip but handed them to ruthless people traders. Perhaps that had been the plan all along. Perhaps that was the system they had allowed themselves to join. The people smugglers never intended to take them to Europe, that distant land of perfection and freedom, where a man could earn his living and live comfortably. They payed large amounts of their savings for the journey, and then they were handed over half way to these brutes of slavers, sold by Arabs or whoever they were, to work in mines or fields. Modern slavery? Age old, did it ever die out?
The Royal Navy of Great Britain attacked Tunis in 1665, burning the corsair fleet and liberating British enslaved captives from Algiers in 1665, Bougie in 1671 and the corsair fleet in harbor at Tripoli in 1676, diminishing the power of the pirates of the Barbary Coast, and freeing the English slaves taken by the Barbary Pirates from England. In later years thereafter English and Scottish ships joined in the slave trade, trading Irishmen and women as slaves to work in the plantations of the Caribbean and increasingly Black Africans from West Africa to the Caribbean and the British colonies in North America. Echoes of History, British, Dutch, French, Spanish and Portuguese economic expansion, brutal slavery.
They went to Trafalgar Square and Gran looked up to the top of the column, expecting to see the distant statue she could remember, the one of Lord Admiral Nelson, but it was not there. It took them a few years to take that one down, but the column was still there. She was momentarily shocked. She could remember that one, and somehow fully expected it still to be there. But now she recalled, it was taken down when some direct action people decided to take the law into their own hands, scaling the monument bravely with cutting equipment, while the nation looked on, largely bewildered, and partly in appreciation, as the links with the past were finally severed, with the full support of the Labour government by then.