Crim­i­nal fail­ure to take cri­sis se­ri­ously

Western Daily Press - - Business - Robert Read­man, Bournemout­h, Dorset Fran­cis Kirkham, Nymet Row­land, Mid Devon Bini Hawkins, by email

IT is hard not to burst out laugh­ing at the ab­sur­dity of Don­ald Trump with­draw­ing the US from the World Health Or­gan­i­sa­tion over the body’s ‘mis­han­dling of the pan­demic’.

This from the man who, in Fe­bru­ary, dis­missed Covid-19 as ‘noth­ing to worry about – just the flu’.

Trump’s crim­i­nal fail­ure to take the cri­sis se­ri­ously has re­sulted in the im­pact of the pan­demic be­ing greater on Amer­ica than any other coun­try – close to 400 mil­lion cases and 150,000 deaths.

How can any­one take se­ri­ously a man who sug­gested that the best way to re­duce the num­ber of cases would be to stop test­ing for Covid19 and for peo­ple to self-med­i­cate by drink­ing bleach or other house­hold de­ter­gents!

Is there any chance, I won­der, of the Amer­i­can peo­ple com­ing to their senses be­fore the Pres­i­den­tial Elec­tion on Novem­ber 3?

that th­ese aims are sim­i­lar to those of Ex­tinc­tion Re­bel­lion.

Let­ters such as Mike Jack­man’s sel­dom even men­tion, let alone ac­knowl­edge, the ba­sic is­sues which are the sub­ject of th­ese protests – racial in­equal­ity and the cli­mate cri­sis. In­stead they seek to dis­credit the or­gan­i­sa­tions by sug­gest­ing they are pri­mar­ily mo­ti­vated by an un­der­ly­ing de­sire to de­stroy our po­lit­i­cal struc­tures and eco­nomic sys­tems.

Whether or not the or­gan­is­ers of th­ese protests have deeper po­lit­i­cal mo­tives or whether they sim­ply be­lieve that ex­ten­sive po­lit­i­cal change is needed to achieve their de­clared aims, the vast ma­jor­ity of their sup­port­ers have no po­lit­i­cal mo­tives be­yond im­prov­ing the plight of black and eth­nic mi­nor­ity pop­u­la­tions and ad­dress­ing cli­mate change.

And when pro­test­ers de­face and tear down stat­ues they are not at­tempt­ing to “erad­i­cate his­tory” as Mike Jack­man puts it, they are draw­ing at­ten­tion to it.

Many of the grand man­sions and stately homes in this coun­try owe their ex­is­tence to fam­ily for­tunes made in the Car­ribean off the backs of slave labour­ers. When slav­ery was abol­ished in 1833, th­ese and many other less prom­i­nent fam­i­lies re­ceived com­pen­sa­tion for the loss of freed slaves, some­times amount­ing to sev­eral mil­lion pounds in to­day’s money.

Any­body in­ter­ested to see if their an­ces­tors re­ceived such funds can eas­ily find out by en­ter­ing their fam­ily name into the search fa­cil­ity of the Lega­cies of Bri­tish Slave­own­er­ship web­site ( https://www.ucl. ac.uk/lbs/search/).

Mike Jack­man might like to spec­u­late as to whether he is closely re­lated to any of the eight Jack­mans listed, who re­ceived the princely to­tal of £4786 three shillings and seven pence (equiv­a­lent to about £573,500 in to­day’s money) for the 186 slaves they had to free in Bar­ba­dos and Bri­tish Guiana.

And be­fore we com­plain about stat­ues of peo­ple like Ed­ward Col­ston be­ing torn down, the rest of us should con­tem­plate how the wealth and pros­per­ity of our coun­try ben­e­fit­ted from an econ­omy so de­pen­dant upon slav­ery, and how this wealth pow­ered colo­nial­ism and the Bri­tish Em­pire as a whole. and lo­cal food sup­pli­ers, and by do­ing so re­build our lo­cal econ­omy.

The news­pa­per has long been do­ing its bit to pro­mote lo­cal rather than global in our food chain.

It has never been a bet­ter time to re­dou­ble your ef­forts.

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