Blackening Britain

Today (21st October) is the 216th anniversary of the Battle of Trafalgar, arguably the most decisive naval battle in history. The Commander of the British fleet which defeated the combined fleets of Spain and France was, of course, Vice Admiral Lord Nelson, who gave his life towards the end of the battle.

Among the vast majority of British people in the former British Empire, he has always been seen as one of our country’s greatest heroes, losing an eye and an arm at his earlier great victories – the Battles of the Nile (1798) and Copenhagen (1801). The phrase “turning a blind eye” originated from Nelson at Copenhagen when in response to a signal to break off action, he put his glass over his blind eye patch and pronounced, “I see no signal” – and continued on to destroy the combined fleets of the Baltic powers.

Truly Nelson was a hero and the greatest sailor the Royal Navy has ever had. Such was his fame that “Nelson” became an honored proxy for “Royal Navy” among many peoples, most especially black Africans in Africa and former slaves in the West Indies. This came about because of the Royal Navy’s part in suppressing the Slave Trade after it was outlawed in 1807 for all British subjects and ships registered at ports throughout the British Empire – about half the ports in the world outside Europe at the time.

The most respected black man of the 20th century (Nelson Mandela) was given his Christian name on the day he started school at the age of nine and happily bore that name for the rest of his long life.

After Trafalgar the Royal Navy maintained anti-slavery patrols in the Atlantic either side of the equator between the tropics of Cancer (North) and Capricorn (South). The West Africa Squadron was active for 59 years from 1808 to 1867, but the Navy kept up its anti-slavery campaign on an ad hoc basis right through to 1914, in the Indian Ocean as well as in the Atlantic. In all history there has been no other comparable campaign to relieve suffering on such a scale and for such a time by one nation on behalf of all humanity.

But this isn’t how the Welsh government and councillors in the town of Caerphilly in South Wales see it. Two pieces of discredited “research” documents have been cited to “prove” Nelson was in favour of slavery, and is thus a “person of concern” to the Welsh government.

(1) A letter to a Jamaican plantation owner criticising William Wilberforce has been proved to be a forgery – part of a continuing struggle to enlist support for those opposed to Wilberforce’s bill to abolish the slave trade in 1805. (Nelson had other things on his mind.)

(2) In 1834, following the abolition of slavery in the British Empire, someone also called Horatio Nelson claimed compensation for loss of his slaves – 29 years after the great sailor had died.

On the basis of this rubbish and their own sloppy enquiries, the Welsh government and Caerphilly Council are prepared to besmirch the reputation of Horatio Nelson of Trafalgar, the Nile and Copenhagen, in the eyes of our children – and sad to say their parents.

This is what woke activists and the BLM clique are all about; blackening British history and the British who have done more for humanity than any other people.

See Jeremy Black “The Royal Navy in the front line against slavery”, published by The Critic, Artillery Row, London, SW1, 18/10/2020.

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