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The Long Song.

Discussion in 'Personal' started by Jude Fawley, Dec 19, 2018.

  1. Jude Fawley

    Jude Fawley Star commenter

    I hope some of you are watching this BBC1 three-part drama adapted from the book by Andrea Levy.

    She's a wonderful writer and there's an 'Imagine' documentary on Andrea Levy's work being aired on the BBC at 22.45 tonight.

    Her 'Small Island' was seminal.

    Watching 'The Long Song' I'm not ashamed of being a British white person but oh am I so thankful I'm not from that Empire class.

    The British Empire was in many parts thoroughly evil. We know the Dutch and the French and many other countries were also involved in the slave trade but I'm considering the shame we should feel is akin to that felt over the holocaust.

    Yes there are no descendants of mine who were slave owners. No vicars who were slave owners, no Mrs Smith or Jones from Acacia Avenue with shares in slaves.
  2. mothorchid

    mothorchid Star commenter

    I saw the first episode and was very impressed. I like the book, but read it when it first came out, so the events are hazy enough for the storyline to be a surprise.
    I thought the acting was excellent, especially Tamara Lawrance, Lenny Henry and Hayely Atwell.
    I echo your recommendation.
  3. InkyP

    InkyP Star commenter

    Lenny Henry portrayed that barely suppressed hate and resentment so well. Very well acted and shocking even though I knew about what was happening then. The bit where the two women were arguing about having pale skin and almost boasting about their white fathers even though they were rapists was horrific but there are still echoes of that now.
    mothorchid and FrankWolley like this.
  4. bombaysapphire

    bombaysapphire Star commenter

    I hesitate to use the word "enjoyed" for some of the scenes involved but I thought it was a fascinating story and a witty adaptation.
    FrankWolley likes this.
  5. FrankWolley

    FrankWolley Star commenter

    Unless you know with 100% accuracy what all of your ancestors did (& few of us do) you can't be sure your working class ancestors weren't involved in the slave trade, as sailors, overseers, soldiers, even as workers in the UK benefiting from jobs based on raw materials produced by slaves.
    InkyP likes this.
  6. Duke of York

    Duke of York Star commenter

    It rarely gets talked about, but the Portuguese imported more slaves into Brazil than any other nation imported anywhere and took the longest to join the rest of the world in abolishing slavery.

    It's difficult to feel proud about being British when the British Empire was built around slavery and we continue to retain statues of those who exploited the weak to amass enormous wealth.

    We can get some pride from the fact that British people played an important part in the abolition of slavery, but the cost of doing so was in relative terms, greater than the cost of bailing out the banks, since many middle class Brits had shares in slaves and needed to be compensated for their loss.

    Slave owners weren't just the sort you saw ordering their whipping in Roots. It was seen as a good investment for the likes of vicars pensions and nobody batted an eyelid when the clergy were compensated for their loss by taxing the poor to pay for it.

    Today we hear about modern slavery, which is a disgrace equal to any. It goes on in every British city and yet our government has such little concern about it, that it cuts the numbers of police.

    What's it all about?

    It's a fine line between who can do well and who might become a slave. It's been getting finer for most of my adult life and if it continues at the rate it's been happening since the Wicked Witch of Westminster came to power, it will be difficult to persuade me why I shouldn't want a have a DNR notice signed by me at the end of my hospital bed.

    Anyone who ever voted Tory is a disgrace. Some of them have lived to regret doing so, and it's only a matter of time, before the message gets through to the thickest of them.

    When I worked in sales, an opening gambit I used to good advantage was to ask whether my client had seen the news and await their reaction before we got down to business. Those who took the Tory line told me from the start they were the most gullible and most anxious to get ripped off.

    I have to say that I never ripped anyone off, but the knowledge I gained from my clients' gullibility helped me steer the conversation away from that my competitors had been having with my clients.

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