Just reading about the Zong Case AKA Gregson v Gilbert.
Horrific, but tells you a lot about the motivations of slave traders & their attitude to their cargo.
In August 1781, Zong, a ship designed for approx 193 slaves sailed with 442 slaves aboard from Accra, Ghana to Jamaica.
On 18th November, the ship stopped in Tobago, but did not top up its water supplies.
On 28th November the crew sighted Jamaica 50km away, but thought it was Hispaniola (modern Haiti / Dominican Republic), so kept going.
They only realised they'd made a navigation mistake 300 miles later.
To get back to Jamaica they had to sail into the wind, so it would take 10-13 days, but they only had 4 days water left.
It's more of a cult than grounded in reality:
The historical figure of Edward Colston was being reinvented in the Victorian period to represent the economic, social and political perspectives of the Bristol business elite. brh.org.uk/site/articles/…
Ritual commemoration, celebration and memorialisation of Edward Colston in the Victorian public domain were crucial to propagating both the elite concept of Colston and the belief that this concept was validated by long-standing tradition.
Colston was selected by Bristol’s elite as their icon from a number of historical figures who had made philanthropic donations to the city.
Perhaps the real story that people should be looking at with regards to Bristol is who the Merchant Venturers are and how in today's world they have the power to overrule the democratically elected government of the city?
Because they are the ones that have blocked most attempts to do things with the Edward Colston statue in the past.
They are a livery company like the more famous ones in the City of London, but get far less attention while seeming to control a lot of things long after their period of being integral to the city's business has passed.
It's worth looking into the causes of rationing post WW2.
We imported a lot and didn't have the foreign currency to pay for it.
By 1945 we were spending 52% of GDP on the military and had trouble adjusting to a peacetime economy.
In August 1945, the USA terminated Lend Lease, the program that had distributed food, oil, and materiel to the UK (amongst others). This happened very suddenly. Even his already in transit at that point now had to be paid for.
At this stage, the UK comment afford to pay for imports of food due to a lack of exports. In 1945, Britain's exports were ⅓ of their pre war level.
This also caused a shortage of USD, which were needed to service Britain's war debt and maintain imports from the United States.
The speech is still remarkably prescient on so many levels:
Of the need for unilateralism and how Britain can't go it alone.
Of how this wasn't an objection to any and all military intervention.
Of how the problems although bit fully crystallised could be foreseen in advance.
Of how those who disagreed should not be seen as traitors.
Of the need to listen to the reports from experts.
The idea that an enemy can simultaneously be seen as well and on the verge of collapse, but still seem as a clear and present danger.
The list goes on.
Interesting that these documents are released just before Christmas when nobody is following the news in so much detail. They definitely don't live up to the hype of the immense level of detail that @DavidDavisMP previously implied.