Lost cause

Wickham urges region to forget about reparations

Forget the “lost cause” of reparation and focus on the future, advised political scientist Peter Wickham who described the ongoing calls for reparations as “complicated and very, very delicate.”

On a recent trip to Jamaica British Prime Minister David Cameron ruled out paying reparations for his country’s role in the historic slave trade. He told the Jamaica parliament that while “these wounds run very deep” it was time to “move on from this painful legacy and continue to build for the future”.

It’s a position Wickham told Barbados TODAY he fully supports.

“Cameron has perhaps used language that is too harsh but [it] is something that I personally support. The general sense of what he is trying to communicate is that this is a battle that we are not going to win,” Wickham explained.

However, former parliamentarian Hamilton Lashley is adamant that the British Prime Minister’s call for the region to move on “is an insult to the intelligence of all right thinking, free thinking Caribbean people”.

While in Kingston for his one day trip Cameron announced £25m in British aid for a new Jamaica prison to house criminals sent home from the UK, as well as a £300m development package for the Caribbean.

“They [Jamaica] might need the prison but to me that was a total insult because clearly when asked about reparations he says its something in the past, he wants to gloss over the issue of the greatest act of genocide committed on planted earth [and] he wants us to forget that? He wants us to forget that his country was the main instigators, culprits and murderers of our forefathers here in the Caribbean, he wants us to forget.” a perturbed Lashley told Barbados TODAY.

Wickham made it clear that while Lashley might have strong reasons for pressing the reparations case, he would not expend levels of energy on it.

“It would be great if we have reparations but we also have to ask ourselves what was Lomé V to lV? Is that not reparations? It is an argument that will continue and continue but I really do feel that between the end of colonialism and now, and certainly between the end of slavery through colonialism, the Caribbean have in a sense received direct assistance in so many different ways that may not have been classified as reparations but in the final analysis it might have been,” Wickham said.

The Lomé Convention signed in Togo in 1975 is a trade and aid agreement between the European Economic Community (EEC) and 71 African, Caribbean, and Pacific (ACP) countries. It places among other things great emphasis on the promotion of human rights; democracy and good governance; strengthening of the position of women; the protection of the environment; decentralized cooperation; diversification of ACP economies; the promotion of the private sector; and increasing regional cooperation.

Lashley has demanded that the UK Prime Minister apologizes and said the Caribbean would not let up.

“Cameron has to apologize to every single black Caribbean person even in the Diaspora . . . to say that we should move on, how can we move on from the death from the atrocities that was committed particularly by Britain against Caribbean people? And then for him to offer Jamaica a prison is a serious thing. It shows what little respect he has for us as Caribbean people.”

It’s a position Wickham said would not lead us “anywhere anytime soon”.

“I do feel that we need to start focusing on how do we develop our economies, that we have been in control now for 50 years. How do we develop these economies in a way that will allow us to move forward? If we take a battle against the APD [Air Passenger Duty] I think that is a battle worth fighting; I think that if we take battles against other types off impositions, that’s a battle worth fighting. But the idea of suggesting that we need to go back 300 years and get reparations is not something that’s going to happen.”

Wickham is also of the view that the CARICOM reparations committee headed
by Vice Chancellor of the University of the West Indies Sir Hilary Beckles to represent the region on the matter was also a
“lost cause”.

“The CARICOM Reparations Committee has a job to do and I presume that they would do it but I certainly hope that they are not going to expend tremendous resources behind it . . . I think we need to focus on our future development trajectory over the next fifty years and not back 300,” Wickham stated

Meanwhile, British High Commissioner to Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean Victoria Dean has said it was wrong to tie the promised aid to reparations.

In an interview on local radio this morning Dean said the two had nothing to do with each other. And she denied Cameron had made the offer to keep the region quiet on the issue of reparations.

“[What] I would say in response to anybody who would say it’s an attempt to make people be quiet about reparations is that it hasn’t worked. If that were our aim its quite a tall one. Having our Prime Minister come out here has if anything raised the debate. And although I think it’s a very important debate, my Prime Minister has been clear that the aid packages are not about reparations. He has also been clear that he does not believe reparations are the answer what he does believe is a modern looking forward partnership,” Dean stressed.


19 Responses to Lost cause

  1. seagul October 9, 2015 at 2:30 am

    Divide and rule still remains an effective policy of the British here in the region. It’s obvious to see who’s the naked little betrayer here….for the love of money.

  2. jrsmith October 9, 2015 at 6:27 am

    First time I have ever agreed with Mr, Wickham, its not reparation the blacks need , its (REPARERATION) to the total destruction of ourselves , loosing our culture, no heritage to our young people,not being able to rule , govern and manage our countries/ islands in a honest and responsible way.

    The older generation, because of this failure keeps reminding the young people about the history of slavery, as an excuse for failing and offers nothing positive for the future.

    The only words we carry , being blessed , with what , black people were hunted, by black people , put in chains and handed over to the white for bounty.They were taken from Africa they home , leaving behind , gold ,silver, diamonds, millions and millions of acres of land/ jungle, taken across the seas ending up in shacks , to build the white man’s world. Physical slavery.

    Imposed on the blacks , after slavery an implantation took place, for then the mental slavery, again by the new generation of the past slave masters, religion and the bible was, there to keep the blacks in line and always reminding who is still the boss. still in the white man’s world.

    But how should we feel after centuries we are still , begging for the crumbs from the white man’s table and we call this (REPERATION) don’t you all think we are missing a point, how could we ever recover , from what took place , how are you going to put a value on what took place, centuries past, when we are not really prepared for a future. Bishop TUTU said and the white man went to Africa , said to the blacks, lets pray, when they open they eyes, the white man had all the land and the blackman the bible.


  3. Walter Prescod October 9, 2015 at 6:31 am

    We will not forget, why don’t Peter tell this to the Jews of the hitler era in Germany. Cameron could have used you as his sheepdog.

  4. ALEX ALLEYNE October 9, 2015 at 7:51 am

    All those in the Caribbean who still thinking about “reparations” from Europe will be just like those persons in North America who are still waiting on that “40 acres and a mule” .
    Our beards will grow long down to the ground and we will trip-up in it and fall and die without ever receiving a “sent off a cent” .

  5. carson c cadogan October 9, 2015 at 7:57 am

    What an idiot!!!

    Israel was built on reparations money. To this day the Jews are receiving millions in reparations from all around Europe.

    Why not offer the Jews the same “advice” Peter?


  6. Patrick Blackman October 9, 2015 at 8:45 am

    They never told the Jews to forget about it, it was in the past, they paid them the money and still continue to pay them money. Black lives don’t matter. But lets give you a prison to key your people out of sight so we can continue to destroy the Jamaican economy because criminals are bad for our business. Mr. Peter Wickham are you still working for the USA government as a mouthpiece?

  7. jrsmith October 9, 2015 at 9:06 am

    @,Carson,C,C, hail, hail, the Jews are the world financiers, the twin towers , what ever else you could think about, 60% of the worlds billionaires are Jews. think different.
    A flat was found in the German republic, with hundreds of millions of artefacts , which belong to the Jews, also there is a train sitting in a tunnel some where in Europe, again with 100 of millions of the same ,again belonging to the jaws. what have the blacks got.

  8. Donna October 9, 2015 at 9:15 am

    Just like the British! Condescending false conciliatory smiles while they plunge the knives into your throat. I agree that reparations is a lost cause. The English will NEVER pay what they owe. So I think we should just tell them what we really think of them (cuss them stink stink) and then set about rising above it all. We could do it if we worked with a common purpose. Don’t ask the Devil for help. It is not in his nature. Ask God to put him behind you and move ahead with your healing process!

  9. Meakai October 9, 2015 at 10:29 am

    It always brings a smile to my face whenever I hear black people arguing against the need for reparations.

    Black people are the only people on this earth expected to forgive and forget. Blessed are the meek for they will inherit the earth. Right?

  10. Sue Donym October 9, 2015 at 11:16 am

    Anyone with the mindset that there’s no need for an apology since he/she did not personally do it, is the same person that sees nothing wrong with living off and enjoying the proceeds of the act. No matter how astute, how academic the argument, the enslavers will always try to portray the descendants of the enslaved as whining, begging and lazy, simply refusing to fit in and forgive.

    It’s not going to come down to a vote – the outcome will always be stacked in favour of the ones holding the cash. The mentality to raid the resources while offering friendship and civility continues. That, like @Donna said is more in keeping with British etiquette.

  11. jrsmith October 9, 2015 at 12:53 pm

    My take ,we will scream ,shout till doomsday, and we will only hear ourselves. the troubles with us we have not the will to stand and fight. for me we should , just borrow, borrow, kick start our economy , put right our infrucsture , put the smiles back on bajan faces. and as the US the world biggest debtor @ 18 trillion dollars, just stick two fingers at them. that’s our reparation.

  12. dave October 9, 2015 at 1:08 pm

    Never give up the call for Reparations .
    Never Give Up
    Do not pay the Idiots any mind
    If they do not pay Reparations , we will declare an Offensive and carry out an Offensive when the time is right.

  13. Sue Donym October 9, 2015 at 1:42 pm

    Scenario 1. We ask sweetly – can’t be serious.
    Scenario 2. We shout constantly – no diplomacy

    We talk stiffly, but in measured tones – Who’s going to side with us? Other European countries who are guilty of the same throughout the Caribbean and Africa? Or maybe the middle east and European countries guilty of ethnic cleansing and all shades of genocide?

    Now the mechanics: Who negotiates? Objective third parties?
    Let’s assume amounts are arrived at. Who gets what? Up to what generation/age group? Does it go to the country? And what about the fact that slave owner descendants are still in the country? Will they be beneficiaries? Logistics!

  14. seagul October 9, 2015 at 2:02 pm

    How dare a bourgeoise tell me that I should bow down and kiss a queen when my ancestors were enslaved by the British. Why should I support this demonic monarchy? The indigenous Britons could show such affection for the queen but why should I have to do that? Anyone who say I should move on make me sick to my stomach. Yes, I’m pro-democracy and republic, and I think this monarchy should be wiped from the face of the earth.
    Why should they be lavished with the power and status afforded to them because of their bloodline either. Everyman is born equal under God apparently…I’m a believer and yet the Queen, who is head of Church seems to believe that all men are not equal.
    Things like OBE’s are put in place to reinforce class divisions and make out that some people are more superior than others.
    This is what makes peter feels important–sir Pete.

  15. ken October 9, 2015 at 7:31 pm

    I always say that in order for Britain and other European countries to purchase slaves there have to be a seller of slaves. If we want to address the real perpetrators of slavery and look for reparations look to West Africa. Look at the genocide West African leader committed in order to sell out our foreparents. If the Caribbean is willing to point fingers point them westward first. Imagine Portia, Freudel, Ralph, Roosevelt etc imprisoning our black men in order to sell them to other countries, who will you blame for the enslavement? Not the Caribbean Leaders? And you can’t blame their ignorance or gullible state for that either you gotta blame their greed. You gotta blame the face that they see their own brothers as commodities and not people, families. Let West Africa settle half or let’s as David Cameron say “move on”.

  16. Sue Donym October 9, 2015 at 8:45 pm

    @ken. Let’s talk a bit about ignorance in the true sense of the word. Do you think that the Europeans came with delicately wrapped gifts or with considerable fire power for their ‘protection’ from the ungrateful, unwilling West Africans who most likely were opposed to their ‘visits’?

    While it is possible that some Africans were not entirely unhappy about getting rid of rival tribes, chances are that there were also persuaded with the use and threat of violence, torture and extinction! It’s less likely that the Africans introduced the idea and pressured the poor Europeans into buying humans. Don’t fall for that old argument.

    What’s certain is that the Europeans returned and profited from:
    – shipment and trade of humans
    – claim of African land and natural resources
    – building and development of societies in Europe through slave labour
    for many, many years.

    Somehow I think it might be those other matters that has caused more ‘finger pointing’.

    • Sue Donym October 9, 2015 at 9:17 pm

      correction: para 2 line 2 *they were*

  17. carson c cadogan October 10, 2015 at 1:23 am

    Up to this day WHITE BAJANS are still living off the reparations which they received as a result of the abolition of slavery.

    They have not “moved on”.


  18. carson c cadogan October 10, 2015 at 1:29 am

    Dr. Tony Martin of Trinidad speaks on the Slave trade.



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