Windrush – what is new?

People are not blind to colour in a colour conscious society! Black presence in Britain goes as far back as Roman Times and yet they are missing from British history, and whenever they have surfaced in our public consciousness, it has been as a problematic presence.

 In 1786, at the time of George III and the prime minister William Pitt the Younger (Tory), an ad hoc committee of merchants, bankers and MPs was formed “for the relief of Black Poor“, the ‘final solution presented to public’ was “repatriation” – 7,000 blacks were to be “relieved by the humanity of the British Government to go on board the ships (‘Atlantic’ / ‘Belisarius’ and ‘Vernon’ – chartered for repatriation) which are now ready for their reception, and that ten days after the date thereof all persons of that description who are found begging … will be taken on the Vagrant Act” (a sort of sus-law of discretion) – SHYLON: Black People in Britain 1555-1833: Oxford University Press p126

 The media of the era had stated clearly and urged ‘totally prohibiting importation of any more of them’. ‘Deportation’ was meant to ‘rid Britain of many blacks who had fought on the British side in the American Revolution, “and would have been in danger had they remained in America after the successful revolution“- ibid p127

 Black people became expendable and dispensable as soon as they served our purpose.

Does it not ring a bell for contemporary Britain?


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