THERE has been much talk recently of Britain coming to terms with British imperialism, colonialism and slavery, as Stuart Flemming writes in his letter to the Echo.

He mentions the brutality of British colonial imperialism and that we need to come to terms with deeds we committed in the past. Do people such as he not realise that if you went back 200 years or so similar situations occurred in Britain?

Have they not heard of the Tolpuddle martyrs, press gangs, the tied cottage system and workhouses, many of which still stand today but used for other purposes, children sent down coalmines and up chimneys or working many hours in factories or on the land?

Conditions in Britain 200 years or so ago were awful for people born into poverty.

Delve into many family’s history and it is noted poverty existed for many, with ancestors often listed as paupers.

Large landowners employed many people tied to their employer because of the tied cottage system and with no transport in those days to look for work elsewhere.

In my lifetime I can remember seeing tied cottages with no gas, electricity or running water, a bucket lavatory existed in a shed somewhere in the garden. Light was provided by Tilly lamp or candles.

Whilst much is written about slavery and the part that Britain played in it, I would suggest in order to keep things in perspective, look back into our own history and I am sure that it would produce equally distasteful events and treatment of people.


Harkwood Drive, Hamworthy