IT was interesting to note in the Echo on July 7 a letter with regard to British imperialism. In particular British legacy from North Atlantic slaving from the 17th century to the mid-19th century.

The hereditary name referenced for Dorset was Richard Plunkett-Ernle-Erle-Drax, the South Dorset MP Richard Drax.

In short the Drax family can be shown from archives to have been a large Caribbean sugar plantation slave owning family. The family seat in the UK for centuries has been 13,000-acre Charborough House, in south Dorset.

Some say “So what? This is all history and not particularly relevant.” Mr Drax himself fobs it all off as “smearing”, telling Dorset Echo May 2010, “I can’t be held responsible for what happened 300 to 400 years ago”.

But then on a first point the “slave trade” was not outlawed “in some parts of the British Empire” until 1833 when then slave ownership, slaves in bondage, lived on for many decades. The issue is not 300 let alone 400 years ago. It is living modern history.

And more than this is the mind set of such land owning families. Mr Drax spoke in parliament this past week. The debate was “The UK Economy” in respect of Covid pandemic.

Mr Drax’s theme in his speech, “reducing inheritance tax” and “reducing capital gains tax”.

At this terrible time with so much fear and deprivation, Mr Drax’s foremost concern is taxation as it effects those with largest wealth and land holdings in our country.

The whole legacy slavery issue is not remotely “dead history”.

It is all we all need to break free from to build a modern world where all own some land, to have a home, and much more.

Freedom to express our lives, not forever live in drudgery and fear whilst the Draxes of the world invest their political power in even more wealth consolidation.


Rushcombe Way, Corfe Mullen