Nature or Nurture: UK City Still Paying Slavery Debt

Go Lean Commentary

Here’s a deep religious question for you:

Does God punish children for the sins of the Father?

The sense of justice we have – our basis for right and wrong – may dictate to us that we only be punished for our own crimes, not that of our parents. Considering that the laws of the land – throughout the New World – are based on Judeo-Christian principles, what does the Bible say?

“Fathers shall not be put to death because of their children, nor shall children be put to death because of their fathers. Each one shall be put to death for his own sin.” – The Bible ESV Deuteronomy 24:16

In contrast, the Bible also states – here – that there is a legacy price that children will pay for their forefathers’ actions-misdeeds:

Keeping steadfast love for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, but [God] who will by no means clear the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children and the children’s children, to the third and the fourth generation.” – Exodus 34:7 ESV or English Standard Version

Despite the opening religious question, this is NOT a religious discussion, but rather presented from a societal reform perspective. In summary, communities may be plagued to suffer punishment for generations due to the misdeeds of their forefathers.

Indeed, this is true of the British city of Bristol, England. Until recently (2015), it was still paying off debts for the city’s prominent role in the African Slave Trade … that ended in 1807; the Abolition bill passed in Parliament in 1833 – requiring the need for a huge capital outlay, £20 million (US$28 million); Slavery ended in the British Empire in 1834. That’s 182 years later and sounds eerily familiar. It sounds like when a person pays only the monthly minimum on a credit card account. See more here:

A $2,000 credit balance with an 18% annual rate, with a minimum payment of 2% of the balance, or $10, whichever is greater, would take 370 months or just over 30 years to pay off . –

See the encyclopedic details on the Slave Trade activities by the City of Bristol in the Appendix below.

The Slave Trade did end, as a First Step to abolishing Slavery entirely. This was not easy and not automatic; it took strenuous effort on the part of advocates and activists, like William Wilberforce. See his portrayal in the Appendix VIDEO below.

See the news-commentary relating the continued Slavery Debt here:

Title: Slave owner compensation was still being paid off by British taxpayers in 2015

Bristol taxpayers in 2015 were still paying off debt borrowed by the government to “compensate” slave owners in 1833, the Treasury has revealed.

The revelations show that the £20 million (US$28 million) the government spent to reimburse the owners of slaves – who themselves were some of Britain’s richest businessmen – took the taxpayer 182 years to pay off. The descendants of slaves were never compensated, but it appears some would have been paying to compensation slave owners.

The information was revealed by the Treasury under a Freedom of Information (FoI) request, the Bristol Post reports. The Treasury tweeted: “Here’s today’s surprising #FridayFact. Millions of you helped end slave trade through your taxes.”

It added an infographic which said: “Did you know? In 1833, Britain used £20 million, 40 percent of its national budget, to buy freedom for all slaves in the Empire.

“The amount of money borrowed for the Slavery Abolition Act was so large that it wasn’t paid off until 2015. Which means living British citizens helped pay to end the slave trade.”

The tweet was quickly deleted after it sparked a backlash.

Historian David Olusoga, who has written about Bristol’s role in the slave trade, was one of several experts who questioned the tone of the Treasury’s tweet.

“The real question is why anyone thought this was ok?” he said, according to the newspaper. “I really do think we’re getting better at accepting the UK’s role in slavery and the slave trade, but things like this make me question my optimism.

“Also, just to compound the general level of ignorance, when HM Treasury reduce the complex story of the abolition of slavery to one of their fun ‘Friday Facts’ they use an irrelevant image of the slave trade – which was abolished three decades earlier.”

Bristol City councilor Cleo Lake said she was outraged. “I want my money back,” she tweeted. “I’m outraged. This messaging is so loaded.”

When the UK government abolished slavery and banned people from owning slaves in Britain and on Britain’s colonies anywhere in the world, those slave owners received compensation. Bristol had the highest concentration of people in Britain who owned slaves in 1833 outside of London.

The slaves themselves received nothing, and had to continue working for their masters for a number of years before they could consider being free.

Source: Posted February 15, 2018; retrieved April 10, 2018 from:

Imagine the outrage when city finances are strained – economic cycles of recessions and expansions are inevitable – and necessary expenditures – for example, public safety and education – have to be curtailed due to principal-and-interest payments for 200 year old debts. This seems to go against Nature. This commentary continues the 4-part series on Nature or Nurture for community ethos. This entry is 3 of 4 in this series from the movement behind the book Go Lean … Caribbean in consideration of root causes of some societal defects – specific examples in the US and UK – and how to overcome them. The other commentaries in the series are cataloged as follows:

  1. Nature or Nurture: Black Marchers see gun violence differently
  2. Nature or Nurture: Cop-on-Black Shootings – Embedded in America’s DNA; Whites Yawn
  3. Nature or Nurture: UK City of Bristol still paying off Slavery Debt
  4. Nature or Nurture: Nurturing comes from women; “they” impacted the Abolition of Slavery

In the first submission to this series, the history of Psychology was introduced, which quoted:

One of the oldest arguments in the history of psychology is the Nature vs Nurture debate. Each of these sides have good points that it’s really hard to decide whether a person’s development is predisposed in his DNA, or a majority of it is influenced by this life experiences and his environment. –

All of these commentaries relate to “why” communities – including the Caribbean – may have lingering societal defects and “how” the stewards for a new Caribbean can assuage these defects and the resultant failing dispositions. The term “lingering societal defects” have been addressed in the Go Lean book; there it is deemed “community ethos”; with this definition:

… the fundamental character or spirit of a culture; the underlying sentiment that informs the beliefs, customs, or practices of a group or society; dominant assumptions of a people or period. – Page 20

The UK County/City of Bristol had a bad community ethos. Obviously, a disregard for human rights was embedded in that community’s DNA. What’s more, the county-city-people had to pay for their forefathers’ bad community ethos … for 182 years. Sad!

How about the Caribbean? Are we paying for the sins of our fathers today?

Indeed, we have defects in our societal DNA, a bad Nature; and then we foster unbecoming traits by Nurturing unbecoming habits and practices.

The subject of societal defects is a familiar theme for this commentary, from the movement behind the book Go Lean…Caribbean – available to download for free. The book asserts that the colonial masters for the Caribbean did not endow this region with the organizational dynamics (attitudes or structures) that would lead to success. This society was built for leisure, pleasure and good times. Traits like industriousness, ingenuity and innovation was never encouraged nor fostered. As a result the vocations for the region always lean towards the illicit and the shadows – think: piracy, tax shelters, offshore banking, etc. –  as opposed to honest work for honest pay.

Regrettably, we are now paying for the sins of our fathers, as we have defects in all societal engines of our community.

We do not have the Nature to compete in the global marketplace! But change can be Nurtured.

The book Go Lean…Caribbean – available to download for free – serves as a roadmap for the introduction and implementation of the technocratic Caribbean Union Trade Federation (CU), for the elevation of Caribbean society – for all 30 member-states. This CU/Go Lean roadmap has these 3 prime directives for effecting change in our society:

  • Optimization of the economic engines in order to grow the regional economy to $800 Billion and create 2.2 million new jobs.
  • Establishment of a security apparatus to ensure public safety and protect the resultant economic engines.
  • Improve Caribbean governance to support these engines, including a separation-of-powers between the member-states and CU federal agencies.

The Go Lean book stresses that reforming and transforming the Caribbean societal engines must be a regional pursuit. This was an early motivation for the roadmap, as pronounced in the opening Declaration of Interdependence (Pages 12 – 13):

xi. Whereas all men are entitled to the benefits of good governance in a free society, “new guards” must be enacted to dissuade the emergence of incompetence, corruption, nepotism and cronyism at the peril of the people’s best interest. The Federation must guarantee the executions of a social contract between government and the governed.

xvi. Whereas security of our homeland is inextricably linked to prosperity of the homeland, the economic and security interest of the region needs to be aligned under the same governance. Since economic crimes … can imperil the functioning of the wheels of commerce for all the citizenry, the accedence of this Federation must equip the security apparatus with the tools and techniques for predictive and proactive interdictions.

xxiv. Whereas a free market economy can be induced and spurred for continuous progress, the Federation must install the controls to better manage aspects of the economy: jobs, inflation, savings rate, investments and other economic principles. Thereby attracting direct foreign investment because of the stability and vibrancy of our economy.

The Go Lean book provides 370-pages of turn-by-turn instructions on “how” to Nurture a new, better Caribbean society. It details the new community ethos that needs to be adopted, plus the strategies, tactics, implementations and advocacies to execute so as to reboot, reform and transform the societal engines of Caribbean society – economics, security and governance. In fact, the book (Page 131) provides one specific advocacy entitled 10 Ways to Make the Caribbean Better. This advocacy depicts the specific steps to Nurture the actions to better live, work and play.

Here are some samples, based on some previous blog-commentaries that doubled-down on this assertion that these societal engines – economics, security and governance – need redress:


The biggest Caribbean deficiency in this area is the lack of jobs, entrepreneurial opportunities and an industrial footprint. This sample of previous blog-commentaries asserted these points: Leading with Money Matters – Follow the Jobs The Dynamics of the ‘Gig Economy’ for New Job Options A Financing Model for Industrial Endeavors A Series on Rebooting the Industrial Landscape Big Infrastructure Projects Transforms Economic Engines Transformations: Perfecting Our Core Competence Where the Jobs Are – Greater than Minimum Wage Fostering the environment for Direct Foreign Investors Making a Great Place to Work®


Security and economics must be inextricably linked to elevate prosperity in the homeland. People must be assured public safety and the economic engines must be protected. This theme was conveyed in this sample of previous blog-commentaries: Common Sense Policies with Guns Providing a safer environment for tourists and event participants Manifesting Caribbean Basin Security Dreams Policing the Police Managing Natural & Man-Made ‘Clear and Present Dangers’ Acceding a Caribbean Regional Arrest Treaty Securing the Homeland – A Series The Logistics of Disaster Relief Preparing for Epidemics …Like Zika. Role Model for a Caribbean Regional Security Force


The colonial beginnings of the Caribbean have not been supplanted with more advanced systems of governance. This is the plan within the Go Lean roadmap. This plan was expanded in this sample of previous blog-commentaries: Transforming Mail Eco-System, Transforms Government & Society One Integration Effort – CariCom – Defective One-Man-One-Vote American Governing Defects – No Vote; No Voice in Congress Lessons Learned from the ‘Dignified and Efficient’ British Model Integrating Federal Governance: Assembling Regional Organizations The Quest for a ‘Single Currency’ Failure to Launch: Past Failures for Caribbean Integration Making a ‘Pluralistic Democracy’ – Multilingual Realities

In summary, the Nature of the Caribbean – inherited from the Europeans – is not defaulted for governing efficiency. But, the regional governing entities can be Nurtured for an optimized delivery.

Yes, we can elevate our societal engines. We do not have to suffer and reap the whirlwind of the sins of our legacy members; we do not have to wait for punishment on the children for the sins of their Father. This quest is conceivable, believable and achievable. We can make our homeland a better place to live, work and play. 🙂

Download the free e-Book of Go Lean … Caribbean – now!

Sign the petition to lean-in for this roadmap for the Caribbean Union Trade Federation.


Appendix – Bristol Slave Trade

Bristol is a city in the South West of England, on the River Avon which flows into the Severn Estuary. Because of Bristol’s position on the River Avon, it has been an important location for marine trade for centuries.[1] The city’s involvement with the slave trade peaked between 1730 and 1745, when it became the leading slaving port.[2]

Bristol used its position on the Avon to trade all types of goods. Bristol’s port was the second largest in England after London. Countries that Bristol traded with included France, Spain, Ireland, Portugal, and North Africa’s Barbary Coast. Bristol’s main export was woollen cloth. Other exports included coal, lead, and animal hides. Imports into Bristol included wine, grain, slate, timber, and olive oil. Trading with the various colonies in the Caribbean and North America began to flourish during the Interregnum of Oliver Cromwell (1649–1660).

The Royal African Company, a London-based trading company, had control over all trade between countries in Britain and Africa before the year 1698[3] At this time, only ships owned by the Royal African Company could trade for anything, including slaves. Slaves were increasingly an important commodity at the time, since the British colonization in the Caribbean and the Americas in the 17th century. The Society of Merchant Venturers, an organization of elite merchants in Bristol [and synonymous with the government of Bristol], wanted to commence participation in the African slave trade, and after much pressure from them and other interested parties in and around Britain, the Royal African Company’s control over the slave trade was broken in 1698.

As soon as the monopoly was broken, what is thought to have been the first “legitimate” Bristol slave ship, the Beginning, owned by Stephen Barker, purchased a cargo of enslaved Africans and delivered them to the Caribbean. Some average slave prices were £20, £50, or £100. In her will of 1693, Jane Bridges, Widow of Leigh Upon Mendip bequeathes her interest of £130 in this very ship to her grandson Thomas Bridges and indicates that the vessel was owned by the City of Bristol. Business boomed; however, due to the over-crowding and harsh conditions on the ships, it is estimated that approximately half of each cargo of slaves did not survive the trip across the Atlantic.[4]

The triangular trade was a route taken by slave merchants during the years 1697 and 1807. The areas covered by the triangular trade was England, North West Africa and finally The Caribbean. Profits of 50-100% were made during the 18th century. Estimates vary about how many slaves were sold and transported by companies registered in Bristol. Over 3.4 million slaves were brought into slavery by these ships, representing one-fifth of the British slave trade during this time.[5][6] However, estimates of over 500,000 slaves were brought into slavery by these ships.[7][8]

Source: Retrieved April 10, 2018 from


Appendix VIDEO – William Wilberforce & the End of the African Slave Trade –

Rose Publishing

Published on Jul 26, 2012 – Learn how a young member of British Parliament followed his conviction to bring about the abolition of the African slave trade.

In this 12 Session DVD-based study, Dr. Timothy Paul Jones takes you through the most important events in Christian history from the time of the apostles to today. Click here to read more about this amazing Christian History Bible study series:…

To learn more about this DVD study visit

  • Category: Education
  • License: Standard YouTube License
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