Slavery IS Part of Our City History; SIX in the City

Article excerpt

Byline: LAURENCE WESTGAPH

SLAVERY was in the media again last week as Tony Blair expressed his "sorrow" at Britain's involvement in the slave trade.

He didn't go as far as our council did in 1999, when the city issued a full apology for the role of Liverpool in the transatlantic slave trade, a decision, which I feel, was of great credit to Mayor Joe Devaney and other councillors of the time.

On Monday, thanks to Mr Blair, I was not surprised to hear the subject of slavery being discussed once more on our local airwaves.

Over the years, I have listened and taken part in many of Roger Phillips's shows on BBC Radio Merseyside.

We have chatted about many subjects, from my travels in Ghana, via the Toxteth riots, to my work with the late, great John Peel, but by far the topic we most discuss is Liverpool and the slave trade.

It's always an interesting subject to examine, as it makes great radio as so many people have such differing opinions on the matter.

Most people love educated debate, so it really does startle me when people who have little or no understanding of the subject phone up to add their penny's worth.

My know-it-all spouts the classic "No slaves came to Liverpool!"

I find myself shouting at the radio when I hear that, so I thought I would use this week's column to set the record straight. …