Monday, 12 September 2011
Slavery in the 21st century.
As I have mentioned previously on this blog, what is unfolding at Dale Farm is more complex then either the local objectors to the site or the Vanessa Redgraves of the world would care to admit to. Now the news that a police raid on a traveller site in Bedfordshire has resulted in a number of half starved slave workers, some held for up to fifteen years, being freed will hopefully concentrate the minds of those people who are keen to support anyone who is in conflict with the authorities. This is not to suggest that all travellers are slave masters of course but we should not be blind to the fact that the travelling community is home to some very unpleasant individuals. This recent raid comes after a similar case in Hampshire in June and will no doubt be used as ammunition against Dale Farm.
This case is about a few dozen vulnerable men held for years to work as labourers. They deserve our sympathy, but no more so than the hundreds of women sold into the sex trade of our major cities. It's a shocking reality that slavery did not end with William Wilbeforce but is still a feature of the modern world.