Amazing Grace

Before I forget, the organic re-education is still going strong. Less negative comments now by far.

Noticed in Asda today that Billingtons are now producing Fair Trade raw cane sugar from Malawi. A good start.

William WilbrforceIt reminded me of the scene in “Amazing Grace” where Wilberforce’s wife-to-be is explaining that she converted her friends to fair trade sugar by telling them that there was literally slaves’ blood in each spoonful of regular sugar. Now there’s a ploy. Maybe such a graphic shock was what was needed at that time to jolt the people out of their blissful ignorance.

Maybe that is still needed now. Sugar plantations still exploit their workers today. Fair trade sugar is still not the norm.

Wilberforce staged a boat trip to finish at one of the great slave ships of the day. Today we see images from around the world in our own homes and have became de-sensitised to the plight of those suffering from the choices that we have made. What can end the exploitation of workers around the world today? What will make us care?

My son was so impressed by William Wilberforce and his relentless pursuit of one cause. “Why aren’t there people like that around any more?” he wanted to know.

Is it that there are no big causes like that left to fight?

Is it that more people are engaged in campaigning making it less centred around one figure?

Could we put Bob Geldof in that category? Or Anita Roddick? Or Jonathan Porritt?

Is it that Government and the multinationals have become too big to fight?

The respect shown to Wilberforce at the end of the film by friend and foe alike was deeply moving. He used his gifts for the greater good. If my son and other viewers have gained a glimpse of that truth for themselves, then amazing grace still has a chance today.

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