5 November 2011
The Rt Hon David Cameron MP
10 Downing Street
Dear Prime Minister,
Open letter: Against racism - An age-old and divisive 'cancer' in 2011
In the face of the allegation of the serious offence of race abuse against the current England football captain, it seems an appropriate step that the captain should be asked to voluntarily withdraw from playing in the national team until the matter has been investigated and decided. If there is no such voluntary withdrawal then in the circumstances it would seem appropriate that the captain is not selected to play in international fixtures for the time being.
We invite the Prime Minister, in the present circumstances, to make clear, without prejudice to the accuser or to the accused, that the United Kingdom stands uncompromisingly against race abuse in our society and that race abuse is deemed a serious matter.
We recognise that football is presided over by its governing bodies and not by the Prime Minister' s office, however, the conduct of affairs of the England football team has far reaching national and international implications and so befits the attention of the Office the Prime Minister.
If there is no such 'suspension' from representative selection, England would suggest to the rest of the United Kingdom and the world, that allegations of race abuse is not a serious matter. Some might argue that such 'suspension' would imply 'guilt before trial', however, if our legal system is not seriously in question, such a plea cannot be valid as suspension or arrest or incarceration are oft steps in the process of the investigation and prosecution of allegations of serious misdemeanour under law of England and Wales.
It seems apt in the circumstances, not to forget the centuries long strand of racism that scars UK history — by way of the clearly barbarous and unlawful and racist enslavement of Africans, right here in these lands from where Africans were further odiously shipped across land and sea as merely economic chattel.
It was shamefully left to a small number of brave and noble people of courage, to mount action in civil courts, as one inroad in the fight against the odium of transatlanic–enslavement — cases include (i) James Sommersett (habeas corpus) 1771–72 (England); and (ii) Joseph Knight v Wedderburn 1774–78 (Scotland).
The centuries long African holocaust remains a shameful stain in English/British history. Sommersett won, and in judgment Lord Mansfield is reported to say,
"The state of slavery is of such a nature, that it is incapable of being introduced on any reasons, moral or political, but only by positive law… It is so odious, that nothing can be suffered to support it, but positive law".
Knight won when the Court of Session ruled,
"… that the dominion assumed over this negro ]Joseph Knight[, under the law of Jamaica, being unjust, could not be supported in this country to any extent …".
With the support of all responsible UK citizens, we hope the Prime Minister will move to rout the age-old institutionalised divisive 'cancer' of racism.
Copy to the chairmen:
The Football Association
The Premier League
Chelsea Football Club
Queens Park Rangers Football & Athletic Club