The Archbishop of the West Indies (Radio 4 this morning) has asked me to apologise for the slave trade. Well, not just me, but you as well. So, not wanting to upset an archbishop, I hereby apologise. I am truly truly sorry, and I won't do it again. I don't know what came over me, call it original sin, but whatever it was, I shouldn't have done it and I now see the error of my ways. An apology, of course, is different from an expression of regret (which I and the civilised world had already made), but the Archbishop and his ilk can't see the difference, so just expressing regret won't be enough. If you feel inclined to grovel too, I am sure that will be acceptable.
As I understand it, the recipient of my apology is not just the Archbishop of the West Indies but also all the other people whose forebears were dragged out of Africa to be slaves elsewhere, eg, Arabia, the New World and parts of Europe.
It is incumbent on you and me also to try to wring apologies out of the Arab slave traders and the African tribes who worked for them. It's an uphill task, but we have to do it.
I do hope that clears the matter up to everyone's satisfaction.
And now, if you will excuse me, I am busy preparing my next tranche of apologies: for the genocide of the Bushmen, for the Crusades, for the Japanese invasion of China, for the assassination of Julius Caesar, for.... well, the list is endless, but the important thing for me to do is to acknowledge my guilt.
After which, they can all fuck off.