The story of William Wilberforce’s parlimentary fight against slavery in Britain and his marriage to Emily.
I was inspired by the film. I didn’t care how much director Michael Apted was manipulating me, I was barracking for William Wilberforce, I was angry at the capitalist forces which made slavery happen in the first place. I was proud that this man was a Christian.
I wanted to make a difference like he made a difference. Looking back from where we are, slavery seemed clear as such an abhorrence, the greatest evil that needed fighting. But that moral clarity wouldn’t have existed in the 1790s, not for most people. And we can’t have that ‘moral clarity’ about our own times. It takes someone with prophetic imagination, a man or woman who can see the evils that have been naturalised.
And so what is the equivalent today that we should be fighting for? I’m not sure; I don’t have enough of a prophetic imagination. There’s too much grey in any issue I can think of. It’s clearer for my wife, and I can see where she’s coming from – the virtual slavery of the two-thirds world, making stuff for the first world for a pittance.
Add to this all the related evils of the System: global warming, war, greed.