I have a good deal of respect for the Archbishops of Canterbury and York, normally less for Tony Blair. But when it comes to the matter of whether we should apologise for this country's part in the slave trade these two religious leaders are hopelessly wrong. I do hope that Blair sticks to his guns and not formally say "sorry". As with most countries our country has done many things in the past which now appear reprehensible and the slave trade is just one of them.
Saying 'sorry' for something that happened centuries ago is a total misuse of the word. It implies responsibility for something that has happened over which the apologiser in fact has had no control. It must be remembered that attitudes were so different back then. What about the Africans that actually did the deals with British slave traders, surely they are just as culpable. If a formal apology is made then this opens the floodgates for the never ending list of dirty deeds performed by our ancestors.
The whole thing is so crystal clear to me - I just can't understand why these intellectual church leaders are unable to see it.