Richard Drax, 2022

Square

Driving to Dorset on the A31, you will witness a three mile stone wall, where statues of a stag and lion crown the gateways to the estate. You may wonder who lives here.

Richard Grosvenor Plunkett-Ernle-Erle-Drax, a British Conservative politician, Member of Parliament for South Dorset since 2010, lives here at Charborough House. In addition to the 700-acre private grounds of Charborough Park, the Drax family owns vast expanses of land and property in England, accrued from the fortunes of the family’s role as sugar plantation owners in Barbados from the 17th century.

Sir Hilary Beckles, chairman of the 20-state Caribbean Community’s (Caricom) Reparations Commission and vice-chancellor of the University of the West Indies, estimates that as many 30,000 slaves died on the Drax plantations in Barbados and Jamaica over a period of 200 years. According to Drax, “…no one can be held responsible today for what happened many hundreds of years ago”. Beckles believes that Richard Drax should: “One: apologise to African people and the people of the Caribbean and Two: show remorse and participate in reparatory justice”. I agree with Beckles.

Further testament to the character of Drax, he vehemently opposed the windfall tax that Rishi Sunak proposed to parliament in May 2022, accusing Sunak of ‘throwing red meat to socialists’. Drax is paid as a public servant, I consider Drax simply self serving.