Well, Not Saussure reminds me of a nice little illustration.
Consequently, I think it’s an opportune time to remind people of the outcome of the case Victims of Slavery versus Lloyd’s of London, heard in the Court of Appeal by Lord Justice Mussellbeet last May. It’s not available on Bailii as yet, so we are fortunate that Tim Worstall made a full transcript.
Indeed he did and, whilst the whole thing is very much worth reading for it's general giggle-factor, I reproduce the concluding paragraphs below.
"It has been brought to our attention that the average life span in West Africa is some 45 years, and the average annual income £500 a year. In the United States the similar figures are 75 years and £ 25,000.
"Armed with the afore-noted facts we are now able to overturn the verdict of the flapheaded oppressor of our schooldays and find in favour of the plaintiffs. Lloyd's of London is indeed responsible for the situation in which they find themselves.
"Now, as to damages. As you may have noted, there is no jury here, simply ourselves, so calculation of the damages, the restitution to be paid, falls to us. The basis of such a calculation is always that of sufficient to restore the situation to that of the status quo ante, or what it was before.
"Each of the plaintiffs is to pay to Lloyd's the sum of £985,000 immediately. This is based on a working life in the US of 40 years at £25,000 per annum as opposed to a 30 year working life in West Africa at £500 per annum. It is with a little relish that we note that, under the normal contingency arrangements, the plaintiffs lawyers will be liable for 40% of these sums.
"We further order that Lloyd's make suitable arrangements, at Lloyd's expense, for the return of the plaintiffs to their respective tribal homelands in West Africa. If America has damaged you so much that you must come to England to sue those responsible for taking you there, the least that can be done is to provide you with transport home. It should be obvious that at the same time the transportees will be stripped of their US citizenship as it must be heinous to bear such a mark of the slaver's oppression of you.
"There now remains the question of lifespans to consider. It is with considerable sadness that we note we cannot don the black cap now and order executions to bring the plaintiff's average lifespan as a class down to what it would have been if Lloyd's had not existed, but we think it right that they should discuss amongst themselves methods to correct this injustice, perhaps a lottery for assisted suicide or some such. As previously noted their lawyers should be liable for 40% of this part of the settlement, and having done some back of the parchment calculations we would point out that the immediate slaying of all of their legal representation will fill these requirements.
"That would be a suitable payment for encouraging the plaintiffs to persist in such a ludicrous and impertinent suit.
"God Save the Queen.“
I wouldn't worry about the lifespan: simply ship these gentlemen back to Africa and