Britain would not be the wealthy, plentiful place that it is without its colonial history. Colonialism and slavery were key to its industrialisation and the growth of its capitalist economy. In 1833, Britain abolished slavery only to raise the equivalent of £17 billion in compensation to be paid to British slave-owners for the loss of their ‘property’. The compensation scheme was the largest state-sponsored pay-out in British history until it was superseded by the bank bailouts of 2008. The funds paid out built and infused Britain’s commercial, cultural, imperial and political institutions. Wealth derived from British slave-ownership has by no means been evenly distributed in Britain. It has helped to enrich and sustain elite institutions, individuals and families and has sewn inequality deep into the fabric of British society, helping to make it the most unequal place in Europe. Yet, Britain’s healthcare system, welfare state, transportation infrastructure, cultural and educational institutions, battered and unequally accessible as they are in the wake of privatisation and austerity policies, are colonially derived, along with the private wealth amassed over the course of the British Empire and retained after its defeat via systems of inheritance.