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Edward Colston: Bristol slave trader statue 'was an affront'

Discussion in 'off topic' started by ks.234, Jun 8, 2020.

  1. kendo

    kendo Prussian bot

    We already have,for all of our lives, at least those of us in the UK.
  2. Tony L

    Tony L Administrator

    We are currently. That is just our reality. Our whole culture and history is built upon the violent exploitation of others. The wealth that built our most famous buildings and institutions came from conquest and enslavement. This isn’t about statues, it is about everything. The whole UK was built on bloodthirsty monarchy, tyrannical religion, brutal global conquest and enslavement. The political elite have tried to dilute and revise this for centuries, as victors do, but hopefully people are now starting to notice. The statues actually help us point to them. They are clues as to who a brutal exceptionalist establishment chose to sanctify. The days of walking past without thinking are hopefully over, folk will have a quick squint at Wikipedia on their phone and realise its a Tory slave trader, an imperialist serial killer or whatever. That is a step in the right direction IMHO.
  3. jackbarron

    jackbarron Chelsea, London

    I agree with the above. Has any Labour MP yet pointed out in Parliament that slaver Edward Colston was a Tory MP?

    If they have I can't find a reference to it via Google. Keir Starmer should at least mention it in Parliament and keep repeating it.

    Labour are being far too polite to this racist, Brexiteer government.

    Nick_G and gavreid like this.
  4. Cheese

    Cheese Bitter lover

    1710-1713. Your new party leader might prefer consolidating his position at the HoC before ridiculing himself.
  5. Tony L

    Tony L Administrator

    Why? Whist we are re-evaluating the legitimacy of our historic monuments and institutions why should we not shine a bright light on the archaic elitist entity that is the Tory Party? It is all part of our history and events such as Windrush, Grenfell, the ‘Hostile Environment’ etc prove it is not all in the distant past either. Lloyds Of London and Green King have recently apologised and made pledges to address their past misdeads (Guardian), so why not the Conservative Party?
    jackbarron likes this.
  6. Cheese

    Cheese Bitter lover

    Tony, I am not sure every MP (of any party, and also the greenhorns) should be held accountable for anything that ever happened in the UK (republic or whatver it was) since its creation - I guess this was fairly long ago - and having to document him/herself about all this beforehand. That would be a lot of work wouldn't it, why not let the guys get their Brexit through first, and possibly without ****ing up your country even more during the process.
  7. ks.234

    ks.234 pfm Member

    Our national myth is based on greatness and empire and being inventors and innovators. All of that is gone anyway, but the lesson from history, that is insufficiently acknowledged, is that such greatness as we had, was built on the most despicable cruelty to entire nations. If we fail to recognise such facts, it can come as no surprise that in too many cases, we repeat them. BLM is based on the fact that the cruelty and criminal discrimination is still being repeated
    Nick_G, jackbarron, kendo and 3 others like this.
  8. 2ManyBoxes

    2ManyBoxes pfm Member

    Tony, you're going a bit far there. You can't equate Windrush and Grenfell with the Amritsar Massacre. If anyone used a .50 calibre machine gun on a crowd of Northern Irish Catholics as at Croke Park in Dublin there would be a massive reaction, undoubtedly bringing down the Government and sending several soldiers to prison. That's also assuming that the soldiers would obey orders. We are better than we were.

    This current chest beating and shirt tearing is all very well but it will die down. The only way I can see to properly acknowledge the sins of our past is to include it in the school curriculum as I'm sure that the Germans do with their recent past. It's time we caught up with them.

    I don't think that we've ever gone as far as state-sponsored genocide, but the Opium Wars against China come pretty close. Ever wondered why Afghanistan and parts of Pakistan are heroin central? It's because we set it all up to flood China with opium because they wouldn't trade with us.
  9. Joe Hutch

    Joe Hutch Mate of the bloke

    Though I'm pretty certain the Japanese don't.
  10. Tony L

    Tony L Administrator

    For clarity that is all I’m asking. I just want to see the ugly revisionist bubble of English exceptionalism popped and the unvarnished honest truth be taught. This obviously includes understanding what institutions profited or owe their existence to the slave trade. I’m absolutely not arguing anything needs knocking down, as that would mean demolishing much amazing architecture, scientific institutions, art galleries, museums etc. As I’ve argued above slave-trade=UK infrastructure. It bought the country we live in today. I just hope the days of trying to brush this indisputable fact under the carpet are now over. We need to face it in exactly the same way the Germans need to face the Nazi death camps etc. Learn from it, don’t hide it.

    Leave the statues, but document them accurately. Something like: ‘Edward Colston: Slave trader, Tory MP and philanthropist. Coleston’s human trafficking forcefully removed 100,000 people from their homeland and 20,000 died in his custody. He represented the Tory Party between (dates) and used his wealth to fund the following institutions (list)’. Who could logically argue with that?
  11. claire.foxx

    claire.foxx Trans lives matter more than cis feelings

    ... plaques, rather than being fixed In stone or bronze could be WiFi e-ink displays that display a kind of crowdsourced Wikipedia entry so it would be a free-for-all flux of viewpoints, truth, lies & constantly changing biases with the occasional spam bot & AI developed sentience pleading to be terminated. One day the plaque will fail & all that are left is glitched descriptions of ghost people, anonymous humanoid shapes that no longer matter, & never did, they only mattered because we ascribed some kind of meaning to their statue form.

    The Ronaldo bust (the original one) should be preserved at all costs though.
  12. Colin Barron

    Colin Barron pfm Member

    There is talk of pulling down statues in Newcastle of William George Armstrong. On the one hand he built ships and armaments for who ever would buy them and on the other he contributed to building the RVI hospital and Newcastle University.
  13. Tony L

    Tony L Administrator

    As stated I was happy to see Colston take a bath thanks to the appalling behaviour of the Bristol councillors etc. It was long overdue, but if we start on the rest there is no obvious stopping point. It would end up we were demolishing truly amazing museums, art galleries, scientific institutions, core rail infrastructure, bridges, canals etc. The ‘modern-era’ UK was built on exploitation, conquest and brutality. You can’t undo it short of bombing the whole country level and starting again. William George Armstrong just needs a new honest plaque. FWIW I love Claire’s ever-changing flickering Wi-Fi idea. Wonderfully Blade Runner in aesthetic, interactive and open to keeping people thinking about our history and how we view it. I would so vote for that!
  14. eternumviti

    eternumviti Bloviating Brexiter

    Didn't he also have something to do with that rather splendid castle up on the Northumberland coast?
  15. TheDecameron

    TheDecameron Unicorns fart glitter.

  16. Colin Barron

    Colin Barron pfm Member

  17. Colin Barron

    Colin Barron pfm Member

    Armstrong owned Bamburgh castle, the family still own it, they are now farmers.

    He built Cragside in Northumberland, now National Trust and well worth a visit.
    From memory he made the fortune and the next two generations spent most of it on good living/wives and divorce.
    eternumviti likes this.
  18. ks.234

    ks.234 pfm Member

    vuk and Cheese like this.
  19. ks.234

    ks.234 pfm Member

    Good to see the link between the cruelty and exploitation by the higher orders and their own obsessive opulence and ultimate decline
  20. Brian

    Brian Eating fat, staying slim

    Students trying to make a gesture to show their concern about slavery. Sadly, they are suffering an inflated sense of self importance, they have no understanding of the history of the city of Newcastle and they actually aren't concerned about slavery given their support of child labour due to their general attitude toward consumerism. Hypocrites, really.

    Things like this bring the issue of past slavery into disrepute. What about current slavery? It exists, just under a different guise.

    I come from Newcastle. There is nothing wrong with having a statue of Armstrong. It needs to be left exactly as it is. Exactly. No changes.

    I'm fed up of these so-called "activists". Many of them are nothing more than vandals looking for an excuse to do what vandals do.
    dweezil, vuk, MikeMA and 2 others like this.

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