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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. Tony L

    Tony L Administrator

    Well I’m certainly a very, very different demographic to the party which waved all the UKIP and EDL racists and fascists through with a doff of the cap rather than risk losing some white working-class gammon votes in Barnsley or wherever. If you want to talk demographics start by looking at the shite your party pandered to under Corbyn! Even then, long after losing anti-fascists/anti-nationalists etc like me (many of whom are young), the party still got it wrong as it miscalculated that too and still lost by a massive landslide to a half-witted work-shy Bullingdon oaf.

    The problem to my eyes is Labour now runs itself as a business with focus groups, demographic analysis etc. Long ago the party became a stale career path, not a movement for change or a moral calling. Corbyn gormlessly sitting on the fence in the face of white ethnic nationalism was the final straw and just as bad to my mind as Blair following a hard-right US Republican administration into a religious war/act of imperialism in Iraq. It just amplified everything that is so broken about the party today. Why the hell can’t they just call bad things what they are without worrying about losing their racist vote or whatever?

    My hope is Starmer is playing a long game. I can’t see it, and I suspect I now just accept Labour will never be my home anyway, but I wish him luck as he has a huge hill to climb.
  2. Seanm

    Seanm pfm Member

    Jesus, change the record. Try to look at things from a perspective other than your own, and Brexit, for 10 minutes.

    The oddest thing about your position is that you reserve almost all your rancour for Corbyn, despite the fact that his moment was a rare break with almost everything you’re ranting about here: the capitulation to racists, the focus groups, the war mongering. Then Starmer blatantly re-establishes continuity with that tradition and you’re all “Wish him well, playing the long game there!”

    It doesn’t make any sense, does it?
  3. Bart

    Bart pfm Member

    The statue itself doesn’t convey any history and the inscription bears somewhat misleading history ‘ of the most virtuous and wise sons of their city‘.
    TheDecameron likes this.
  4. Weekender

    Weekender pfm Member

    Pot kettle. ;)

    In fairness to everyone - our positions are entrenched. No one is going to move.
    docstocker likes this.
  5. Tony L

    Tony L Administrator

    Indeed, and I’d certainly argue that the most logical response to the party’s most humiliating rejection and defeat in getting on for a century might be to accept the ideology and presentation was just plain wrong! It’s not as if Corbyn had strong competition, it was Boris Johnson FFS?! The text book definition of the feckless idle rich with some well documented racism thrown in! To lose to that really takes a special leader!
  6. Seanm

    Seanm pfm Member

    Utterly incoherent position.
  7. roman

    roman pfm Member

    Until recent Covid disaster, Johnson continued to poll well in red wall areas, and that's with Corbyn gone. Corbyns poor performance only explains part of Johnson's popularity. The uncomfortable truth is be it brexit platitudes or straight forward deference toward posh blokes the Tories enjoyed some genuine popularity in traditional labour areas.
  8. Rockmeister

    Rockmeister pfm Member

    It certainly shouldn't be put in any museum, except maybe somewhere with rotten toms sold at the door. It's not ART, there is no great distinction to it as a work in that sense, it simply celebrated the use of the wealth created by the extreme greed and cruelty of a white man in Bristol. I understand why it was put up, but it, and countless like it worldwide, are not appropriate now. I don't condone its removal method, although understanding the hate and emotion.
    I would like to see a local museum buy the recording of it's removal and have that on display, with a dispassionate history of the man, his life and times and Bristols growth, in context.
    Money, that is great wealth, was very rarely made then without hardship to others. Britain and America were appalling in this way, and I doubt that there is a city in the whole of the UK that doesn't have, on display, architecture, or commercial resources built on those profits.
    We need to regret these things, explain them in context and move on.
    Darren L, Bart, gavreid and 1 other person like this.
  9. gavreid

    gavreid pfm Member

    Strangely even the childrens BBC is talking about a widespread ignorance of black history in the UK. Few people realise from their schooling that black people have been in Britain from Roman times at least.

    In order to justify slavery, black people had to be made inferior in the eyes of God to fit with the teachings of the bible, so the church promulgated racism alongside politicians. Speaking of museums, for example in art history faces that had always been depicted black, such as the Queen of Sheeba, were made white in 16th & 17th century paintings and stained glass. The few black faces that appeared were probably slaves...

    This is the QoS depicted as black in the 13 C window at Cologne cathedralöln_Dom_Jüngeres_Bibelfenster85.JPG
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2020
    ks.234 likes this.
  10. ks.234

    ks.234 pfm Member

    Credible because they accept the a Tory line rather than oppose it
  11. Rockmeister

    Rockmeister pfm Member

    What's the point of opposing something that's right? It's not simple. The oppositions job is to argue for their own policies and oppose those from the government which would be counterproductive the the voters of that opposition. A government does, sometimes however, do what's best for the majority of us, and that needs supporting.
    docstocker likes this.
  12. TheDecameron

    TheDecameron Unicorns fart glitter.

    The act of pulling down that statue will be one of the momentous events of our era. They’ll be rerunning it round the world for decades along with Berlin, Baghdad and Tiananmen Square. Rolling it into the harbour was a very creative solution and they should wait till it gets some barnacles on it before sticking it in an anti-slavery museum exhibit.
  13. ks.234

    ks.234 pfm Member

    So let’s weigh up the good deeds and the bad. How much good is needed to justify the absolute evil that is slavery? Is it possible to justify the acts of any evil doer if some good comes out of it?

    No. Colston made his money by trafficking in human misery of an unimaginable kind. He lived off the immense profits of his evil doing and only at the end of his life did he donate some to charity.

    His charity did not balance out his evil doing in any measure.

    To erect a statue to his evil doing is itself an act on evil.

    Democracy on the other hand is about balance. To those who say the statue should’ve been torn by democratic means, the question is, what we’re the democratic means that prevented it being removed years ago when there were peaceful protests and clear democratic movement to have this monumental affront to human decency removed. Was it a petition of thousands of concerned citizens verses the voice of a few fat white men in suits behind closed doors?
  14. ks.234

    ks.234 pfm Member

    And Jesus was a blue eyed blond
    gavreid likes this.
  15. cooky1257

    cooky1257 pfm Member

    I strongly recommend a visit to the International Slavery Museum in Liverpool, its packed with artifacts that aren't art. If you destroy the artifacts you destroy the context. Liverpool Council had, just before covid landed, plans to place plaques next to place/road names, buildings etc of prominent slave traders explaining the history. They are just starting to roll them out across the city. People need to know the history/cultural significance of the ground they walk on, the buildings and statues dotted around the place. I regard the calls for removal/destruction as no better than whitewashing a shameful history and misses an opportunity to enlighten people. In a nutshell people need to know who these fu ckers were, what they did, when it was done and who the fu ckers who commissioned the statues were and why....
    Rockmeister, twotone, Rob998 and 2 others like this.
  16. Tony L

    Tony L Administrator

    I’m just a customer, one you failed to attract. Nothing even remotely incoherent about my position! I vote for the nearest to my belief set at every election. Labour were miles away from that. Not even in the same general ballpark.

    If you want incoherence just look at those who after pushing their party to a humiliating defeat of truly historic proportion just slap each other on the back, congratulate their failed leader, believe they got everything right, and then just try and do it all again. As I’ve said before I lived through this shite with Militant, SWP etc in the ‘80s, so I’ve seen it all before. Tried, tested, failed.
    docstocker likes this.
  17. Cav

    Cav pfm Member

    You seem to be confusing the respective roles of museums and art galleries.
  18. claire.foxx

    claire.foxx Trans lives matter more than cis feelings

    The pedestals should be kept with a unified symbol, perhaps a simple black cube, marking a site that marks a **** used to stand here and “your racist city councillors commemorated him”. Racism is ingrained and institutionalised in a society when you put up monuments to the slavery and not the slaves.

    It doesn’t change the underlying problem of what to do with the racist cops and businessmen and pillars of the community.
    twotone, cooky1257 and tuga like this.
  19. Tony L

    Tony L Administrator

    Agree entirely. Manchester’s People’s History Museum is well worth a visit too. Some fascinating artefacts and stories in there.

    This is the sort of place where Colston’s battered statue deserves to end up (horizontally) along with footage of the global anti-racist events. It is legitimate social history. I fully support the act of tearing it down, and now it has a far more interesting tale to tell. It should definitely be retrieved and re-displayed in this new context.
    Nick_G, lordsummit and ff1d1l like this.
  20. ff1d1l

    ff1d1l pfm Member

    Corbyn played the long game - remember 2D chess, a year or so later 3D chess, 4D, etc...considerable rope was extended to him at first on here and in the wider community, hell I even thought he was great myself. Went with my son to see him speak, my son shook his hand and didn't wash it for a week.
    Then not brexit itself, not the vote, but the realities of what it would mean became obvious to those capable of joined up thought and thinking it through.
    And as time went on, it became obvious that the multidimensional chess involved embracing this flawed right wing coup to not lose votes.
    Unfortunately, this meant sacrificing the votes of the population segment labour had made strongest gains in - the young. No not all of them, but by and large the ones who could think, and had been inspired and motivated.
    I'm sure you'll remember myself and many others on here pointing this out, and warning that it was not only destroying labours election chances, but the left wing direction the party was taking. As time went on, it became obvious that aside from a general favouring of brexit by corbyn, for ideological reasons I personally find unfathomable, his strategy, such as it was, was wait.
    Opportunities to surge ahead on tory lies, cockups and infighting arrived - and departed un capitalised on - almost daily. He defined inept (or did until the johnsons strategy on CV arrived). On here, almost daily, he was railed at, and predictions of labours slaughter at the next GE were made, presciently.
    Finally, in a masterstroke of underachieving, he agreed to the johnsons election at the time of his choosing.
    What happened?
    Most of us on here were good enough to not rub it in or say I told you so, though for two years criticism of corbyn had been ongoing. You and others persisted in not addressing the criticism, but loftily asserted that the corbyn doubters were not sufficiently pure in some unspecified way and were not privy to the truth underlying it all.
    For the record, I thought the policies labour ran on at the last election were great, and even their brexit fudge, had it been confidently introduced after the ref, might have flown.
    So after years of open goals missed, support of a right wing coup, pathetic for the most part PMQs and being unable to keep his MPs in order, gammon allotment man was not voted for.
    Two other factors - media hated him, and he didn't have the people skills to strategise with the other parties.
    In retrospect he was a disaster.
    Starmer seems more competent, I say tentatively, if only because he can think on his feet and articulate it. Don't necessarily like what comes out of his mouth but I do like the appearance of competence, and maybe that's more important at the moment.
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2020
    Nick_G, jackbarron and Weekender like this.

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