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Edward Colston/Trans rights/Stamp collecting

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  • Jeremy.89Jeremy.89 Posts: 457



    If you think Colston is a can of worms, wait till you check out the debate in Belgium about king Leopold II statues...

    We'll it's properly kicked off there with multiple *large* statues of the guy being burned and/or torn down.
    His museum used to be a bit odd in that it had no mention of any trouble he might have caused in Africa.
    It is is in the same ballpark as the holocaust in terms of overall numbers of death and quantity of suffering. Obviously not quite as fast, but it's really very very bad.
    Can the British schools teach that the Belgiums were worse?
    Being taught that the Belgians were worse during the scramble for Africa is a snippet that I remember from my A level history.

    Along with the British not being terrible intrested in vast chunks of Africa, as other bits of the world were more profitable.

  • TheBigBeanTheBigBean Posts: 13,231
    I imagine there are some Chinese investors thinking the same today.
  • ballysmateballysmate Posts: 15,627



    If you think Colston is a can of worms, wait till you check out the debate in Belgium about king Leopold II statues...

    We'll it's properly kicked off there with multiple *large* statues of the guy being burned and/or torn down.

    These protesters really should start thinking big. Although a monument and not a statue, what about Mount Rushmore?
    Completed within living memory, 1941, depicting 2 slave owners, a white supremacist and a not such a great Emancipator as you thought.

    https://www.historyextra.com/period/victorian/abraham-lincoln-great-emancipator-slavery-what-did-president-do-free-slaves-lucy-worsley/

    And a Native American view

    #blacklivesmatterbutnotfussedaboutredones

    https://nativenewsonline.net/currents/historically-accurate-abraham-lincoln/

    Perhaps we will wake up to find an activist has taken dynamite to it over night?

    Pretty soon we will run out of statues that meet the criteria of depicting those of only unblemished character.
    Once all the statues are gone, we could perhaps turn our attention to books that should be burned?



  • rjsterryrjsterry Posts: 20,171

    Jeremy.89 said:

    what does everybody think about the schools that he endowed with his ill gotten gains.

    Dropping his name seems like an easy cop out. Surely liquidating them (and similar establishments) and sending the money as reparations somewhere would be appropriate?

    Is there a time limit for reparations?

    Spending energy trying to improve modern attitudes would seem more worthwhile than trying to work out how reparations would be distributed justly.

    "I'm sorry a copper stopped you on a bike ride caus he thought he smelt weed on your breath, here's a tenner" feels like both an attempt to wash over someone's experience of racism, and also an act that would really rub the right wingers up the wrong way. *

    *not that I'm necessarily against the later.
    no time limit on voluntarily doing the right thing. Close down everything funded from the slave trade and let the trustees distribute the funds
    Wouldn't it be more sensible, rather than shutting down a school (is the issue here not quite evenly split on generational lines, reflecting perhaps the difference in education compared to before?) to incorporate the issue into the education.

    I would have thought making the school a leading light in how to examine Britain's colonial past in mainstream education would be more appropriate.

    To give a colonial example, just because thousands of slaves died in forced labour building a train track, doesn't mean you shouldn't use the train track anymore, no?
    seems shutting down a school is not as easy as pulling down a statue. Personally I would find it easy to find a better use for wealth earned from slavery.
    It's not really feasible. Do you shut down Bristol University? The City Museum and Art Gallery? Compulsorily purchase all the houses built from slavery money? It's all too entangled. There are better ways of dealing with the issue.
    1985 Mercian King of Mercia - work in progress (Hah! Who am I kidding?)
    Pinnacle Monzonite

    Liberal metropolitan, remoaner, traitor, "sympathiser", etc.
  • rick_chaseyrick_chasey Posts: 55,998 Lives Here
    Why the leap from books to statues? They're quite different.

    I do really think going into bat for King Leopold II is not a good idea.
  • rjsterryrjsterry Posts: 20,171



    If you think Colston is a can of worms, wait till you check out the debate in Belgium about king Leopold II statues...

    We'll it's properly kicked off there with multiple *large* statues of the guy being burned and/or torn down.

    These protesters really should start thinking big. Although a monument and not a statue, what about Mount Rushmore?
    Completed within living memory, 1941, depicting 2 slave owners, a white supremacist and a not such a great Emancipator as you thought.

    https://www.historyextra.com/period/victorian/abraham-lincoln-great-emancipator-slavery-what-did-president-do-free-slaves-lucy-worsley/

    And a Native American view

    #blacklivesmatterbutnotfussedaboutredones

    https://nativenewsonline.net/currents/historically-accurate-abraham-lincoln/

    Perhaps we will wake up to find an activist has taken dynamite to it over night?

    Pretty soon we will run out of statues that meet the criteria of depicting those of only unblemished character.
    Once all the statues are gone, we could perhaps turn our attention to books that should be burned?



    Smashing statues is as old as statues.
    1985 Mercian King of Mercia - work in progress (Hah! Who am I kidding?)
    Pinnacle Monzonite

    Liberal metropolitan, remoaner, traitor, "sympathiser", etc.
  • pangolinpangolin Posts: 3,719
    Don't really understand the "But what if they get rid of the statues of everyone who was racist?" line of thinking.
    Genesis Croix de Fer
    Cube Attain
  • TheBigBeanTheBigBean Posts: 13,231

    Why the leap from books to statues? They're quite different.

    I do really think going into bat for King Leopold II is not a good idea.

    I do agree with you on this point.
  • ballysmateballysmate Posts: 15,627

    Why the leap from books to statues? They're quite different.

    I do really think going into bat for King Leopold II is not a good idea.

    Not batting for Leo or anyone else. Only quoted you because you mentioned *large* statues.

    I confess I have never seen the Colston statue, in fact I wouldn't have been able to pick him out of a lineup.
    You have always said that GB should face up to its past and here was a constant reminder that could have served to remind the folk of Brizzle on what their city's prosperity was based on. But the mob thought today seems to be to eradicate all trace, be it statues, names of buildings, streets etc.
    Can't see what changing a building from Colston to say Nelson Mandele House, à la OFAH, achieves in reminding future generations.


  • pangolinpangolin Posts: 3,719

    Without wanting to end the thread, but this is pretty much all there is to say on it:



    (The video, not the tweet)
    Ricks post from page 1 sums it up well.
    Genesis Croix de Fer
    Cube Attain
  • rick_chaseyrick_chasey Posts: 55,998 Lives Here
    edited June 2020

    Why the leap from books to statues? They're quite different.

    I do really think going into bat for King Leopold II is not a good idea.

    Not batting for Leo or anyone else. Only quoted you because you mentioned *large* statues.

    I confess I have never seen the Colston statue, in fact I wouldn't have been able to pick him out of a lineup.
    You have always said that GB should face up to its past and here was a constant reminder that could have served to remind the folk of Brizzle on what their city's prosperity was based on. But the mob thought today seems to be to eradicate all trace, be it statues, names of buildings, streets etc.
    Can't see what changing a building from Colston to say Nelson Mandele House, à la OFAH, achieves in reminding future generations.


    ( I was referring to *the* guy, as in, King Leopold II)

    I mean, I had forgotten about Hitler given all the missing statues and schools named after him.

    Similarly, why did they take the Jimmy Saville statue down in Glasgow? By your logic is should have, to remind future generations of the dangers of the celebrity nonce? You won't find me arguing that that should have stayed up. Hopefully, neither will you.

    The plaque on the statue of Colston only revered the guy, so it was not so much a reminder of the dodgy past as much a celebration of the man's wealth (which he got from slave trading).
  • floreriderflorerider Posts: 1,112
    Own goal in many ways, turns the argument away from addressing racism and current day slavery to brushing out history.
  • rjsterryrjsterry Posts: 20,171

    Why the leap from books to statues? They're quite different.

    I do really think going into bat for King Leopold II is not a good idea.

    Not batting for Leo or anyone else. Only quoted you because you mentioned *large* statues.

    I confess I have never seen the Colston statue, in fact I wouldn't have been able to pick him out of a lineup.
    You have always said that GB should face up to its past and here was a constant reminder that could have served to remind the folk of Brizzle on what their city's prosperity was based on. But the mob thought today seems to be to eradicate all trace, be it statues, names of buildings, streets etc.
    Can't see what changing a building from Colston to say Nelson Mandele House, à la OFAH, achieves in reminding future generations.


    Don't worry, Bally, there are still *lots* of streets and buildings named after Colston or otherwise related to the slave trade.
    1985 Mercian King of Mercia - work in progress (Hah! Who am I kidding?)
    Pinnacle Monzonite

    Liberal metropolitan, remoaner, traitor, "sympathiser", etc.
  • blazing_saddlesblazing_saddles Posts: 17,910
    I am glad Sir Stanley doesn't have a statue. He'd certainly be on the hit list.


    "Science is a tool for cheaters". An anonymous French PE teacher.
  • ballysmateballysmate Posts: 15,627
    I was born and raised in a coal mining area. The mines have obviously gone but there are reminders of local history to anyone new to, or visiting the area.
    Bristol played a huge part in the slave trade and it would be weird (and wrong) if there were no reminders of that because all trace had been eradicated.
    Colston was a slave trader and a murderer, no argument from me on that, but he was a prominent figure in the city's history and shouldn't be airbrushed away.
    If the plaque was the problem, change the plaque to better reflect his role in history.

    Please note, I am not equating slavery with mining, but saying that areas should reflect their local history, warts and all.
  • ballysmateballysmate Posts: 15,627
    rjsterry said:

    Why the leap from books to statues? They're quite different.

    I do really think going into bat for King Leopold II is not a good idea.

    Not batting for Leo or anyone else. Only quoted you because you mentioned *large* statues.

    I confess I have never seen the Colston statue, in fact I wouldn't have been able to pick him out of a lineup.
    You have always said that GB should face up to its past and here was a constant reminder that could have served to remind the folk of Brizzle on what their city's prosperity was based on. But the mob thought today seems to be to eradicate all trace, be it statues, names of buildings, streets etc.
    Can't see what changing a building from Colston to say Nelson Mandele House, à la OFAH, achieves in reminding future generations.


    Don't worry, Bally, there are still *lots* of streets and buildings named after Colston or otherwise related to the slave trade.
    I take it they are so named to honour him and as such they should be renamed then and he further airbrushed from the city's history?

  • pblakeneypblakeney Posts: 15,862


    If the plaque was the problem, change the plaque to better reflect his role in history.

    A similar point was made on a podcast.
    If you hide the evidence, you hide the crime.
    The above may be fact, or fiction, I may be serious, I may be jesting.
    I am not sure. You have no chance.
    Veronese68 wrote:
    PB is the most sensible person on here.
  • kingstongrahamkingstongraham Posts: 16,770
    edited June 2020

    rjsterry said:

    Why the leap from books to statues? They're quite different.

    I do really think going into bat for King Leopold II is not a good idea.

    Not batting for Leo or anyone else. Only quoted you because you mentioned *large* statues.

    I confess I have never seen the Colston statue, in fact I wouldn't have been able to pick him out of a lineup.
    You have always said that GB should face up to its past and here was a constant reminder that could have served to remind the folk of Brizzle on what their city's prosperity was based on. But the mob thought today seems to be to eradicate all trace, be it statues, names of buildings, streets etc.
    Can't see what changing a building from Colston to say Nelson Mandele House, à la OFAH, achieves in reminding future generations.


    Don't worry, Bally, there are still *lots* of streets and buildings named after Colston or otherwise related to the slave trade.
    I take it they are so named to honour him and as such they should be renamed then and he further airbrushed from the city's history?

    Been a campaign to rename the Colston Hall for a long time, and they've committed to it.
  • surrey_commutersurrey_commuter Posts: 13,977

    rjsterry said:

    Why the leap from books to statues? They're quite different.

    I do really think going into bat for King Leopold II is not a good idea.

    Not batting for Leo or anyone else. Only quoted you because you mentioned *large* statues.

    I confess I have never seen the Colston statue, in fact I wouldn't have been able to pick him out of a lineup.
    You have always said that GB should face up to its past and here was a constant reminder that could have served to remind the folk of Brizzle on what their city's prosperity was based on. But the mob thought today seems to be to eradicate all trace, be it statues, names of buildings, streets etc.
    Can't see what changing a building from Colston to say Nelson Mandele House, à la OFAH, achieves in reminding future generations.


    Don't worry, Bally, there are still *lots* of streets and buildings named after Colston or otherwise related to the slave trade.
    I take it they are so named to honour him and as such they should be renamed then and he further airbrushed from the city's history?

    still not sure why everybody is against the idea of various trustees finding African/slavery related causes to give the money to
  • rjsterryrjsterry Posts: 20,171
    edited June 2020

    I was born and raised in a coal mining area. The mines have obviously gone but there are reminders of local history to anyone new to, or visiting the area.
    Bristol played a huge part in the slave trade and it would be weird (and wrong) if there were no reminders of that because all trace had been eradicated.
    Colston was a slave trader and a murderer, no argument from me on that, but he was a prominent figure in the city's history and shouldn't be airbrushed away.
    If the plaque was the problem, change the plaque to better reflect his role in history.

    Please note, I am not equating slavery with mining, but saying that areas should reflect their local history, warts and all.

    He was big in the RAC but he only spent his childhood in Bristol. Think of it as buying a legacy. The Bristol establishment have form for wanting to minimise the impact of slavery and its importance to the city. When they named Pero's Bridge after a slave who lived in Bristol, this was considered too controversial by some. A new plaque was proposed for Colston's statue but it got bogged down in arguments between City Council and the supporters of Colston (yes there are some).
    1985 Mercian King of Mercia - work in progress (Hah! Who am I kidding?)
    Pinnacle Monzonite

    Liberal metropolitan, remoaner, traitor, "sympathiser", etc.
  • rjsterryrjsterry Posts: 20,171

    rjsterry said:

    Why the leap from books to statues? They're quite different.

    I do really think going into bat for King Leopold II is not a good idea.

    Not batting for Leo or anyone else. Only quoted you because you mentioned *large* statues.

    I confess I have never seen the Colston statue, in fact I wouldn't have been able to pick him out of a lineup.
    You have always said that GB should face up to its past and here was a constant reminder that could have served to remind the folk of Brizzle on what their city's prosperity was based on. But the mob thought today seems to be to eradicate all trace, be it statues, names of buildings, streets etc.
    Can't see what changing a building from Colston to say Nelson Mandele House, à la OFAH, achieves in reminding future generations.


    Don't worry, Bally, there are still *lots* of streets and buildings named after Colston or otherwise related to the slave trade.
    I take it they are so named to honour him and as such they should be renamed then and he further airbrushed from the city's history?

    Many are so named because he paid for them. It's not just him: the Wills family were big on local philanthropy but less up front about where the wealth came from.
    1985 Mercian King of Mercia - work in progress (Hah! Who am I kidding?)
    Pinnacle Monzonite

    Liberal metropolitan, remoaner, traitor, "sympathiser", etc.
  • TheBigBeanTheBigBean Posts: 13,231
    rjsterry said:

    rjsterry said:

    Why the leap from books to statues? They're quite different.

    I do really think going into bat for King Leopold II is not a good idea.

    Not batting for Leo or anyone else. Only quoted you because you mentioned *large* statues.

    I confess I have never seen the Colston statue, in fact I wouldn't have been able to pick him out of a lineup.
    You have always said that GB should face up to its past and here was a constant reminder that could have served to remind the folk of Brizzle on what their city's prosperity was based on. But the mob thought today seems to be to eradicate all trace, be it statues, names of buildings, streets etc.
    Can't see what changing a building from Colston to say Nelson Mandele House, à la OFAH, achieves in reminding future generations.


    Don't worry, Bally, there are still *lots* of streets and buildings named after Colston or otherwise related to the slave trade.
    I take it they are so named to honour him and as such they should be renamed then and he further airbrushed from the city's history?

    Many are so named because he paid for them. It's not just him: the Wills family were big on local philanthropy but less up front about where the wealth came from.
    Are you telling me that Wills Memorial Building has to go as well? Not happy with that. From an architect too.

  • ballysmateballysmate Posts: 15,627

    rjsterry said:

    Why the leap from books to statues? They're quite different.

    I do really think going into bat for King Leopold II is not a good idea.

    Not batting for Leo or anyone else. Only quoted you because you mentioned *large* statues.

    I confess I have never seen the Colston statue, in fact I wouldn't have been able to pick him out of a lineup.
    You have always said that GB should face up to its past and here was a constant reminder that could have served to remind the folk of Brizzle on what their city's prosperity was based on. But the mob thought today seems to be to eradicate all trace, be it statues, names of buildings, streets etc.
    Can't see what changing a building from Colston to say Nelson Mandele House, à la OFAH, achieves in reminding future generations.


    Don't worry, Bally, there are still *lots* of streets and buildings named after Colston or otherwise related to the slave trade.
    I take it they are so named to honour him and as such they should be renamed then and he further airbrushed from the city's history?

    still not sure why everybody is against the idea of various trustees finding African/slavery related causes to give the money to
    Gonna take a wild punt and suggest that changing a street name costs very little, whereas...

  • Jeremy.89Jeremy.89 Posts: 457
    pblakeney said:


    If the plaque was the problem, change the plaque to better reflect his role in history.

    A similar point was made on a podcast.
    If you hide the evidence, you hide the crime.
    Having a statue of someone who committed crimes against humanity, with a plaque calling him one of Bristol most wise and virtuous sons would seem to be hiding the evidence a little.

  • pblakeneypblakeney Posts: 15,862
    Jeremy.89 said:

    pblakeney said:


    If the plaque was the problem, change the plaque to better reflect his role in history.

    A similar point was made on a podcast.
    If you hide the evidence, you hide the crime.
    Having a statue of someone who committed crimes against humanity, with a plaque calling him one of Bristol most wise and virtuous sons would seem to be hiding the evidence a little.

    The point was that you change the plaque.
    The above may be fact, or fiction, I may be serious, I may be jesting.
    I am not sure. You have no chance.
    Veronese68 wrote:
    PB is the most sensible person on here.
  • rick_chaseyrick_chasey Posts: 55,998 Lives Here
    pblakeney said:

    Jeremy.89 said:

    pblakeney said:


    If the plaque was the problem, change the plaque to better reflect his role in history.

    A similar point was made on a podcast.
    If you hide the evidence, you hide the crime.
    Having a statue of someone who committed crimes against humanity, with a plaque calling him one of Bristol most wise and virtuous sons would seem to be hiding the evidence a little.

    The point was that you change the plaque.
    That got blocked multiple times by city hall.

    Until 2017 there was a big ceremony celebrating him in Brizzle.
  • kingstongrahamkingstongraham Posts: 16,770
    A pretty average statue with a plaque saying "this guy here was a total censored " isn't really better than taking it down is it?
  • pblakeneypblakeney Posts: 15,862
    edited June 2020
    Jeezo! I was only repeating what I thought was a sensible contribution from a podcast.
    I am now reminded why I side step these debates.
    The above may be fact, or fiction, I may be serious, I may be jesting.
    I am not sure. You have no chance.
    Veronese68 wrote:
    PB is the most sensible person on here.
  • Dorset_BoyDorset_Boy Posts: 4,022
    Surrey Commuter - I suspect that quite a number of the pupils of Colston's School over its history will have come from some fairly disadvantaged backgrounds, and even descendants of slaves. Ensuring the school recognises and educates it's pupils about where the money came from is surely the most sensible way forward rather than shutting down the school.
  • rjsterryrjsterry Posts: 20,171

    rjsterry said:

    rjsterry said:

    Why the leap from books to statues? They're quite different.

    I do really think going into bat for King Leopold II is not a good idea.

    Not batting for Leo or anyone else. Only quoted you because you mentioned *large* statues.

    I confess I have never seen the Colston statue, in fact I wouldn't have been able to pick him out of a lineup.
    You have always said that GB should face up to its past and here was a constant reminder that could have served to remind the folk of Brizzle on what their city's prosperity was based on. But the mob thought today seems to be to eradicate all trace, be it statues, names of buildings, streets etc.
    Can't see what changing a building from Colston to say Nelson Mandele House, à la OFAH, achieves in reminding future generations.


    Don't worry, Bally, there are still *lots* of streets and buildings named after Colston or otherwise related to the slave trade.
    I take it they are so named to honour him and as such they should be renamed then and he further airbrushed from the city's history?

    Many are so named because he paid for them. It's not just him: the Wills family were big on local philanthropy but less up front about where the wealth came from.
    Are you telling me that Wills Memorial Building has to go as well? Not happy with that. From an architect too.

    No obviously not. That's kind of my point.
    1985 Mercian King of Mercia - work in progress (Hah! Who am I kidding?)
    Pinnacle Monzonite

    Liberal metropolitan, remoaner, traitor, "sympathiser", etc.
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