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Edward Colston/Trans rights/Stamp collecting

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  • ballysmateballysmate Posts: 15,628

    Virtue signalling points?
    Mob of people tear down statue of slave trader and feel good in themselves but make no material difference to the life of anyone.

    Do I think the statue should be taken down?
    If the people of Bristol want it removed, then yes. If not and it was to remain, explain the subject's role in the history of the city, warts and all. He was a slaver, the region's prosperity was built partially on that, so explain that. Removing his statue, renaming roads and buildings to airbrush his role is wrong. Make people aware of local history.
    You, yourself have argued that GB should face its less than glorious past so why argue now to cover it up?

    The other aspect is my discomfort in allowing mob rule to decide which statues are allowed and which should be torn down. Others may feel comfortable with this, as they may think that this example deserves to go. But what about the next? And the next?

    It’s not covering up the past, in the same way they took a statue of a nonce down to totally no drama whatsoever.

    Statues celebrate the subject.

    Why celebrate a slave trader?

    You gonna keep Hitler statues up for services to motorways?
    Which Hitler statues?
  • ProssPross Posts: 29,623

    Pross said:

    The other thing to consider is that whilst the slavery of the times of Colston was predominantly black people taken from Africa to the plantations of the Caribbean, Deep South and South America slavery both historically and today isn't necessarily about colour. It's about exploiting the weak and vulnerable. Today it seems to be mainly Eastern Europeans and Asians being tricked, back in the days of the Roman Empire it was people from all other their conquered Empire black or white. Arguably much of the workforce on which the industrial revolution was based were little more than the slaves of the company employing them and were native to the country.

    Oh mate what is this?
    See my other response. Is the fact slavery in the 17th and 18th century was almost entirely of black people more down to the fact that the indigenous population of the countries Britain was colonising at the time were black or did the merchants deliberately seek out countries with a black populous? Maybe I'm wrong and the latter is the case, I'm happy to be corrected but the former seems the more logical.
  • rick_chaseyrick_chasey Posts: 57,382 Lives Here
    edited June 2020

    Virtue signalling points?
    Mob of people tear down statue of slave trader and feel good in themselves but make no material difference to the life of anyone.

    Do I think the statue should be taken down?
    If the people of Bristol want it removed, then yes. If not and it was to remain, explain the subject's role in the history of the city, warts and all. He was a slaver, the region's prosperity was built partially on that, so explain that. Removing his statue, renaming roads and buildings to airbrush his role is wrong. Make people aware of local history.
    You, yourself have argued that GB should face its less than glorious past so why argue now to cover it up?

    The other aspect is my discomfort in allowing mob rule to decide which statues are allowed and which should be torn down. Others may feel comfortable with this, as they may think that this example deserves to go. But what about the next? And the next?

    It’s not covering up the past, in the same way they took a statue of a nonce down to totally no drama whatsoever.

    Statues celebrate the subject.

    Why celebrate a slave trader?

    You gonna keep Hitler statues up for services to motorways?
    Which Hitler statues?
    Exactly they were all taken down. Bit like (most) Stalin statues.
  • ballysmateballysmate Posts: 15,628
    So how can I argue to keep statues that don't exist?
  • ballysmateballysmate Posts: 15,628
    If Russians want to keep/ pull down statues of Stalin, it is up to them. Nowt do with me.
  • blazing_saddlesblazing_saddles Posts: 18,216

    Virtue signalling points?
    Mob of people tear down statue of slave trader and feel good in themselves but make no material difference to the life of anyone.

    Do I think the statue should be taken down?
    If the people of Bristol want it removed, then yes. If not and it was to remain, explain the subject's role in the history of the city, warts and all. He was a slaver, the region's prosperity was built partially on that, so explain that. Removing his statue, renaming roads and buildings to airbrush his role is wrong. Make people aware of local history.
    You, yourself have argued that GB should face its less than glorious past so why argue now to cover it up?

    The other aspect is my discomfort in allowing mob rule to decide which statues are allowed and which should be torn down. Others may feel comfortable with this, as they may think that this example deserves to go. But what about the next? And the next?

    It’s not covering up the past, in the same way they took a statue of a nonce down to totally no drama whatsoever.

    Statues celebrate the subject.

    Why celebrate a slave trader?

    You gonna keep Hitler statues up for services to motorways?
    Which Hitler statues?
    Exactly they were all taken down. Bit like (most) Stalin statues.
    But not by the Germans.
    "Science is a tool for cheaters". An anonymous French PE teacher.
  • rick_chaseyrick_chasey Posts: 57,382 Lives Here

    So how can I argue to keep statues that don't exist?

    Because they once did but I am fairly sure you wouldn’t argue for them to not be taken down?

    Did you feel that removing the saville statue was whitewashing the U.K. celebrity nonce history? Presumably not, so why is this different?

    It is not whitewashing. Au contraire, the statues are that.

    I just can’t believe it’s even an option. I thought it would never be done.
  • blazing_saddlesblazing_saddles Posts: 18,216
    edited June 2020
    Pross said:

    The other thing to consider is that whilst the slavery of the times of Colston was predominantly black people taken from Africa to the plantations of the Caribbean, Deep South and South America slavery both historically and today isn't necessarily about colour. It's about exploiting the weak and vulnerable. Today it seems to be mainly Eastern Europeans and Asians being tricked, back in the days of the Roman Empire it was people from all other their conquered Empire black or white. Arguably much of the workforce on which the industrial revolution was based were little more than the slaves of the company employing them and were native to the country.

    pangolin said:



    I've considered it and you're talking rubbish



    Oh mate what is this?

    Pross highlights the Roman's enslaving half the known world and the horror modern day people trafficking from Eastern Europe and Asia and he's dismissed as talking rubbish?

    I guess I can't see it in such black and white terms either.
    "Science is a tool for cheaters". An anonymous French PE teacher.
  • ProssPross Posts: 29,623

    So how can I argue to keep statues that don't exist?

    Because they once did but I am fairly sure you wouldn’t argue for them to not be taken down?

    Did you feel that removing the saville statue was whitewashing the U.K. celebrity nonce history? Presumably not, so why is this different?

    It is not whitewashing. Au contraire, the statues are that.

    I just can’t believe it’s even an option. I thought it would never be done.
    As I've said, I'm amazed it was still there in this day and age (I used to walk past it every time I went from the office to the station) in what has become quite a liberal city but I guess the difference is time. At what point would it have become unreasonable for it to be there? The guy had been dead hundreds of years. Saville had recently been outed and his direct victims were still alive. Had he been a 17th century merchant and philanthropist who had also been a paedophile would there have been the same call to pull the statue down?
  • nickicenickice Posts: 2,439
    Quite frankly I think anyone who really cares about a statue celebrating a guy from 300 years ago (and not for his involvement in the slave trade) needs better things to do with their time. It was like that whole 'Rhodes must fall" thing. No, you can't claim to take offence on behalf of your ancestors (if your ancestors even were slaves) just as you can't assign responsibility for slavery to the descendants of slave owners. Slavery was abolished almost 200 years ago. Does anyone really look at that statue and think 'he was a slave owner so this statue is celebrating slave owners'?

    And don't get me started on those idiots in the USA kneeling before black people to ask for forgiveness. There is no way I would ever take responsibility for something that has nothing to do with me. This whole thing has just become utter BS.

    If you want to do something right now that's going to help more black people than toppling a statue, you should lobby for an end to protectionist trade policies that keep much of Africa from developing more quickly. The problem is that might hit your wallet and I know some of the city workers on her would hate to give up their hard-earned cash.

    I'll get my coat.


  • ballysmateballysmate Posts: 15,628
    So what you really are asking is should statues of Hitler be put back? I wouldn't bother personally but not a problem as long as it is explained on the plaque that he was the architect of millions of deaths and a stain on humanity. After all, we all know what he looked like so it wouldn't be much of a shock to see his likeness.
    Much like Stalin in Russia.
    You argue that Britain should face and acknowledge its past so why not Germany or Austria for that matter do the same. People make the journey to visit the death camps, so why not have a statue of the man responsible and explain that the world would have been a better place if Hitler Snr had [email protected] his sperm onto the fire instead of impegnating Mrs Hitler.

    Never bought into the celebrity culture but people erected a statue of celeb, realise he was a nonce, and the same people took it down. Slightly different, he hardly had the same impact on local history as Colston in Bristol.

    How is erasing a historical figure from a city by removing statues and his name from streets and buildings not whitewashing. Better to say, this is who he was, this is what he did and he was a censored .


  • pblakeneypblakeney Posts: 16,819
    Guerrilla attack and I'll be gone again. 😉
    Anyone wonder what we do today that will be decried in 150 years?
    Not defending anything, just pondering.
    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.
  • ballysmateballysmate Posts: 15,628
    pblakeney said:

    Guerrilla attack and I'll be gone again. 😉
    Anyone wonder what we do today that will be decried in 150 years?
    Not defending anything, just pondering.

    150 years is a long time.
    Nearly 40 years ago, I thought I had married a woman, but by today's definition, I married a person who menstruates.
  • nickicenickice Posts: 2,439
    pblakeney said:

    Guerrilla attack and I'll be gone again. 😉
    Anyone wonder what we do today that will be decried in 150 years?
    Not defending anything, just pondering.

    I'm going all in tonight: abortion or at least freely available abortion.
  • rjsterryrjsterry Posts: 20,768
    As has been mentioned several times now, the statue *was* a whitewashing because he definitely wasn't some Bill Gates philanthropist. He was a very wealthy business man who lived in Mortlake. He presumably thought fondly of his birth place, but his money came with strings attached.

    The statue worked as well. Colston's part in the RAC had been discretely brushed out of the way until relatively recently.
    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: 57,382 Lives Here
    It’s like people are being obtuse in their understanding of what a statue is for.
  • nickicenickice Posts: 2,439

    pblakeney said:

    Guerrilla attack and I'll be gone again. 😉
    Anyone wonder what we do today that will be decried in 150 years?
    Not defending anything, just pondering.

    150 years is a long time.
    Nearly 40 years ago, I thought I had married a woman, but by today's definition, I married a person who menstruates.
    Now if I get going on that, I'll be here all night. Ridiculous statement and an even more ridiculous reaction to JK Rowling's, entirely sensible and correct, comments.
  • ballysmateballysmate Posts: 15,628
    nickice said:

    pblakeney said:

    Guerrilla attack and I'll be gone again. 😉
    Anyone wonder what we do today that will be decried in 150 years?
    Not defending anything, just pondering.

    150 years is a long time.
    Nearly 40 years ago, I thought I had married a woman, but by today's definition, I married a person who menstruates.
    Now if I get going on that, I'll be here all night. Ridiculous statement and an even more ridiculous reaction to JK Rowling's, entirely sensible and correct, comments.
    Right up your street.

  • ballysmateballysmate Posts: 15,628

    It’s like people are being obtuse in their understanding of what a statue is for.

    People being obtuse in their lack of understanding how a statue could be used to educate.
  • ProssPross Posts: 29,623

    It’s like people are being obtuse in their understanding of what a statue is for.

    Yes, you in this case. Do you think the Victorians erected that statue because of his services to the slave trade or because of what he did for the city?

    Should it still have been there in this day and age? Not in my opinion, there's been a lot of work in that area in the 20 odd years since I first worked in Bristol so ample chance to move it to a museum (the one lot of work would have coincided with the opening of the Commonwealth Museum) but you seem to be confused about why it was put there originally.
  • Statues should be regularly renewed. Most of the statues standing are of people we dont know. I'm fairly knowledgable by mr coulstan was a new one on me.

    Statues of colonial times are meaningless to us now. Maybe keep a handful of a few notables but commemorate some more recent people too.

    Oliver Cromwell has not come in for criticism he was not a saint. When I first saw his statue I thought why is he standing there. Odious man.

    We do commemorate the wrong people alot but I am generally not in favour of mob rule tearing things down. Shame those in power seem resistant to change.
    www.thecycleclinic.co.uk
  • rjsterryrjsterry Posts: 20,768
    Pross said:

    It’s like people are being obtuse in their understanding of what a statue is for.

    Yes, you in this case. Do you think the Victorians erected that statue because of his services to the slave trade or because of what he did for the city?

    Should it still have been there in this day and age? Not in my opinion, there's been a lot of work in that area in the 20 odd years since I first worked in Bristol so ample chance to move it to a museum (the one lot of work would have coincided with the opening of the Commonwealth Museum) but you seem to be confused about why it was put there originally.
    His services to the city were fairly unremarkable beyond the amount of cash he spent. The statue didn't mention the schools, almshouses or churches he paid for. It doesn't even look like the portrait we have of him. It is a semi-fictional version of him put up by a city that was on the wane and needed a local boy done good to boost morale.
    1985 Mercian King of Mercia - work in progress (Hah! Who am I kidding?)
    Pinnacle Monzonite

    Liberal metropolitan, remoaner, traitor, "sympathiser", etc.
  • john80john80 Posts: 2,425

    Pross said:

    The other thing to consider is that whilst the slavery of the times of Colston was predominantly black people taken from Africa to the plantations of the Caribbean, Deep South and South America slavery both historically and today isn't necessarily about colour. It's about exploiting the weak and vulnerable. Today it seems to be mainly Eastern Europeans and Asians being tricked, back in the days of the Roman Empire it was people from all other their conquered Empire black or white. Arguably much of the workforce on which the industrial revolution was based were little more than the slaves of the company employing them and were native to the country.

    pangolin said:



    I've considered it and you're talking rubbish



    Oh mate what is this?

    Pross highlights the Roman's enslaving half the known world and the horror modern day people trafficking from Eastern Europe and Asia and he's dismissed as talking rubbish?

    I guess I can't see it in such black and white terms either.
    I am wondering if Pangolin and rick need to upgrade to a colour monitor. The black and white one they have is really limiting their ability to see anything other than in black and white. I expect to see some ancient structures in Greece getting demolished in 2020 once they move beyond black lives matter.
  • rick_chaseyrick_chasey Posts: 57,382 Lives Here
    edited June 2020
    john80 said:

    Pross said:

    The other thing to consider is that whilst the slavery of the times of Colston was predominantly black people taken from Africa to the plantations of the Caribbean, Deep South and South America slavery both historically and today isn't necessarily about colour. It's about exploiting the weak and vulnerable. Today it seems to be mainly Eastern Europeans and Asians being tricked, back in the days of the Roman Empire it was people from all other their conquered Empire black or white. Arguably much of the workforce on which the industrial revolution was based were little more than the slaves of the company employing them and were native to the country.

    pangolin said:



    I've considered it and you're talking rubbish



    Oh mate what is this?

    Pross highlights the Roman's enslaving half the known world and the horror modern day people trafficking from Eastern Europe and Asia and he's dismissed as talking rubbish?

    I guess I can't see it in such black and white terms either.
    I am wondering if Pangolin and rick need to upgrade to a colour monitor. The black and white one they have is really limiting their ability to see anything other than in black and white. I expect to see some ancient structures in Greece getting demolished in 2020 once they move beyond black lives matter.
    So racism didn’t exist as a concept until around the 19th Century as we understand it.

    So let me know who in our current society would feel uncomfortable about having a statue of an Ancient Greek. Which is really the point. Is it not obvious why slaver statues can be a symbol to black people for their continued struggle against racism?

    While I’m at it Pross, which modern slaver has a statue built of them in the U.K.?
  • rick_chaseyrick_chasey Posts: 57,382 Lives Here
    edited June 2020

    Statues should be regularly renewed. Most of the statues standing are of people we dont know. I'm fairly knowledgable by mr coulstan was a new one on me.

    Statues of colonial times are meaningless to us now. Maybe keep a handful of a few notables but commemorate some more recent people too.

    Oliver Cromwell has not come in for criticism he was not a saint. When I first saw his statue I thought why is he standing there. Odious man.

    We do commemorate the wrong people alot but I am generally not in favour of mob rule tearing things down. Shame those in power seem resistant to change.

    Cromwell has and should.

    Absolutely should not be a celebrated guy.

    It’s really simple. Don’t venerate mass murderers.
  • rick_chaseyrick_chasey Posts: 57,382 Lives Here
    This thread is a nice simple explanation.

  • sungodsungod Posts: 13,782
    pblakeney said:

    Guerrilla attack and I'll be gone again. 😉
    Anyone wonder what we do today that will be decried in 150 years?
    Not defending anything, just pondering.

    brexit :smiley:
    my bike - faster than god's and twice as shiny
  • rick_chaseyrick_chasey Posts: 57,382 Lives Here

    Let's just clear a few things up.

    People don't put up statues of bad people. Statues are always up there as a celebration.

    Ergo, statues of racists are essentially saying we are celebrating a racist.

    Nor is history written in statues, else we'd all have forgotten a whole bunch of nasty folk.

    Statues of racists were essentially saying they were celebrating a racist.
    We still live amongst them today.
  • rick_chaseyrick_chasey Posts: 57,382 Lives Here
    Pross said:

    Let's just clear a few things up.

    People don't put up statues of bad people. Statues are always up there as a celebration.

    Ergo, statues of racists are essentially saying we are celebrating a racist.

    Nor is history written in statues, else we'd all have forgotten a whole bunch of nasty folk.

    Did the concept of racism even exist when the statues were put up? Even in the 19th Century the British Empire were waging war on 'savages' in Africa so the statues were erected to celebrate the achievements of people who did things in accordance with the social norm of the times.

    That's not to say the statues shouldn't have been removed in the intervening hundred odd years when the social norm has changed but to say they were put up to celebrate racism isn't really true.

    It's about time all those statues of Roman emperors and generals were ripped down and their names deleted from buildings and streets worldwide as they were all slave owners.

    Judging the behaviours of the past by today's accepted behaviour is folly. Yes, remove the statues from public spaces or leave them be with educational information rather than glorifying words but ultimately the wealth of the nation has been mainly built on behaviour we would mainly criticise today.

    Even now, how many of the companies you count as Clients in the big city meet your high standards of ethics? If they do, were they completely innocent in the way they initially amassed their fortunes? Should we give back all the wealth we plundered from the natural resources of countries that remain impoverished to the current day?
    So the racism we’re referring to here came into existence in the 19th Century.

    They were put up to celebrate the people who they were statues of. They didn’t care at the time about the whole mass murder bit.

    We now do, ergo they need to go.

    As for the Romans, as above, they are not specific race issues are they?

    As for modern firms - well, most of them didn’t exist until more recently.

    I mean, I think it is too far gone and it would be far too complicated to try to work our reparations for people who have since long died. It is too long ago and too entwined.

    It’s not practical or feasible. But maybe not having people at the heart of some of the worst practices of colonialism up as statues is a good start.
  • ProssPross Posts: 29,623

    john80 said:

    Pross said:

    The other thing to consider is that whilst the slavery of the times of Colston was predominantly black people taken from Africa to the plantations of the Caribbean, Deep South and South America slavery both historically and today isn't necessarily about colour. It's about exploiting the weak and vulnerable. Today it seems to be mainly Eastern Europeans and Asians being tricked, back in the days of the Roman Empire it was people from all other their conquered Empire black or white. Arguably much of the workforce on which the industrial revolution was based were little more than the slaves of the company employing them and were native to the country.

    pangolin said:



    I've considered it and you're talking rubbish



    Oh mate what is this?

    Pross highlights the Roman's enslaving half the known world and the horror modern day people trafficking from Eastern Europe and Asia and he's dismissed as talking rubbish?

    I guess I can't see it in such black and white terms either.
    I am wondering if Pangolin and rick need to upgrade to a colour monitor. The black and white one they have is really limiting their ability to see anything other than in black and white. I expect to see some ancient structures in Greece getting demolished in 2020 once they move beyond black lives matter.
    So racism didn’t exist as a concept until around the 19th Century as we understand it.

    So let me know who in our current society would feel uncomfortable about having a statue of an Ancient Greek. Which is really the point. Is it not obvious why slaver statues can be a symbol to black people for their continued struggle against racism?

    While I’m at it Pross, which modern slaver has a statue built of them in the U.K.?
    I fully understand and accept why it is seen as a symbol and especially when the theme of protests is that black lives matter. I've said numerous times that the statue should have been moved years ago and unlike many on here I used to pass it regularly and wonder why it was still there. My point was more would the statue have been considered less offensive today had the 17th century slaves been white?

    As for your last strawman point, slavery today is rightly considered wrong not just legally but morally. When Colston's statue was erected it was no longer legal but I suspect many of those who decided to put it up had parents who'd owned slaves so didn't consider it morally wrong. You can't judge the past by today's standards. It may be that in 200 years someone erects a statue to a 21st century industrialist who exploited child labour to make their fortune, that would be a more similar comparison.
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