Tag Archives: statue

Corrupted morals: men who allegedly toppled Colston statue to be punished but Priti Patel goes free

Over it goes: the toppling of the Colston statue, back in June. By a curious coincidence, nobod involved in pulling it down could be seen in this image.

People who toppled – and then sank – a statue glorifying slavery during the Black Lives Matter demonstrations in the summer are to be offered a bizarre punishment.

The five, who pulled down the statue of slaver Edward Colston in Bristol, will have to pay a fine that would go to a charity supporting people from black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) communities in Bristol – which is more than Colston ever did.

They will also have to complete a questionnaire by Bristol City Council’s history commission, explaining their reasons for attacking an exploiter who considered black and minority ethnic people to be property during a week of protests against their mistreatment.

That’s going to be an uncomfortable read for these history commissioners.

This Writer would be unsurprised if every answer contained harsh criticism of them for even asking such a stupid question.

Worse still is the fact that four more people – three men and a woman – may face criminal charges over the incident:

Avon and Somerset police said its investigation had been completed.

It said: “Following a review of the evidence, detectives will now approach the Crown Prosecution Service for a charging decision against four people – three men, aged 32, 25 and 21, and a 29-year-old woman.”

Meanwhile, the Home Office is reportedly resuming deportation of asylum-seekers after it was prevented from sending a flight to Spain a few weeks ago.

Lawyers for the deportees demonstrated that the government had rushed the flight in order to deny the refugees their right to appeal.

It’s a direct correlation with the attitude of slavers like Colston, who also refused to allow foreign people any rights.

So we have to ask ourselves:

Who should really be explaining their actions – the protesters who tore down a statue of a historic slaver, or Priti Patel, the home secretary who treats people like slaves today?

Source: Men allegedly involved in toppling of Colston statue offered cautions | UK news | The Guardian

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Toppled Colston statue in Bristol replaced by resin sculpture of Black Lives Matter activist

It makes This Writer proud to be Bristolian.

After the statue of slaver Edward Colston was toppled by protesters last month, artist Marc Quinn replaced it with a resin sculpture of a Black Lives Matter protester in a pre-dawn operation that caught authorities by surprise.

Now calls have been made for the city to keep the new statue standing on the formerly-vacant plinth.

The artist said he had based the statue on the moment activist Jen Reid stood on top of the empty plinth on June 7, raising her fist to the skies.

Authorities in Bristol are receiving calls for the statue to be kept, even though it was raised without permission. Mayor Marvin Rees has previously said any replacement would be decided democratically through consultation.

This is a big step forward against the attitude that said slavers should be celebrated, and against the right-wing loons who tried to protect statues like this after Colston’s was pulled down and dumped in the River Avon.

Source: Edward Colston statue in Bristol replaced by resin sculpture of Black Lives Matter protester | The Independent

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People only sprayed ‘Nazi’ on Nancy Astor’s statue because she was one

The statue of Nancy Astor at Plymouth Hoe – that was only unveiled last year by Theresa May – has been sprayed with the word “Nazi”.

This Writer can’t understand why that word wasn’t included on the plaque.

I wrote about it when former prime minister Theresa May unveiled the statue, quoting from Joseph Kennedy and the Jews:

“Despite her anti-Catholicism, Nancy Astor was friends with US Ambassador to Britain Joseph P. Kennedy, Sr. Their correspondence is reportedly filled with anti-Semitic language. Edward J. Renehan, Jr. notes:

“As fiercely anti-Communist as they were anti-Semitic, Kennedy and Astor looked upon Adolf Hitler as a welcome solution to both of these “world problems” (Nancy’s phrase). … Kennedy replied that he expected the “Jew media” in the United States to become a problem, that “Jewish pundits in New York and Los Angeles” were already making noises contrived to “set a match to the fuse of the world”.

She may have been the UK’s first female MP but she was an anti-Semite and a supporter of Nazis.

And that makes Theresa May a supporter of Nazism by proxy, of course. She’s the second (current) Conservative Parliamentarian This Writer has had cause to describe as a Nazi – or worse – in 24 hours.

So when people do this…

A statue of Nancy Astor, the first female MP to take her seat in parliament, has become the latest monument to be targeted by vandals.

The word ‘Nazi’ has been spray painted on the plinth of the statue, along with an Antifascist Circle, a political symbol associated with the Social Democratic Party of Germany in the 1930s.

… I have to ask:

Why would anybody complain?

Source: Vandals spray ‘Nazi’ on statue of Nancy Astor in Plymouth | West Country – ITV News

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If you were wondering why Nazis are openly supporting Tories, wonder no more

Nazis: it seems Tory MP Henry Smith shares their view.

People often forget that Karl Marx was Jewish.

Isn’t it interesting, then, that among all the clamour for statues of racists across the UK to be removed from positions glorifying them, a Conservative MP thought it was appropriate to have a stab at Marx?

As Dorset Eye points out:

The typical claim is that “socialist”* regimes have killed “100 million” people. This always includes famines and other things that are blamed on socialism and its supposed inefficiency, for instance, the 36 million people that died during the Chinese famine.

UNICEFRESULTS, and Bread for the World estimate that 15 million people die each year from preventable poverty, of whom 11 million are children under the age of five. ( one of many sources)

So in 10 years, capitalism kills more children under the age of 5 than socialism did in 150 years.

“But that’s not capitalism’s fault! That’s just scarcity/underdevelopment!”

So why are you blaming 36 million deaths of the Chinese famine on socialism and its inefficiency?

Has a Communist society ever existed as determined By Karl Marx?

No. Even Marx distanced himself from those who had already began distorting his writings in the late 1870’s. Communism as determined by Karl Marx has never existed and would take centuries post revolution to create.

Henry Smith, Tory MP, has a Union Flag symbol on his Twitter handle – which explains a lot:

https://twitter.com/BenedictL_/status/1271772772688109570

Will the Conservative authorities take action against their rogue agent here?

No.

But if they don’t, then we can cheerfully conclude that there is at least a group within the Parliamentary Conservative Party that supports the Nazism we saw on our streets yesterday.

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Violence in London as NAZIS march in SUPPORT of CHURCHILL. The reasons may shock you

This story will be full of apparent contradictions. It is, in fact, about betrayal.

It features Nazis making stiff-armed salutes next to the Cenotaph, and claiming to be supporting Churchill.

The same people, who say they love the rule of law, have attacked police.

And while claiming to deplore violence at the Black Lives Matter demonstration in London last week, they flew to it within minutes of starting their own demonstration.

There is sense to it – although it’s hard to see because people in authority would prefer you to remain confused – and the mass media support them in that.

This story is best told from the response to the removal of Edward Colston’s statue in Bristol last week – triggering a movement to remove other statues glorifying slavers and racists including calls for the removal of the statue to World War II prime minister Winston Churchill in London – and its actual defacement. In fact, the story started decades ago, as we will see.

The threat to Churchill’s effigy seems to have brought every far-right-wing lunatic in the United Kingdom out of the woodwork to demand action to protect a man they claim as an inspirational, ideological leader. Figureheads demanded that every “patriot” – take note of the language – should be in London to defend the statue during the next scheduled Black Lives Matter demonstration in London – on June 13 (today).

Black Lives Matter organisers weren’t having any of that; their demos are always intended to be peaceful and there was a clear threat of violence in the so-called “patriots”‘ call to action. They pulled out and left London to the lunatics.

Meanwhile, the authorities boarded up the statue, leaving nothing for the “patriots” to protect.

They went anyway – and caused scenes that have been branded in the mildest possible terms as a “national disgrace”.

To learn why the far right thought it necessary to scandalise the country – possibly the world – we need to go back many decades, to examine the career of their idol Churchill.

The claim is that they are protecting the legacy of the man whose leadership saved us from Nazism and the politics of Hitler. But the people saying that are the same people who, today, threw Nazi salutes at the cenotaph in an insult to everybody who died to protect us in the 1939-45 war.

These people are not celebrating a victory over fascism!

So what are they celebrating?

Churchill was a racist and an oppressor of his own countryfolk. That is the Churchill the far-right revere.

Look at the Tonypandy riots massacre in Wales in 1910. As Home Secretary, Churchill sent first Metropolitan police officers, then the 18th Hussars – who shot down the striking miners. It is widely believed that he ordered the use of live rounds, although he denied it.

Or shall we talk about his actions in Liverpool, the following year?

I’m sure there are other examples but let’s look at the racism:

According to his biographer, John Charmley, Churchill believed in a racial hierarchy and eugenics, and that at the top of this were White Protestant Christians.

He said it was ‘alarming and nauseating’ seeing Gandhi ‘striding half-naked up the steps of the vice-regal palace’ in India. He also said ‘I hate Indians. They are a beastly people with a beastly religion’. So it should be no surprise that he allowed three million people to die in the Bengal famine of 1943, in which Churchill refused to deploy food supplies.

The Bengalis starved because their grain had been sequestered as back up supplies to feed British troops. In the end they weren’t needed. Churchill also said that the famine was their fault for having too many children.

This racist also said that ‘Keep Britain White’ was a good slogan for the Tories to go into the 1951 general election.

Let’s look at his attitude to World War II. Boris Johnson has claimed that the former prime minister “saved this country and the whole of Europe from a barbaric fascist and racist tyranny, and our debt to him is incalculable”.

But according to historian of fascism Martin Pugh, Churchill wasn’t opposed to fascism in itself; he was simply concerned that Nazi Germany threatened British interests in the North Sea.

And Peter Hitchens has pointed out that Churchill wasn’t interested in saving the Jews; he was simply honouring treaties with Poland and France. He knew about the extermination camps but neither said nor did anything about them until they were liberated during the allied invasions of Germany and Poland.

So it should be unsurprising that people of good conscience have reached the logical conclusions about Churchill:

I have already mentioned Boris Johnson’s history-denying defence of Churchill as a fighter against fascism, when he was no such thing. Is it any surprise, then, that after he was told to “grow a pair” and defend the continuance of the statue (by people like the boxer Tyson Fury), he leapt to it?

“The statue of Winston Churchill in Parliament Square is a permanent reminder of his achievement in saving this country – and the whole of Europe – from a fascist and racist tyranny,” he wrote on Twitter yesterday.

“It is absurd and shameful that this national monument should today be at risk of attack by violent protestors. Yes, he sometimes expressed opinions that were and are unacceptable to us today, but he was a hero, and he fully deserves his memorial.

“We cannot now try to edit or censor our past. We cannot pretend to have a different history. The statues in our cities and towns were put up by previous generations.”

Sadly, here he is undermined by the UK government itself, which has indeed edited and censored the UK’s collective past:

The news story refers to the destruction of records detailing crimes committed by the British Empire in its colonies, during its final years. Apparently Mr Johnson thinks it is perfectly acceptable to edit and censor the past when it reveals inconvenient facts.

He has attracted appropriate criticism:

What conclusions may we draw so far? That far-right-wingers in the UK made an issue of defending Churchill’s statue because they are racists, just as he was? That they hoped to disrupt the planned Black Lives Matter demonstration in order to beat up black people? That they relied on Boris Johnson for support because he is a racist (“picaninnies with watermelon smiles”, remember. “Letterboxes” and “bank robbers”, remember)? That the Nazi salutes in London today were as much for Johnson as they were for Churchill?

That they were relying on a rise in racism in the UK caused and promoted by successive Conservative governments since 2010 – most especially around the UK’s membership of the European Union and Brexit?

We should also take note of another aspect of the far-right-wing malady: exceptionalism. They adopt what it suits them to adopt and ignore the inconvenient facts – such as the fact that their ally in support of Winston Churchill, Boris Johnson, also presided over the ejection of Churchill’s grandson from the Conservative Party:

https://twitter.com/cfinnecy/status/1271543052084097032

This exceptionalism is especially strong with regard to statues of slavers, racists and other oppressors who, we are told, made Britain “great”:

Even the arguments they use to support the retention of these offensive slabs of stone show exceptionalism:

See, Katarzyna b-m was saying anyone who is uncomfortable with the way people behave in their home (or indeed, home country) – such as their choice of decoration – is welcome to leave. The comment may be considered dog-whistle racism towards Ash, who is a person of colour. But Ash just batted it away with the pertinent observation that, when the British invaded other people’s homes in the time of Empire, they did the exact opposite; instead of leaving, the British changed those other nations and didn’t give a fig about the feelings of the natives.

With these statues, of course, it is native Britons who want rid, so the argument is nonsense. But that’s right-wing exceptionalism for you.

We’re getting close to the events in London today, but should first consider two more elements in this mix: the police and the press. Both have been put between a rock and a hard place.

The police, you see, were prompted into action last week against Black Lives Matter demonstrators – although members of Avon and Someset Constabulary wisely avoided a confrontation with those who pulled down Edward Colston’s statue, even though it was done illegally. The far-right extremists who planned to challenge any demonstration this weekend were claiming to be upholding the rule of law – but their subsequent actions made it clear that this was not true. What were the police supposed to do with them?

And the news media have been instrumental in supporting the rise of racism in the UK over the last few years – faithfully reporting the Tory governments’ claims that immigrants have been responsible for many of the nation’s ills, among other questionable practices. The extremist demonstration in London today was a logical result and progression of these reports – but what sort of treatment did reporters expect if they pointed their cameras at the violence that happened today?

So we come to the demonstration today.

It tells us that racism is still alive and well in the UK and that most of the people in this video clip are there to stick it to the blacks.

Next thing we knew, these people who claimed to be celebrating Churchill the man who led us to victory over the Nazis were performing Nazi salutes in front of the police (and also in front of the cenotaph in an insult to the people whose deaths that monument represents):

Interestingly, the Nazis doing the saluting were again contradicting themselves; they’re all for police brutality against black people (because they’re racists) – but if the cops turn a heavy hand to them, it’s a different story and they react with violence:

https://twitter.com/BenedictL_/status/1271772774126755841

https://twitter.com/BenedictL_/status/1271772778258186240

And when the press recorded this behaviour…

But on television…

Schizoid.

There’s only one conclusion to be had:

The United Kingdom remains a hopelessly racist nation.

It is racist because the history we learn reeks of it. Our monuments venerate it. Our government promotes it. And our (white) people take their cue from all three.

This situation will not change because our government – and the most powerful people in the UK – want to keep it the way it is.

It puts us at each others’ throats instead of at theirs.

And why is it about betrayal?

Simple. This overt racism is a betrayal of everyone who has been led to believe that Britain is better than that.

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Starmer on THAT statue: he thinks there’s a heirarchy of racism, with black people very low down it

What a man of the people Keir Starmer turned out to be!

When he finally broke cover to comment on the swim taken by the statue of slaver Edward Colston on Sunday, it wasn’t to discuss the brutal legacy of the British slave trade, that is still ruining lives to this very day.

It was to deplore the statue’s removal as an unforgivable act of vandalism!

So now we know where his priorities lie!

(If you’re confused, refer again to the image at the top of this piece. Got it? Good. Let’s continue.)

This is the man whose first act as Labour leader was to concede that his party has a huge problem with anti-Semitism and hand over the handling of that problem to a third-party organisation consisting mainly of supporters of the Conservatives.

So we can see that he sees racism against Jews as heinous but will defend the symbols of racism against black people to the hilt.

Perhaps this is the reason he hasn’t lifted a finger to investigate the appalling racism directed against Diane Abbott, Clive Lewis or any other black Labour MPs?

Starmer’s silly outburst has provoked unfavourable comparisons with Jeremy Corbyn. I’m sure that wasn’t his intention:

More seriously, he has demonstrated to half a million party members that he supports racism against people who are party members:

His comment that the statue could have been taken down by legal means has been disproved out-of-hand; attempts had been made continuously for decades, only to be rebuffed by authorities who, one presumes, are as racist as Starmer himself. Did he know this when he passed his comment?

One of the most informative reactions to Starmer has been that of black Bristolian and Canary supremo Kerry-Anne Mendoza, who has correctly – and publicly – deduced what Starmer’s comments mean about him as a person:

Yes indeed.

He has changed Labour from a party that was accused of racism into a party that is rightly accused of racism.

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Bristol ‘Black Lives Matter’ protesters tear down statue of slaver Colston – and about time, too!

Over it goes: could there be any more clear ‘down with racism’ demand than the toppling of the statue to slaver Edward Colston in Bristol?

Having been born in Bristol, This Writer is aware of the unsavoury slaver history of Edward Colston, and the reverence in which he has been held has confused me for years.

But, being part of a Bristol family, it was hard to criticise him directly. Many of us have historical links with slavery and until earlier this week, I had believed that my family had such links.

Apparently I was mistaken. A BBC documentary about former Mayor John Kerle Haberfield (a great-(many times)-uncle revealed that he had not been involved with the slave trade and nor were any other of my family on that side. It’s possible that other ancestors were, although I have no evidence to suspect it.

I attended St Mary Redcliffe & Temple School, where around a fifth of the pupils were members of Colston House, named after the slaver. The school changed the house name last year (2019) in favour of African-American female mathematician Katherine Johnson. I was a member of Francombe House, which was less controversially named after a former head teacher of the school.

Campaigners have been working to end the veneration of the slave trader Colston, who ran the Royal Africa Company that enslaved around 12,000 children, for many decades. My understanding is that calls to tear down the statue of Colston were taking place 40 years ago, at least.

Read more about him here:

(Historians may also find this interesting:)

Well, yesterday it finally happened.

Public feeling against racism boiled over during a “Black Lives Matter” demonstration prompted by the death of George Floyd in the United States, and after years of campaigning to get rid of the Grade II listed (why was it Grade II listed?) statue, people decided to tear it down themselves and throw it into the River Avon – in a manner reminiscent of the way Colston himself would throw unruly slaves – weighed down with chains – into the sea during slaving voyages.

Satirically, Google Maps sprang into action, providing at least one element of humour:

Police have said they are treating the incident as an act of criminal damage, which they are investigating. This has given some people another opportunity for satire:

How will the people of Bristol replace the statue? It seems some have ideas already:

Personally, I don’t think a statue to a Sheffield group, in Bristol, would particularly please the people of either city.

I really don’t think this would be appropriate, either:

Maybe in Islington.

Perhaps most revealing has been the reaction of different public figures to what is a clear act of vandalism, even if the reasoning behind it is supportable.

Priti Patel’s response should be shocking, considering her own racial background:

As should Sajid Javid’s:

And, indeed, some members of the Labour Party have questions to answer:

Others take a different view:

If you’re confused about “structural” racism:

Of course, it’s not unknown for statues to be torn down if people and/or their deeds fall out of favour with the public.

You won’t see a statue glorifying Nazism or anybody who supported that movement in Germany!

And in Russia and Iraq, statues of Communist leaders and Saddam Hussein (respectively) were torn down after those regimes were toppled.

Even yesterday, the toppling-in-effigy of Colston wasn’t unique:

And back in the UK, people are eyeing possible future candidates for the Colston treatment:

https://twitter.com/niall_nowhin/status/1269725946778714112

https://twitter.com/JordanGSmith25/status/1269664099652308997

And of course the situation has provided more opportunities for right-wing idiots to make fools of themselves:

We are left with the overwhelming impression that the removal of the Colston statue was right, no matter how it was achieved.

But we live in a country where somebody may go to prison for making it happen. If you don’t think that’s right, you need to be thinking about what you are going to do about it.

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Former Conservative PM Theresa May unveils statue to ‘rabid anti-Semite’ and Nazi supporter

Reverence: Former Conservative Prime Minister Theresa May unveils a statue to Nancy Astor – who was an anti-Semite.

“Our country and our democracy were changed for the better” when Nancy Astor was elected to Parliament, according to Theresa May after she unveiled a statue in her honour.

How surprising to see Mrs May giving such glowing praise to a staunch anti-Semite who supported the Nazis as a “solution” to “world problems” including Judaism as well as Communism.

For those who have trouble reading images, the text says: “Despite her anti-Catholicism, Nancy Astor was friends with US Ambassador to Britain Joseph P. Kennedy, Sr. Their correspondence is reportedly filled with anti-Semitic language. Edward J. Renehan, Jr. notes:

“As fiercely anti-Communist as they were anti-Semitic, Kennedy and Astor looked upon Adolf Hitler as a welcome solution to both of these “world problems” (Nancy’s phrase). … Kennedy replied that he expected the “Jew media” in the United States to become a problem, that “Jewish pundits in New York and Los Angeles” were already making noises contrived to “set a match to the fuse of the world”.

“Joseph Kennedy and the Jews”. History News Network. George Mason University. 2002″

Can you imagine the fuss if Jeremy Corbyn unveiled a statue to anyone with similarly abhorrent views?

Have YOU donated to my crowdfunding appeal, raising funds to fight false libel claims by TV celebrities who should know better? These court cases cost a lot of money so every penny will help ensure that wealth doesn’t beat justice.

https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/mike-sivier-libel-fight/


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A 10ft plinth to deter people from vandalising Thatcher statue? That’s begging for graffiti

Look at all that white space: What a wonderful – free – canvas for any would-be Banksy to pass comment on the woman whose image stands at the top of it. At least, that’s what this artist’s impression suggests.

It seems nobody wants to have a statue of Margaret Thatcher on their doorstep.

Westminster Council rejected plans to put it up in central London last year, basing the decision on a report that it could attract “potential vandalism and civil disorder”.

Now, according to Metro, councillors in Baroness Thatcher’s hometown of Grantham, Lincolnshire, are considering putting the £300,000 statue on a 10ft plinth – also to deter “politically-motivated vandals”.

They haven’t thought it through at all.

A 10ft plinth will be a blank canvas for every wannabe Banksy who wants to try their hand at satirical graffiti.

They’ll come from every corner of the United Kingdom to make their mark on that wonderful 10ft expanse of white stone – and to make a point about the woman whose image will stand at the top of it.

And with 17 objections to the statue plan, and only seven in support, it is doubtful that many people will be upset if they do.


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