Tag Archives: topple

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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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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Any new Tory leader trying ‘no-deal’ Brexit could be toppled. Does Boris Johnson know?

Boris Johnson: He hasn’t ruled out a ‘no-deal’ Brexit as he’s desperate for the UK to quit the EU on October 31. Has he realised that his own party may not allow it? Probably not. Does that face suggest anything is going on in the mind behind it, at all?

Enough Conservative MPs would support a ‘no confidence’ vote in a Tory government that supports a ‘no-deal’ Brexit to trigger an election.

That’s the word from DWP Secretary Amber Rudd – and it’s a clear warning for Boris Johnson (and Dominic Raab, although he’s much less likely to win the Tory leadership).

But will they pay attention? Mr Johnson has proved impossible to contact, so reasoning with him seems even more remote at the moment.

And he is in pole position to win the Tory leadership race.

Let’s hope he does. It seems clear that a ‘no confidence’ vote in any Conservative government, and a general election, may be the only hope for any decent future for the United Kingdom.

Cabinet minister Amber Rudd has revealed she believes there is a sufficient number of Tory MPs who are willing to topple a government intent on leaving the EU without a Brexit deal.

The remarks from the work and pensions secretary came as the former Conservative chancellor Ken Clarke vowed to take the extraordinary step as a last resort if “some idiot was sailing onto a no-deal Brexit”.

A second senior Tory, Dominic Grieve, told the House of Commons last week he would vote against the government in a motion of no confidence in the same circumstances.

Source: Amber Rudd warns ‘numbers are there’ to topple new Tory government pushing ahead with no-deal Brexit | The Independent

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The Tory government is on the brink of collapse with multiple rebellions threatening to topple it

Theresa May’s government is facing not just one, but multiple rebellions that are threatening to push the UK into an autumn election.

Backbenchers have already warned they may defeat their own government over Universal Credit in what This Site has described as an act of selfishness in order to save their own Parliamentary seats.

Now it seems she is facing two threats over Brexit.

The Democratic Unionist Party has threatened to withdraw from the “confidence and supply” deal that is propping up Mrs May’s minority Tory government. If its MPs vote against the Philip Hammond’s Budget it will be defeated – and this will be seen as a vote of “no confidence” in Mrs May’s leadership. This won’t automatically trigger an election because of the Fixed Term Parliaments Act, but it seems likely an election would be demanded along with her resignation as the Conservatives would no longer be able to pass any legislation in Parliament.

Not only that, but it seems David Davis, the former Secretary of State for Exiting the EU, is calling on cabinet ministers to mutiny against Mrs May’s plan for Brexit, saying her bid to keep the UK in a customs union is unacceptable.

Oh, and the number of letters demanding a vote of “no confidence” in Mrs May, submitted to the chair of the backbench 1922 committee, now totals 44 – just four short of the magic 48 needed to trigger such a vote.

She’s clearly living on borrowed time. Politically she is a dead woman walking, as I’ve suggested previously.

And it’s no surprise, when her government is actually advising British businesses to leave the UK because of Brexit. That is an insane position for any national government to take. See for yourself:

Of course, some of the threats may be more serious than others:

That’s as may be, but the other threats seem all-too-real.

The diabolical state of Mrs May’s Brexit negotiations has added momentum to calls for a so-called “people’s vote” – as encapsulated in Gary Lineker’s video:

The man makes a good point.

But will such a vote be necessary of the UK ends up with a change of management before any irreversible changes happen?

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