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Should controversial statues around the country be removed?

More controversial statues could be taken down after a raft of councils vowed to review such monuments amid anti-racism protests across the country.

Two slave trader statues have been pulled down in recent days – one by campaigners at an anti-racism protest and another with the approval of a local authority following a petition demanding its removal.

Councils across England and Wales have agreed to work with their local communities to look at the “appropriateness” of certain monuments and statues on public land and council property.

The review, announced by the Local Government Association’s (LGA) Labour group, came as the killing of George Floyd in the US continued to provoke demonstrations against inequality.

Activists who tore down the monument to slave trader Edward Colston in Bristol on Sunday – who were condemned by Boris Johnson – were referenced at Mr Floyd’s funeral.

The statue of slave owner Robert Milligan was quickly taken down from West India Quay in London’s Docklands on Tuesday evening, after the charity that owns the land where it stood promised to organise its “safe removal” following a petition launched by Tower Hamlets Labour councillor Ehtasham Haque.

After its removal, the borough’s mayor John Biggs said: “We now need a wider conversation about confronting this part of our history and the symbols that represent it.”

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan, who has announced a review of landmarks in the capital, said: “It’s a sad truth that much of our wealth was derived from the slave trade – but this does not have to be celebrated in our public spaces.”

The leader of Labour-led Exeter City Council is calling for a review into the future of the city’s famous statue of General Sir Redvers Buller, who was a lieutenant-colonel in the Zulu campaign of 1878 and general commanding of the Natal army in South Africa between 1899 and 1900, according to the National Archives.

In Oxford, hundreds of protesters demonstrated at the city’s university, demanding the removal of a statue of Victorian imperialist Cecil Rhodes.

Ahead of the protest, the leader of Oxford City Council, Susan Brown, invited the college to apply for planning permission to have the statue removed, suggesting it should be placed in the Ashmolean or the Museum of Oxford.

Governors at Oriel College said the institution “abhors racism and discrimination in all its forms” but added that the college continues to “debate and discuss” the presence of the Rhodes statue.

A number of petitions have emerged demanding controversial monuments in the UK are taken down, including calls to remove a statue of two-time British prime minister Sir Robert Peel in Manchester’s Piccadilly Gardens.

Petition organiser Sami Pinarbasi described the statesman, who founded the Metropolitan Police Service, as an “icon of hate and racism”.

Similar petitions with the hashtag #RepealPeel have been launched to remove statues in Leeds and Bradford.

In Edinburgh, city council leader Adam McVey told the BBC he would feel “no sense of loss” if a statue to Henry Dundas, who delayed the abolition of slavery, was removed.

What are your views? Are we in danger or airbrushing history or is this a massive step forward in addressing racism?

Should controversial statues around the country be removed?

579 people have already voted, what's your opinion? Yes No

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Shelfside
6th Sep 2020
0
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@Jeff58 who accuses me of being a racist - I’m not, and I can take slurs such as yours all day. Slurs that are thrown about like so much confetti by those who cannot understand (or refuse to understand) that there are others out there who have the audacity to disagree with them.

The slur of ‘racism’ - a one way traffic system used and abused by the left in order to silence debate, opinion and thought.
Not2grey
31st Jul 2020
1
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It really depends on who it is , what they did , where it is erected . If consensus to remove it can be reached (perhaps by a vote of residents ) then they coukd be renoved and placed in a museum where people could educate themselves about the horror of slavery . However I do not agree with taking down the statues of people whose father may have owned slaves . The sins of the fathers should not fall on the sons ( no daughters included as I don't know of one ).Mobs should not be allowed to dictate or anarchists . We should always acknowledge our past and learn from the mistakes if we try to re-write history by just removing them then no one will learn about them .
I would hope thatthe people caling for the removal pput as much energy into eradicating modern day slavery - won't hold my breath though .
molly25
24th Jul 2020
0
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london and bristol are no longer part of england,guess why!!!!!!
viking
18th Jul 2020
0
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Controversial and hypocritical both really, when the "illegal" statue of a black protester was lifted into place [ and later taken down !! ].
Once again one must ask who is bankrolling all this expense ??
marpo2
10th Jul 2020
0
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"Contravertial" statues should not really have been installed in the first place in my opinion. But, the historical achievements that are providing people with opportunities today, should be known by the population so that they can form a reasonable opinion on the installation. The various councils should educate their constituents on the work of the object of the installation, then approach those locals and form a democratic yeah or nay dependent on the support for or against. Cecil Rhodes is of course the central figure at Oxford University where the statue installation has been challenged by students for many years. Students who should really know the truth about Mr Rhodes! Yes he was egotistical and borderline xenophobic, but he left a good legacy alongside some of the less palatable actions. He acknowledged that blacks and whites are from different enclaves, but emphasised that we are all in the same human race, with equal footing. His gift to aspiring academics has been well supported by the colleges and those who are given bursaries to further their own education. These students were predominantly from the African Continent, not the Uk. And Cecil Rhodes is only one example!
Felix1
7th Jul 2020
1
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Controversial? To who? Ridiculous, absolutely ridiculous.
Mike79
3rd Jul 2020
0
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If you believe in appeasement, then take the statues down. If you don't then leave them as they are.
harraton
29th Jun 2020
2
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I'd like to know what the real agenda is behind all this.
LyndaM56
27th Jun 2020
5
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This is part of our history - we learn from our mistakes. Defacing statues and tearing them down is not the way to go about it. Democracy has been thrown out of the window.
wishyouwerehear
21st Jun 2020
6
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You cannot Change history,but you can educate and change things in the future
viking
20th Jun 2020
2
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Hypocrasy at it's very best !!
If the present occupants of houses within the square mile around Westminster, Belgravia, Kensington, Victoria were to look at their house deeds, they would probably find a large percentage were built by wealthy merchants with profits made from the slave trade at that time.
Many of these houses are now home to those who are bankrolling the present unrest.
These houses represent the very worst of the slave trade and represent monuments to that era.
Tear these monuments down ?? No the present owners would not agree to that.
Patwalker
20th Jun 2020
9
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Where is this all going to end, that’s what bothers me. You can’t erase history only make changes for the Future. This is getting out of hand now and has gone past the point of ‘objecting to something’ it’s sheer vandalism and thuggery. If these people have been wicked then why were their statues put up in the first place. Now it’s certain songs can’t be played and people apologising for programmes that were made years ago and then I see that there a film on ‘12 years a slave’ isn’t that contradictory. Where do you differentiate between what’s ok and what’s not. Treading on eggshells comes to mind.
Charlie49
20th Jun 2020
9
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The students could always choose to have their education in Africa or USA..
This is mob rule and financed by people who are trying to undermine society in this country.
Leave our history alone, why don’t they try and change the tribal problems in Africa where they kill and slaughter each other..
Lorb1956
24th Jul 2020
0
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SueC62
20th Jun 2020
1
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it's a difficult one to answer with a straight Yes/No. I think I'd rather see that the bad that people had done was highlighted along with the good. As a Brownie and then a Girl Guide, until recent revelations, I'd only known Baden Powell for the good that he did. I'm sure had I known the bad things, it would have helped me to have a better understanding of people generally and how good people can do bad things, just because it's considered to be OK at the time. We are, or should be, more enlightened these days but we should understand how people used to think and behave and why, to ensure we never go that way again. Although sadly, I think we already have.
Joan Fraser
20th Jun 2020
3
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I wouldn't be totally adverse to some statues being placed in museums, or having plaques attached - but ultimately, we cannot change history-we can only learn from it. However, this must be done in a balanced way and should educate and inform people of all colours and creeds about white slavery, child labour, suffragettes, Highland clearances, religous persecution, and all manner of elites exploiting and abusing others worldwide to ensure their ongoing prosperity. Sadly, in this regard, history is repeating itself, causing division and allowing the self imposed entitled elites to continue to prosper at awful human cost
CeciliaH
19th Jun 2020
1
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The students who are protesting about the Cecil Rhodes statue surely knew the history of the building that they had chosen to be taught in why is it only the statue that is the reminder.
Hasse55
19th Jun 2020
0
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In this day and age these statues belong in museums rather than in our cities and towns. These people played a part in the history of the world whether we like what they did or not. Like it or not they were part of how we have arrived where we are today.
JuliaC41
19th Jun 2020
1
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Slavery is absolutely wicked, but it is the history of the world - back to ancient Egypt when the pyramids were built by slaves. We can not erase it by removing statues, but we have to learn from how destructive it is to human identity. There has been a lot of social deprivation in this country over the last two?hundred years, and this needs to be addressed along with slavery - as it still exists in some of our towns and villages. If we could have more openness this would be a major growth for future generations in our society - to set up meaningful conversations with more tolerance for each others differences, and not revert to violent outbursts and removing statues without thought and more understanding.
gerip
19th Jun 2020
3
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This is all part of our history which will always be there like it or not. I do feel that this has all gone way off course now and am worried that where these demonstrations were held with huge crowds involved could cause a spike in new infections of COVID-19.
Theoldgirl
19th Jun 2020
3
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This is history, these statues are there to remind every one, what happened years ago. History should never be forgotten, as we don’t want it to happen again. I think they way these people who are demonstrating, are making, a big mistake.
I want to know why has this come about, what has it got to do with a man in a America who was killed by the police, got to with all these statues being removed, if this hadn’t happened, would these statues have to be removed, I would love to know.
KathrynM 70
19th Jun 2020
4
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They should be left as a reminder that racism should never appear again
Valleyman
18th Jun 2020
6
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First point, no thinking person condones racism. Second point, don't fall for the mass media portrayal of black = good, white = bad.
The North London 'elite' control the media. They run (BBC/Sky/ITV). They have a strong grip on our education system, and relentlessly try to control our politics. They are a relatively small group of middle-class graduates who identify as 'liberal-left,' and literally meet each other on the social circuit. They are Labour supporters (many still Corbynistas) who have virtually no connection with the mass population of the UK. They see working-class people who still support Labour as foolish but useful voters. As people who need to be 'educated.'
But they are sore. They repeatedly lost the Brexit vote, and they have repeatedly lost general elections. Crucially, they do not like this country. They feel guilt about nearly everything (especially 'white privilege') and have a disturbing lack of respect for our history. Personally I don't vote for either of the main parties, I prefer independent, issue-motivated candidates. But that's just me.
Finding unbiased news is really tough, but if you can feel the obvious manipulation of subject matter, if you feel something is 'not right', then it probably isn't, and you need to stop watching it. Or take it all with a giant pinch of salt.
Closest I've found is Talk Radio (and selective YouTube channels).
Both sets of rioters are similar. Neither should be proud of what they do. Maybe it's best to look at flag burners or police attackers as individuals and let them feel the disapproval of society through the legal system?
And of course not all middle-class liberals are bad people, but the artificial news definitely is bad.
Forget tribalism, keep talking. Peace.
JennyW2
18th Jun 2020
6
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You can not change history only learn from it. This people also did great things. and no one is perfect and these are also works of art. If they offend you then learn from the mistakes made and use the statues as a permanent reminder to make sure we do not do it again. These protesters should use their time for making a better world and not vandalising and complaining about something they can not change from the past. All it has done is cost the country more money in very bad times.
viking
18th Jun 2020
5
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Sorry Yo, but there some Black & White who are ignorant because they chose to play truant from school and earn money as drug runners etc., etc. So are now entirely ignorant of History or any thing else for that matter.
yo
16th Jun 2020
0
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As last Saturday's riot showed it is the far right we need to be fearful of, today's version of the old National Front, BNP thugs .
It is sad there are so many ignorant,largely, men, that just want to get drunk, cover themselves in tattoos and fight. You would have thought a century plus of compulsory education could have produced better.
PaulineM7
19th Jun 2020
7
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What about the week before when 27 police were injured and mindless vandalism took place. If you were there last Saturday you would know that most of the protection of our monuments was done by veterans with the co operation of the police. The far right section was small and contained. The fate of our heritage, traditions and history should not be decided by mob rule.
Valleyman
16th Jun 2020
5
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Seattle now. BLM set up the Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone. Cops won't go in. Who can blame them?
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aEWjQOnrZRg&feature=em-uploademail
It's not about race. It's about destruction.
Yodama
15th Jun 2020
4
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Firstly:
I feel anger at the way certain thuggish cops treat black people, perhaps the anger should be placed where it belongs, at their doorstep.

Just an item to illuminate the pure hypocracy and ridiculousness of this whole debacle. Perhaps history is not all it is portrayed to be. Bleating and hand-wringing about things that happened way back in history, could just be false memories in many cases.

Ainsley Harriott MBE, ( Celebrity chef,) who always claimed his ancestor was a black slave, got a big surprise when he took part in the programme 'Who do you think you are.' He was shocked to discover that his great, great, great grandfather was a WHITE SLAVE owner.
He also discovered that another ancestor, a woman who was a 'free' black woman, bought 7 houses and seemed to be doing alright. Not exactly opressed black slaves as he was brought up to think.

Maybe there should be calls to strip him of his MBE, cancel his cooking shows and villify him too?
No I don't think so, that would be ridiculous, but BLM should be more circumspect when defacing statues and trying to airbrush people out of history.
Black people are enjoying the fruits of foundations laid by the very white people they are now targeting in their hatred.


Here is another 'small' item of news. the international BLM movement is run and backed by "Thousand Currents ." Not a lot of people know about this group.
https://www.efc.be/member-post/thousand-currents/
Perhaps BLM is a Political group that needs serious investigation.
Lionel
15th Jun 2020
2
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Investigate where it's leaders where trained, by whom and who finances them?

Simply follow the money!
Yodama
16th Jun 2020
1
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Wouldn't surpise me if George "Machiavelli" Soros had a hand in this, dividing communities, races, religions and countries under his umbrella of benevolent donations.
But then, maybe I am being unfair and judging him harshly. Mea culpa!

Divide and rule...oldest trick in the book Lionel.
Supersabre
15th Jun 2020
3
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The difference in the police response compared to last week was remarkable. Last week, bowing and scraping. This week, full riot gear. Leading on from that, a University library is going to " de colonise its books., and the National Trust will be explaining their properties links to slavery. The comparison to Germany in the 1930,s comes to mind.
Lionel
15th Jun 2020
1
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Yes, you're quite right. As I said below, these tactics of meaningless slogans, mass gatherings, riots and endless threats were used during the Russian Revolution, 1930's Germany and later in Britain during the 70's and 80's. The object is to destabilise the elected government and its institutions, the very pillars on which our society is built.

Then there was book burning and we have that looming now.

What next? People! I won't comment on that yet.
viking
14th Jun 2020
3
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From what one can see from the TV, the looks on the faces of the demonstraters [ bothsides ] show real aggression and hatred towards one another. So the Black lives matter demo., has done nothing to bridge the gap, but merely inflamed opinion on both "sides" of the removing of certain statues issue.
As for the kneeling by the police force in front of demonstraters and hooligans no doubt this will be welcomed by certain faiths, as it means that they only have one more knee to bend and to kiss the ground and that will then mean that this country has truly arrived.
jeffsoo
13th Jun 2020
4
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Enough is enough, things are getting ridiculous now. Democracy is a very bad form of government but all the others are so much worse..
Valleyman
13th Jun 2020
3
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So much sense written by so many people on this site. BLM's avowed aims are the defunding of the police and the destruction of capitalism. Talk Radio's Mike Graham's chat with a BLM leader (Youtube) is very enlightening. 'Mike asks Black Lives Matter activist if they are proud to be British.' https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2UoA2RHLlww&t=314s
It's also hilarious. As is Sidiq Khan speaking about 'the far right' when the obvious problem is the 'far left' chasing and assaulting the police. Marxists are always working to tear down the establishment; our statues, our buildings , our beliefs, our culture, our relationships. They seek to replace it with their own structures. This is not a secret. But over 100 million dead (of their own people by their own leader's hands) just in Russia and China, is a bit of a clue that communism is a terrible idea. We have fallen into a dire state where universities, colleges, the civil service and the media have become patronising and detached from ordinary British people (and our belief in democracy and free speech). Resist, however you can, it's important.
Lionel
13th Jun 2020
8
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Great Britain is once again at crisis point. It is in all but name Civil War! What emerges from this crisis we may only hope is rule by law. But that may not be the case.

Both Hitler and Stalin employed this technique of mobs intimidating the public to destabilise their nations. So many needless deaths were caused. Out of the victory of home grown terrorism came the gulags and concentration camps. Their first inmates? Political opponents.

Most Surfers will remember the 70's and 80's. Dissident factions organising demonstrations and riots. Strikes without number, shortages, power cuts ... and much more. It needn't have happened if our political leadership and our personal resolve had been stronger. But it wasn't. We, the Brits, largely caved in!

The present violent protests are less about Black Lives and more about destabilising the nation. Now, this urban terrorism is on an international scale. Outside of well rehearsed mantras these people have no idea what it's all about. No idea how they want it to end.

Where will it all end? Perhaps Martin Niemoller tells us:

First they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a socialist.

Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a trade unionist.

Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.
Shelfside
13th Jun 2020
8
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It may sound like a surreal cliche Lionel, but the fascism of the left is dictating the future of this country.

I’ve never seen or experienced a government so scared to impose the rule of law on thuggery in order to protect our heritage and history as this one. Political correctness in the worst definition of the phrase is the order of the day, standing up for this country, its values and its history is seen as being ‘far right’, honest and fair debate not allowed.

We of the older generation are belittled and derided with laughable slurs such as ‘gammon’ in the quest to silence us, to sacrifice us and our country on the alter of far left dogma. I for one are sickened by the current ‘Black Lives Matter’ movement (and I use that term loosely) and their acts of savagery, hooliganism and enforcement. All lives matter, but this movement is only polarising the nation, encouraging division and hatred.

It pains me to say it (does it?), but there will be a backlash, and I am not afraid to say I will welcome it. I am no racist, but I am not a person who rolls over either.

Rant over...for now.
Shelfside
13th Jun 2020
2
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Please excuse the typos and grammatical errors in my post above. It’s been a long day...‍♂️
Lionel
13th Jun 2020
2
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Don't cease ranting, Shelfside.
Shelfside
14th Jun 2020
3
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Appreciated Lionel...but I am so wary of being labelled as something I’m not.

Thanks again, and expect more ranting!
Lionel
14th Jun 2020
1
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Please don't ever worry about being labelled by others. Whatever efforts one makes to conform will only result in different labels.

As an old farm worker I'd say, plough your own furrow with your head held high.
Shelfside
14th Jun 2020
1
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Love the farm worker analogy Lionel. Frustration and often anger drive me on - rightly or wrongly. And I hate to see my country brought to this.

Keep the flag flying, and the fire burning!
Lionel
14th Jun 2020
1
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I too fear the backlash which most certainly is coming. For several years it's seemed to me a civil war, a conflict between have's and have nots, is looming. Gross inequalities at every level in society, the deceitfulness of governments (putting it politely) divisions in society fostered by vested interests and corruption at every level do not make for stability. Instead such inequalities and corruption make gaping holes in society which dissident parties will exploit to the fullest.

All the historic indicators of rebellion I would look for are now in place!

Could it be because successive western governments have pursued their own agendas (we'll say it was theirs), whilst sticking an Elastoplast on gaping, bleeding wounds in society? Wounds which will fester, stink and result in amputation. Downing Street amputated the car workers, shipbuilders, miners, steel workers, skilled farm workers, the sick, aged, infirm, young no-hopers, migrant families ... how long is this list? Is there anyone who hasn't been touched with an Elastoplast? Is there anyone without an axe to grind?

How far is Downing Street disconnected from everyday life? Exactly which of the many election promises has been broken? Most, possibly. Is it now we cease believing in Disneyesque make-believe?

As if the above weren't enough we have prized too highly intellectual prowess at the expense of wisdom. If foolishness is the opposite of wisdom then we are led by fools. Clever fools, but unwise in the extreme. The end of foolishness is always disaster.

We have the problems but not answers. Sooner rather than later the ballon will go up. Yet, at the end of it all no one will be placated, just worse off whichever way the cards fall.
Shelfside
13th Jun 2020
4
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I see that the mayor of London, that clown Sadiq Khan has categorised people in order to suit his agenda. Those he likes and approves of and those whom he despises and villifys.

It appears that those wishing to vandalise and destroy statues of those they dislike are ‘demonstrators’ and those who oppose them are ‘far right extremists’. He has predicted violence if the two groups meet, and urged people to stay away from any demonstration - a thinly disguised call for a demonstration to actually take place. Violence will suit him down to the ground.

There may well be some ‘far right extremists’ among those looking to stop the (in my opinion) far left extremists from destroying our history and culture, but looking at the crowds in Poole protecting the Baden-Powell statue, they’ll be in a minority. All the same, that’s how they will be painted - ‘far right extremists’.

I too predict violence, and as in Bristol it will emanate from the rabid, hate filled mobs of far left thugs and their fellow travellers. Ain’t it always so?
Trish12345
12th Jun 2020
9
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It is part of history and our history can’t be changed and if certain members of our society read up on history, they would learn that in actual fact, black tribes in Africa were involved in chasing and capturing other black tribes for the purpose of slavery - it wasn’t all carried out by white people!
How about the caste system in India? That’s not something to be proud of but it’s still happening!
Allegedly one of the recent marchers was heard to say that Churchill only went to war to “save the commonwealth”
Doesn’t that show how ill educated some of them are?
There is a place in society for peaceful marches but not for the mayhem of the recent ones and NOT during this pandemic
viking
12th Jun 2020
5
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I hope the "hooligans " etc., can advise how George Floyd and Winston Churchill are connected ???
Churchill's statue has now been vandalised.
It looks as if the NHS will have to provide more facilities for lobotomy operations.
Yodama
12th Jun 2020
11
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Enough, it must be stopped now!!
In past history, dating back thousands of years, people have used slaves.
Maybe the statues should be kept in museums as suggested, but which statues, how many and who deems them to be racist?
But where do you draw the line and how far back do you go?

Should we now demand all the statues from as far back as Sumerian times, and the Egyptian times be destroyed? Roman's?
People did what they did in ignorance, today we know better and have a deeper understanding of the pain it caused. Learned lessons from the past, never to be repeated?

Perhaps more attention should be focused on freeing the 40,000,000 plus modern day slaves of all races. Slavery is rife right now!
White slavery in historic times existed and persists today.

Slave trading is not confined to white europeans, the mobsters who are hijacking the slogan "Black Lives Matter" to further their cause, should be made aware of the black slavemasters of the past.
Anthony Johnson, was a black tobacco farmer who owned slaves and became very wealthy. Many, many more black people have used and abused their own people.


There are and have been white victims of Police brutality, just one that made the headlines.
Video of police assault on Ian Tomlinson, who died at the London G20 protest - https://youtu.be/HECMVdl-9SQ

White lives matter too,
Zimbabwe slaughtered white farmers, in South Africa, white farmers are being tortured and killed - DAILY!

History is too convoluted and sometimes obscure to make judgements and seek revenge in this day and age.

We should stop feeling guilty about the past mistakes our ancestors made and just make sure never to repeat them. Enough!
Carnflower
12th Jun 2020
3
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To me the lesson here for our children is that people who did bad things can go on and do good things History remains even if the statues don't let's face it yesterday is history and can't be changed but can be learnt from.
Margret
12th Jun 2020
2
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It's our history for goodness sake. It was what happened at that time which is called history.Some of them are to be proud of and some to remember.
GwynethB4
11th Jun 2020
3
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The mobs have not had history lessons at school that is the problem.
If statues must be removed (those that have connections to slavery) ,then maybe a museum ,in an area for slavery history. We need to preserve history ,and at the same time have information what these men did wrong in their lives put next to the statue .

But we should not tolerate violence .
Mozy
11th Jun 2020
6
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For goodness sake it’s all got crazy ,leave the statues alone they are our heritage. These so called rioters should look at England’s history we borrowed a very large amount of money to stop the slave trade ,the bill was repaid in 2015,having used money from every working mans tax payments .The policeman who murdered the guy in America has been arrested and charged end of ,what would of happened had it been the other way around black killing white .
Joan14
11th Jun 2020
4
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What happened years ago has already happened and it shouldn't be eradicated to satisfy the hooligan element in society, every country in the world has bad history as well as good, if we want to go back far enough we would be destroying every bit history even to the point of pulling down the pyramids as they were mainly built by slave labour. What we should be doing in learning by mistakes made and making sure it doesn't happen again but I'm afraid that in too many countries it just carries on in one form or another, maybe the protesters should visit these countries I doubt they would ever make it out of them again.
swaneldo
11th Jun 2020
4
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In a few years time, there will again be hysteria and accusations that all the nasty statues were deliberately destroyed to try and hide the unsavoury parts of history.

This is stupid - anyone with intelligence should realise that history has happened, and there are shameful practices which have occurred no matter what race you are, and the best way to educate and improve thinking is to use these historical pointers to inform each generation that, no, that's not how we must do things NOW. Throwing some statues in the river will change nothing and convert nobody.

If any country in this world claims they have no violent and dubious history that they should be ashamed of, they are lying. How are we going to learn if we destroy and hide everything that has passed?
viking
11th Jun 2020
3
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In the USA it now seems that there is a spin off from tearing down "unsuitable" statues, now it is the turn of films in particular Gone with the Wind, which has now been withdrawn from circulation. But the library book still stays.
Does this mean that the "movement" can only receive visual images and can not read the written word ??
Marksy47
11th Jun 2020
6
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History is history...you can't just decide that you don't like something and wipe it out...school history lessons will be pretty bare in future and that for hundreds of years we have lived in the Land of milk and honey and that there were no bad people in the world.
JE
11th Jun 2020
5
Thanks for voting!
I strongly believe we should not be hiding our country’s history and not give it up to hooligans. If we give in by removing statues it gives the impression that they have the upper hand and what will they target next.
parsnip54
11th Jun 2020
6
Thanks for voting!
Hi. In response to Shelfside to my post. I am grateful for your response and I agree with the fact that if he was a white man we would not be having the debate.. I did not know about George Floyds past criminal record and have to admit I am shocked at what he has done but 2 wrongs don’t make it right.
I do have to agree with Lionel though. We are losing our identity to these people and it saddens me that this is the world we are leaving for our children and grandchildren. There’s good and bad in us all unfortunately some of us have a major axe to grind with society because they want to change our world to suit their misguided beliefs
Shelfside
11th Jun 2020
5
Thanks for voting!
Thanks for your reply, and yes Floyd was no paragon of virtue. The arrest made (when he was killed) was because he was trying to purchase cigarettes with fake currency. Tell me in all honesty, would you know how to get hold of fake currency? I certainly wouldn't...surely only a criminal would? He didn't deserve to die the way he did (he had heart problems also which may have contributed to his death, but that's another story) and those responsible should be punished accordingly, but this has been blown all out of proportion. As an aside, and as the way our country is heading, I posted pretty much the same as I have posted on here in my few posts on a London News website I comment on from time to time, contributing to a similar debate as this. Result? My post was deleted and my account banned! So much for freedom of speech if it doesn't fit with a leftist, on message agenda!
Lionel
10th Jun 2020
12
Thanks for voting!
I'm a strong patriot for my country, Great Britain. I'm a Queen and country man through and through.

You good Brits out there, your ancestors gave my Polish Jewish refugee family a refuge when no one else in Europe would. Safety, a home, a job and that most precious thing, security. That was 1840. I'm the seventh generation to love this green and pleasant land. The only generation not to shed blood or die for this great country.

To now learn that excessively entitled, over privileged migrant families, and some amount of home grown revisionists, want to erase our proud history makes me sick! And very angry.

They have it all and that just isn't enough. Now Britain must be recreated to suit their rather dubious belief systems. Never mind those of us who've spent a lifetime here, whatever our background, and built this country into the prosperous nation it is. The very prosperity these rebels feed off.

My advice to them, whoever they are, is leave these shores forever. The treatment you will receive in other countries for such ingratitude will cause you to look back and think ... Britain, it was a good place to be. By then it will be too late for you.

And to answer the question, our statues stay where they are!
Shelfside
10th Jun 2020
6
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Good for you, Lionel...and spot on.
Lionel
10th Jun 2020
7
Thanks for voting!
Thanks mate. I love my country. I'm proud of it, warts and all.
bob scott
10th Jun 2020
7
Thanks for voting!
How far back into slavery are we going to go? Grecian Empire,
Egyptian Empire, Chinese Empire and so on, Black slavery was nothing new or even black. there are so icons of westerners as well as blacks as oarsmen of old sail ships going back centuries.
Even in Christ time there were slave markets, so where and how will these facts be told, Humans have always been commodities in one way or another, I also notice certain Brits from 200. hundreds years ago who fought for an end to slavery. never get a mention. Bob Scott.
Shelfside
10th Jun 2020
9
Thanks for voting!
What next?
Our history - palatable or not - is being obliterated and removed to satisfy rabid, thuggish SJW's and, to be brutally honest, anti British politicians such as Sadiq Khan and the mayor of Bristol. And it is OUR history, all of us.

I see the Labour council in Oxford are planning on removing the statue of Cecil Rhodes from Oriel College at Oxford University...that's a green light to the violent thugs we saw in Bristol the other day if ever there was one. Tacit approval writ large.

Admiral Horatio Nelson had connections with slavery and not too long ago there were calls, notably by the left wing broadcaster and journalist Afua Hirsch, to tear down his column in Trafalgar Square...put money on that happening in the not too distant future if this madness is allowed to flourish and continue.

However statues of such people as Nelson Mandela (an avowed and mainly unrepentant terrorist don't forget, whom even Amnesty International shunned) are considered sacrosanct. Touch him if you dare and you'd no doubt face a stretch in jail, threats of violence and so on and so forth.

The lunatics haven't taken over the asylum yet, but they're making good headway, and we are standing idly by, allowing them to do so.
BaW
10th Jun 2020
4
Thanks for voting!
I am glad to have been born in a country where we are able to have this debate, rather than in one of the many places where dissenters are 'disappeared', imprisoned, intimidated into retraction, or worse.
The issue of police brutality in the USA – focusing on the black community rather than perceived police brutality in general – seems now to have segued, at least in the UK, into the issue of slavery, again focusing on black slavery. This ignores the fact that for aeons there has been tribal and religious rivalry, invasion, rape and pillage across Eurasia as well as Africa and the Americas. Britain, as with many African nations, has experienced inter-tribal, and religious, warfare and has also been invaded (think Vikings and Romans to name but two). Britons have been enslaved within their own countries due to warring tribes, and also by external aggressors. Slavery was wrong and is wrong, but protesting about what happened in history to one element of humanity when ignoring similar atrocities seems naive.
Perhaps it is right to remove some statues of controversial (mainly) men and put them into museums with explanation of the context of their time. But to use violence and cause damage to other people's property? To injure innocent police doing their job? Absolutely not.
Martin Luther King rightly called for social justice; he also denounced physical violence.
parsnip54
10th Jun 2020
7
Thanks for voting!
What happened to George Floyd was tragic. No one regardless of colour or creed should be treated in this way. But it does not justify the mob rule that now prevails over the United States and here I the UK.
These symbols of our past are a reminder of our history whether we like it or not. We are moving with the times now, just look at the magazines and tv to see how we now have multiracial families instead of all white or black. News readers and politicians, tv families and reporters, that are BAME people that are now part of our everyday lives.
The indiscriminate destruction of these Statues and Memorials is just Mob Rule and will never remove what happened in history, so why can we not try and remove these chips that some of us have on our shoulders and try and co-exist without Gang warfare, political point scoring and the need to be better than others.
Shelfside
10th Jun 2020
4
Thanks for voting!
What happened to Floyd, a career criminal, was indeed awful but I’d like to add my input for what it’s worth on this issue.

Floyd had served several (5 I believe) terms in prison, one for 10 months for drugs offences, and one for 5 years for breaking into a property and shoving a firearm into a pregnant woman’s stomach demanding money and drugs. This was a giant of a man, a one time pretty decent American footballer and later bouncer who stood a muscular 6’ 6” - how scared must this poor woman subjected to Floyd’s assault have been?

Finally, and I make no apology for this, would we in the UK have any knowledge of Floyd’s death had he been white? Would we have witnessed the wanton violence, rioting and looting had he been white? Would would have seen politicians, the media and the far left SJW’s wringing their hands in such a crocodile teared, outraged manner had he been white?

No. We would not.
AlysonV
10th Jun 2020
6
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No, it’s our history and should not be taken away. Every country on this planet used slaves, whilst I don’t agree with taking them down what I do say is keep them and put a placard at the side giving the history of that person so that our children can learn from it. The whole world has been built on slavery, the pyramids, the Great Wall of China, what, are we going to take these down? I thought not!! Let’s concentrate on the present and stop the present day slavery and human trafficking, our energies are best serving the future not reliving the past.
viking
10th Jun 2020
4
Thanks for voting!
OK, so the angry mobs want to remove the statues that remind them of the old slave trade [ no mention of the the slave trade of 2000 ]
So are they going to loot every bookshop and library, rip out any pages that give references and names of anything connected to the old slave trade ?? Don't think so.
What about the companies, now household names, who actually shipped the slaves ?? Certain docks and warehouses that were built on funding from that trade ?? Burn those down ??
One does wonder if the fine weather, together with having been in lockdown for so long and the police cracking down on domestic abuse, gave some of the mobsters an excuse for a "party in the park", and a good punch up to give vent to their frustrations.
,,
MikeBrough
10th Jun 2020
-1
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It's not about altering or ignoring history. It's about glorifying it by putting whacking great statues to the people who made their fortunes by enslaving others.
viking
11th Jun 2020
1
Thanks for voting!
Julius Caesar had a penchant for watching black slaves fight each other to the death in the Colusium. Black slaves were widely used to row the galleys. To own a black slave was a sign of wealth to the Romans. As there are many busts and statues of Julius Caesar here and in Italy, should these also be defaced or toppled ??


If the Black movement do not demonstrate in front of the Italian Embassy in London and follow up with a demonstration in Rome then they are NOT sincere in their mantra.

So much for the "gloryfying of statues " !!!
MikeBrough
10th Jun 2020
1
Thanks for voting!
We cannot alter history but we can ensure that the nastier parts of it are not glorified.
Yagala
10th Jun 2020
3
Thanks for voting!
The whole thing is a bit uselessly trying to chance history today while all of it has passes into history.
If you want to change history one has to travel back in time in order to do anything about it.
What a lot of people conveniently forget is that the Muslims started the whole trade to begin with and the whites followed later because of the money to be made of it.
Even today the Muslims still do it and not trying to shut it out for the rest of the world, but then the Muslims with all that oil are too strong to go against it, and we in the west are not doing anything against it because of the fear the oil stream would be blocked for good and all.
But in cases like this people listen to the loudest voices and the hardest threats and just join in to stay safe of it all for them and their families.
jeffsoo
10th Jun 2020
2
Thanks for voting!
We cannot alter history
MikeBrough
10th Jun 2020
-1
Thanks for voting!
But we shouldn't glorify this aspect of it either.
Wilf
10th Jun 2020
0
Thanks for voting!
A difficult one but I do not think we should have statues of people who held slaves or had anything to do with it as it was one of histories most terrible crimes. On the other hand it should be debated and removed by consensus rather than the mob rule or where does that all end?
MikeBrough
10th Jun 2020
1
Thanks for voting!
It's unlikely that there was any debate or consultation with the public when most of these statues were erected.
Supersabre
10th Jun 2020
5
Thanks for voting!
A very slippery slope. What happens when they decide to go for people and not statues? We have mob rule. on the street, Police in retreat, And some politicians giving active encouragement to them. What could possibly go wrong? And what next, one of the royal residences?
nanabet48
10th Jun 2020
7
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This is a comment (modified) that I made to an article in the news:-

Why should statues be demolished or moved to satisfy people who are only focusing on one aspect of that person’s life and they cannot see that if it wasn’t for these people our country would not be in the position it is today. They also remind us of how far we have come in changing attitudes. Yes, they were despicable times which, in hindsight, it is easy to say they should not have happened. But if we could go back 300 or so years, would we have the same attitude as that of today? I doubt it as it was acceptable at the time – we didn’t know any better.
Huge changes in attitudes take a long time to happen and while I don’t condone the slave trade, I do accept that it is part of our history and without it we would not have some of the standards we live by today – or the freedom of speech to say so. As long as we learn from history and not repeat the same shameful acts then I think the statues should be there to remind us of our progress – and not only those of slave traders but anyone who has had an impact on our county’s history.
----------------------------------------------------

Slavery is not unique to black - white people were slaves too. Slavery does back many more years than those covered by the people in these statues and it wasn't instigated by them. We may not like certain aspects of our history but we cannot ignore them - but it is OUR history and we are proud of it - warts and all!
MikeBrough
10th Jun 2020
-3
Thanks for voting!
'Only focusing on one aspect of that person's life'? I'm told Hitler was quite kind to animals but that doesn't seem to have earned him any statues.

Profiting from slavery to the extent they did (and I'm sure their consciences told them it was wrong) overrides an awful lot of good deeds.
LanceFogg
10th Jun 2020
7
Thanks for voting!
Simply because some of these characters from the past did not apply 2020 values to their activities doesn't mean we remove them. They represent our history and without them there to remind us of what they did (and there was nearly always some good as well the more publicised bad activities) then we will never learn from our previous mistakes.
To those who want to sweep away the past, argue that they should be removed by all means but NEVER take the law into your own hands and commit criminal damage. That is unacceptable and reprehensible and should be punished.
MikeBrough
10th Jun 2020
-1
Thanks for voting!
Many of these statues went up 200 years ago and we don't seem to have learned much about racism during that time. I don't think the statues are working!
loobyloo19
10th Jun 2020
7
Thanks for voting!
No.... all that will do is push this previous barbaric practices out of mind!!
We can not erase or hair brush our.. HISTORY.. other wise HOW CAN WE EVER LEARN FROM IT?
THERE IS A LOT OF MODERN DAY SLAVERY HAPPENING NOW..YOUNG WOMEN FORCED INTO THE SEX TRADE...GANG MASTERS..
let that sink in for a moment or two...
I DON'T SEE ANYONE TRYING TO STOP THAT!!
INSTEAD WERE FOCUSING ON THE PAST ...THE PAST CANNOT NOT BE CHANGED.
WE SHOULD BE ACTING NOW TO STOP THIS MORDERN DAY SLAVERY!!
MikeBrough
10th Jun 2020
0
Thanks for voting!
'THERE IS A LOT OF MODERN DAY SLAVERY HAPPENING NOW..YOUNG WOMEN FORCED INTO THE SEX TRADE...GANG MASTERS..'.

The statues don't seem to have helped much.
Billythequiche
10th Jun 2020
6
Thanks for voting!
If these are to be removed, it must be by consensus and consultation. It must not happen for political correctness, political manoeuvring or intimidation. Whats next? Book burning?
Things have gone beyond rightful protest at an unlawful killing in a foreign country. It is a treasured right in this country to demonstrate views, it is not a right to loot, burn, intimidate, vandalise or attack police. If police are forced to stand back whilst criminal damage occurs, what happens when it is YOUR property, Your family and Your life that is threatened? The police must be constrained against excessive and illegal violence, but must be free to apply the law equally across all people, even if they are polka dot or striped.
All racism is abhorrent including anti semitism, but this must not be confused with cultural pride, patriotism and religious convictions. We must not let these be submerged by a tidal wave of extremist activists.
Some of us are accused of not listening to minority views. If I were white, male, Christian, straight, not interested in changing sex and apolitical, I would not be confident in the outcome of a shortlist for a job, compiled by the virtue signallers and followers of political correctness.
Perceived and actual racial inequalities must be brought into the open, discussed and acted upon by community leaders and representatives. It cannot be affected by violence, illegality, self appointed "influencers" or political manipulators.
It cannot be beyond the wit of parliament to assemble an "advisory group" from outside of government and political parties, voluntary and unpaid except for expenses.
Margaret Hart
10th Jun 2020
10
Thanks for voting!
This is Great Britain those statues are part of our history. When will we just stick up for ourselves and say if you want to live in England accept all parts of i
JenniferH7
10th Jun 2020
10
Thanks for voting!
It is part of our history and should not be erased, otherwise it would be like Japan when they erased WWII from their history. We all need to learn from history and not hide it.
Retiredyorkie
10th Jun 2020
6
Thanks for voting!
I agree with Bald123 it was an evil trade but it is all part of our history
MikeBrough
10th Jun 2020
2
Thanks for voting!
But we don't need to glorify that part of our history by erecting statues.
ElainePeony
10th Jun 2020
1
Thanks for voting!
How about covering statues linked to the horrific deeds relating to slavery.

This would mean that they would become a better part of educating the curious, children and tourists. Possibly a much better use for them rather than melting them down or putting them in museums.

Regarding Cecil Rhodes, perhaps all the living Rhodes Scholars who benefited from an Oxford education could vote on what should happen to the statue?
MikeBrough
10th Jun 2020
0
Thanks for voting!
Bald123
10th Jun 2020
2
Thanks for voting!
I think we should put notices or plaques up saying what people did that would then give it a historical context and also let people know who and what the statue stands for. However where we are talking about certain people who for example where involved with slavery we definitely should remove these statues. It was an evil trade and there is no way these people should have a statue on them. Put up statues for people who have done good in the world and advanced us all not people who are wrong'uns.
Reynard
10th Jun 2020
6
Thanks for voting!
Why remove statues that are part of our history they are reminders of our evil past we are not glorifying them would we ask Germany to remove any trace of their nazi past they are there to for generations to come to show none of us are perfect
Felix1
10th Jun 2020
7
Thanks for voting!
I am not racist. However, These statues are part of our history. Slavery existed in most countries. Also, it should be remembered that some black people sold their own, they believed in slavery. It exists today. Those statues are a reminder.
Munsterlander
10th Jun 2020
-1
Thanks for voting!
Slave Trade statues should be removed right now. Why on earth would we want to keep them?. I am not sure how protestors will remove the Cecil Rhodes one in Oxford? Maybe we should remove statues by having a public debate and vote.
MrsPat
10th Jun 2020
1
Thanks for voting!
Yes if they give offence like that one in Bristol. After all statues are supposed to commemorate people and leaders who we respect. How can we respect people who are cruel to others?
eric1
10th Jun 2020
8
Thanks for voting!
What happened in America was absolutely devastating and something did need to be done, but there is a faction on our streets that would incite trouble in an empty room, the defacing of statues and cenotaphs is not acceptable under any circumstances, the injuring of innocent people doing a difficult job is not acceptable, the harming of innocent animals is not acceptable, the damage and looting of innocent peoples properties and businesses is not acceptable, the death of over 40,000 people and possibly thousands more because of this action is not acceptable. Shall we just go ahead and destroy anything to do with history? The world has gone mad whilst in lockdown.

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