The defence of Edward Colston’s statue proves inanimate objects matter to the government more than black people

Send your letters to letters@independent.co.uk

Piers Morgan attacks Priti Patel after she says tearing down of Colston statue 'unacceptable'

In reverence for the past, we keep ourselves from creating a future where the rules and expectations are different. The maintenance of the status quo, respect for the archaic institutions of law and government, the teaching of a curriculum that glorifies an exploitive and imperial past, in order to keep power and wealth in the hands of a privileged minority are being exposed as shamefully anachronistic.

The badges of slavery have plagued the city of Bristol for 400 years, in the names of its streets and in the endowment of schools and a concert hall that were paid for by money that came from the shameful exploitation of people and cultures in faraway lands.

Edward Colston made his fortune from trading lives; at least 20,000 Africans died on his overcrowded ships and were dumped anonymously in the Atlantic Ocean.

The disposal of his statue in the dock from which his slave ships set sail, that was seen as “utterly disgraceful” by the home secretary, was long overdue and should act as an emblem for the radical changes that are needed in this outdated democracy. Yet again, Priti Patel shows herself incapable of understanding what it means to empathise with others’ points of view. For Johnson to ignore a just cause and focus on marginal “thuggery” indicates how incapable he is of identifying with the people he was elected to serve.

Upwards of 40,000 people in this country, many from poor and ethnic minority backgrounds, have now died from the Covid-19 pandemic and yet our prime minister states that he is proud of our achievement.

The hypocrisy of government and its lack of empathy and identification with the mass of the people has reached a tipping point. The resentment of the dispossessed, disadvantaged, disenfranchised and young can no longer be contained. The complicity of a credulous electorate that has allowed the privileged to manipulate the truth for their own benefit has been summarily exposed once and for all. Our house is on fire.

Graham Powell
Cirencester

It was wonderful to see the diverse group of young people take down the statue of slave trader Edward Colston at the weekend. We should reflect on why on earth it had remained there for so long. Can I suggest that a statue commemorating the successful Bristol bus boycott led by Roy Hackett, Owen Henry, Audley Evans and Prince Brown is erected on the plinth to replace the vile symbol of racism and slavery that Colston represented?

Malcolm Bride
London SE26

Safely toppling Colston

The condemnation from political and other figures over the wanton destruction of a statue in Bristol, commemorating so-called patriot and philanthropist Edward Colston inspired me to write expressing my personal shock and horror at Sunday’s events.

Surely, at the very beginning of the demonstration one of the organisers should have drawn up a risk assessment; then the area around the statue should have been taped off; and after the ropes were tested for the correct torque everyone present should have been issued with “eye protectors”, you know the ones available from any good DIY shop. None of this appears to have been even considered!

This whole episode does strike me as yet another example of allowing our standards to slip especially health and safety, as I have highlighted just because we are immersed in mind-boggling political incompetence, a dreadful pandemic and the still to be resolved Brexit catastrophe!

Youngsters nowadays...eh?

Robert Boston
Kingshill

All lives?

Because of Covid-19, the young must be deprived of education, the sick of non-essential treatment, the sad of comforters, the elderly of company, the dying of family, businesses must cease trading, livelihoods must be lost, the economy and key-workers imperilled.

However, because of a sad event that happened many miles away in another country, we must accept crowds, violence and defiance – threatening to negate the effect of this enormous sacrifice.

Do lives matter equally?

Paul Rowles
Old Brampton

An obscene T-shirt

I read in your Sunday edition that a woman was told by transport police that her T-shirt was offensive as it had the slogan “F*** Boris” on it. I quite agree, she should go home and remove the offensive word Boris from it immediately.

Ken Twiss
Yarm

You ran a story about a protester challenged by British Transport Police for wearing a T-shirt saying “F*** Boris”. Apparently this contravened section 5 of the Public Order Act, under which it is an offence to use “threatening words or behaviour”.

I was surprised at this as one could have read her T-shirt as an encouragement or instruction. Many people seem to have needed no prompting on that one.

Leaving that aside, the story reminded me of an occasion when my family was going through security at Heathrow and suddenly saw that our teenage son had been pulled out of the line and was being taken to a side room. He emerged unharmed and explained that a security officer had objected to his T-shirt. It bore a picture and the words “Guns N’ Roses”, the name of a hard rock band. It was alleged that the word guns on his shirt might alarm other passengers. He was released when he agreed to wear his T-shirt inside out for the rest of the journey.

Richard Warrell
Yealmpton

Housing crisis

Even with a ban on evictions till August, there is a looming housing crisis coming. Also without funded advice services, this will make it worse.

The government has to address this urgently. Legal aid needs to be reinstated for social welfare cases before it’s too late.

Local services don’t exist in many areas, which is one of the reasons poverty increases, and evictions take place.

It isn’t rocket science, is it?

Gary Martin
London E17

UK coronavirus death toll rises by 357 to 40,261

Sunday trading laws

The suggestion to change Sunday trading laws to boost the economy contradicts the appeal made by Sir David Attenborough, that is, when he was asked what one thing he would like us all to do he replied: “Stop wasting”

There are better ways to boost the economy than to ask the public to buy more things they do not need.

Does our prime minister or our government have any desire to make real change that will be a positive contribution to the lives of the future generation?

Please, Boris Johnson, think again, you can do better than this.

Jehangir Sarosh
Bushey

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

By clicking ‘Create my account’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in