Don't destroy history of our shameful past

My fellow correspondent Peter Smith is clearly affronted by any positive reference to Edward Colston and to the notion that Colston's statue should have been left in situ.

A brief study of history reveals that Colston’s involvement in the slave trade pre-dated the abolition movement in Britain, and was during the time when slavery was generally condoned in England, and throughout Europe.

Colston died in 1721 and the infamous statue was erected in 1895.

Peter and the people who chose to remove the statue from its plinth are entitled to their views on the character of the man.

But so too are the people of Bristol who subscribed to the memorial. The plaque on the plinth read "Erected by citizens of Bristol as a memorial of one of the most virtuous and wise sons of their city AD 1895."

By today’s standards Colston is considered an evil man.

To many generations of Bristolians he was a major benefactor to the arts, education and the health and prosperity of the city.

Imperfect, without doubt. But a product of the age he lived in.

Whether by processing slave-produced crops such as tobacco, transporting slaves or owning plantations, for around 100 years the merchants of Bristol profited enormously from this practice until it was banned in 1834.

During this time around 500,000 slaves were transported to the New World in Bristol-owned ships.

Should we destroy every last vestige of the city’s dark relationship with slavery?

Des Morgan

Caraway Drive


Why has it taken so many scandals to make voters wake up?

In reply to the letter by Bill Williams (SA, January 13, If PM had a shred of decency he would go) the fact that Boris Johnson was sacked from several jobs for lying, his comments on black people, muslims, gay people and the Hillsborough disaster(amongst the many other abhorrent comments and lies he has told), shows the man hasn't got an ounce of decency in him Bill.

All those other Tory MPs who continue to endorse and defend him have, like Johnson not an ounce of decency in them.

Why is it Bill, that it has taken more scandals, more lies and more deceit for millions of voters across the UK to wake up to the fact that this most arrogant, despicable person is unfit to be PM?

Martin Webb

Old Town


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