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Common Sense

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1Common Sense Empty Common Sense on Sun Jul 19 2020, 15:48

Cajunboy

Cajunboy
El Hadji Diouf
El Hadji Diouf
Watford legend Luther Blissett has said he disagrees with proposals to rename four town streets which have links to Britain's colonial past.
The borough council has agreed to look at renaming Rhodes Way, Clive Way, Colonial Way and Imperial Way in order to "reflect forward thinking".
The review comes in the wake of anti-racism protests across the UK.
But Blissett said better education about the past was more important than "wallpapering over it".

2Common Sense Empty Re: Common Sense on Sun Jul 19 2020, 16:28

wanderlust

wanderlust
Nat Lofthouse
Nat Lofthouse
@Cajunboy wrote:Watford legend Luther Blissett has said he disagrees with proposals to rename four town streets which have links to Britain's colonial past.
The borough council has agreed to look at renaming Rhodes Way, Clive Way, Colonial Way and Imperial Way in order to "reflect forward thinking".
The review comes in the wake of anti-racism protests across the UK.
But Blissett said better education about the past was more important than "wallpapering over it".
I tend to agree with him in general but not sure about Rhodes Way. Same goes for statues providing they change the plaques to something that reflects the whole story so that future generations won't forget the lessons of the past.
Robert Clive (of India) for example should have something to the effect of "gained effective control of India by supporting local puppet governments to rise up against the French" rather than being mythologised as if it was his British military forces that had won the victory. He did it by strategic alliances and partnerships and to my knowledge he had no involvement in slavery or racism although many of his friendships with local people were financially motivated. Sneaky rather than nasty?
Cecil Rhodes however was an out and out white supremacist and that should be pointed out in no uncertain terms. Rhodes was the Hitler of his day as was that bastard Leopold of Belgium.

3Common Sense Empty Re: Common Sense on Sun Jul 19 2020, 16:42

boltonbonce

boltonbonce
Nat Lofthouse
Nat Lofthouse
Some things need tearing down. My hero, growing up, as a keen amateur astronomer, was Patrick Moore, who turned out, sadly, to be a racist misogynist.
We live and learn.

4Common Sense Empty Re: Common Sense on Sun Jul 19 2020, 16:45

wanderlust

wanderlust
Nat Lofthouse
Nat Lofthouse
@boltonbonce wrote:Some things need tearing down. My hero, growing up, as a keen amateur astronomer, was Patrick Moore, who turned out, sadly, to be a racist misogynist.
We live and learn.
I know what you mean but I think future generations have to learn too.

5Common Sense Empty Re: Common Sense on Sun Jul 19 2020, 16:53

boltonbonce

boltonbonce
Nat Lofthouse
Nat Lofthouse
I hope future generations look back and laugh at how backward we were. 'Good heavens, they used to eat chickens!'
But the statues have to go. Remember, and learn from the past by all means, glorify it even, if merited, but Rhodes and his ilk have to go.

6Common Sense Empty Re: Common Sense on Sun Jul 19 2020, 17:27

Cajunboy

Cajunboy
El Hadji Diouf
El Hadji Diouf
Fish pie and greens for tea, is that okay?

7Common Sense Empty Re: Common Sense on Sun Jul 19 2020, 17:36

boltonbonce

boltonbonce
Nat Lofthouse
Nat Lofthouse
@Cajunboy wrote:Fish pie and greens for tea, is that okay?
I never eat anything that can look back at me. Very Happy
Common Sense Ate-fisher

8Common Sense Empty Re: Common Sense on Sun Jul 19 2020, 19:44

gloswhite

gloswhite
Guðni Bergsson
Guðni Bergsson
@boltonbonce wrote:I hope future generations look back and laugh at how backward we were. 'Good heavens, they used to eat chickens!'
But the statues have to go. Remember, and learn from the past by all means, glorify it even, if merited, but Rhodes and his ilk have to go.
Its been shown that history is changed,ignored, or deliberately omitted in some history books. If this was the case, how can the next generations learn from the past? As stated earlier, plaques can be modified, but the removal of statues takes away any visual reminders, which may be the only ones available.

9Common Sense Empty Re: Common Sense on Sun Jul 19 2020, 20:12

xmiles

xmiles
Jay Jay Okocha
Jay Jay Okocha
Sadly I don't think we do learn from history. If we did perhaps people would stop voting for right wing dictators and jokes like Trump and Boris.

10Common Sense Empty Re: Common Sense on Sun Jul 19 2020, 20:14

okocha

okocha
Andy Walker
Andy Walker
Do German schoolchildren get taught about Hitler and the Nazis?

11Common Sense Empty Re: Common Sense on Sun Jul 19 2020, 20:16

boltonbonce

boltonbonce
Nat Lofthouse
Nat Lofthouse
@gloswhite wrote:
Its been shown that history is changed,ignored, or deliberately omitted in some history books. If this was the case, how can the next generations learn from the past? As stated earlier, plaques can be modified, but the removal of statues takes away any visual reminders, which may be the only ones available.
A lot of black history has certainly been omitted.

12Common Sense Empty Re: Common Sense on Sun Jul 19 2020, 22:20

xmiles

xmiles
Jay Jay Okocha
Jay Jay Okocha
@okocha wrote:Do German schoolchildren get taught about Hitler and the Nazis?

From what I understand they do and the Germans have handled this well. Unlike the Austrians and Japanese.

13Common Sense Empty Re: Common Sense on Sun Jul 19 2020, 22:49

gloswhite

gloswhite
Guðni Bergsson
Guðni Bergsson
@okocha wrote:Do German schoolchildren get taught about Hitler and the Nazis?
When I was in Berlin about 5 years ago, my wife and I went to the first concentration camp, Sachsenhausen, which was used as the design for all the later ones. On the trip to it, our guide was telling us that for many years after the war, nothing was taught about how the Hitler government, and much of the population, behaved. However, in recent years their war involvement and actions are now taught in all schools, and the later generations are truly ashamed of what their country did, and have/are always trying to make amends.

14Common Sense Empty Re: Common Sense on Sun Jul 19 2020, 22:53

gloswhite

gloswhite
Guðni Bergsson
Guðni Bergsson
@boltonbonce wrote:
A lot of black history has certainly been omitted.
Which backs up my point that statues should be kept, and plaques altered where necessary, to reflect current thinking. However you look at it, the reminder should remain for all to see, whether good or bad.

15Common Sense Empty Re: Common Sense on Sun Jul 19 2020, 23:23

okocha

okocha
Andy Walker
Andy Walker
Enjoyed reading "The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas" about the son of a German commandant in charge of a Nazi concentration camp. The boy becomes friends with a Polish boy in the camp, initially conversing through the wire fence that separates the camp from the wealthy German's family's home and extensive garden. 

Do try it if you haven't read it. There's also a film adaptation which is good.. Cleverly plotted.

16Common Sense Empty Re: Common Sense on Sun Jul 19 2020, 23:44

boltonbonce

boltonbonce
Nat Lofthouse
Nat Lofthouse
@gloswhite wrote:
Which backs up my point that statues should be kept, and plaques altered where necessary, to reflect current thinking. However you look at it, the reminder should remain for all to see, whether good or bad.
Don't think I need a statue to be reminded of history. I've heard it said that the Colston statue in Bristol should have been left untouched because of his charitable efforts for the people of that city, despite the origins of his money.
No one said anything similar when they were tearing down the plaques celebrating Jimmy Savile, who also raised huge amounts for charity.
Why isn't he part of our history, 'good or bad'?
We didn't raise our eyebrows in shock when the statues of Lenin started coming down in the Eastern Bloc.
Tearing down statues doesn't erase history, it makes us see it more clearly.

17Common Sense Empty Re: Common Sense on Mon Jul 20 2020, 00:18

Sluffy

Sluffy
Admin
History they say is written by the victors.

Basically meaning that it is not necessarily grounded in fact but the victors interpretations of them.

For instance some years back I just happened to be driving through France to visit the WW1 graves/battlefields when by chance I saw a sign for Agincourt, the site of one of our greatest victory in our history.

I decided we had to make an unplanned detour to see what must be the museum there and I simply couldn't believe my eyes when we found it - it was basically a shed!

Once the shock wore off the penny dropped for me - why should the French celebrate possibly their greatest ever defeat - and to us the English who are their biggest rivals through history?

They would no doubt rather forget it altogether and therefore haven't put any effort into celebrate the
history of the occasion.

It does make perfect sense once you think about it.

Similarly I found the museums around the Somme area completely underwhelming too - again if you think about it, the Germans lost, so they don't 'celebrate' the event, the French lost half their country and millions of dead, so they don't want to celebrate it, just us English who want to go and show our respects to our dead as well as knowing 'we' won!

It sort of made me laugh when someone made a statute of that woman and erected it (without permission remember) where Coulson's statue had stood - another example of the 'victors' writing 'their' 'version' of history.

I found this an interesting read and I quote one or two things from it -

'My Nigerian great-grandfather sold slaves'

Nigerian journalist and novelist Adaobi Tricia Nwaubani writes that one of her ancestors sold slaves, but argues that he should not be judged by today's standards or values.

He also sold human beings.

"He had agents who captured slaves from different places and brought them to him," my father told me.

Nwaubani Ogogo's slaves were sold through the ports of Calabar and Bonny in the south of what is today known as Nigeria.

They negotiated prices for slaves from the hinterlands, then collected royalties from both the sellers and buyers.

The concept of "all men are created equal" was completely alien to traditional religion and law in his society.

It would be unfair to judge a 19th Century man by 21st Century principles.


Assessing the people of Africa's past by today's standards would compel us to cast the majority of our heroes as villains..

Igbo slave traders like my great-grandfather did not suffer any crisis of social acceptance or legality. They did not need any religious or scientific justifications for their actions. They were simply living the life into which they were raised.

That was all they knew.


Buying and selling of human beings among the Igbo had been going on long before the Europeans arrived. People became slaves as punishment for crime, payment for debts, or prisoners of war.

The successful sale of adults was considered an exploit for which a man was hailed by praise singers, akin to exploits in wrestling, war, or in hunting animals like the lion.

Igbo slaves served as domestic servants and labourers. They were sometimes also sacrificed in religious ceremonies and buried alive with their masters to attend to them in the next world.

Slavery was so ingrained in the culture that a number of popular Igbo proverbs make reference to it...

The arrival of European merchants offering guns, mirrors, gin, and other exotic goods in exchange for humans massively increased demand, leading people to kidnap others and sell them.


How slaves were traded in Africa

European buyers tended to remain on the coast
African sellers brought slaves from the interior on foot
Journeys could be as long as 485km (300 miles)

Two captives were typically chained together at the ankle
Columns of captives were tied together by ropes around their necks
10%-15% of captives died on the way

When the British extended their rule to south-eastern Nigeria in the late 19th Century and early 20th Century, they began to enforce abolition through military action.

But by using force rather than persuasion, many local people such as my great-grandfather may not have understood that abolition was about the dignity of humankind and not a mere change in economic policy that affected demand and supply.

"We think this trade must go on," one local king in Bonny infamously said in the 19th Century.

Slave trade in the 20th Century
Acclaimed Igbo historian Adiele Afigbo described the slave trade in south-eastern Nigeria which lasted until the late 1940s and early 1950s as one of the best kept secrets of the British colonial administration.

While the international trade ended, the local trade continued.

"The government was aware of the fact that the coastal chiefs and the major coastal traders had continued to buy slaves from the interior," wrote Afigbo in The Abolition of the Slave Trade in Southern Nigeria: 1885 to 1950.

Records from the UK's National Archives at Kew Gardens show how desperately the British struggled to end the internal trade in slaves for almost the entire duration of the colonial period.

They promoted legitimate trade, especially in palm produce. They introduced English currency to replace the cumbersome brass rods and cowries that merchants needed slaves to carry. They prosecuted offenders with prison sentences.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-53444752

I wonder how many who pulled down Coulson's statue realised that slavery was rife both before and after him and was perpetrated by black people on less fortunate black people, for century's?

Not many I would guess.

18Common Sense Empty Re: Common Sense on Mon Jul 20 2020, 00:40

wanderlust

wanderlust
Nat Lofthouse
Nat Lofthouse
There's always been a slave trade - the Pyramids and Rome wouldn't have been built without it, and it's true that Arab coastal slavers were active at the time when the Europeans got involved in Africa, however the emergent European expansion into the "new world" and emerging industries such as sugar and cotton massively increased demand as Sluffy points out and for me that's the key point - inasmuch that as long as human life is considered a resource there will always be people willing to take advantage of others. Which is why human trafficking continues today in spite of the legislation.

19Common Sense Empty Re: Common Sense on Mon Jul 20 2020, 11:30

gloswhite

gloswhite
Guðni Bergsson
Guðni Bergsson
@boltonbonce wrote:
Don't think I need a statue to be reminded of history. I've heard it said that the Colston statue in Bristol should have been left untouched because of his charitable efforts for the people of that city, despite the origins of his money.
No one said anything similar when they were tearing down the plaques celebrating Jimmy Savile, who also raised huge amounts for charity.
Why isn't he part of our history, 'good or bad'?
We didn't raise our eyebrows in shock when the statues of Lenin started coming down in the Eastern Bloc.
Tearing down statues doesn't erase history, it makes us see it more clearly.
Rightly or wrongly, Coulston was a man of his time. Like yourself, I don't like how he got his money. However, once he had it, he started many institutions, etc, and financed much of the building of Bristol. He cannot be written out of history by the pulling down of a statue, or renaming of a building or two. Jimmy Saville was a known law breaker, whereas Coulston was not.
However, on the point of statues and their uses, I shall agree to disagree with you.

20Common Sense Empty Re: Common Sense on Mon Jul 20 2020, 14:52

boltonbonce

boltonbonce
Nat Lofthouse
Nat Lofthouse
@gloswhite wrote:
Rightly or wrongly, Coulston was a man of his time. Like yourself, I don't like how he got his money. However, once he had it, he started many institutions, etc, and financed much of the building of Bristol. He cannot be written out of history by the pulling down of a statue, or renaming of a building or two. Jimmy Saville was a known law breaker, whereas Coulston was not.
However, on the point of statues and their uses, I shall agree to disagree with you.
I agree to your agreement to disagree. How civilised.  :bow:

21Common Sense Empty Re: Common Sense on Mon Jul 20 2020, 15:53

gloswhite

gloswhite
Guðni Bergsson
Guðni Bergsson
Laughing

22Common Sense Empty Re: Common Sense on Mon Jul 20 2020, 15:55

boltonbonce

boltonbonce
Nat Lofthouse
Nat Lofthouse
Come a bit late for the Brexit thread. Very Happy

23Common Sense Empty Re: Common Sense on Mon Jul 20 2020, 16:00

gloswhite

gloswhite
Guðni Bergsson
Guðni Bergsson
We'll soon be at it again, unfortunately.

24Common Sense Empty Re: Common Sense on Mon Jul 20 2020, 16:03

T.R.O.Y.


Nicolas Anelka
Nicolas Anelka
@gloswhite wrote:Rightly or wrongly, Coulston was a man of his time. Like yourself, I don't like how he got his money. However, once he had it, he started many institutions, etc, and financed much of the building of Bristol. He cannot be written out of history by the pulling down of a statue, or renaming of a building or two. Jimmy Saville was a known law breaker, whereas Coulston was not.
However, on the point of statues and their uses, I shall agree to disagree with you.

Very important not to write anyone out of history, need to learn from mistakes. 

No need to celebrate these people with statues though. 

Coulston's off to a museum i think, which is a sensible resolution in my mind.

25Common Sense Empty Re: Common Sense on Mon Jul 20 2020, 16:10

boltonbonce

boltonbonce
Nat Lofthouse
Nat Lofthouse
Empty space in Bristol. Why not put Captain Tom there. God forbid there are any skeletons in his historical cupboard.

26Common Sense Empty Re: Common Sense on Mon Jul 20 2020, 16:17

gloswhite

gloswhite
Guðni Bergsson
Guðni Bergsson
@T.R.O.Y. wrote:

Very important not to write anyone out of history, need to learn from mistakes. 

No need to celebrate these people with statues though. 

Coulston's off to a museum i think, which is a sensible resolution in my mind.
I agree.
Good to see you back.

27Common Sense Empty Re: Common Sense on Mon Jul 20 2020, 16:19

xmiles

xmiles
Jay Jay Okocha
Jay Jay Okocha
@gloswhite wrote:We'll soon be at it again, unfortunately.

I am not biting. Smile

28Common Sense Empty Re: Common Sense on Mon Jul 20 2020, 16:25

gloswhite

gloswhite
Guðni Bergsson
Guðni Bergsson
Not yet. Very Happy

29Common Sense Empty Re: Common Sense on Mon Jul 20 2020, 16:35

Sluffy

Sluffy
Admin
Bit of a conundrum I've yet to resolve, would welcome views.

It's this, if you've done some good things and some bad things in your life, is it right that you are judged principally on the bad things?

Ok, there's level's of good and bad of course, Hitler helping an old granny across the road doesn't balance out his holocaust obviously but speaking about Saville he did raise millions for charity most notably Stoke Mandeville for spinal injury victims.

Same with Colston, if anyone has a spare 20 minutes or so then this is worth a read -

http://www.bris.ac.uk/Depts/History/bristolrecordsociety/publications/bha096.pdf

We all know about Colston the slave trader but how much do we know what Colston did for the poor and needy?

It's worth noting that his trustees still to the current day benefit the those in need of educational support - irrespective of their racial background!  

This is THREE HUNDRED YEARS after his death!

So where do you draw the line, how do you weigh up good against bad?  

Are there shades of grey or is everything simply black or white?

30Common Sense Empty Re: Common Sense on Mon Jul 20 2020, 17:11

Cajunboy

Cajunboy
El Hadji Diouf
El Hadji Diouf
@Sluffy wrote:Bit of a conundrum I've yet to resolve, would welcome views.

It's this, if you've done some good things and some bad things in your life, is it right that you are judged principally on the bad things?

Ok, there's level's of good and bad of course, Hitler helping an old granny across the road doesn't balance out his holocaust obviously but speaking about Saville he did raise millions for charity most notably Stoke Mandeville for spinal injury victims.

Same with Colston, if anyone has a spare 20 minutes or so then this is worth a read -

http://www.bris.ac.uk/Depts/History/bristolrecordsociety/publications/bha096.pdf

We all know about Colston the slave trader but how much do we know what Colston did for the poor and needy?

It's worth noting that his trustees still to the current day benefit the those in need of educational support - irrespective of their racial background!  

This is THREE HUNDRED YEARS after his death!

So where do you draw the line, how do you weigh up good against bad?  

Are there shades of grey or is everything simply black or white?
The money he raised for charity was purely a cover for his repellant habits.  A lot of his obnoxious practices were carried out in hospital situations. I know from personal conversations through a Spinal Injuries Association  forum that his presence at Stoke Mandeville was feared by many of the patients, but as long as the money kept rolling in eyes were closed. He had this great reputation for helping to raise cash and through that he won over a lot of people who believed in him.  He advised Prince Charles on many things and often spent time with Mrs Thatcher at Chequers.

I had the option to do my rehabilitation at Stoke Mandeville back in the 1967, but chose Pinderfields in Wakefield instead or I might well have met the National Creep.

I'm alway amazed that he didn't end up in a shallow grave in the Yorkshire Dales after being tracked down by an avenging parent. It's what he deserved.

Sorry to ramble on , but he makes my blood boil.

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