Sunday, 7 June 2020

Relics of Bygone Days

Various relics remind of our past, statues prominent amongst them. I'm annoyed when people call for the removal of a statue because it commemorates someone now considered 'bad'. Recently rioters in Bristol pulled down a statue of Edward Colston, a seventeenth century slave trader, and threw it into the river, whence it will, I expect, have to be removed at considerable expense.

In the seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries slavery was generally accepted, endorsed  by John Locke, the philosopher whose writings inspired the American Constitution, so Colston  was not evil when judged be the standards of his day. His statue was a useful reminder of how things used to be.

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