Tag Archives: Cecil Rhodes

If tearing down the Colston statue is OK, then anything is OK as long as you can justify it to yourself

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None of us was born yesterday! We all know the wheels of history don’t turn with gentle persuasion alone, sometimes it takes people to step beyond what’s permitted by the law before things really change. And yet there was something frightening about Sunday’s protests in Bristol that culminated in the tearing down the statue of Edward Colston.

Some Conservative MPs have described it as mob rule. In a way it was: a group of demonstrators got it into their heads that this was legitimate, and egged on by mutual encouragement, they toppled a public artefact and dumped it in the river. The police decided discretion was the better part of valour and let it go for pragmatic reasons. As it was ‘only’ a statue, perhaps it’s a bit prissy to say it’s lawbreaking (even though it was), and it was a crime against an inanimate object rather than a person, so it pales compared with violence against a person. But I suspect many liberals will feel queasy about it.

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , and | 63 Comments
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Thu 28th Oct 2021
19:30