Coming to Terms With Britain's Past

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gosling
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Re: Coming to Terms With Britain's Past

Post by gosling » Fri Jun 12, 2020 9:39 am

bjn wrote:
Fri Jun 12, 2020 8:39 am
Yep, the statue thing can be a bit of a diversion against concrete action, but that doesn't necessarily mean the most egregious examples should not be removed. At the very least a huge sign saying "XXX was a complete a..eh.le because YYY", especially for cases where they were thought complete a..eholes at the time (eg: Clive).
I've used the Clive example in response to someone effectively claiming history is immutable. Not sure how far I'll get as that group of friends have always been pretty conservative, but you never know.

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Re: Coming to Terms With Britain's Past

Post by EACLucifer » Fri Jun 12, 2020 11:16 am

Bird on a Fire wrote:
Thu Jun 11, 2020 7:28 pm
gosling wrote:
Thu Jun 11, 2020 7:15 pm
Is there a danger that we spend all our energy arguing about statues and history, so that we fail to address current issues?
It's not uncommon for a fairly low-stakes symbolic act to capture the public imagination and drown out more important stuff.

To give an example from a totally different area, Blue Planet II and other campaigners managed to get marine plastic pollution into the spotlight. It very quickly became "plastic straws are bad", a bunch of places in rich countries swapped to paper straws, and the difficult conversations about how to deal with waste-management in developing countries and the marine sector (responsible for almost all marine plastic waste) hasn't really happened. The use of plastic straws in most of the west is an irrelevance because they don't end up in the sea anyway.
But it did impact disabled people by making it much harder to access a very easy adaption when out and about. And it did get to make a certain kind of activist really tumescent as they were able to impose their will over objections and show they had power, and feel big about how their cause was worth necessary sacrifices - but of course they weren't the ones making the sacrifice.

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Re: Coming to Terms With Britain's Past

Post by Fishnut » Fri Jun 12, 2020 11:46 am

EACLucifer wrote:
Fri Jun 12, 2020 11:16 am
Bird on a Fire wrote:
Thu Jun 11, 2020 7:28 pm
gosling wrote:
Thu Jun 11, 2020 7:15 pm
Is there a danger that we spend all our energy arguing about statues and history, so that we fail to address current issues?
It's not uncommon for a fairly low-stakes symbolic act to capture the public imagination and drown out more important stuff.

To give an example from a totally different area, Blue Planet II and other campaigners managed to get marine plastic pollution into the spotlight. It very quickly became "plastic straws are bad", a bunch of places in rich countries swapped to paper straws, and the difficult conversations about how to deal with waste-management in developing countries and the marine sector (responsible for almost all marine plastic waste) hasn't really happened. The use of plastic straws in most of the west is an irrelevance because they don't end up in the sea anyway.
But it did impact disabled people by making it much harder to access a very easy adaption when out and about. And it did get to make a certain kind of activist really tumescent as they were able to impose their will over objections and show they had power, and feel big about how their cause was worth necessary sacrifices - but of course they weren't the ones making the sacrifice.
Yes, that was the other big problem with the straw campaign. It completely ignored the real issues while also making things much harder for an already marginalised group of people. The ableism was so infuriating, I really can't imagine how awful it must have been to be subjected to it. And I fear the lingering effects will last long after people remember why they're now so anti-straw.

I'm hoping that the fall of statues doesn't have a similar result. I worry that there'll be overreactions that will make it seem like this is just part of the mythical "cancel culture" that the right crusades against. The removal of the 'The Germans' episode of Fawlty Towers has the potential to be seen that way (though I can see why the decision was made) but I hope that it all helps to make people aware of the endemic racism that has pervaded our lives so thoroughly that we barely notice it. It won't work for everyone, but hopefully it'll be enough to make a real and positive change.

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Re: Coming to Terms With Britain's Past

Post by murmur » Fri Jun 12, 2020 12:52 pm

Good news everyone!

A certain Mr Johnson of Downing Street in that there London has decided what we should all think

Rejoice and don't trouble your little heads about the inconvenient facts which were left off Colston's statue or that of the 1st Duke of Sutherland I mentioned previously or what you are never told about how The Big House was funded, as that would be To Lie...What you have already not been told is The Truth About Our History, no more, no less.

That twunt owes me yet another new irony meter...
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Re: Coming to Terms With Britain's Past

Post by Gentleman Jim » Fri Jun 12, 2020 1:21 pm

I've have often wondered whether to persistence of the "Little Englander" mentality is in part perpetuated by the endless repeats of shows set during WW2.
Even things like "Dad's Army" reinforce the stereotype of "Plucky Old Blighty" standing alone against the evil forriners
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Re: Coming to Terms With Britain's Past

Post by bjn » Fri Jun 12, 2020 1:39 pm

Gentleman Jim wrote:
Fri Jun 12, 2020 1:21 pm
I've have often wondered whether to persistence of the "Little Englander" mentality is in part perpetuated by the endless repeats of shows set during WW2.
Even things like "Dad's Army" reinforce the stereotype of "Plucky Old Blighty" standing alone against the evil forriners
Always ignoring the fact Britain that Britain still had a stonkingly large empire and the commonwealth nations to raid for resources and manpower.

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Re: Coming to Terms With Britain's Past

Post by Gentleman Jim » Fri Jun 12, 2020 2:15 pm

And how many times a years are films like "The Great Escape" or "Dambusters" on some channel or other.
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Re: Coming to Terms With Britain's Past

Post by jimbob » Fri Jun 12, 2020 9:08 pm

A descendant of Robert E Lee on why Confederate statues should come down

https://www.npr.org/2017/08/20/54481783 ... 1995786740

Most of it is specifically American, but there are similarities.
Have you considered stupidity as an explanation

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Re: Coming to Terms With Britain's Past

Post by Millennie Al » Sun Jun 14, 2020 4:53 am

Fishnut wrote:
Thu Jun 11, 2020 6:43 am
Millennie Al wrote:
Thu Jun 11, 2020 2:54 am
The people today were most certainly not enslaved by Colston, nor were they ever in danger of it as he died in 1721. It is possible that a few descendants of his slaves were involved, but since his business was shipping slaves and not importing them into England, it cannot be very many as the vast majority of their descendants would be in America or other slave destinations.
Colston shipped people to the Caribbean. The same Caribbean that was the source of the Windrush generation. The same Windrush generation that settled in cities including Bristol.
I'm not sure what point you are making there. Are you claiming that there is something wrong in what I said or are you explaining how the "few descendants" might have got here?
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Re: Coming to Terms With Britain's Past

Post by Lew Dolby » Sun Jun 14, 2020 10:03 am

OK. The point is that Colston is a representative of the group that did ship their ancestors to the Caribean - that surely is enough.

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Re: Coming to Terms With Britain's Past

Post by Lydia Gwilt » Sun Jun 14, 2020 11:06 am

Gentleman Jim wrote:
Fri Jun 12, 2020 1:21 pm
I've have often wondered whether to persistence of the "Little Englander" mentality is in part perpetuated by the endless repeats of shows set during WW2.
Even things like "Dad's Army" reinforce the stereotype of "Plucky Old Blighty" standing alone against the evil forriners
Yes! there are a lot of people who actively state that things were better in the war and the UK stood alone then and conquered, so Brexit is the same thing. If you tell them about sugar and butter rationing into the 1950s, and the joys of powdered egg they just blank it out.

I usually love the North York Moors railway, but they have a 40s weekend which is the busiest weekend of the year and my family who live nearby go away without fail that weekend - the place is full of nutters.

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Re: Coming to Terms With Britain's Past

Post by Opti » Sun Jun 14, 2020 12:22 pm

tbh I'm finding it harder to come to terms with Britain's present. Harder still to come to terms with Britain's future.
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Re: Coming to Terms With Britain's Past

Post by Fishnut » Sun Jun 14, 2020 1:12 pm

Millennie Al wrote:
Sun Jun 14, 2020 4:53 am
Fishnut wrote:
Thu Jun 11, 2020 6:43 am
Millennie Al wrote:
Thu Jun 11, 2020 2:54 am
The people today were most certainly not enslaved by Colston, nor were they ever in danger of it as he died in 1721. It is possible that a few descendants of his slaves were involved, but since his business was shipping slaves and not importing them into England, it cannot be very many as the vast majority of their descendants would be in America or other slave destinations. (my emphasis)
Colston shipped people to the Caribbean. The same Caribbean that was the source of the Windrush generation. The same Windrush generation that settled in cities including Bristol.
I'm not sure what point you are making there. Are you claiming that there is something wrong in what I said or are you explaining how the "few descendants" might have got here?
I was responding to your last point, that the descendants of Colston's victims are mostly in the US. Colston didn't ship to America (as far as I can tell), he shipped to the Caribbean to supply English plantations.

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Re: Coming to Terms With Britain's Past

Post by Bird on a Fire » Sun Jun 14, 2020 7:07 pm

To back up Fishnut's point, the most recent UK census (2011) suggests that about a third of black people in England identify as "black Caribbean" rather than "black African" or "other black", and about half of those "black Africans" appear to be more recent arrivals, and might therefore be concentrated in places like London. So I'd tentatively suggest that over a third of Bristol's black community is likely to be descended from slaves shipped to the Caribbean by Colston and his ilk, and quite possibly at least half of them.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_B ... mographics
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Re: Coming to Terms With Britain's Past

Post by murmur » Fri Jun 19, 2020 12:45 pm

This piece by Ian Cobain might be of interest to any who haven't seen it yet.
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Re: Coming to Terms With Britain's Past

Post by JQH » Fri Jun 19, 2020 1:02 pm

Currently in an argument with someone on FB about Cecil Rhodes.
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Re: Coming to Terms With Britain's Past

Post by jimbob » Sat Jun 20, 2020 11:17 pm

JQH wrote:
Fri Jun 19, 2020 1:02 pm
Currently in an argument with someone on FB about Cecil Rhodes.
It's amazing how many hypotheticals people can produce to justify statues to rapacious and sometimes genocidal men from the last 250 years.
Have you considered stupidity as an explanation

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Re: Coming to Terms With Britain's Past

Post by JQH » Sun Jun 21, 2020 12:07 pm

jimbob wrote:
Sat Jun 20, 2020 11:17 pm
JQH wrote:
Fri Jun 19, 2020 1:02 pm
Currently in an argument with someone on FB about Cecil Rhodes.
It's amazing how many hypotheticals people can produce to justify statues to rapacious and sometimes genocidal men from the last 250 years.
Isn't it just. Arguments gone something like this:

Some one posts article saying "Now they want to tear down Cecil Rhodes statue, how disgraceful etc.

Me; Summary of Rhodes' instigation of the Boer War, ostensibly to protect the rights of uitlanders (foreign workers) in the mines but actually to get hold of the gold and diamonds. War was brutal even by the standards of the time and cost orders of magnitude more than initially estimated.

Right Wing friend: No No, the Boers started at by invading Cape Colony.

Me: In retaliation for the Jameson Raid which was intended to support a revolution in Johannesburg fomented by Rhodes and others.

No response to this as yet.
And remember that if you botch the exit, the carnival of reaction may be coming to a town near you.

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Re: Coming to Terms With Britain's Past

Post by kerrya1 » Tue Jun 23, 2020 10:22 am

jimbob wrote:
Fri Jun 12, 2020 9:08 pm
A descendant of Robert E Lee on why Confederate statues should come down

https://www.npr.org/2017/08/20/54481783 ... 1995786740

Most of it is specifically American, but there are similarities.
I'm curious about all these confederate statues - is it common in other countries to put up lots of statues to the people that ultimately lost a war? Are these all located in the "South" or are they all over the US?

We have a few in Scotland (William Wallace, Robert the Bruce, etc) but not that many and mostly of people from much earlier in our history.

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Re: Coming to Terms With Britain's Past

Post by murmur » Tue Jun 23, 2020 11:57 am

JQH wrote:
Sun Jun 21, 2020 12:07 pm
jimbob wrote:
Sat Jun 20, 2020 11:17 pm
JQH wrote:
Fri Jun 19, 2020 1:02 pm
Currently in an argument with someone on FB about Cecil Rhodes.
It's amazing how many hypotheticals people can produce to justify statues to rapacious and sometimes genocidal men from the last 250 years.
Isn't it just. Arguments gone something like this:

Some one posts article saying "Now they want to tear down Cecil Rhodes statue, how disgraceful etc.

Me; Summary of Rhodes' instigation of the Boer War, ostensibly to protect the rights of uitlanders (foreign workers) in the mines but actually to get hold of the gold and diamonds. War was brutal even by the standards of the time and cost orders of magnitude more than initially estimated.

Right Wing friend: No No, the Boers started at by invading Cape Colony.

Me: In retaliation for the Jameson Raid which was intended to support a revolution in Johannesburg fomented by Rhodes and others.

No response to this as yet.
And have you pointed out that the Brits (mainly Scots of the 93rd, Sutherland, Regiment - a fore-runner od the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders) in January 1806, as part of the Napoleonic campaigns, captured Cape Town from the Dutch in order to secure sea trading routes?
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Re: Coming to Terms With Britain's Past

Post by JQH » Tue Jun 23, 2020 12:43 pm

Haven't got that far back in history yet.

And the Dutch of course nicked the area from the San and Khoikhoi (aacording to Wikipedia but I always thought it was the Xhosa.).
Last edited by JQH on Tue Jun 23, 2020 12:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Coming to Terms With Britain's Past

Post by Gentleman Jim » Tue Jun 23, 2020 12:46 pm

Can you do the "throat click" when saying Xhosa?
I fail miserably
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Re: Coming to Terms With Britain's Past

Post by JQH » Tue Jun 23, 2020 12:48 pm

Gentleman Jim wrote:
Tue Jun 23, 2020 12:46 pm
Can you do the "throat click" when saying Xhosa?
I fail miserably
No.

Southern African languages have a lot of sounds like that.
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Re: Coming to Terms With Britain's Past

Post by Fishnut » Tue Jun 23, 2020 12:52 pm

kerrya1 wrote:
Tue Jun 23, 2020 10:22 am
jimbob wrote:
Fri Jun 12, 2020 9:08 pm
A descendant of Robert E Lee on why Confederate statues should come down

https://www.npr.org/2017/08/20/54481783 ... 1995786740

Most of it is specifically American, but there are similarities.
I'm curious about all these confederate statues - is it common in other countries to put up lots of statues to the people that ultimately lost a war? Are these all located in the "South" or are they all over the US?

We have a few in Scotland (William Wallace, Robert the Bruce, etc) but not that many and mostly of people from much earlier in our history.
I found this video to be quite enlightening. The TL:DW is that the Daughters of the Confederacy was an organisation founded by women descendent from prominent anti-bellum ante-bellum families who wanted to preserve the 'good' legacy of the Confederacy. They raised money to put up statues of various 'heroes' and, more importantly, campaigned to get text books to record the 'truth' about the confederacy (basically putting a positive spin on everything). This meant that kids from the 1890s to the late 70s ( :o ) were raised on the idea that the Confederacy was good. They also had a kids version that taught a Confederate Catechism, indoctrinating generations.

ET change anti- to ante-
Last edited by Fishnut on Tue Jun 23, 2020 1:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Coming to Terms With Britain's Past

Post by Gfamily » Tue Jun 23, 2020 12:59 pm

Fishnut wrote:
Tue Jun 23, 2020 12:52 pm
kerrya1 wrote:
Tue Jun 23, 2020 10:22 am
jimbob wrote:
Fri Jun 12, 2020 9:08 pm
A descendant of Robert E Lee on why Confederate statues should come down

https://www.npr.org/2017/08/20/54481783 ... 1995786740

Most of it is specifically American, but there are similarities.
I'm curious about all these confederate statues - is it common in other countries to put up lots of statues to the people that ultimately lost a war? Are these all located in the "South" or are they all over the US?

We have a few in Scotland (William Wallace, Robert the Bruce, etc) but not that many and mostly of people from much earlier in our history.
I found this video to be quite enlightening. The TL:DW is that the Daughters of the Confederacy was an organisation founded by women descendent from prominent anti-bellum families who wanted to preserve the 'good' legacy of the Confederacy. They raised money to put up statues of various 'heroes' and, more importantly, campaigned to get text books to record the 'truth' about the confederacy (basically putting a positive spin on everything). This meant that kids from the 1890s to the late 70s ( :o ) were raised on the idea that the Confederacy was good. They also had a kids version that taught a Confederate Catechism, indoctrinating generations.
I think they were quite possibly more pro bellum than anti
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