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Moving statues

I had this top in the 80’s it was a great top, bright orange , very baggie and it sort of had this neck that was like a triangle that rapped over itself, it cost me a fortune from a trendy clothes store called chessmen, it was by a Italian company called gallini

I loved that top, I thought it was the bees knees at the time but as much as it pains me to say so it is probably best left back in the 80’s.

The problem is it would look out of place in the modern world. Which brings me to the subject of statues. When you think about it it’s a strange one, statues I mean, they are a bit like trophies prominently displayed, on show , part art,part history,part boast and now it seems part embarrassment.

There is quite a spectrum of views on this , people either viewed the removal of the Robert Colston statue as a affront on history or the making of history itself.

It is quite clear that the statue ( which was in private ownership) has been a bone of contention in Bristol for a while with many including the local council keen for its removal.

While I don’t condone vandalism I understand what happened and the strength of feeling, personally it would be better for it to have gone by legal means but in the same breath won’t shed a tear for the destruction of a monument to the slave trade , a man responsible for the death of thousands.

What is seems to boil down to is the arguments that these statues are part of our history and should be maintained as such. I don’t subscribe to that view.

Someone said that if you destroy the statues today it will be books tomorrow, that’s nonsense of course, statues are not there to inform us of history, they are there as mentioned earlier as trophy’s. History is best learned from education, books, libraries and museums. However what has become evident is that we have a issue with history in this country and the fault does not lie with the statues.

We have been very economical with the truth when teaching history. One of my friends when seeing the Churchill statue attacked asked a genuine question “ how on earth can anyone say Churchill was in any way raciest?” of course i don’t blame him for this view, most of use were taught in school that Churchill was a great wartime leader and of course he was, but more importantly he was a complex nuanced character who did stuff that was quite racist.

Perhaps that is why we like our hero’s on statues, we don’t have to look at the fuller picture, we don’t have to face truths that history is not black or white. That sometimes the good guys and the bad guys are not that indistinguishable.

But back to the statues, should they be unmovable, forever frozen in place as a reminder of what was, personally I don’t think so, let’s keep our museums and liberties for that, we could always send our redundant statues there to pasture.

I like the idea of the fourth plinth in Trafalgar Square, forever changing every few months, perhaps all our statues should be like this, always under review, perhaps its time to honour new heroes on our city plinths.

Time moves on, as my orange gallini top has discovered, what as Calvin Harris once reminded us was acceptable in the 80’s is not so much now. In the same manner what was acceptable in the 1680’s appears to be just as unpalatable in the modern world.

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