Edward colston

Will Colston’s statue wreak its revenge?

The statue of the Bristol merchant Edward Colston is apparently guilty of a hate crime. Let us hope that the four charged with pulling him down are indeed, for their sake, ‘on the right side of history’, as they claim, since statues have a habit of getting their own back on those who dishonour them. The statue of Theagenes (5th C bc) provides an instructive example. A Greek from the island of Thasos, Theagenes was one of the greats of the games’ circuit (so one should hope: his father was a priest of Heracles). As a boxer and all-in fighter (pankratiast), he won twice at the Olympics (boxing 480 bc,

Letters: Did Bristol really want to see Colston fall?

Hong Kong’s success Sir: Carl Heneghan and Tom Jefferson are right to compare the UK’s Covid-19 response with Hong Kong’s (‘Who cared?’, 6 June). We write as UK-trained emergency physicians, who have worked as specialists in both the UK and Hong Kong. In many ways, the economic and healthcare contexts are similar. The majority of care is delivered at minimal cost to the patient at the point of care; we share similar per capita GDP and human development indices. But we responded very differently to Covid. In Hong Kong, initially all patients with possible Covid were admitted to hospital until they tested negative. No one with suspected Covid was transferred

Portrait of the week: Schools stay shut, Colston tumbles and bell tolls for Japan’s bike bells

Home The government lurched uncertainly in dealing with coronavirus. Not all years in primary schools would after all return before September, and secondary schools perhaps not even then. A 14-day quarantine was imposed on people entering the country. Churches could open for individual prayer from 15 June, as could shops of all kinds. Pubs, restaurants and hairdressers would have to wait until 4 July at the earliest. Face coverings were made obligatory on public transport from 15 June. The number of workers furloughed reached 8.9 million, and 2.6 million more had made claims under the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme. The drug company AstraZeneca began to make a planned two billion

Who is most likely to be killed by police in the US?

The Colston chronicles Who, exactly, was Sir Edward Colston? Colston was born into a family of merchants and spent the first years of his career working for his father, trading cloth, wine, sherry and port around the western Mediterranean and North Africa. In 1680 he joined the Royal African Company which had been set up 20 years earlier by the Duke of York, the future James II, initially to exploit gold reserves in west Africa. In the 1680s it moved into the slave trade. Colston served one year as deputy governor of the company (the governor being James II). Colston also owned 40 of his own ships. He left the

Matthew Parris

In praise of statue-toppling

I couldn’t disagree more with Sir Keir Starmer (it was ‘completely wrong,’ ‘it shouldn’t have been done in that way’) or with Boris Johnson (‘if people wanted the removal of the statue there are democratic routes which can be followed’). No, there was something magnificent about the sight of the Bristol mob throwing into the harbour the statue of a man whose trade was notorious for throwing sick slaves with no monetary value into the sea. 1890s Britain raised that statue. 1890s Britain — the decade in which my grandparents were children, for heaven’s sake — had only just closed the slave market in Zanzibar: and if you want to