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Pages tagged "Black Lives Matter"

The Colston Four: should they have been acquitted?

By Andrew Allison, Chief Executive

Edward Colston made a lot of money out of the slave trade, although it is not known just how much it was. But he also made a fortune trading in other commodities. He was a prominent philanthropist, so gave much of his wealth away helping to found almshouses, and he funded schools and churches. He died, aged 84, in 1721 - over 300 years ago. By the standards of today, his involvement (and the involvement of others) in the slave trade was reprehensible. By the standards of the age he (and they) lived in, his life was nothing out of the ordinary for someone of his wealth and class. 

I can understand why some people found the statue of Edward Colston in Bristol (which wasn't erected until 1895 - 174 years after his death) offensive. I am not one for taking down statues and trying to rewrite history; however, if there is a groundswell of opinion in any town or city to remove statues and memorials, then there should be a referendum. Let local people decide. This can be the only democratic way of dealing with these perceived problems. 

One of our ten principles of a free society is the rule of law. Without it, a free society cannot function. It's why the not guilty verdicts in the trail of the four people charged with criminal damage after they pulled down Colston's statue and dumped it into the Avon, are deeply concerning. I was not in the public gallery during the trial, therefore I cannot make a running commentary about it. Nor am I going to criticise trial by jury. The jury system is a vitally important bedrock of our criminal justice system. If you sense a but coming, here it is. 

By removing the statue in the way they did, they broke the law. Lawyers can argue about extenuating circumstances until the cows come home, but as the statue's removal was broadcast live on television, there is no doubt that they were responsible. In my opinion, the not guilty verdicts were arrived at for political reasons, which is wrong. If I forcibly removed the bust of Karl Marx from his tomb in Highgate Cemetery, I would be arrested, charged, and prosecuted for criminal damage. I doubt that I would be found not guilty of that charge, despite my protestations that Marx's philosophies have resulted in the deaths of millions of people and have impoverished even more. Those arguments are for another day - not my day or days in court. (For the record, I am not about to remove the bust, nor do I think anyone else should, either!) 

My biggest fear is that this verdict gives carte blanche to other political protesters who wish to do something similar, which is why I am pleased that the Attomey General, Suella Braverman, is "carefully considering" referring the case of the Court of Appeal.  


Photo Credit: Caitlin Hobbs -

The Refined Marxism of Black Lives Matter

By William Yarwood, Digital Media Officer 

We all know that Black Lives Matter is a far left Marxist organisation that seeks to defund the police, abolish conservative social norms like the nuclear family unit and bring an end to capitalism. The academics, journalists and activists who told us that BLM was really only about fighting for ‘justice’ and ‘combating racism’ have proven themselves to be liars who were, at best, too scared to call BLM what it really was or, at worst, on board with the whole project since the start. Luckily the evidence is on our side as BLM’s very own website is packed to the brim with Marxist talking points and we know for a fact that the heads and founders of the movement are - as BLM co-founder Patrisse Cullors said in a newly surfaced video from 2015 - ‘trained Marxists’.

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Rugby Club bans man for life for criticising Black Lives Matter

By Andrew Allison, Head of Campaigns

On Monday, I wrote about Nick Buckley, the former CEO of the charity Mancunian Way (which he founded) who had been summarily fired from his job by the trustees for criticising the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement. And today I have a story which has been reported in the Welsh press about a man who did something similar and has now been told by his local rugby that he is no longer welcome. 

Wales Online doesn't reveal the name of the man, however, a quick Google search produced the "offending" tweet. 

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Sorry is the hardest word

The following is a guest post by Roger Helmer, a former MEP and a former Chairman of The Freedom Association. 

As the old song puts it, “Sorry is the hardest word to say”.  It’s also dangerously ambiguous.  If I accidentally step on a friend’s toe, I say “Sorry”, and I mean that I accept it was my fault, I regret it and I apologise.  If on the other hand my friend gets a terminal cancer diagnosis, I also say “Sorry” – but I mean something quite different.  I mean that I deeply regret the news and sympathise with the friend.  But I don’t accept responsibility, because I didn’t cause the cancer.  And I don’t apologise, because it is not something I did, and to apologise for something one did not do is an empty, pointless and vacuous gesture.

So with slavery.  I greatly regret that Britain was involved in the slave trade, and that Britons and British companies profited from slavery (whilst also remembering that virtually all races and nations in history have owned and traded slaves – this is not a black and white issue).  But I don’t apologise for it, because like everyone else in Britain today, I didn’t do it.  It was abolished by the UK in 1833.  I was born 111 years later.  And I take great pride (for my country, not for myself) in the fact that the UK was the first country in the world to abolish slavery; that the Royal Navy played a pivotal and sustained rôle in interdicting the trade in the Atlantic; and that Britain stumped up a huge amount of money to compensate owners for freeing the slaves (not that slave-owners had any moral right to the money, but without it the slaves would not have been freed).  The words “ransom” and “redemption” spring to mind.

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When you protest you must obey the law. Sadiq Khan must step up to the plate

Andrew Allison, Head of Campaigns

The death of George Floyd in Minneapolis has horrified the world. Derek Chauvin, the police officer who pinned him down with his knee on his neck, despite Floyd clearly telling him that he could not breathe, cannot be justified, and it is correct that Chauvin and his three former colleagues are prosecuted. But that did not justify the scenes we witnessed in central London yesterday. 

I was genuinely shocked when I saw a picture of the protest in Hyde Park yesterday afternoon. We still have a right to protest; of course we do, but during the current restrictions we have to protest in a way that does not spread COVID-19. This begs the question: why were so many people allowed to congregate breaking social distancing guidelines? 

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