Right-wingers are really struggling to understand the Colston 4 acquittal

Colston's empty plinth
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Right-wing figures seem very confused by the acquittal of those dubbed the Colston Four. The four activists were on trial for criminal damage relating to the toppling of Tory slaver Edward Colston’s statue into the River Avon in 2020. Rhian Graham, Milo Ponsford, Sage Willoughby and Jake Skuse were all found not guilty by a jury. There were scenes of celebration as a result of the ruling.

But not everyone was happy it seems. Right-wing commentators and politicians turned out on Twitter to express their sadness and confusion that those who toppled the slaver’s statue had been acquitted.


Among these was former Sun editor Kelvin MacKenzie. MacKenzie simply could not understand why the four had been let off. He went as far as to question the jury’s mental health:

Read on...

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Tory MP Robert Jenrick was similarly alarmed at the verdict. He suggested that toppling Colston – who, incidentally, was also a Tory MP – amounted to making vandalism an acceptable form of protest:

While Blackpool MP Scott Benton called the decision “appalling”  and branded the original protest a “violent act”

Top prize

Top prize for sad right-winger, however, must go to commentator Darren Grimes. Grimes lamented the idea that you could now “destroy public property” if it was a “noble” cause.

The GB News contributor asked if the representation of Karl Marx in Highgate Cemetery in London could legitimately be toppled according to that logic:

Though he failed to note that, unlike Colston’s statue, Marx’s Highgate monument is also the German revolutionary’s gravestone.


But it’s important never to let Tories and statue defenders have the last word. On the matter of Colston, left-wing MP Zarah Sultana captured the real spirit of the man and his sordid business practices:

As Sultana rightly points out, Colston was involved in transporting tens of thousands of African people to the Caribbean. Nineteen thousand of whom died during the passage. Once there, they were further subjected to all the brutalities that characterised that disgusting practice.

And the Bristol band Massive Attack also weighed in, saying that the stature should never have been there in the first place:


Unlike the wealthy Tory slave-owner Edward Colston, few of his victims names are remembered. Seen in this light, the toppling of his statue in Bristol into the docks looks less like vandalism and more like a small meaure of justice for the victims of his horrendous actions.

Featured image via Caitlin Hobbs/Wikimedia, cropped to 770×403 pixels, licensed under CC BY 4.0

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