Fifteen Hours of fame in Bristol for Jen Reid


The decision by Bristol City Council to remove the statue of Jen Reid created by Marc Quinn was not a surprise and in one sense was very important to take place. There is a however a case for it to have remained on the Edward Colston location for a bit longer before it was removed and in due course replaced with a statue that has the support of the whole of their community. That said no doubt some people would have blamed the Council for their inability to respond in an effective and quick way. The anger and frustration which was expressed about the arrival of Jen Reid to the Edward Colston stand by some people followed on from some of the same people being offended that Edward Colston was removed a couple of weeks ago. The irony of course being that there had been many years of attempts by a wide range of people to remove a statue of a man who died nearly 299 years ago and who used his entrepreneurial capacity to make massive sums of money from the deaths and abuse of many thousands of people. Some people told me that his funding had helped to create Bristol in its form at the time, which is of course true. The resistance to remove his statue was huge and even today many people believe he should have remained in place. Some of those same people were offended that Jen Reid took his stand over and are delighted that she has been removed. It would have been very helpful in a way if she had remained on the stand until the long term replacement to Edward Colston had emerged. I certainly support the hard work by Marc Quinn and his colleagues who set the statue up on Wednesday morning as an attempt to compensate for the pain that Edward Colston has established. I suspect the decision to put Jen Reid onto that platform was taken by a similar number of people who had the power and the influence to decide that Colston was the man for the space. Thank goodness that Marvin Rees is planning to get the whole of the city to be given a chance to help decide who should take that space for the long term. Let us hope that whatever the agree on will last a bit longer than the 15 hours or so that Jen Reid was on the stand. Perhaps the same sort of decision making could then begin to influence how leaders of our nation will decide on matters a bit more important than a statue.

About ianchisnall

I am passionate about the need for public policies to be made accessible to everyone, especially those who want to improve the wellbeing of their communities. I am particularly interested in issues related to crime and policing as well as health services and strategic planning.
This entry was posted in Immigration, Justice Issues, Parliament and Democracy and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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