Press releases tumbling out of the Society of Merchant Venturers since the fall of Colston on Sunday 7 June 2020 have left campaigners against the cult and their slave trade icon gobsmacked.
“The statue of Edward Colston was removed from Bristol’s city centre last weekend and the fact that it has gone is right for Bristol,” the Venturers innocently chirped to the press late on a Friday evening about a statue they fought a bitter and underhand battle for years to maintain at the heart of city.
Public warm words and contrition now are in stark contrast to the cult’s attitude as recently as 2018. Then the Merchant’s misfiring education wing, the Venturers Trust, which runs Colston Girls School and Withywood’s Merchants Academy as well as string of primary schools across the city, accused Colston campaigners and anti-racists of terror offences.
The damaging smear, a deliberate attempt to destroy the careers and reputations of campaigners prepared to directly challenge our city’s wealthy and influential Colston cult, came after Countering Colston’s Christine Townsend submitted a formal objection to the Office of the School Adjudicator in April 2018 about admission arrangements at Colston’s Girls School.
During this adjudication process, in letters to the Adjudicator and to Bristol’s Local Education Authority, signed by senior Merchant Venturer Anthony Brown of the Venturers Trust, they claimed that Christine had harassed children and associated her with a bomb threat to Colston Girls School. They even demanded that the Home Office’s PREVENT Programme to tackle homegrown terrorism investigate Christine and other members of Countering Colston.
The Adjudicator ignored Brown’s absurd fabrications as the Adjudication process deals exclusively with school admissions and a ruling on this appeared in August 2018. The local authority told the Merchants they needed to speak with the police, not a local council, in line with long established children’s safeguarding processes an academy chain should be familiar with.
Throughout the summer of 2018 the Venturers Trust ignored all correspondence and refused to retract and apologise for the kind of damaging smears that can cost people hard-earned careers. Eventually, in August 2018, a Civil Procedure Rules Pre-Action Protocol was served on Anthony Brown as Chair of Colston Girls Schools and trustee of the Venturers Trust. Christine was suing for libel.
By February 2019, with neither Brown, Colston Girls School or the Venturers Trust able to produce a shred of evidence for their claims, a written apology and a full and detailed retraction of their allegations was received by Christine from Anthony Brown. The proven liar also quietly resigned as Chair of Colston Girls School and a Trustee of the Venturers Trust. Oddly, Trevor Smallwood, a former Master of the Merchant Venturers, followed Brown out of the door as Chair of the Venturers Trust. The typical fanfare the local press reserves for vain old Venturers for their much-vaunted charitable and voluntary work was noticeably absent.
No explanation for Brown and Smallwood’s sudden departure from running one of the city’s leading academy chains has ever been publicly provided by The Venturers Trust or the Merchant Venturers. While the editor of the Bristol Post, Mike Norton, has declined to publish this news, almost certainly in the public interest, that his newspaper has held for over a year.
Are we to believe it is so entirely unremarkable for senior Merchant Venturers running academy chains to be proven liars that it is not worthy of news or comment? Or is the city’s wealthy slave trade cult so malignly powerful and influential it can easily silence our city’s senior media figures in order to maintain their false reputation?
Why are these wealthy men allowed to continue getting away with it and what else haven’t you heard about the Colston cultists dominating our city?