Editor's comment: Mayor will hopefully bring city together
One of Bristol's leading musicians has claimed mayoral candidate George Ferguson's membership of Bristol's elite Society of Merchant Venturers is a conflict of interests. You can read the full story here , but here is the Post's editor Mike Norton's view on the situation:
SURELY there was a very good chance that one of the candidates for Bristol's Mayor would have come from the Merchant Venturers. It is, after all, a group made up of some of the most wealthy and influential people in the city.
The musician Robert del Naja has every right to question independent candidate George Ferguson's membership of the Merchant Venturers.
And even to ask whether Mr Ferguson could face a conflict of interests because of his involvement with the organisation.
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But it is going too far to question whether he could represent Bristol as an ambassador for the city given the historical links the Merchants Venturers have with the slave trade.
There is no-one in today's Merchant Venturers or in Bristol as a whole who would condone the slave trade.
But it is part of this city's history and we cannot change it. The important thing is not how people of a particular society behaved 200 years ago but how they behave today.
That is the only genuine test that needs to be applied.
Visiting the sins of Mr Ferguson's great, great, great, great grandparents upon him will achieve nothing.
An elected mayor will hopefully bring the city together and help us look to the future not back to the past.