Living with our past

The past is another country. We are linked to it by past members of our families, by the buildings and works of art they left us, and by the language, heritage, culture and institutions they helped fashion. We can enjoy the best of their inheritance, and change those parts of it we do not like or approve. The works and deeds of those who came before cannot be undone, just looked at in different ways. We have the precious gift of life, which means we can help shape the world around us, the world we will pass on to our children in due course. The dead can no longer change our world from the grave. Their believers and helpers who are alive can join our democratic process as we battle over their legacies .

I am glad I live in a country which usually respects the past whilst having sometimes passionate debates about it. I remember taking a Russian visitor around the Palace of Westminster shortly after the Berlin Wall was torn down. After I had described a few of the characters portrayed in pictures and statues he grasped a fundamental truth. He said how lucky I was to live in a country that could live at ease with its past. His country had been one where each successive tyrant who grabbed power rewrote the history as he wished and ordered the tearing down of pictures and statues of those who no longer pleased.

Each generation has difficult decisions to make about the built and artistic inheritance. I think it is right to conserve sufficient of the past so all interested can see examples of the buildings for themselves, and can find likenesses of the leading figures that helped shape the UK of their day, for better or worse. I have never thought I should with like minded people be able to win an election and then purge our cities and galleries of memorials to those we oppose. My disliking Marx cannot change the historic importance his thinking has enjoyed, nor wipe out the millions of deaths carried through in the USSR and elsewhere by following his ideology. I fought my battles against Marxist social and economic thinking with my pen as a young man. I never suggested defenestrating his statues.

In the UK we have proceeded by evolution rather than revolution most of the time. The English Church or house evolves, with extensions and new facilities added as the generations pass.So it should be with our approach to the built environment. There are times when adapting what we inherit makes sense. There are times when need and commercial logic points to replacement, building anew. Then should we record and photograph what is lost, so those interested will in future know how we changed the world.

Towns and cities with statues on public ground have democratic processes to decide whether to maintain or replace them. Where a City no longer wishes to remember in open space a former leader who gave money or ran parts of public and commercial life the statue could be moved to a private place that did wish to remember, or to a museum where it can form part of an historical display and account.

I share the hatred of many of slavery and enforced occupation of a country by a military power. I have always resented the way the Romans invaded our country, placed it under a brutal military control, and made a market in slaves to give the senior Romans a wonderful lifestyle. It has not made me want to remove all the Roman statues of the thinkers and leaders of the imperial and colonial government which enforced this system on us. I do not deny that alongside their belief in slavery and military rule they also produced some important academic work and technology. The Romans who delighted in the torture and cruel death of animals for sport were good at building large structures. We can debate what if anything they did for us without throwing their statues into the nearest river or sea.

Living in a democracy means respecting and being tolerant of other’s views. Today none of us are tolerant of slavery, but we can be tolerant of each other’s approach to history. The academics who are often most engaged against the statues of former donors today often depend on donations and fees from China. Are they sure their own deeds are as morally pure as they think those of the past should have been? How do they rate China for civil liberties, freedom of expression and of religion?

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  1. Peter Wood
    Posted June 11, 2020 at 5:15 am | Permalink

    Good morning,

    An excellent, thought provoking, post, thank you.

    Would that the objectors of slavers past harness some of their energy to stop the slavers of today.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted June 11, 2020 at 6:15 am | Permalink

      Let’s see things in the round of today.

      With sixty thousand dead, many needlessly it seems, why are so many hyperventilating about an inanimate lump of bronze, shaped in the form of a reprehensible person?

      Speech is not the only form of expression. Sometimes, when moral outrage is involved, actions require their outlet too.

      • Anonymous
        Posted June 11, 2020 at 2:57 pm | Permalink

        No comment on China’s part in it.

        No comment on China’s slavery – today.

        You are trying to achieve what you couldn’t get through the ballot box and are applauding illegal, direct action whilst those who win votes are ignored.

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted June 12, 2020 at 7:01 am | Permalink

          I try to stay on topic.

      • NickC
        Posted June 11, 2020 at 3:07 pm | Permalink

        Martin, It’s not a lump of bronze, it’s the violent mob that wrecked it which is the problem.

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted June 12, 2020 at 7:00 am | Permalink

          Wilful damage is one thing.

          Violence is another.

          You seem not to know the difference.

          It is everything.

          • Edward2
            Posted June 12, 2020 at 8:50 pm | Permalink

            It starts with wilful damage.

      • zorro
        Posted June 11, 2020 at 3:09 pm | Permalink

        Stop trying to justify thuggery!


      • SM
        Posted June 11, 2020 at 3:17 pm | Permalink

        MiC: When moral outrage is involved, why not do something practical and helpful instead of faffing about with an inanimate lump of bronze?

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted June 11, 2020 at 4:48 pm | Permalink

        Well I love the actions of ultra-Remain Corporation Unilever which is consolidating its structure and closing in The Netherlands – and basing itself in Brexit Britain!
        All the effort was worth it and we are confirmed in our demand that Boris delivers a clean (WTO) Brexit ASAP – end of the month please Sir John?

    • Ian Wragg
      Posted June 11, 2020 at 6:49 am | Permalink

      No because they are blind to the obvious

      The left wing scum and silly students that do this damage should be locked up for a long time. Its the same with St Greta of Thunberg demonstrating in Bristol, why not Mumbai or China.
      This is orchestrated by enemies of the state, the same ilk as the anti Brexit brigade.

      • Mark B
        Posted June 11, 2020 at 3:11 pm | Permalink


        In my opinion, these creatures are the useful idiots OF THE STATE.

        How else do they and Extictiom Rebellion get away with it?


      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted June 11, 2020 at 4:16 pm | Permalink

        Ian, as other Conservative commenters on this site show, it is far from just those on the Left who are opposed to these shameful monuments.

        • Edward2
          Posted June 12, 2020 at 8:50 pm | Permalink

          Define shameful.

    • Peter
      Posted June 11, 2020 at 7:36 am | Permalink

      Cultural pluralism starts by saying we should be more tolerant of other cultures and ends by advocating the destruction of our culture according to one American paleoconservative.

      Couple that with a collapse in the nation’s core belief and values. These have been replaced by moral relativism.

      Then throw in the current Tower of Babel approach to immigration. It’s no wonder authorities are collapsing.

      In the case of America, it started with the 1965 immigration Act. As Trump once said ‘why can’t we have more Norwegians?

      There were similar events in Britain too. One Conservative cabinet minister famously got sacked in the 1960s on account of them.

    • Peter Wood
      Posted June 11, 2020 at 9:14 am | Permalink

      Sorry, off topic.

      CBI (are they British..?) interviewed today and handed the EU a big stick to beat on Mr Frost; saying what a disaster a ‘no deal’ Brexit would be for British business. It makes my blood boil! Have they learnt nothing from the negotiations before Mr Frost?

      • Know-Dice
        Posted June 11, 2020 at 4:48 pm | Permalink

        Too true Peter, it’s uncertainty that’s the real problem.

        Business will deal with whatever is coming down the line as long as they know what it is and when.

      • Andy
        Posted June 11, 2020 at 5:49 pm | Permalink

        A no trade deal Brexit would be disastrous for British business. As the vast majority of British businesses have told you. Repeatedly.

        It makes my blood boil that you are all so obtuse. You left the EU. Why do you want to harm business even more than you have?

        Oh, that’s right. You are mostly pensioners and you think it won’t affect you. We will make sure it does.

        • Lynn Atkinson
          Posted June 11, 2020 at 8:33 pm | Permalink

          😂😂 Unilever day you are wrong – closing in The Netherlands and consolidating in Clean Brexit Britain!

          We have told you REPEATEDLY Andy ….

          Repent and apologise.

        • czerwonadupa
          Posted June 11, 2020 at 9:24 pm | Permalink

          Nothing better than staying in a closed shop is there Andy.
          Big businesses really like a closed shop to others.

        • Edward2
          Posted June 11, 2020 at 9:39 pm | Permalink

          Well ask Barnier to be a little more friendly.

        • NickC
          Posted June 11, 2020 at 10:02 pm | Permalink

          Andy, You’ve been predicting doom at every stage of Brexit, and none of them have come true. You are the Greta Thunberg of Brexit. Only without the charm.

          • bill brown
            Posted June 13, 2020 at 3:21 am | Permalink


            let us wait and see we are still in there

        • Richard1
          Posted June 11, 2020 at 10:05 pm | Permalink

          Many are saying it’s no big deal and are pleasantly surprised at how wrong project fear has turned out to be. Certainly it makes no sense to be outside the EU but indefinitely in the limbo of an extended transition.

          The reason your blood is boiling is you are incapable of rational debate

        • Glenn Vaughan
          Posted June 11, 2020 at 10:14 pm | Permalink

          Another rant from this website’s resident adolescent and who is the “we” who is threatening pensioners? You? LOL!!

        • Al
          Posted June 12, 2020 at 3:40 am | Permalink

          “A no trade deal Brexit would be disastrous for British business. ” – Andy

          And many of the EU’s laws were disastrous for British businesses as businesses have told you. EU Digital Vat hit 96% of small businesses and blocked them from trading with the EU by a red tape barrier. And then there’s CAP and Fishing.

          A WTO terms exit would be far less damaging.

    • turboterrier
      Posted June 11, 2020 at 11:45 am | Permalink

      Peter Wood
      The latest group of protesters do not give a fig about modern day anything let alone modern day slavery. Our history means nothing except something to start a street rebellion.

  2. Lifelogic
    Posted June 11, 2020 at 5:20 am | Permalink

    Exactly. It seems that 13% agreed with the tearing down of the statues (why that high?). Any such removals must be through a democratic process not through illegal action by protesters (much encouraged by the BBC and police inaction). They also encourage the illegal and idiotic actions of the deluded climate protesters.

    Farage is surely right on this issue. Identity politics is an evil, divisive, left wing force for bad. Let us hope people like David Lammy never get anywhere near to power and people like Sadie Kahn are evicted. Alas very unlikely given the dire nonentity opposition he faces.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted June 11, 2020 at 6:16 am | Permalink


      Like “being English” you mean?

      The Right have always been all about identity politics.

      • a-tracy
        Posted June 11, 2020 at 3:04 pm | Permalink

        What about the identity politics of Momentum or Militant seems the left has their own extremes. This is not going to end well, perhaps that is the master plan.

      • Anonymous
        Posted June 11, 2020 at 3:37 pm | Permalink

        So it was about abolishing Englishness then.

      • Edward2
        Posted June 11, 2020 at 4:45 pm | Permalink

        Just like the left with their desire to divide society into groups.
        Define group identity.
        And then set one group against another.

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted June 11, 2020 at 4:51 pm | Permalink

        Like being British Martin. We paid for those statues, they are of people we are related to. They belong to us and the majority of us want them to remain. If Britain offends you there are options – I left Africa …

    • Iain Moore
      Posted June 11, 2020 at 7:48 am | Permalink

      Yes the MSM, especially the BBC, have been acting more like agitators than reporters. They have been assiduously feeding the victim narrative. They do not challenge race activists ridiculous assertions. They do not put in context statistics , eg stop and search, (because of knife crime in areas) , and if they aren’t getting the emotive headlines they want they feed lines to activists. Its a shameful and a dangerous game they are playing, they are a bunch who never grew out of their university politics, but have now been given a very powerful weapon.

      • margaret howard
        Posted June 11, 2020 at 3:22 pm | Permalink

        Poppycock from beginning to end. The BBC are one of the world’s most democratic news organisations. You should be proud of them.

        • IanT
          Posted June 11, 2020 at 9:13 pm | Permalink

          I used to be…

        • NickC
          Posted June 11, 2020 at 10:07 pm | Permalink

          Margaret H, Poppycock from beginning to end. The BBC are not “democratic” at all. The BBC is an appalling organisation – at once authoritarian and smug. No wonder you like it.

        • Edward2
          Posted June 11, 2020 at 10:11 pm | Permalink

          How are they democratic?
          By dint of a very old procedure they get billions every year without any real connection to their customers.

          • bill brown
            Posted June 13, 2020 at 4:30 pm | Permalink

            Edward 2

            you are getting cought up with right and left wing propaganda because you have no clue grow up

        • Lifelogic
          Posted June 12, 2020 at 2:15 am | Permalink

          There is nothing remotely democratic about the BBC listeners have no control at all. You pay the licence fee tax (under threat of imprisonment and the criminal law) and then get their left wing, climate alarmist, big state, identity politics, PC drivel & propaganda rammed down your throat.

          The BBC have indeed been encouraging mob rule and this dangerous & illegal vandalism. The police too have failed in their duty to uphold the law thus encouraging more of this mob rule.

        • Stred
          Posted June 12, 2020 at 4:36 am | Permalink

          As is OFCOM, state appointees all lined up with a copy of the Guardian stuck down their trousers and backing up their opposite numbers in the BBC and Ch 4. Democratic as the Soviets.

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted June 12, 2020 at 7:06 am | Permalink

          I think that you are naïve about the BBC in this instance, Margaret.

          The big stories are those about which they remain silent, as Tony Benn used to remark.

          The appalling record of the British Empire is perhaps one such matter?

          • Edward2
            Posted June 12, 2020 at 3:52 pm | Permalink

            Reminds me of Monty Python Life of Brian sketch:-
            What have the Romans done for us.

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted June 11, 2020 at 8:34 pm | Permalink

        100 upticks Iain, BBC must sink or swim raising its own finance. No licence fee.

    • JoolsB
      Posted June 11, 2020 at 8:05 am | Permalink

      Exactly, it should be a democratic process and yet Boris has issued a statement apparently declaring it’s up to individual police forces whether they intervene or not when they they see the mobs toppling statues. What a pathetic spineless response.

      • a-tracy
        Posted June 11, 2020 at 3:08 pm | Permalink

        Boris has been effectively silenced.

        • Jonah
          Posted June 11, 2020 at 9:58 pm | Permalink

          Boris won’t make any decision unless he looks at the opinion polls and weighs up the impact on his popularity….where is the leadership?
          I think Boris and his advisers believe that the traditional conservative voters are in the bag because there’s no alternative vote out there…. it appears to me that decisions and policies are being taken based on how many labour votes they can hang on to! So many decisions just do not make sense. e.g. basic law and order

          • Fred H
            Posted June 12, 2020 at 7:15 pm | Permalink

            Jonah ‘I think Boris and his advisers believe that the traditional conservative voters are in the bag ‘
            – – and what a terrible outcome that will bring.

  3. SM
    Posted June 11, 2020 at 5:33 am | Permalink

    I’m a Londoner by birth, and lived there – very happily – for most of my life. I am very concerned about Mayor Khan jumping on the current bandwagon, suggesting removal of statues and street names that are alleged to offend some people.

    I believe that much of this ‘woke’ nonsense (which was breeding in the Universities far earlier than many people realise) has nothing to do with seeking social justice for the underprivileged, but is specifically designed to arouse hysteria and thence distraction in the general public and the MSM.

    Perhaps it’s just a modern form of ‘bread and circuses’.

    • Mike Stallard
      Posted June 11, 2020 at 6:17 am | Permalink

      Remember that white English are now a minority in London. Mayor Khan is simply shoring up his majority.

      • forthurst
        Posted June 11, 2020 at 8:00 pm | Permalink

        What other type of English is there?

        • czerwonadupa
          Posted June 11, 2020 at 9:31 pm | Permalink

          Ask the BBC who seem to think anyone can be.

    • Narrow Shoulders
      Posted June 11, 2020 at 7:43 am | Permalink

      Bread and circuses and control. You can make people cow in what they say but then they put a tick in the box you don’t want them to in the privacy of the election box – they look after themselves which is why the left rarely win an election (Tony Blair disguised him left leanings)

      This speech control nonsense is designed to shut down freedom by the authoritarian left. They do love a rule (or two)

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted June 11, 2020 at 4:18 pm | Permalink

        Those on the Right can put their tick in whichever box they like, NS.

        • Anonymous
          Posted June 11, 2020 at 9:34 pm | Permalink

          Yup. Then get ignored even when they win.

        • Narrow Shoulders
          Posted June 12, 2020 at 10:11 am | Permalink

          And when we do in sufficient numbers to win it is not accepted by the left.

          We have losers’ consent for our democracy and policing by consent for law and order. The right respect these concepts whereas they don’t apply to the left because they are never wrong.

      Posted June 11, 2020 at 8:54 am | Permalink

      It’s not woke, it’s extremism

    • Christine
      Posted June 11, 2020 at 10:13 am | Permalink

      How does Sadiq Khan have to right to determine what statues are displayed in London? Surely it is our capital city and these are national monuments. A couple of weeks ago he had his begging bowl out asking for extra cash and now he has time and money to waste setting up a commission to determine who is worthy to be honoured. I expect this is to detract from his woeful term as mayor.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted June 11, 2020 at 11:51 am | Permalink


      I certainly do not want lefty, ineffective, PC, Trump hating, dithering dopes like Sadiq Kahn or a committee selected by him deciding these things.

      • Fedupsoutherner
        Posted June 11, 2020 at 4:38 pm | Permalink


      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted June 11, 2020 at 4:52 pm | Permalink

        +1 do we need ‘mayors?’

    • margaret howard
      Posted June 11, 2020 at 3:28 pm | Permalink


      “Perhaps it’s just a modern form of ‘bread and circuses’.”

      Not modern but as ancient as world history itself. The world is full of toppled statues going back to Egypt, Greece, Rome etc with limbs missing, noses hacked off and generally vandalised by mobs of furious citizens. And no doubt these were just a few that survived even more destructive assaults and disappeared for good.

      • Anonymous
        Posted June 11, 2020 at 9:35 pm | Permalink

        Except the vast majority of citizens here aren’t furious with them. A tiny minority is.

  4. Kevin
    Posted June 11, 2020 at 5:45 am | Permalink

    The significance of most of our statuary is probably something to be uncovered by the historian or the tour guide. Clearly, not one of our statues has had the subliminal cultural impact of perpetuating or reviving the slave trade.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted June 11, 2020 at 6:21 am | Permalink

      Recent actions have clearly changed their significance.

      • Anonymous
        Posted June 11, 2020 at 2:20 pm | Permalink

        Yet we can vote and vote and vote and nothing really changes.

        We are called a *mob*, to be ignored.

        Now we see a real *mob* in action – not using the ballot box but real violence and disorder. They get their way. The Tories cave into them.

      • Ginty
        Posted June 11, 2020 at 4:02 pm | Permalink


        We minimise the significance the bombing of school girls at an Ariana Grande concert but a rogue cop kills someone 4000 miles away…

      • Fedupsoutherner
        Posted June 11, 2020 at 4:39 pm | Permalink

        Martin can you tell me why a bunch of thugs should tell us what to do? I really don’t think you would like general society run like this.

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted June 12, 2020 at 7:21 am | Permalink

          They’re not thugs.

          If they were attacking people instead of objects then they would be.

          • Edward2
            Posted June 12, 2020 at 3:56 pm | Permalink

            It is moving that way.
            History shows it starts with statues and buildings.
            Then moves oves on to burning flags and books.
            Banning then start films plays poetry even ballet and opera.
            Then removing people with incorrect views from their jobs.
            Then it gets violent.
            Gulags camps and finally deaths.

  5. oldtimer
    Posted June 11, 2020 at 5:50 am | Permalink

    Well said. Recent demands to pull down or remove statues of so many figures from Sir Walter Raleigh onwards suggests a deliberate campaign to denigrate and destroy – an act of revenge. Your exposure of China connections was most revealing.

    • Iain Moore
      Posted June 11, 2020 at 7:32 am | Permalink

      Its what the left do, like the Cultural Revolution in China, or the Khmer Rouge year zero , they seek to eradicate our identity and supplant it with their creed. I am just aghast at how servile and spineless our establishment have been at challenging it, after all when the left have finished with the statues they will be coming for them, and no amount of grovelling to the mob will save them.

    • NickC
      Posted June 11, 2020 at 12:55 pm | Permalink

      Oldtimer, It is a way of cutting off the English from their own past – good and bad – to create a rootless people who are thus more easily manipulated by ideologues. The main purpose of the EU is to do the same. It works, as people such as PvL, Andy and Martin daily demonstrate.

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted June 11, 2020 at 4:21 pm | Permalink

        Rubbish, it just shows that our relationship with that past is not sedimentary and stagnant.

        And how exhilarating that fact is to behold.

        • Edward2
          Posted June 11, 2020 at 9:41 pm | Permalink

          You may find it exhilarating.
          I find it deeply destructive.
          Soon you will be applauding the burning of books.

          • Martin in Cardiff
            Posted June 12, 2020 at 7:22 am | Permalink

            Wrong as ever.

          • Edward2
            Posted June 12, 2020 at 3:57 pm | Permalink

            Is that you saying I dont support book burning or is it that you think books will not be burnt.

          • bill brown
            Posted June 13, 2020 at 4:27 pm | Permalink

            eDWARD 2

            your insuations are pathetic considering your judgements, which are not factual but just nosnense

        • NickC
          Posted June 11, 2020 at 10:15 pm | Permalink

          Martin, I expect you will live to regret your idolisation of the mob. The next mob may do something you don’t approve of, but it will be too late to cry democracy and law then.

          • Martin in Cardiff
            Posted June 12, 2020 at 6:49 pm | Permalink

            I do not idolise mobs.

            I think that the perpetrators should be charged with wilful damage.

            I’ll chip in to help pay the fine and restitution however, along with millions of others no doubt.

          • Edward2
            Posted June 12, 2020 at 8:53 pm | Permalink

            So breaking the law via criminal damage is OK.
            Let’s hope the mob dont decide to attack you and yours.

    • margaret howard
      Posted June 11, 2020 at 3:40 pm | Permalink


      “Your exposure of China connections was most revealing.”

      Before you denigrate China you might do well to study what we did to that country in the 19th centuries and how we exploited them at a time when they were too weak to resist foreign aggressors.

      • NickC
        Posted June 11, 2020 at 10:18 pm | Permalink

        Margaret H, But somewhat less than the Japanese did. And less than the Irish and the Normans did to the English.

      • anon
        Posted June 11, 2020 at 10:50 pm | Permalink

        Yes and we should not be allowed to forget, otherwise humans may well repeat the horrors. Destroying historical facts and figures, makes this more likely.

      • oldtimer
        Posted June 12, 2020 at 5:22 am | Permalink

        It might well be a case of tit for tat. If you believe it possible there is a, more or less, state of undeclared asymmetric war between China and allies Vs USA and allies then my comment is not denigration but a comment on a state of affairs. China has a declared intention and interest in displacing the USA as the dominant global power. China is using debt finance as it’s instrument to extend China’s influence around the world. It has also successfully penetrated many walks of life in the USA.

  6. Nigl
    Posted June 11, 2020 at 5:54 am | Permalink

    Equally how do they square the fact that the institutions they enjoy often were started with or benefitted from money derived from slaves. Surely they should demand they are all pulled down with the statues? Of course their moral outrage won’t stretch that far. It is alleged the Guardian started In Manchester with money from cotton plantations. Do I see their outraged writers walking, of course not.

    The pathetic thing is how quickly our so called leaders both political and educational have succumbed to the mob once again putting their votes ahead of the bigger picture.

    One aspect, how many people have been fined for not social distancing yet the head of the Met and the Bristol force not only allowed a large mob to break that rule but also also allowed the vandalism that went with it.

    So your party, allegedly the one of law and order allows old people to be fined for frankly doing little wrong whilst standing by and allowing mobs to roam. How does that work then Sir JR?

    Surely you should lobby to have the distancing fines cancelled?

    • Mike Wilson
      Posted June 11, 2020 at 6:26 am | Permalink

      The law, and policing, it only works with the consent of the people. If a large mob gets ugly you’d better be prepared to use extreme violence to control them. And once you start that all bets are off.

      • NickC
        Posted June 11, 2020 at 3:10 pm | Permalink

        Mike W, Once you start to let violent mobs have their way, without stopping them, then all bets really are off.

      • Fedupsoutherner
        Posted June 11, 2020 at 4:42 pm | Permalink

        There is only so much thuggery we can tolerate before action HAS to be taken otherwise society completely breaks down.

      • Edward2
        Posted June 11, 2020 at 7:21 pm | Permalink

        Or just ignore them.
        That has worked in the past.

        • Anonymous
          Posted June 11, 2020 at 9:45 pm | Permalink

          I’d agree but the BBC are making sure that we can’t. Wall-to-wall promotion.

        • mancunius
          Posted June 11, 2020 at 11:13 pm | Permalink

          It didn’t in 2011. These are the same people. But now they wear masks to evade the CCTV that caught them last time.

    • Tad Davison
      Posted June 11, 2020 at 12:08 pm | Permalink

      Exactly! And these mobs who riot are supposed to be against fascism, yet they are the biggest fascists of all. To hell with the liberal left, they’re utterly discredited, but self-evidently, the Tories are little better.

      The British people rightly expect the police to protect them, but the police can’t do that with ineffectual senior officers who pander to this criminal trash at the behest of weakling politicians, and a penal system that is an absolute joke where deterrents are anathema.

      I’d send the army in, but oh, I forgot, that’s been run down, emasculated, and infused with liberals too.

      Needless to say, the video of two police officers being beaten up in Hackney has gone viral, as it should, but that is typical of every town, every day of the week. Leniency does not work!

    • BOF
      Posted June 11, 2020 at 1:10 pm | Permalink

      Ah yes, the Guardian. Thanks for pointing that glaring bit of hypocracy.

    • NickC
      Posted June 11, 2020 at 1:12 pm | Permalink

      Nig1, So true – if a government gives way in the face of mob violence, it is seen by the law-abiding majority as subverting both the law and democracy. Moreover, it is noteworthy that the police stood by and did nothing as the BLM rioters intimidated people and damaged property, yet as soon as Tommy Robinson sticks his head above the parapet, out come the riot police.

    • Anonymous
      Posted June 11, 2020 at 3:14 pm | Permalink

      The clear message is that violence gets you respect from the Government.

    • hefner
      Posted June 11, 2020 at 7:04 pm | Permalink

      Nigl, Interesting, but what about you cueing up about the Manchester Gazette, the Manchester Observer, the Peterloo Massacre, and the Manchester Guardian? And about John Edward Taylor. In this day and age it should be easy to check facts before writing absurdities.

  7. Mark B
    Posted June 11, 2020 at 5:55 am | Permalink

    Good morning.

    First may I thank our kind host for this article and to the final paragraph which casts light in an area that has not, once again, been touched by our media.

    The issue of slavery, particularly black slavery, needs to be put to bed. There has always been a slave trade in Africa. All what happened was that white colonialists provided yet another market. That does not in anyway make what happened any less wrong but, we need to understand the FULL HISTORY and not just that which others for their own ideological reasons wish to portray.

    The other issue I have with events recently is that of the law. The law is the law and, if you transgress it you should expect due process to be applied. The very fact that criminal acts have been committed and nothing is done about it is, in my opinion, as serious dereliction of duty on the part of law enforcement and the government. Too often I am reading criticism of this government and its failure to act on key matters. Confidence is slowly falling away and concerns expressed about the governments viability. Sadly, as we have just had another GE we are stuck with this lot for another 4 years. Just think of the damage this lot will cause over that period of time compared to what they have done in the last six months.

    I am more and more coming round to the opinion that we need older and wiser heads in government or, we need a short sharp back bench rebellion. In short, the Cabinet needs a kick up the backside !

    • Mike Stallard
      Posted June 11, 2020 at 6:15 am | Permalink

      What nobody seems to have realised is that the Prime Minister is recovering from a very near fatal illness. He looks awful and has lost his sparkle and his sense of humour as a result. I think we should cut him a bit of slack.

      • Anonymous
        Posted June 11, 2020 at 3:16 pm | Permalink

        The Left smell blood.

        They aren’t cutting him any slack and they are defeating us as a result.

      • MH
        Posted June 11, 2020 at 5:55 pm | Permalink

        Mike Stallard if the PM is not up to the job he should stand aside. Too many other lives are being affected. Do the decent thing.

      • Mark B
        Posted June 12, 2020 at 3:25 pm | Permalink

        I was not attacking the PM. I was attacking the whole cabinet. And with good reason.

    • Mike Wilson
      Posted June 11, 2020 at 6:30 am | Permalink

      Two wrongs don’t make a right. The fact that some people in Africa enslaved others does not mean we should have statues to slave traders. Mind you, slavery is approved of in The Bible – so maybe it is okay.

      • margaret howard
        Posted June 11, 2020 at 3:57 pm | Permalink

        Mike Wilson

        “..slavery is approved of in the Bible – so maybe it is okay.”

        As is Stoning, Genocide and other atrocities. We live in the 21st century, not the Stone Age.

      • Dave Andrews
        Posted June 11, 2020 at 7:09 pm | Permalink

        Jesus said, “And just as you want men to do to you, you also do to them likewise”.
        No room for slavery if you follow Jesus’ teaching.

        • Mark B
          Posted June 12, 2020 at 3:28 pm | Permalink

          What the slave traders were doing back then was legal. What the vandals have done recently was not legal irrespective of what century you are talking about. That is the point.

    • Nigl
      Posted June 11, 2020 at 6:32 am | Permalink

      Agree re Cabinet. Robert Jenrick’s recent pronouncement on the dangers of exhalation whilst singing in church sum up the juvenile unworldliness of much of this administration and advisers.

    • BJC
      Posted June 11, 2020 at 7:33 am | Permalink

      I don’t believe any government would have survived the stresses of CV19 well. By necessity, it’s forced a separation in the structure of governance in this country, effectively, giving the impression that decisions are being made behind closed doors.

      Serious issues need serious debate to reach satisfactory conclusions and I’m surprised that Parliament hasn’t thought more laterally in order to accommodate this basic principle of good governance. There are many large conference centres around the country, stacked to the rafters with tech, that could temporarily accommodate our entire Parliament safely with a few exceptions operating remotely, yet tradition prevails. Parliament simply cannot continue to operate as it is, with the current structure clearly undermining the confidence of what should be a strong government and empowering the left. Never has the cut and thrust of robust debate from a full chamber been more important.

    • roger
      Posted June 11, 2020 at 7:49 am | Permalink

      Back bench rebellions together with front bench rebellions supported by a duplicitous Prime Minister, Speaker, Civil Service and Supreme Court, all cynically contorting the English language and working against the will of the Leave Referendum emboldened the anarchists and other mobs du jour resulting in what we see today.
      We reap what we sow. Are we really surprised by the capricious whirlwind?

    • JoolsB
      Posted June 11, 2020 at 8:13 am | Permalink

      Absolutely agree Mark B but what is the alternative to the two current main socialist parties of Red Labour or Blue Labour when they’ve got the FPTP voting system stitched up between them? I would dearly love to see Nigel Farage and his party, the only real Conservatives in my opinion, be given a chance but how many of us are too afraid of voting for him under the current system for fear of letting in Red Labour or worse Red Labour and the SNP?

    • Andy
      Posted June 11, 2020 at 10:09 am | Permalink

      What a silly post. If someone has broken the law the police will investigate and charges will be brought. I don’t doubt that some people will face criminal damage charges over the statue. The notion that ‘nothing is done about it’ is more right wing rubbish.

      • NickC
        Posted June 11, 2020 at 3:18 pm | Permalink

        Andy, The police stood by whilst the violent left wing mob broke the law.

      • Anonymous
        Posted June 11, 2020 at 3:19 pm | Permalink

        It has become normal for rioters to desecrate the Cenotaph. Something I thought I’d never see.

        Clearly the punishment has not been strong enough.

      • a-tracy
        Posted June 11, 2020 at 3:33 pm | Permalink

        We will forward to newspaper headlines to detail how much the Council paid out in recover costs as the statue could have damaged ships in the harbour, and who repaid those costs to the Council in full. Plus full photographic credit to those toppling this statue.

      • Wonky Moral Compass
        Posted June 11, 2020 at 6:58 pm | Permalink

        Let’s see how many people are prosecuted and what sentences are imposed.

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted June 12, 2020 at 7:23 am | Permalink

        It’s their endless victimhood-pleading yet again, Andy.

        • Edward2
          Posted June 12, 2020 at 7:30 pm | Permalink

          There is no victimhood Martin
          Just a desire to be treated equally under the law.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted June 11, 2020 at 11:54 am | Permalink

      “The very fact that criminal acts have been committed and nothing is done about it is, in my opinion, as serious dereliction of duty on the part of law enforcement and the government.”

      Exactly – it just encourage more and more lawlessness and potential injuries to both police and protestors. As does having the BBC and many politicians endlessly endlessly egging them all on.

    • Stred
      Posted June 12, 2020 at 4:58 am | Permalink

      Why are there no descendants of the slaves that the African chiefs and kings sold to the Arabs? Answer. Castration.
      If you were captured and enslaved in Africa it was less awful to be sold to the boats going West.
      And where are the descendants of the Irish and West country slaves taken to Africa?

  8. Mike Stallard
    Posted June 11, 2020 at 6:13 am | Permalink

    Thomas Clarkson in the country worked hard and at his own expense to discover the awful truths about slavery in the West Indies. He was able to use the network and the printing press of the Quakers – another Christian organisation – which supported him. William Wilberforce – another convinced Christian – did the parliamentary side with his friend the Prime Minister.

    This is the very first time in history that anyone – anyone – had questioned slavery.
    We British have a very noble history on this subject. We are actually unique and we should be extremely proud.

    • NickC
      Posted June 11, 2020 at 3:22 pm | Permalink

      Mike Stallard, Well said. The British were indeed unique in condemning slavery – and doing something about it. But the haters of this country – such as Andy and Martin – will never acknowledge it.

      • bill brown
        Posted June 12, 2020 at 2:23 am | Permalink


        Can I recommend to you , that you ask Martin and Andy about that particular part of British history and how they feel, before you bran d them for it as well
        You really have to raise the quality of your contributions, they keep falling

        • Edward2
          Posted June 12, 2020 at 8:08 am | Permalink

          You dont need to ask them bill.
          You can just read their many daily posts to have a very good idea about their views.

          • Fred H
            Posted June 12, 2020 at 3:52 pm | Permalink

            Sir John indicated a route out of purgatory – an absence of daily nonsense and blinkered PRC a*se-licking from the infamous duo. All that promise of a brighter future lasted what – a day?

          • bill brown
            Posted June 13, 2020 at 3:18 am | Permalink

            Edward 2

            Facts Constable not assumptions and fiction please

          • Edward2
            Posted June 13, 2020 at 6:53 am | Permalink

            I’ve looked back through your posts and there are no facts in any of them billy.
            There is a fact for you.

          • bill brown
            Posted June 13, 2020 at 4:21 pm | Permalink

            Edward 2

            there wer lots of facts about that teh most democratic countries it the world according to the EIU were on Netherlands, Germany and Scandinavia for local democracy were not affacted by the EU , BUT YOU KEPT SAYING IT WAS TEH CASE

          • bill brown
            Posted June 13, 2020 at 4:22 pm | Permalink


    • a-tracy
      Posted June 11, 2020 at 3:34 pm | Permalink

      You’re off-script Mike. We only have one view at the moment.

    • margaret howard
      Posted June 11, 2020 at 4:12 pm | Permalink

      Mike Stallard

      “This is the very first time in history that anyone – anyone – had questioned slavery.”

      Oh dear! Anti slavery movements have a long and honourable history.
      The Stoics founded in 3rd cent BC Athens produced the first condemnation of slavery in history. Many others followed.

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted June 11, 2020 at 8:41 pm | Permalink

        But we deployed the Navy, in the midst of the Napoleonic Wars, to STOP the trade. That is commitment and unique result.

      • Fedupsoutherner
        Posted June 11, 2020 at 10:08 pm | Permalink

        MH one day you might just be able to find it in your heart to say something positive about our country

      • NickC
        Posted June 11, 2020 at 10:26 pm | Permalink

        Margaret H, The British Empire did not just discuss and condemn slavery, it did something about it. The Royal Navy enforced the abolition throughout the world.

    • Ed M
      Posted June 11, 2020 at 10:59 pm | Permalink

      Let’s have more statues to William Wilberforce.

      He was a man of moral balls who took on the slave trade industry – and won.

  9. Cheshire Girl
    Posted June 11, 2020 at 6:13 am | Permalink

    There is no ‘tolerance of others views’ in the mobs that pulled down that statue, and would pull down others, and change street names. we have been ‘tolerant’ till the pips squeak, in this Country. How much more do they want?

    Its time the Government got tough, and stopped wringing their hands. Defend our heritage and history, by force, if necessary, and if the mob don’t like it, they are welcome to leave, and find a country more suited to their ideas, if it will have them.

    It was very noticeable that the BBC had actively sought out only those who were approving of these actions, and were happy to report on the views of young people who said they had been oppressed ‘all their lives’!

    • M Davis
      Posted June 11, 2020 at 6:37 pm | Permalink

      “It was very noticeable that the BBC had actively sought out only those who were approving of these actions, and were happy to report on the views of young people who said they had been oppressed ‘all their lives’!”

      Yes! Also noticed by me, and how many others?

  10. Garland
    Posted June 11, 2020 at 6:14 am | Permalink

    Are we a country that “could live at ease with its past”? If you are a rich white man, I expect you could. If you are black, subject to far higher rates of stop-and-search and imprisonment than white people and forced to walk city streets under the gaze of slavetraders on lofty plinths engraved with warm words about their good civic deeds, I think not. Your post, Mr Redwood, perfectly captures the complacency and arrogance of the elite which has generated the anger of the BLM campaign.

    • Anonymous
      Posted June 11, 2020 at 3:23 pm | Permalink

      If you want reasoned debate then you need to be able to discuss the crime statistics.

      • Caterpillar
        Posted June 11, 2020 at 8:46 pm | Permalink

        This is absolutely true. It is very difficult from the way the crime stats are reported to actually extract who is committing the crimes.

    • Edward2
      Posted June 11, 2020 at 10:14 pm | Permalink

      Presumably Garland, you have some sympathy for poor white people?

  11. Mike Wilson
    Posted June 11, 2020 at 6:17 am | Permalink

    Marx was an exceptional man. Others polluted his work by doing appalling things ostensibly following his thinking. A statue of Marx is a tribute to him, not to the things done in his name.

    A statue of a Roman philosopher is one thing. A Roman general is another.

    A statue of Jesus Christ is one thing. A statue of someone who led the Inquisition is another.

    A statue of a slave trader belongs in the harbour, even if he was kind to animals.

    And what is the democratic process you mention for getting rid of a statue?

    Reply The Council or government which controls the relevant public space can decide whether to maintain, move, or destroy a statue on it subject to any law or trust governing the statue

    • margaret howard
      Posted June 11, 2020 at 4:21 pm | Permalink

      Reply to reply

      As I pointed out in your earlier piece ‘Law breaking and riots:

      According to a news report on Channel 4 tonight, there have been pleas and peaceful protests for years in Bristol to remove this statue all to no avail. To speak about a democratic process now is ludicrous.

      • Fedupsoutherner
        Posted June 11, 2020 at 10:10 pm | Permalink

        Margaret are you talking about that same democratic process that decided Brexit? You know, the Brexit that so angers you.

        • Pud
          Posted June 12, 2020 at 3:37 pm | Permalink

          Margaret, you have repeated your claim that somehow leaving Colston’s statue in situ is against democracy, so I ask again, how exactly? There may well have been pleas and protests, but what evidence do you have that the majority of Bristol’s residents want the statue to be removed? In my previous reply I cited a petition calling for the statue to be removed and only 1% of Bristol’s population signed it. Edward2 states a recent poll found 56% of residents were against it’s removal.

      • Edward2
        Posted June 11, 2020 at 10:16 pm | Permalink

        Yet a recent Bristol poll showed 56% against removal.
        Are you a democrat?
        Or part of the mob?

  12. Bryan Harris
    Posted June 11, 2020 at 6:17 am | Permalink

    If ever we were unsure about how much Blair has ruined our educational capabilities, we need only look at the attitude of academics and the generation that benefiited from being schooled in socialism. Their attitude to life and and their misbegotten hypocrisy defines them as slaves of indoctrination, unable and unwilling to think for themselves.
    Those pulling down statues show their ignorance of world affairs, and prefer to not see that slavery is still rampant in many countries outside the West – Why don’t they go and protest at certain embassies, or in countries which enjoy the full fruits of taking lives away from people who they treat with great cruelty.
    We are all on the cusp of having our world turned upside down, and the authorities treat these ignorant statue toppling terrorists with kid gloves, demonstrating once again how perverted UK justice has become.

    • Bryan Harris
      Posted June 12, 2020 at 5:54 am | Permalink

      JR – Just wondering what you find so distasteful about my posts that they often, like this one, only get approved very late, if at all?

      Others say more controversial things, so please do tell me what is wrong with my viewpoints.

  13. BeebTax
    Posted June 11, 2020 at 6:19 am | Permalink

    Excellent piece.

    Oxford University was reported today as resisting the removal of a statue. I hope they maintain their resolve.

  14. GilesB
    Posted June 11, 2020 at 6:24 am | Permalink

    University authorities should be leading lights in the importance of free speech, tolerance, and open-mindedness. They should be the last people to give away to the mob, and claims of offending feelings.

    That they are mute and compliant shows that they do not appreciate the role of universities and are not fit to govern themselves autonomously while receiving public funds.

    Change is essential. Unless universities hold firm, we will lose not only our culture but also our democracy

  15. Andy Lestocq
    Posted June 11, 2020 at 6:37 am | Permalink

    Sir John,
    You have perfectly encapsulated my thoughts in print. Thank you

    Andy Lestocq

  16. formula57
    Posted June 11, 2020 at 6:37 am | Permalink

    Well said.

    Holding people from the past accountable through applying contemporary standards is often a nonsense. How will we be judged by the future in light of our willingness to pollute, our disregard for animal welfare, and our treatment of the old?

    Rosa Parks, known as a civil rights pioneer whose defiance of segregation on buses led to the Montgomery Bus Boycott, spearheaded by Martin Luther King, Jr., and later the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling that segregation on public buses was unconstitutional is honoured with a statue in Alabama. Will there come a time when her connivance in burning fossil fuels disqualifies her from such an honour?

  17. percy openshaw
    Posted June 11, 2020 at 6:38 am | Permalink

    Quite so. You might add that the ideological effect of many memorials is all but vanished within some fifty years of their creation – for who troubles to read the plinth? And if they do, who fully understand the words? So the value of these things is often purely aesthetic. There’s a statue in Camden Town, put up to celebrate the free trade agreement between Britain and France of 1860. I’ll bet that few of the shoppers in that part of London know of the treaty, or the British statesman, or the French Emperor involved – but it makes a pleasant landmark. And if they do trouble to look into the matter, they will educate themselves, without succumbing to Bonapartist temptations. The idea that we are “corrupted” by such monuments is exaggerated and hysterical.

  18. The Prangwizard
    Posted June 11, 2020 at 6:51 am | Permalink

    We are entering a new Dark Age.

    Freedom of thought and of expression for the majority is ending. Those who wish to preserve such freedom must first collect the references, the books, images and films which are being systematically removed from peoples access if they offend the new taliban.

    If you don’t have a copy of ‘1984’ by George Orwell buy as many as you can before it is removed from the shelves. There are hundreds of films which are likely to disappear quickly, some have gone already, either with enthusiasm or fear.

    He who controls the present controls the past and those who control the past control the future.

    Our history matters and must be protected. Standing by as an academic observer and doing nothing to prevent cultural terror is acquiescing to the violent revolution.

    If this government has a backbone it must use it now or be seen as helping our distruction as a nation and culture.

  19. MickN
    Posted June 11, 2020 at 6:53 am | Permalink

    I’m also appalled by the MSM definitions. If I want to commit criminal damage on a statue I am a “mainly peaceful” protester. If I want to go to London at the weekend and stand by a statue in an effort to prevent it (which the police should be doing) I am suddenly a “far right thug)

    • Barbara Bebbington
      Posted June 11, 2020 at 3:25 pm | Permalink


  20. Adam
    Posted June 11, 2020 at 7:01 am | Permalink

    Collective wisdom and judgement are needed prior to any intent to tamper with our heritage. If any decisions for change are valued, sensible citizens would support each widely.

    In contrast, zealots intent on destruction may attempt hasty change, spurring others via targeted vandalism opportunities. Triggering instant revenge without responsibility cannot remedy the extreme offence of another. Owing to a stark loss of innocent life, many may opine that damage via rioting is justifiable in balance.

    Authorities watch incapable of preventing such lawlessness, inert and afraid that a mere act to protect generates resentment, and risks spiralling aggressors into worse.

    Peace is understanding. Those who protect our values should be better prepared, yet even Baden Powell may now be at risk.

    Goodness prevails when reasonable behaviour allows what is right.

  21. agricola
    Posted June 11, 2020 at 7:02 am | Permalink

    Yes I abhor a society that is attacked in the street by late comers and our long term anarchists seeking to bypass the democratic process. Even more appalling is watching our forces of law and order sit back and let it happen. I am a visitor to Spain even though I have lived here for thirteen years and pay my taxes here. I feel it would be presumptuous of me to take to the streets in opposition to bullfighting. It is a matter for the Spanish.

    When we discuss the evils of slavery we always start at the African coast and cover the voyage and plantation life in the Americas. Lets have an honest discussion and cover the collection of slaves to be by the Arabs and fellow Africans in the hinterland of Africa and their forced transportation to the coast for sale to the ship owners. Well before Europeans decided it was a business opportunity, slavery existed in Arica for centuries. It was the price of losing a war. I would also maintain that it continues to exist in many countries other than Africa. Slave owning exists among wealthy visitors in London, and has done among the sexual abusers in Rotherham, Oxford et al. Supported beneath the surface by political correctness, but exposed by a less PC press from time to time. My comment to the statue movers is ” hypocrisy”, your view of slavery is superficial and convenient to your limited argument. 95% of our population know little about the residents of our civic plinths which are only convenient to passing dogs. Nor do they want to until they are attacked by anarchists. I blame a liberal elite and a brainwashed police force.

    • agricola
      Posted June 11, 2020 at 4:34 pm | Permalink

      You as a politician may choose to ignore what average normal people think and say, only if it is to choose not to stand up and say what is acceptable behaviour or not. Just remember politicians ignored the people earlier this century and it gave rise to UKIP and a running scared David Cameron conceding a referendum. A referendum that the people won and when the establishment demurred the resounding victory of the Brexit Party in the EU elections. When you ignore the people you get the response you have experienced. Quite normal people in the UK are telling me that your acceptance of anarchy is a bridge too far. I suggest your party and government get a grip on current street behaviour or suffer the consequences of the rise of a party predicated on not tolerating the sort of behaviour we have witnessed in the past week.

  22. Richard1
    Posted June 11, 2020 at 7:07 am | Permalink

    It is the toxic mixture of leftwing identity politics, ignorance of history and self-righteousness which has led to these absurdities. The silence of the left on the brutality of such regimes as that of the Chinese Communist Party is remarkable. Not a whiff of protest over the thuggery of the Chinese state towards Hong Kong, or Tibet, or the Uighur Muslims, or threats to Taiwan, nor even a hint of remembrance of the Tiananmen Square massacre 31 years ago.

    It is shameful humbug. The takeover by the left of education over the last two decades must at least partly explain it.

  23. Fred H
    Posted June 11, 2020 at 7:14 am | Permalink

    Youtube carries an interview with Lobsang Sangay – Tibet’s leader in exile. After a little news the interview paints an alarming explanation of China’s scheming.
    search: – Lobsang Sangay Newsx.

  24. Dan
    Posted June 11, 2020 at 7:23 am | Permalink

    I am an ex member of the Royal Navy in which I served for 22 years. Many of my patrols, based in the Arabian Gulf and Indian Ocean, focused on drug running, enforcing the oil embargo as well as other peace keeping duties. One of the tasks we performed that I never expected to, was countering the traffic in human cargo. Yes, modern day slavery. We would encounter slave traders operating between Yemen, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Somalia, North Africa and other places. Occasionally the slavers would attempt to flee by shooting the slaves and pushing them overboard thereby forcing us to stop and pick them up. Fortunately our Royal Marines were better shots and they rarely got away. Modern day slavery exists. We are one of the few countries doing something about it.
    I fear that our government is not handling this as well as they could be, with the protesters and vandals aided and abetted by some in positions of authority.

    • ferdinand
      Posted June 11, 2020 at 5:58 pm | Permalink

      I recall, too many years ago, being told that the greatest number of slave owners were Africans, then Arabs, and finally Americans. We British also owned slaves but few in number compared to the three mentioned. We also had the distinction of being the greatest destroyer of slave ownership. No doubt somone wiil correct me if my memory is wrong.

    • Mark B
      Posted June 12, 2020 at 3:12 pm | Permalink


      Thank you for your valuable contribution. Modern slavery is, unfortunately, alive and well. Pitty those banging on about the past cannot show the same zeal about the present.

  25. Walt
    Posted June 11, 2020 at 7:28 am | Permalink

    Thank you, Sir John, for deciding that, despite your post of 8th June, you would after all set out your view of these matters. For what it is worth, I agree.

  26. BW
    Posted June 11, 2020 at 7:29 am | Permalink

    Unfortunately, if you disagree with any aspect of this you will be and “Ist” or a “Phobic”. That is why the Met and the politicians dare not speak out, and are running scared. Indeed it appears a vote winner to jump on the bandwagon. This is a result of decades of appeasement with an education system infiltrated by the left indoctrinating our children with utter shame about our history, our flag, our way of life.
    I was in a school in Wokingham during brexit. A poster was on the wall done by a pupil entitled, “The Rise of UKIP” . There were swastikas all over it!!! Indoctrination at an early age at its very best. I think the country is in deeper trouble that we realise.

  27. Newmania
    Posted June 11, 2020 at 7:30 am | Permalink

    I have always resented the way the Romans invaded our country, placed it under a brutal military control…..

    Blimey that really is a world beating capacity for resentment ! I think you might have pointed more effectively to the fact that the Gladstone`s money was slave money( hence his defence of it in is early career). There is no end to it, you might as well pull down most of Bristol.
    Historically ,White people profited from slavery transported and sold by other Africans , long before the late 19th century scramble for Africa , when quinine and gun boats opened up the “dark continent “. Powerful people exploited weak people.
    The past is interesting and different. The right attitude is curiosity in my view but in common with almost everyone I detest the sight of a mob getting its way on any issue

    • SM
      Posted June 11, 2020 at 3:27 pm | Permalink

      Newmania, you are obviously blind to some laconic wit.

    • Anonymous
      Posted June 11, 2020 at 3:29 pm | Permalink

      Correct use of the word ‘mob’ for once.

      Normally Newmania applies this word to a group that has won a peaceful vote with a result that he dislikes.

  28. Know-Dice
    Posted June 11, 2020 at 7:34 am | Permalink

    Sir John, You have gone all Monty Python with your “What have the Romans ever done for us” 🙂

    You can’t whitewash out the past, but you can learn from it.

    But, how do you educate and learn, maybe that is something that history teachers in school should consider. I don’t believe that pulling down statues and renaming streets and building is helpful in this respect.

    And off topic [for today] I agree with JK Rowling…

  29. Narrow Shoulders
    Posted June 11, 2020 at 7:39 am | Permalink

    It is not sensible to judge those from the past by today’s standard.

    Study history, learn from it but do not pass judgement on the actions of those who were not driven by the mob on social media.

    Give an inch and a mile is taken.

  30. Sir Joe Soap
    Posted June 11, 2020 at 7:39 am | Permalink

    I can’t add much to that except to wonder how these people pulling down statues think that is any part of acquiring equality of opportunity, such that ti doesn’t exist already. It ends up turning people who would otherwise be sympathetic to their cause to be emotionally set against it, just to preserve the rule of law.

  31. Alan Jutson
    Posted June 11, 2020 at 7:40 am | Permalink

    Once they have got rid of the statues they will move on to something else.

    I wonder if all of the students who benefit from the use of the Bursaries, colleges, universities and theatres funded by the people they hate, will give up their studies, or will they continue to accept the benefits provided by those who they despise.

    What is next burning of books.

    History is history ,and an ideal platform from where lessons can be learn’t.

    • a-tracy
      Posted June 11, 2020 at 3:48 pm | Permalink

      Alan, they will want to pay back every penny of scholarship, bursary provided by the trusts they despise. There should be a scholarship fund set up to receive this hated blood money to be redistributed to all tuition fee-paying students equally.

  32. Cheshire Girl
    Posted June 11, 2020 at 7:45 am | Permalink

    It has just been reported that Baden Powells statue in Poole is to be removed.

    Why are we letting this madness continue!!!

  33. ChrisS
    Posted June 11, 2020 at 7:48 am | Permalink

    The motives of those most vociferous in arguing for the removal of statues and the renaming of streets and other places are highly suspect. They are mostly white and of the left and a significant minority seem to be the type that turn up at every demo that turns violent, whatever the cause is about.

    The wider population, the silent majority, one could say, are perfectly relaxed about the statue of Cecil Rhodes and other historic figures who, on balance, did a great deal of good for our country but, in keeping with their time, participated in activities that would today be unacceptable. That does not mean that a statue of them should be torn down just to satisfy the wishes of a very small minority. I heard this morning that a much-admired statue of Lord Baden Powell, founder of the Scout movement has been removed from Poole Quay “temporarily” and “for safe keeping” on Police advice. That is unacceptable to me and taints the reputation of Scouting which, over more than a century, has done more for boys around the world than almost anything else. His sister, Agnes, also founded the Guide movement.

    It might surprise many that according to the 2011 census, only 3.5% of people living in England are of Black British, Black African or Black African-Caribbean descent. of those 1.9m people, I wonder how many feel strongly about the issue of a few statues ?

  34. Narrow Shoulders
    Posted June 11, 2020 at 7:49 am | Permalink

    I have never thought I should with like minded people be able to win an election and then purge our cities and galleries of memorials to those we oppose.

    It would however be nice if your government purged quangoes and other statutory institutions of the liberati and left thinking mandarins who run and influence them.

  35. Roy Grainger
    Posted June 11, 2020 at 7:49 am | Permalink

    One good comment about Khan I saw said “It’s a good job he’s not mayor of Rome”. There seems to be a misconception that the existence of a statue of someone implies approval of their actions. Having said that it does seem odd that there would be a statue of an actual slave trader in Bristol, but as the Labour council there over many decades decided that was just fine then my views aren’t really relevant.

  36. Ex-Tory
    Posted June 11, 2020 at 8:00 am | Permalink

    Racists believe that one race is superior to another. Many people are in danger of believing themselves to be superior to their ancestors.

    • Edward2
      Posted June 11, 2020 at 4:48 pm | Permalink

      Depends what mean by superior.
      So you not think mankind is better now than a few hundred years ago?

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted June 11, 2020 at 8:49 pm | Permalink

        No it’s definitely not better. Regression is the word.

  37. Johnny Dubb
    Posted June 11, 2020 at 8:04 am | Permalink

    Sir John
    What wonderful writing. Deserves to be shared widely if you provide links? Deserves to be broadcast by BBC, but let’s not be too silly. You’re too intelligent and grown up for the Cabinet unfortunately.

    Reply Any other outlet may reproduce this with a credit to this site.

  38. davews
    Posted June 11, 2020 at 8:17 am | Permalink

    Thank you Sir John for that well composed article, I agree with what you say in its entirety. There are many of us who are outraged by recent events and the desecration of statues that still mean an awful lot to us today. Perhaps you can have words with Mr Kahn and get him to see the other side of the story.

  39. Ian @Barkham
    Posted June 11, 2020 at 8:19 am | Permalink

    Good morning Sir John

    Thank you, your blog this morning reminds us there is still some sanity left in this country.

    We all must be reminded that it is the ‘left minded’ that have to destroy before they can build in their image.

  40. rose
    Posted June 11, 2020 at 8:23 am | Permalink

    An excellent point on Chinese financial control of our universities. Has anyone totted it up?

    • Lifelogic
      Posted June 11, 2020 at 2:38 pm | Permalink

      Well most of their funding seem to come from soft student loans (for UK and EU students) that will end up mainly as grants many for people with perhaps a D and E at A level and studying gender & media studies at the ex-poly of Bognor Regis. All paid for by taxpayers – many of whom did not go to university – they just got a job.

  41. Everhopeful
    Posted June 11, 2020 at 8:25 am | Permalink

    Yes…but JR is NOT a purposefully dumbed-down,infantilised product of a cultural Marxist education. He is NOT just waiting to join a baying mob or to vent his learned/acquired envy.
    Rational, properly brought up people do not view the past as a threat to be obliterated.
    The main thing about OUR past is that WE ( for whatever reason) abolished slavery.
    Let’s have an “ABOLITION DAY“ clap. Eh?

    I thought that slavery was alive and well today.
    Millions of victims. Traffickers making £££ billions per year.
    And what of those regularly arriving boats here??
    Surely protestors should first concentrate on that!

  42. Barry
    Posted June 11, 2020 at 8:27 am | Permalink

    Several years ago we took an English teacher from China to the Royal Pavilion in Brighton.

    One of the galleries displays a collection of cartoons mocking King George IV. He was astonished that this was allowed nearly 200 years ago.

    It took a teacher from China to remind me how rare and fragile this freedom can be. If we lose it, and I fear we are in danger of doing so, it might take more than 200 years to get it back.

  43. ukretired123
    Posted June 11, 2020 at 8:32 am | Permalink

    Spot on Sir John and your experience shines through as your pride in living in what is (under our very noses) the best country in the world overall (apart from our weather) – given that no one country is perfect.
    You only realise this by going and living abroad for some time, but many never experience that and always think the grass is greener elsewhere.

    If the recent events took place in China, Russia, Africa, South America and many other places too it would be dealt with totally differently. That is the hypocrisy of the rioters.

  44. Christine
    Posted June 11, 2020 at 8:43 am | Permalink

    This fight is more than the destruction of our statues. For years we have witnessed the gradual erosion of our culture, of our history. We have been forced to feel ashamed of what our ancestors achieved. Overall this country has been a force for good in the world. We should celebrate the good as well as learn about the bad. Our education system is infested with left wing Marxists who want our children to be brainwashed into forgetting who we are. If we are not allowed to debate then we will never learn. The Government need to disband the thought police and stand up for free speech. Unfortunately, we have weak politicians who try to appease the mob. One thing history has taught us is this will never work. People are enraged and we will soon see this culture war spill onto the streets as they step up to defend our statues.

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted June 11, 2020 at 8:53 pm | Permalink

      +1 very dangerous times if the Govt does not assert the Rule of Law.

  45. glen cullen
    Posted June 11, 2020 at 8:50 am | Permalink

    Fully appreciate your wise and sage words Sir John

    Just watching the statues being pulled down makes me feel a bit empty inside…the media again have a lot to answer for fuelling the flames of hysteria

    Yesterday the University of Liverpool informed us that they where to remove the name of Prime Minister William Gladstone

    In between studies and the odd party I don’t believe the average student knows nor understands, or is interested the names of building and statues around them.

    So who’s promoting this ? During this lockdown universities are mostly empty ? It does feel coordinated ?

    • steve
      Posted June 11, 2020 at 5:09 pm | Permalink

      glen cullen

      “So who’s promoting this ? During this lockdown universities are mostly empty ? It does feel coordinated ?”

      Left wing remainers and the kids Labour brainwashed.

      • bill brown
        Posted June 12, 2020 at 2:19 am | Permalink


        Interesting perspective on left wing remainers and the kids Labour brainwashed.
        I am sure even you can come up with something rather more genuine and real

  46. hefner
    Posted June 11, 2020 at 8:56 am | Permalink

    What are you saying in your last paragraph? Could you please point out to specific donations to UK universities from China. China has been reported to meddle with UK universities regarding curriculum content and/or support to Tibet, Uighur and HK matters. The Government has wrongly said it could not do anything because of the EU, a false statement as it could still apply the Sanctions and Anti Money Laundering Act if necessary.

    As so often you present a muddle of an argument, six beautiful paragraphs and then a rather messy bunch of three last sentences making little sense: Do you really want to prevent Chinese students from coming and studying in British universities? They are about 100,000 of them paying a minimum fee of £9,250/year up to £35k+/year for a medical degree (+living expenses). If prevented from coming to the UK, they are likely to go to the USA or Australia. Is that what you want? A hole in excess of £1bn in the total budget of universities.

    Reply There are issues with postgrad students being involved in important research and their attitudes towards the UK IP. I am told there are now court cases about this in the USA where they are taking a tougher line. There are issues about Chinese funding of research.

    • Caterpillar
      Posted June 11, 2020 at 2:46 pm | Permalink

      A tangential reply:

      There have been general concerns expressed by the Foreign Affairs Select Committee

      A specific reply:

      There is growing world concern over China’s ‘Thousand Talents Program’ and its high correlation with strong Chinese patent growth over the past decade.

    • ukretired123
      Posted June 11, 2020 at 3:46 pm | Permalink

      Richard Dearlove ex MI6 outlined that China sends thousands of “students” to study here as you mention and knows a great deal about us because we are an open society not like their secretive closed “society”.

      You are very naive to not be aware of the dangers this poses to the western open democracies……… Sir John is quite right to point this out just as Boris has (belatedly) reconsidered Huawei as a potential Trojan. As they say beware X bearing gifts….

    • Richard1
      Posted June 11, 2020 at 4:12 pm | Permalink

      listen to the interview with Sir Richard Dearlove conducted by economist Liam Halligan

    • Fred H
      Posted June 11, 2020 at 8:29 pm | Permalink

      hefner – – China spends a lot more than the £1bn to move towards ultimate control of the Western world….and the people just can’t see it happening.

  47. They Work for Us?
    Posted June 11, 2020 at 9:03 am | Permalink

    I am afraid that the organised left see all of the unrest as the continuation of the struggle towards a cultural Marxist state “by other means”. We must expose, oppose and ridicule political correctness and loony left and green views wherever they arise rather than appear to acquiesce by our silence. History is not for the present to rewrite.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted June 11, 2020 at 2:33 pm | Permalink

      +1 except history is aways rewriten, reinterpreted, distorted and used for political purposes.

      • hefner
        Posted June 12, 2020 at 9:49 am | Permalink

        No, for most historical events, there are different points of view, and the prevalent point of view might change as the years go passing by. Why would you think that views held at a time when information was only provided by politicians and/or newspapers would stay the same when thanks to modern technology archives and reports of the past are becoming available to historians of various perceptions and anybody curious enough?

        ‘Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow. The important thing is not to stop questioning’. (attributed to A. Einstein, 1955).

  48. Clive Lester
    Posted June 11, 2020 at 9:14 am | Permalink

    Good morning Sir John and all .
    What we all witnessed at the weekend was frankly horrendous and a little scary . Watching the police become even more ineffectual was of great concern to any law abiding citizen .
    Trying to rewrite or delete aspects of history is dangerous, and frankly ludicrous.
    We all learn from mistakes and sometimes a reminder helps to ensure it does not happen again , or acts as an indicator of how bad things can go , due to mans stupidity, greed or both . .
    It has to be better to educate the young with reminders of the past , good or bad .
    The pyramids were built by slaves , so do they also have to go .
    In Yorkshire a statue of Queen Victoria was vandalized , for being guilty of what , I have no idea .
    The vandals must be bought to justice and punished , to do nothing will lead to more failures in this now very fragile and confused society .

  49. Everhopeful
    Posted June 11, 2020 at 9:26 am | Permalink

    The non social distancing Marxists do however act as a useful end to the now criticised lockdown policies…not to mention a diversion from the economic chaos caused by them!

  50. John S
    Posted June 11, 2020 at 9:54 am | Permalink

    When slavery was at its heyday in the 17th century, the church was executing people for witchcraft and heresy, in the most cruel way. Should we demolish churches?

  51. glen cullen
    Posted June 11, 2020 at 10:13 am | Permalink

    For balance I wish the BBC would explain the Barbary Pirates Slave Trade….but maybe that doesn’t fit their narative

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted June 11, 2020 at 8:56 pm | Permalink


  52. Guy M
    Posted June 11, 2020 at 10:14 am | Permalink

    Perhaps this has come to a head at this moment because so many students and their university/school teachers are bored because of the lockdown and have nothing better to do

    The devils finds mischief for idle hands to do

    • Fred H
      Posted June 12, 2020 at 8:23 am | Permalink


  53. Polly
    Posted June 11, 2020 at 10:47 am | Permalink

    So why is Prime Minister Johnson, like his predecessors, so keen on China ?

    Especially now that US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has told us that………..

    “The United States stands ready to assist our friends in the U.K. with any needs they have, from building secure and reliable nuclear power plants to developing trusted 5G solutions that protect their citizens’ privacy”.

    Despite which it’s pretty obvious from Prime Minister Johnson that it will be business as usual with China, even while ”raising concerns”………

    During Prime Minister’s Questions today the Prime Minister said that while the UK should continue to work with the “great and rising power” of China it must feel “absolutely free” to raise concerns with Beijing.

    You would think on these crucial projects that the UK would choose to do business with the US which is obviously a reliable long term friend and partner instead of with a country which browbeats and bullies at every opportunity.

    So what is the explanation ? Is there something in the background which we don’t know ?

    After all, Arthur Wellesley, Duke of Wellington, told us in 1820……

    ”All the business of life, is to endeavor to find out what you don’t know by what you do; that’s what I call guessing what is at the other side of the hill.”

    I think we can probably guess quite easily what might well be ”at the other side of the hill” in relation to the UK government’s fondness of China, why UK policy frequently looks so similar to multi billionaire policy for decades, and why the UK government is apparently so enthusiastic to build Hong Kong 2 UK.

    In 1832 The Duke of Wellington stated of parliament.. ”I’ve never seen so many shocking bad hats in my life”.

    I wonder what he would say of parliament today ?


  54. Iain
    Posted June 11, 2020 at 11:01 am | Permalink

    Wilful damage with no consideration for Health & Safety regulations . The perpetrators are caught on camera ergo a slam dunk case for prosecution. WHY NO ARRESTS?

    • Iain Gill
      Posted June 11, 2020 at 8:57 pm | Permalink

      They are moving Spike Milligans statue. We should just fly the surrender flag if this is what the country is going to do.

      Absolute sheer madness.

      What on earth is the government doing…

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted June 12, 2020 at 11:23 am | Permalink

        Erm, Robert Milligan.

        But thanks for the hoot!

        • Fred H
          Posted June 13, 2020 at 1:23 pm | Permalink

          wrong……the one in Finchley. get your corrections right!

  55. Nigl
    Posted June 11, 2020 at 11:13 am | Permalink

    We are now being told Baden Powell’s statue is being taken down on police advice. Are they now the arbiters, surely their job is to protect us and our society not agree with and give in to the mob.

    When will your useless Home Secretary take some concrete action. Likes the sound of her own voice then does nothing. Same with the illegals.

    • Anonymous
      Posted June 11, 2020 at 9:50 pm | Permalink

      Off it goes.

      Will it ever return ?

      That’s capitulation, that is.

  56. IanT
    Posted June 11, 2020 at 11:31 am | Permalink

    I very much agree with Sir JRs words and find it very distressing that our cultural heritage is being attacked in this way. Even Baden Powell is now under threat apparently.

    The death of George Floyd was very sad event. I’m sure it was equally sad for the family of Patrick Underwood, the 53 year old black Federal security guard shot by rioters the following day. How are these deaths different? They were both unnecessary and neither can be undone. I suppose one difference is that I don’t think I’ve seem footage of Patrick Underwood being killed – that might have had more TV coverage.

    Personally, I’ve always been very careful when traveling in the US (a Canadian relative was clubbed to death whilst being mugged in a restroom at a US motorway services station). I did once walk back from downtown New Orleans 2 miles to my hotel and was later told by American colleagues that I was completely mad to do so (it was a nice evening btw).

    I’ve been stopped by Highway Patrolmen several times, simply because my (hire) car was ‘out of area’. I kept my hands clearly in view and was very polite to the Officers. Booking into a Motel in San Fransisco, the Security guard (armed with a pump shotgun) assured me that he would be able to see me safely all the way to my room! (this was three blocks away from downtown SF). Strangely, I’ve never had that happen in the UK.

    About 200 US cops are killed on duty every year – about 25% from gunshot wounds. This is not really surprising given the lack of gun control -and where the criminals are often better armed than the police. Four police officers were shot (but not killed) in another incident after the George Floyd death.

    Given this experience, when I hear people comparing this country to the US – they clearly have no idea what they are talking about. Unfortunately, these matters cannot be debated rationally, as anyone not immediately virtue signalling or ‘taking the knee’ must obviously be a bigot and racist – a very effective accusation that shuts down any sort of reasonable debate taking place.

    We’ve had the sight of BLM crowds milling around together here – in spite of the fact they knew how dangerous this is at the moment, both for those attending and anyone they might come into contact with afterwards (I hope they are staying well away from their Grandparents!). Surely – ALL lives matter – or do some lives matter more than others in this strange new world we live now in?

    • Little Englander
      Posted June 13, 2020 at 9:14 pm | Permalink

      Little Englander: disgraceful spelling mistakes – must do better!

  57. acorn
    Posted June 11, 2020 at 11:39 am | Permalink

    Four decades of Neo-liberalism is why we are where we are. It’s been very profitable for the 1% but not so much for the 99%. The latter still haven’t got a clue what Neo-liberalism is or what it has done to them. A much better education system would have allowed them to make much better political choices. Alas the 1% has made sure they never got it.

    Have a read of an article Neoliberalism, Education and the Crisis of Western Capitalism by M A Peters. Neoliberalism, started long before its political introduction by Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan in the 1980s. Its origins are back in the Mt Perelin Society post WW2. Thanks to numerous supranational organisations, it has become the dominant ideology in the western world and forced on the developing world.

  58. glen cullen
    Posted June 11, 2020 at 11:49 am | Permalink

    Australia Prime Minister has declared that no statue can be removed from its current position

    Why can’t our Prime Minister declare the same

  59. Philip Brandon
    Posted June 11, 2020 at 11:56 am | Permalink

    Thank you JR for that brilliant article, it is exactly how I and many more feel.

    Will you remind Boris that if we’d wanted things that are going on now, we would have voted for Comrade Corbyn.

  60. Raymond
    Posted June 11, 2020 at 12:15 pm | Permalink

    Good afternoon,
    I think there were great advances made in the ending of slavery and serfdom in the 19th and into the 20th century based on a Christian ethos. Unfortunately, as that has declined in the West so has inhumanity and modern slavery increased. Although I do not think they could lead a moral revival (who could) it would be nice to see HMG get a grip.

  61. glen cullen
    Posted June 11, 2020 at 12:17 pm | Permalink

    Every record has been destroyed or falsified, every book rewritten, every picture has been repainted, every statue and street building has been renamed, every date has been altered.
    George Orwell 1984

  62. Ed M
    Posted June 11, 2020 at 12:39 pm | Permalink

    One of the worst acts of historical desecration in this country was the execution of King Charles I – the demolition of the slave-trader’s statue pales in comparison to this, at least for me, a staunch royalist.

    • Ed M
      Posted June 11, 2020 at 12:41 pm | Permalink

      The Parliamentarians were also made up of proto Communists / Anarchists such as the Levellers / Diggers.

    • Statues
      Posted June 11, 2020 at 7:34 pm | Permalink

      What’s the matter with you Ed M that you need a Monarch to hold your hand? not able to stand on your own two feet?

      Also as you mention the Parliamentarians- Oliver Cromwell is another example of a murdering anarchist tyrant gone bad- responsible for the slaughter of tens of thousands of innocent men women and children especially in Ireland and Scotland- maybe time to shelve his statue somewhere as well

      • Ed M
        Posted June 12, 2020 at 9:53 am | Permalink

        So the Parliamentarian side had a lot of anti-Patriots in it (like the Puritans) as well as proto-Communists like the Levellers / Diggers.

        That is why I take the execution of King Charles I so seriously (even though he was flawed like all people).

  63. Chezza
    Posted June 11, 2020 at 12:43 pm | Permalink

    Isn’t it all about the global capitalists encouraging division in order to destroy nation states ? Isn’t it less about Left v Right and more Nationalist v Globalist – the young have been “educated” to undermine all that a harmonious society needs – and mass immigration is being used to not only keep wages low but also to weaken any solidarity of the indigenous peoples.

  64. William Long
    Posted June 11, 2020 at 1:04 pm | Permalink

    As so often I agree with all you say, and it certainly needed saying. Plenty of regrettable things happened in the past, but surely it is better to be aware of them and face up to them than throw them under water so you can pretend they never happened.
    If Nelson Mandela was happy to make common cause with Cecil Rhodes, so should everyone else be.
    And why were the Police too terrified to do anything to uphold law and order during the riots at the weekend?

    • a-tracy
      Posted June 11, 2020 at 3:55 pm | Permalink

      William, the police were on their knees and running away from BLM ‘peaceful’ protestors throwing objects at them and terrifying them.

  65. David
    Posted June 11, 2020 at 1:05 pm | Permalink

    Is the government able to compel the police to stand against these outrages? I suspect not and leftist Chief Constables tacitly encourage these mobs and once the domino effect takes hold this will be unstoppable.

  66. Deb Lincoln
    Posted June 11, 2020 at 1:23 pm | Permalink

    Thank you John,
    I love reading your posts, you are a voice of reason in an seemingly unreasonable world.

  67. forthurst
    Posted June 11, 2020 at 1:36 pm | Permalink

    They were all men of their times; they were English; their lives were considered of sufficient significance, that they were commemorated with public statuary. Those who cannot co-exist with our past, cannot co-exist with us. As this is our country, they need to consider taking themselves and their opinions to someone else’s country because they are not wanted here.

  68. Ian
    Posted June 11, 2020 at 1:56 pm | Permalink

    Thank you very much Sir John,
    I and an increasing number of those of us who voted for your party, inspite of the disgraceful PM T. May

    What we find now is shocking, another weak Government, as seen by the behaviour on our streets this last weekend.
    Some of our police were very badly hurt, I feel because the Government looks weak, and those in charge of the police are picking up that drift
    The trouble makers feed on that weakness, which is putting danger on our streets.
    The law is the law, and yet I have heard that no one has been apprehended ?

    I thought the police had cameras on there person, so will there be no justice?
    Where will this stop?
    The Will of the people , the so called Democricy that we were promised I E.
    Brexit, at this rate , sorry everyone it is not going to happen, we are to be denied again,
    I .think this Government is the worst yet

  69. Dee
    Posted June 11, 2020 at 2:01 pm | Permalink

    Oh dear, it would seem my comments have been removed. What’s the matter John, a bit too near the truth? Are you only comfortable with the same old names? You have surprised me.
    It would appear you are after all another politician who is afraid to rock the boat.

    • steve
      Posted June 11, 2020 at 4:34 pm | Permalink


      No, the fact is this site is in public domain, and JR is obliged to observe the law.

      All of us have posts deleted from time to time, this is normal and not intended to gag anyone.

      Try rewording your post maybe ? it worked for me in the past.

  70. zorro
    Posted June 11, 2020 at 3:05 pm | Permalink

    Good piece JR – as we always need to consider, he who pays the piper calls the tune. Who funds these academics and these organisations such as BLM. What are the policies and who will benefit from the chaos?


  71. Irene
    Posted June 11, 2020 at 3:36 pm | Permalink

    Or as LP Hartley wrote “The past is a foreign country. They do things differently there.” (Opening lines of The Go-Between) Doesn’t sound quite so comfortable now, does it?

    The past influences the present and then the future, in turn. I lived and worked in Germany long before the Berlin Wall was removed. I will never forget my experiences of East Berlin. Nor would I want to see another Berlin Wall equivalent. Or any memorial to anyone connected to the monstrosity that created it. I despise racism, even disguised racism. Let’s face it, some people are better at disguise than others.

    We talk so easily of democracy and freedom. Is the public ever consulted about the erection of any memorial/statue in X or Y town? Or are those decisions taken out of our hands by those we elect to represent our views? Who knows how many might have objected to any memorial? How many statues are commissioned and erected before we know anything about it? Perhaps we have dictators and decision-makers making decisions they will always find a way to justify, but which may come back to haunt them – or us – in years to come. Those commissioned to create the statues are, presumably, paid for their work. Tax-payers often pay for something over which they had no control, and about which they had no say.

    I see it from both sides.

    • Irene
      Posted June 11, 2020 at 9:03 pm | Permalink

      Too long?

  72. David Brown
    Posted June 11, 2020 at 4:13 pm | Permalink

    100% agree with every word you have eloquently written.

  73. ian
    Posted June 11, 2020 at 4:24 pm | Permalink

    One must remember that Africa slave trade was a bill of sale trade and that most persons sold to the slave traders were paid for and the money went to the tribe leaders in Africa.

    In North America, the Indians living there had their whole country stolen by Europeans and are still living in poverty and in Aus, the same thing happened to the people living on that land whereas the Africas never suffered that fate.

  74. Know-Dice
    Posted June 11, 2020 at 4:54 pm | Permalink

    Too true Peter, it’s uncertainty that’s the real problem.

    Business will deal with whatever is coming down the line as long as they know what it is and when.

  75. steve
    Posted June 11, 2020 at 5:03 pm | Permalink


    A very pertinent, well written and dare I say brave diary today.

    I am not going to mince my words here.

    I am deeply offended by what the left wing provocateurs and so-called antifas have been up to lately.

    What about all the racism directed toward the English ?

    What about the state broadcaster that goes to great lengths to underrepresent the indigenous population ?

    Just about everywhere you look we are pandering to minorities, it has to stop.

  76. glen cullen
    Posted June 11, 2020 at 5:18 pm | Permalink

    It isn’t and should never be our choice to remove statues, its only our choice to erect them

  77. Martin C
    Posted June 11, 2020 at 5:48 pm | Permalink

    When foreign peoples seek to impose their values, legal systems and culture on a nation – isn’t that colonisation?

  78. ferdinand
    Posted June 11, 2020 at 5:54 pm | Permalink

    Inequality is the stuff of life – it is how and why some succeed and some fail. We cannot all succeed and we shall not all fail.

  79. ed2
    Posted June 11, 2020 at 6:42 pm | Permalink

    Isn’t it about time that the statue of Karl Marx was torn down?

    • glen cullen
      Posted June 11, 2020 at 8:32 pm | Permalink

      No….its never right to pull down any statue

  80. Colin
    Posted June 11, 2020 at 6:44 pm | Permalink

    “How do they rate China for civil liberties, freedom of expression and of religion?”

    Don’t be silly John, they don’t care about any of those things. They’re literally communists.

  81. na
    Posted June 11, 2020 at 6:45 pm | Permalink

    Someone prepared the statue to be toppled, you cannot just throw a rope around any statue and topple it. We are living in communist revolutionary times, I am just waiting for the two parties to unite.

  82. Caterpillar
    Posted June 11, 2020 at 8:59 pm | Permalink

    Whoops Nelson, there’s a typo.

  83. glen cullen
    Posted June 11, 2020 at 9:56 pm | Permalink

    Something is very wrong with our society when we have to board up our statues in Parliament Square and protect them from our own citizens

    Why would Britons want to destroy its on statues ?

    In a democracy the majority viewpoint is held as supreme, and above all the rule of law must be maintained

    This governments approach to current events is truly lacking

    • a-tracy
      Posted June 12, 2020 at 7:54 am | Permalink


      We don’t have to board up our statues, Khan chose to do that, he is running London into the ground.

      The ‘Britons’ mainly in London have been whipped up about it, now the question is who is doing the agitating and pointing them at the targets?

      “The rule of law must be maintained” well look at Cressida Dick it is her force on their knees or running away or getting kicked in the head.

      If our police force has been so emasculated they are not prepared for ‘peaceful’ protests then god help us and those that want to live in true peace in London and other Cities as chaos spreads.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted June 12, 2020 at 11:26 am | Permalink

      But you said that the Rule Of Law must be ended, when the Supreme Court upheld exactly that.

      Please make up your mind.

      • Edward2
        Posted June 12, 2020 at 4:02 pm | Permalink

        Ridiculous comment.
        We can disagree with a decision of the Supreme Court.
        And campaign for the ending of the Supreme Court.
        As is every citizens right.

        However, their decision was upheld and followed.
        As is correct.

  84. ChrisS
    Posted June 13, 2020 at 8:49 am | Permalink

    Perhaps we should use crowd-funding to raise money to put up more statues to Winston Churchill around the country.

    Would any Chief Constable and Council dare to oppose the erection of a statue to our greatest war-time leader ?

  85. glen cullen
    Posted June 13, 2020 at 10:04 am | Permalink

    Oh dear just look what they did to the statue of Robert the Bruce

    It will be the Pope next

  • About John Redwood

    John Redwood won a free place at Kent College, Canterbury, and graduated from Magdalen College Oxford. He is a Distinguished fellow of All Souls, Oxford. A businessman by background, he has set up an investment management business, was both executive and non executive chairman of a quoted industrial PLC, and chaired a manufacturing company with factories in Birmingham, Chicago, India and China. He is the MP for Wokingham, first elected in 1987.

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