At peace with our past?

I remember showing a visitor from the recently liberated USSR around Parliament. He remarked that it was a pleasure to see a country “at peace with its past”. For he saw in the statues and paintings, the memorabilia and the stories, all the nation’s past represented – good and bad, insiders and outcasts, establishment and rebels. They are on display for all to see. We cannot change the facts that they lived, held their own views and made their own impact. In his crumbling superstate the government told you what to think about the past, and threw out the statues and paintings of people and events they disliked.

Few of the figures from our past would have shared our preoccupations or held similar views to our present consensus where it exists. Some will look at the statue of Cromwell and see a tyrant and a butcher. Others will see him as the embodiment of a rebellion to tame the arbitrary power of the monarch and to give the generations to come a say in how they are governed. He is still part of our present as well as our past, as we still react today to both the good and the bad of his legacy.

Some will look at the great merchants and business people of the eighteenth century and see there generous donors of civic improvement at home. They will acknowledge their contribution to the betterment of many in the UK who gained employment and advancement from their enterprise. Others will dwell on those that made money out of the slave trade and rightly condemn that source of wealth.

It is true in a way that the past is a foreign country. Many attitudes and assumptions were different then. It is also true there is considerable continuity. Some of the past is an important part of our being a community. Tradition means enjoying what was best about the past and learning from what success our ancestors had in promoting a better life for many. Just as we celebrate our own landmarks of birthdays and anniversaries, so nationally we celebrate or remember important events in the life of our nation. Our nation above all made great breakthroughs for democracy and freedom at home and abroad.

Living in a great democracy means we all need to show some tolerance to each other and cut some slack to our past relatives who had different views from us. It is best to study them in their full range, and accept we will find things we do not like as well as things that showed they cared about us, the ones who came after. The thinkers of the Enlightenment thought they were “dwarves on the shoulders of giants”, who could see further because they could add to the visions of the ancient philosophers and scientists before them. Today too we should accept that we can see further, enjoy greater prosperity and assert superior morality to the past partly thanks to what they achieved and passed on to us.

I have got used in politics to the gross discourtesy and aggressive personal abuse adopted by some on the left. I assume that is because they have such a bad case. I do not like to see the same style adopted by people who I might otherwise wish to agree with.

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  1. Lifelogic
    Posted August 27, 2020 at 5:10 am | Permalink

    It is indeed because they have such a bad & totally irrational case. One that has been proven time and again not to work and to do huge harm.

    Andrew Roberts was right yesterday in the Times.

    The woke war on British history must not be allowed to succeed
    Tearing down the heroes of the past risks creating 
an atomised society that is more divided than ever.

    • Stephen Priest
      Posted August 27, 2020 at 6:05 am | Permalink

      Matt Le Tissier sacked by Sky. I have never seen him on Sky.

      If it’s because he a rubbish football analyst why do the BBC keep Alan Shearer?

      Or is it because he criticised the Black Live Matter movement?

      Is this another reason? Le Tissier became an outspoken critic on the reaction to the COVID-19 pandemic in the United Kingdom, with several tweets in which he criticised what he deemed to be an ‘overreaction’ from the government and media, among others opposing lockdowns and mask order.

      • GlennVaughan
        Posted August 27, 2020 at 7:27 am | Permalink

        Stephen Priest

        Football pundits Charlie Nicholas and Phil Thompson have also been dismissed by Sky Sports at the same time as Le Tissier.

        Perhaps you omitted their names because their dismissal doesn’t fit in with your conspiracy theory.

        • Hope
          Posted August 27, 2020 at 1:10 pm | Permalink

          It is clear the Fake Tory govt.’s, who promised a bonfire of left wing quangos years ago, has failed over ten years at the cost of our society, culture, values and beliefs. Dominic is so right.

          12 policy U turns in six months. Is this a record of incompetent inept bungling indecisiveness we have ever witnessed. Now the Fake Tory govt. following Sturgeons policy leads! While shoveling her billions of English taxpayer money to squander on her constituents to make them love her more!

          British museum has taken down a statue of its founder. Who appoints foreign people to uphold and promote our culture, values and history without the remotest passion to do so?

          • Everhopeful
            Posted August 27, 2020 at 4:58 pm | Permalink

            All these U turns…how can we take anything to do with govt. seriously?
            Or are they to confuse and unsettle us?

            I believe that since the last war people have been put in jobs more for their politics than for their skills. Then they recruit people in their own image, and so on.

            We have been totally taken over and the govt. can/will do nothing. Or is the govt. part of it?

      • zorro
        Posted August 27, 2020 at 8:50 am | Permalink

        I suspect you are right about his thoughts on COVID 19. Let’s see who replace them, As everything appears to be inextricably linked.


    • Northern Monkey
      Posted August 27, 2020 at 6:17 am | Permalink

      Guarantees rather than risks, but otherwise spot on.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted August 27, 2020 at 6:33 am | Permalink

      Not The Times but The Telegraph!

    • Peter
      Posted August 27, 2020 at 7:44 am | Permalink

      ‘At peace with our past?

      I think a growing number prefer a Year Zero approach to history, culture and traditions.

    • Richard1
      Posted August 27, 2020 at 8:40 am | Permalink

      Indeed Andrew Roberts is absolutely correct that there is a concerted left wing attempt to rubbish and besmirch British history. Sir John is indeed correct that the gross discourtesy shown by the radical left is most likely due to the absence of arguments and facts on their side. We see this in the cancel culture – an attempt simply to avoid debate with people on the other side of the argument.

      And it is true there is also discourtesy on the other side, unfortunately.

      • Otto
        Posted August 27, 2020 at 2:33 pm | Permalink

        Who is up to rubbish and besmirch all other country’s history – can’t be difficult just needs the knowledge or research time which I don’t have but many here I am sure can do it. Let’s have a level playing field,

        • NickC
          Posted August 28, 2020 at 11:58 am | Permalink

          Otto, Let’s not have a level playing field . . . .

    • DavidJ
      Posted August 27, 2020 at 12:37 pm | Permalink

      Absolutely LL.

  2. Stephen Priest
    Posted August 27, 2020 at 5:10 am | Permalink

    The irony is those that quickly condemn our past have been more than happy to follow the policies of Xi Jinping, the world’s worst dictator.

    When the Chinese Communist Party, one of the most murderous organisations in history, imprisoned, sorry “locked down”, Wuhan Xi was widely praised for his swift action. Italy followed suit and the the rest of us went down like dominoes.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted August 27, 2020 at 6:52 am | Permalink

      Those who imposed the lockdown – the Government with an indefeasible Commons majority – are not the leaders of the recent movement to review our honorific monuments etc.

      Rather, they have tended to misrepresent their aims and to discredit them where they can.

      Why do you make out that the reverse is the case?

      • Stephen Priest
        Posted August 27, 2020 at 9:05 am | Permalink

        Martin in Cardiff – Your freedoms are being crushed. It affects you as much as anyone else.

        Go to the Worldometer website and click on the Europe tab. Yesterday there were only 377 reported Covid related deaths in Europe out of a total population of over 740 million people. And for this our economies are being destroyed, people being forced back from their holidays at great expense to themselves because of unjustified UK government quarantines.

        Until recently we were constantly told by Government experts that masks were useless against virus and could help spread the virus. Now they are slowly but surely becoming compulsory everywhere.

        • Otto
          Posted August 27, 2020 at 2:37 pm | Permalink

          Perhaps there were only 377 reported Covid related deaths in Europe out of a total population of over 740 million people because there have been lockdowns and mask wearing, no?

          • Anonymous
            Posted August 27, 2020 at 4:26 pm | Permalink

            Here the death rate was going down before mask wearing.

            A vaccine not until 2021 at least (Prof Witty)

            CV19 with us for 2 years (WHO)

            So we either stay lockdown for the duration or CV19 works through our population anyway.

            And then what next out of China and when ?

            Remember that lovely life you had before ?

            It’s over.

            This is NOT temporary.

          • zorro
            Posted August 27, 2020 at 4:44 pm | Permalink

            Er no – and there is not one scintilla of hard evidence (peer reviewed or Randomised Controlled Trial) too backup what you say.


      • dixie
        Posted August 27, 2020 at 11:00 am | Permalink

        Those that quickly condemn our past – Andy threatening those who supported Brexit with imprisonment (Jan 22, 2019), you threatening those you dislike with withholding of medical ventilation at a time of need (March 31, 2020).

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted August 28, 2020 at 12:20 pm | Permalink

        None of these address my point of the falsehood asserted in the original post.

    • villaking
      Posted August 27, 2020 at 8:14 am | Permalink

      You seem to have overlooked the fact that the lockdown was imposed by an incompetent, right wing Tory government (without a parliamentary vote) and not by those “who condemn our past”

      • NickC
        Posted August 27, 2020 at 2:45 pm | Permalink

        Villaking, Half the country’s GDP run by government makes it “right wing”? The Tory government may be “right wing” in your opinion but it is hard left to me.

      • a-tracy
        Posted August 28, 2020 at 8:32 am | Permalink

        This is not a ‘right-wing Tory government’

    • BOF
      Posted August 27, 2020 at 10:00 am | Permalink

      But NOT Sweden!

      • NickC
        Posted August 27, 2020 at 2:46 pm | Permalink

        BOF, True. Martin, Andy, Margaret H, etc, don’t like to be reminded of Sweden.

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted August 27, 2020 at 6:16 pm | Permalink

          Sweden is full of civic-minded Swedish people.

          They imposed near-lockdown conditions on themselves without being ordered.

          I am very interested to see what the eventual outcome is there.

          • Edward2
            Posted August 27, 2020 at 7:47 pm | Permalink

            No they didn’t.
            Sweden was not locked down.

          • NickC
            Posted August 28, 2020 at 12:05 pm | Permalink

            Martin, You? – waiting to see what the eventual outcome is?!? Ahahaha . . . come on, for weeks you’ve been telling us what the outcome is all round the world: lists of countries that have supposedly “stamped out” the virus; wicked Boris Britain that has failed at everything; Sweden that is unmentionable until other people remind you of it.

          • Lynn Atkinson
            Posted August 29, 2020 at 7:44 pm | Permalink

            What do you say to the riots in Sweden?

  3. Javelin
    Posted August 27, 2020 at 5:16 am | Permalink

    Off topic but I had to repeat this insightful comment about working from home.

    Who’d have thought those shiny towers of Canary Wharf would so rapidly go the way of the docks they were built next to?!

    • Mark B
      Posted August 27, 2020 at 5:31 am | Permalink

      They could always turn them into 4 Star Hotels. They seem to be in quite demand these days 😉

      • Sir Joe Soap
        Posted August 27, 2020 at 6:40 am | Permalink

        Many a true word spoken in jest. It could be all part of the Plan.

      • Everhopeful
        Posted August 27, 2020 at 8:35 am | Permalink

        I really think that is the plan.
        Our city centres will become eco towns with composting loos, veg in window boxes, bikes etc. Greener than green and filthy with it.
        And of course vast crime rates.

        • a-tracy
          Posted August 28, 2020 at 8:35 am | Permalink

          I was surprised at just how true this statement is in London when I visited this month.

          Surely the Council who collect council taxes and the landlords of these big blocks of flats are responsible for keeping the grass cut and the areas clean and ensuring their tenants aren’t abusing the leases? Why do they not have standards to maintain?

      • Alison
        Posted August 27, 2020 at 6:37 pm | Permalink

        Or somewhere nice for all those people illegally entering our country by boat, while the authorities take a few years to work out they are not eligible to stay.

    • Sea Warrior
      Posted August 27, 2020 at 6:10 am | Permalink

      Indeed. The occupants need to be called on, again, to get their staff back to their offices. And government needs to set an example. The small businesses around the office blocks are hurting. And the larger ones are kidding themselves if they think their employees WFH are productive. I am losing track of the number of admin actions missed by companies I provide custom to.

      • JoolsB
        Posted August 27, 2020 at 6:53 am | Permalink

        Indeed. And politicians need to set an example by getting back to Parliament asap and ordering civil servants to return to their offices along with the millions of public sector employees, none of whom of course have seen a penny drop in their incomes or felt their jobs at risk so are in no hurry to get back to normality. Maybe then the private sector will follow.

      • Fedupsoutherner
        Posted August 27, 2020 at 11:42 am | Permalink

        Yes everything is going awry. Nobody seems to know what is going on because people are not communicating properly as some are in the office and other at home. And what the gell5has happened to the post? Some letters are taking over a week to arrive and others are going missing altogether.

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted August 27, 2020 at 8:59 am | Permalink

      Someday soon a generation will look at the shiny buildings and condemn the generation (us) who wasted their inheritance.
      Let’s hope they have the capacity to put our decisions in the context of our times and problems, and the tools which we had to hand, e g no track and trace which is pretty basic and certainly not ‘rocket science’.
      Let’s also hope they like the Angel of the North, and other monster statues erected all over the country mostly by Councils rather than public subscriptions which paid for so many of our historic monuments, because they have no narrative or contribution to make to the History of the English Speaking Peoples so they better darn well be beautiful!

    • Ian Wragg
      Posted August 27, 2020 at 11:21 am | Permalink

      Net immigration 331,000 over 12 months. Not bad considering we’ve been locked down for 5 months.
      Record non EU immigration.
      No wonder Bojo scrapped the 10s of millions, he wants 100 of millions.
      Not looking good for the next election.

      • Everhopeful
        Posted August 27, 2020 at 1:09 pm | Permalink

        Agree about election. Tories will lumber us with a totally commie govt. yet!
        A report re BBC licence.
        That it will be scrapped but replaced with a compulsory household tax..that rises in line with household income!
        This to save the BBC the trouble of pursuing non payers.

        • Anonymous
          Posted August 27, 2020 at 7:34 pm | Permalink

          Poll Tax riots x10

  4. Lifelogic
    Posted August 27, 2020 at 5:20 am | Permalink

    Long interview with Tony Hall on the media show it seems Patten got him the job. He refuses to tell us if he voted remain! Was anyone in the slightest doubt about this? Needless to say he was not asked anything sensible like:- Why should the BBC be unfair, tax payer subsidised competition to other broadcasters? Why is it so one sided and totally wrong on all the woke lunacy, climate alarmism, Trump, the EU, lefty big state politician and the likes. Why is it such poor value for money? Why are so many second rate staff so hugely over paid? Why do nearly all the front of house staff have the same “BBC think” views. Why are the BBC so keen on diversity other than when it come to diversity of opinions or politics that is.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted August 27, 2020 at 6:36 am | Permalink

      Why is a BBC comedy so absurdly left wing & BBC think and almost invariably lacking in anything remotely amusing?

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted August 27, 2020 at 8:45 am | Permalink


        • NickC
          Posted August 28, 2020 at 12:06 pm | Permalink

          Hilarious?? Well, that’s more than BBC comedy is.

      • Ian @Barkham
        Posted August 27, 2020 at 4:58 pm | Permalink

        Leftwing Political organization funded solely by the taxpayer, and the taxpayer doesn’t get to vote on their leader. You couldn’t make it up.

        • Edward2
          Posted August 27, 2020 at 7:47 pm | Permalink

          Sounds like the EU.

    • L Jones
      Posted August 27, 2020 at 7:14 pm | Permalink

      I have no doubt whatsoever that many replies to your questions have been ”held in moderation”. So we won’t actually get to know what most commenters on this site think. However, it’s Sir J’s site – he can do whatever he wishes with it, and if that includes dispensing with alternative opinions, then so be it.

  5. Mark B
    Posted August 27, 2020 at 5:26 am | Permalink

    Good morning

    The Left are motivated by dogma. Their failed ideology can never work so it must be imposed, by force, if necessary. For them to succeed and byild the furure they want, they must try to alter or bury the past, destroy institutions and undermine the family unit, and replace it with the State. It is dystopia mascurading as Narvana.

    Sadly they have grabbed the levers of power and through the skilful use of politically correct language, backed up by legislation, silenced any chance of any opposition to this. We are slowly being led to the same point those of the former Eastern Block would recognise. For a little comfort and some safety and protection from the State we have conned out of our freedom.

    BREXIT was the only true democratic vote this nation has ever had. The Establishment will not let that happen ever again.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted August 27, 2020 at 5:46 am | Permalink

      Alas much truth in this. The left certainly seems to have captured the BBC, Channel 4, ITV, most charities, the Lords, most MPs, universities, schools, most of the civil service, all the QUANGOS, all “The ARTS”, the state virtual monopoly NHS, the climate alarms “industry” and most of the (largely parasitic) legal industry.

      • Sea Warrior
        Posted August 27, 2020 at 6:13 am | Permalink

        Then we need to attrite their ‘replacements’ – and that means a reduction in funding (through fewer student loans) for arts degrees. One can’t work Marxist indoctrination into a Physics degree.

        • Hope
          Posted August 27, 2020 at 8:25 am | Permalink

          Mark, Brexit is about democracy. Read Tim Bradshaw concerns in Con Woman today. Treasury, ministry of defense and Defra still rogue. WA turns EU farm regs into U.K. Law at end of vassalage! Democracy, sovereignty, my foot.

        • IanT
          Posted August 27, 2020 at 8:54 am | Permalink

          I’m not so sure….

        • Lifelogic
          Posted August 27, 2020 at 10:24 am | Permalink

          Perhaps not but they do get Marxism into so called “Climate Science” indeed climate alarmist is one of their main tools.

          UCCA points similar to three Ds at A level are the median entry. This year we have 25% grade inflation too! So the old one E standard might suffice.

          Up this to 3 Bs at least, fund only sensible subject (perhaps 30% of them at best). Let the rest resit, get a job and study part time or pay for themselves. Has student loan “debt” (most will not be repaid) hit £200 billion yet cannot be far off?

          • a-tracy
            Posted August 28, 2020 at 9:04 am | Permalink

            Lifelogic the University sector used to be 100% funded by the State, now the grads do compulsorily pay back extra tax (9%) towards their degree I know many in their 30’s that have or will soon pay back fully (plan 1 loans), perhaps its just my children’s mates?

            Plan 2 the more ridiculous high interest, intended never to repay with 9% grad tax set at a higher start point, may never be paid back as intended and calculated, this conservative government want the English students only to pay 9% tax for 30 years.

      • agricola
        Posted August 27, 2020 at 6:24 am | Permalink

        We still have one supreme politician remaining who recognises this and through the power of his logic and rhetoric can strike to great effect, witness the last EU election. When he senses the realisation that much that is written in this diary is in fact the thinking of the majority of the electorate, he will strike. It is almost inevitable because there isn’t anyone on the ersatz right that is prepared to call it as it is. At best they rumble like a rectonic plate but disdain the tsunami.

        • agricola
          Posted August 27, 2020 at 6:26 am | Permalink

          Sorry, Tectonic.

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted August 27, 2020 at 6:56 am | Permalink

          Sycophancy – my, you have got it badly.

          • agricola
            Posted August 27, 2020 at 7:50 am | Permalink

            Not at all Marin, I look at the facts and make a judgement. I find it better than twisting the facts and espousing a load of propaganda. Some might call it crap.

          • Everhopeful
            Posted August 27, 2020 at 8:30 am | Permalink

            Gosh yes!
            Quite a burden for JR.
            Great Expectations?

          • Fred H
            Posted August 27, 2020 at 12:43 pm | Permalink

            pot, kettle, black……China?

          • Martin in Cardiff
            Posted August 28, 2020 at 6:49 am | Permalink

            I wouldn’t want to live there, Fred.

            But according to independent observers, they have, for practical purposes, stamped out covid19, and life has returned much to normal.

          • NickC
            Posted August 28, 2020 at 12:17 pm | Permalink

            But isn’t it too early to so didactically state “they” have “stamped out” covid19, Martin – since you insist it’s too early to decide on the eventual outcome in Sweden?

          • Martin in Cardiff
            Posted August 28, 2020 at 3:03 pm | Permalink

            Sweden has apparently chosen to “live with” the virus, rather than to eradicate it.

            That will absolutely take longer to assess than the work of countries which have – for practical purposes – eradicated it.

            And that is blindingly obvious to anyone with half a mind.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted August 27, 2020 at 6:39 am | Permalink

        Big business also feels it has to go along with this agenda as they so often benefit from Crony Capitalism and anti-competitive red tape.

      • MikeP
        Posted August 27, 2020 at 9:39 am | Permalink

        Alas the reason is Blair’s legacy, “Education, Education, Education” – fix all three levels of our schools, colleges and universities with a leftist mindset then hire from those places, hire the hirers and interviewers for future jobs and bingo you create probably the West’s greatest (worst) example of Groupthink

        • Fred H
          Posted August 27, 2020 at 12:42 pm | Permalink

          If only he had said ‘WORK, WORK, WORK’.

      • Christine
        Posted August 27, 2020 at 9:40 am | Permalink

        Now we see the BBC giving £10 million from their Children In Need charity to black only projects. Who’s speaking up for the poor white children in this country or don’t they matter and can be left further behind? When people freely gave their time and money I’m sure they didn’t intend it to become a focus of discrimination. Where’s the outcry? Can you imagine if it was the other way around? This institutional racism against white people is being allowed to infiltrate all our institutions. Our Government should put a stop to it but I doubt they have the backbone.

        • Fedupsoutherner
          Posted August 27, 2020 at 4:50 pm | Permalink

          This is disgusting and I won’t be donating in the future if this is true.

          • Cheshire Girl
            Posted August 27, 2020 at 9:02 pm | Permalink

            Neither will I. However, I suspect that most Donors wont know this, as it wont be widely publicised.

        • a-tracy
          Posted August 28, 2020 at 9:16 am | Permalink

          Christine, where have you read this?

          • Christine
            Posted August 28, 2020 at 3:30 pm | Permalink

            I’ve tried twice to tell you but for some reason a link to the BBC is banned on this site.

    • BOF
      Posted August 27, 2020 at 10:07 am | Permalink

      100% correct MarkB.

    • glen cullen
      Posted August 27, 2020 at 10:45 am | Permalink

      Your last sentence is so true

    Posted August 27, 2020 at 5:30 am | Permalink

    I care not one jot about the past. We are today under attack by the forces of the racist left. For the left the past is their armory which they use to draw examples to corroborate their assertion that the indigenous population is innately and inherently evil. Your party has embraced this stance by passing legislation to support the authoritarian’s left claim and you have done it to idiotically protect your own party from harm. You have exposed us all to the most appalling discrimination

    And today, the authoritarian left is in complete control of events for not only are they on the rise without the State they have also infected the body politic and are now on the inside and dictating events throughout the socialist Client State.

    Marxists using racial identity to construct their victim narrative and drive criminal hate have proven far more effective than the entire Tory party. Indeed your remain silent about Labour’s and their allies throughout the progressive movement who are using ethnicity as a political weapon to crush opposition and to crush the identity of the indigenous population. In effect, to weaken and then silence any opposition to their project

    Phil Davies did try and stand up and confront this bigotry but faltered under pressure from the turncoats that now run the coward entity that is the Tory party

    But this political extremism for it is extremism will create the conditions for deep rooted resentment and no doubt this will give the left even more reason to call for even more oppressive laws against the indigenous population.

    The Tory party have been in government since 2010 and their desperation to distance themselves from Powell is directly responsible for what we are now seeing. You have sat back and watched these developments and now they have taken hold you raise your voice.

    Well, it’s too little, too late. The damage has been done. Our freedoms have been taken. We have been criminalised and demonised by Parliament and by the left’s activism that is now afforded assistance by their own kind now employed by the State at my expense

    Thanks for destroying our nation and all that we hold dear

    • Sir Joe Soap
      Posted August 27, 2020 at 6:00 am | Permalink

      Well it is never too late for a dose of reality to be brought into view. Our forefathers built and defended the country against invaders. Now we welcome them in with handouts. Instead of having respect for our ancestors who largely built the country with their own hands, (not via slaves) incomers accompanied by the left actively rail against them, just as earlier invaders would have done had we given them the opportunity.

      Get real.

      While we can house some temporary guests in our house, and help those in need in their own countries, we cannot and should not house and feed the world who then feel they have a right to take over our inheritance. This will become the snake eating its own tail and end badly unless we take control properly- the essence of June 2016.

      • Anonymous
        Posted August 27, 2020 at 6:20 am | Permalink

        Yours is a side issue. You miss Dominic’s point and spoil it somewhat.

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted August 27, 2020 at 8:49 am | Permalink

          I think that Dominic’s “point” is missed by anyone who doesn’t share his – frankly apparently seriously disturbed – outlook on things.

          • NickC
            Posted August 27, 2020 at 3:01 pm | Permalink

            No, Martin, hating your own country and its people is a “frankly apparently seriously disturbed outlook”.

          • Martin in Cardiff
            Posted August 27, 2020 at 6:20 pm | Permalink

            Hmm. Dominic says “For the left the past is their armory which they use to draw examples to corroborate their assertion that the indigenous population is innately and inherently evil”

            Can you please give an instance of someone of any standing making that assertion?

            If you cannot, then I say that he is imagining it.

            As I said.

          • Edward2
            Posted August 27, 2020 at 7:49 pm | Permalink

            There are loads.
            Slavery and the reparations campaign is just one of many.

          • Martin in Cardiff
            Posted August 28, 2020 at 6:50 am | Permalink

            What is that supposed to mean?

            So you cannot.

            The piece appears to have been written by a raving lunatic if you ask me.

          • NickC
            Posted August 28, 2020 at 12:24 pm | Permalink

            Actually, Martin, both Edward2 and Dominic gave you the examples you demanded. BLM extremists are “using ethnicity as a political weapon” [Dominic], just as the left in general uses class hatred, and Remains in particular sneer at patriotism.

          • Edward2
            Posted August 28, 2020 at 12:28 pm | Permalink

            It isnt my fault if you cannot understand a simple post.
            It is dreadful to make an abusive comment as well
            Particularly one which reduces the very serious subject of mental health to be a pejorative word.
            Shame on you Martin.

      • bigneil(newercomp)
        Posted August 27, 2020 at 10:08 am | Permalink

        “Our forefathers built and defended the country against invaders.”

        True – now we have multi billion pound air and sea defences – that can’t even stop ( self-censored true word John doesn’t allow ) in dinghies . Then they get treated better than the people whose taxes they live here on forever after bringing as many of their family their ( UK taxpayer funded) lawyers can get here.

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted August 28, 2020 at 6:54 am | Permalink

          Not quite.

          The monarchs had their subjects defend their reign, against those who hoped to liberate the people from their tyranny in at least one case.

    • JoolsB
      Posted August 27, 2020 at 7:23 am | Permalink

      Wow- very well put Dominic. As usual, you are spot on.

    • Everhopeful
      Posted August 27, 2020 at 8:16 am | Permalink

      Fantastic! Exactly, completely on the mark…as ever!!
      Our so called conservative politicians nearly trip over themselves to embrace any tiny scrap of wokeness.
      “Thank goodness” they exclaim “I can virtue signal with THIS!”
      And how the woke LAUGH at them for their stupidity.
      Never mind our history…the future is on the brink of being trashed.

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted August 27, 2020 at 9:12 am | Permalink

      You give up too easily, as did Philip Davies when he voted for May’s WA TWICE! JR did not! Don’t you think one of the lesson of history is that it is always the few who defend Freedom and they are always wrestling with Leviathan?
      Do you think Nelson or Wellington or Thatcher would have written as you have done?
      Do you think Trump is going to roll over because a poll says he’s behind and the left are set to doctor the postal ballot?
      Get a grip Dominic, your analysis is correct, and we should NEVER have let the left run riot as they have done, through our institutions, but the British are lazy, always wait until they are looking into the eyes of the Horsemen before stirring themselves.
      We are not done – we bloody nearly were, but we have escaped from the clutches of the EU, a monumental battle and a Famous Victory.
      The rest is comparatively easy. Remove their funding! Use you buying power as a weapon. Do not support those institutions or businesses that displease you for a start. Insist that you have the power to select your MP freely, not from a doctored list! Fight for the Candidate you want – then get him elected. If we all do that we will get our patriotic majority.

    • A.Sedgwick
      Posted August 27, 2020 at 9:15 am | Permalink

      Henry Ford “history is bunk” maybe too far but we as a nation we are too bound up in it and the current slave trading agenda has taken it into a new cause, which is divisive rather than healing divisions. The obvious point about who provided the slaves to the shippers I had not seen in the media until a few days ago. Times radio interview with a Nigerian academic and author who has written extensively on the history of African slavery – worth finding.

      Back to the future – abolish HoL, sell off PoW and locate the parliament elsewhere a la Nightingale. Spending billions on a decrepid, unremarkable building for the government of the UK, which is riddled with flaws makes HS2 look good.

    • Christine
      Posted August 27, 2020 at 9:47 am | Permalink

      Well said Dominic.

    • BOF
      Posted August 27, 2020 at 10:18 am | Permalink

      Well put, Dominic.

    • Fedupsoutherner
      Posted August 27, 2020 at 11:45 am | Permalink

      Really great post Dominic.

    • dixie
      Posted August 27, 2020 at 11:53 am | Permalink

      Review of the past can only get you so far. What are your recommended practical and proactive steps to counter the rot.

      Simply voting UKIP/BP/whatever it calls itself, if that is your proposal is not enough. The canker within the civil service, other elements of the government and public sector that the politicians have to work through are the problem.

      Simply calling the general voter “naive” is neither helpful nor constructive.

      So what exactly are you proposing?

    • DavidJ
      Posted August 27, 2020 at 12:34 pm | Permalink

      I agree for the most part but think it is also important not to try and rewrite our past, but to know it and learn from it. Those such as BLM trying to rewrite the past need to be stopped from doing so by all means possible. They conveniently forget the participation of the slaves own people in their enslavement.

    • Ian @Barkham
      Posted August 27, 2020 at 5:00 pm | Permalink

      Joining the chorus, well said and thankyou

  7. Anonymous
    Posted August 27, 2020 at 5:31 am | Permalink

    Discourtesy and aggression from the Left isn’t just in politics.

    Daring to defend Thatcherism can result in a smack in the gob and intimidation.

    • agricola
      Posted August 27, 2020 at 6:05 am | Permalink

      Never mind Margaret, what about Enoch Powell.

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted August 27, 2020 at 9:15 am | Permalink

        Enoch shall have his revenge, because he was right and all his life used his great ability to defend us rather than to enrich himself. But he was not a politician, I’m praying to God that JR is.

      • BOF
        Posted August 27, 2020 at 10:25 am | Permalink

        Enoch Powell was right, but what we are witnessing is the slow grinding down of British values and rights by the left, plus policies of population replacement (enthusiastically adopted by the Conservative party) so that many are hardly aware of changes.

    • Everhopeful
      Posted August 27, 2020 at 8:24 am | Permalink

      The reason they get aggressive is because they know that they don’t really have a coherent argument.
      (Who ACTUALLY, truthfully wants Venezuela?)
      And at all costs they must silence the rational opposition.
      So they lie and scream and shout abuse. And now, as we warned the politicians, they become violent.
      The lies are about victimhood..and so called conservatives are cowed by fear of being called racist. They fall for it time and time again!

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted August 27, 2020 at 11:53 am | Permalink

      Could you please cite a court case over alleged violence under such circumstances?


      • NickC
        Posted August 28, 2020 at 12:56 pm | Permalink

        Martin, The discourtesy and aggression from the hard left which Anon mentions are not hard to find. I have been in fear of my own safety on numerous occasions: direct in my face abuse whilst just handing out leaflets in the street; and at meetings, have been jostled by Hate-Not-Hope activists.

        Then there was the baying hard left mob attacking Tory conference attendees in Manchester. Duncan Keating was beaten so badly by a Remain bully he died within hours. I, and 17.4 million others, have been abused as thick, uneducated, racist, fascist, etc, etc, by both the hard left and Remains.

        What Remain should have said was – we don’t like the result but we lost so we’ll either shut up or help get the best Brexit we can for the country’s sake. Instead, Remain mounted a giant campaign of legal challenges, abuse and intimidation with the avowed intent of overturning democracy. That has soured civic relations and the stability of the UK for years, allowing the rise of street mobs from Extinction Rebellion to BLM. If Remain can do it, so can they. And you joined in.

        • Edward2
          Posted August 29, 2020 at 8:13 am | Permalink

          Well said Nick.

  8. Lifelogic
    Posted August 27, 2020 at 5:31 am | Permalink

    Another boring and wrong headed MacTaggart lecture. They really will have to try hard to find someone for next year who is more tedious, woke and wrong than the last few. Are all the people in the “Arts” or rather “entertainment” industry really as dire, wrong and tedious as this? It rather seems so.

    David Olusoga, Dorothy Byrne, Michaela Cole, John Snow …….

    • Lifelogic
      Posted August 27, 2020 at 5:55 am | Permalink

      Sorry Coel.

  9. agricola
    Posted August 27, 2020 at 6:03 am | Permalink

    History is history and should be judged in the context of thinking and circumstances of its time and not have any new morality imposed upon it. We are what we are, but history is there to be learnt from lest we all too easily repeat the mistakes of the past. Those who at the moment subject us to such forensic criticism should ask themselves why they are here, if they find us, our alien to them thinking, and our history so unacceptable. One of the greatest mistakes in marriage is to wed the person of the moment and then to spend the rest of the relationship trying to fundamentally change them to something one thinks one would prefer. A recipe for disaater and divorce.

    • forthurst
      Posted August 27, 2020 at 5:33 pm | Permalink

      History is the chronicle of the past; it is immutable. Perhaps JR, as an historian, needs to examine how our history is taught in state schools these days. Is it still about us or is it about whining minorities whose gripes can reasonably be attributed to poor adaptability to Western civilisation or even a malignant desire to overthrow it.

      The history of the USSR is a history of what can happen to a country when a criminal gang of foreign psychopaths achieve a coup d’etat financially aided by members of their own criminal fraternity abroad; mass murder ensued as the native Slavic population were rendered into slaves. The Russian people then did the right thing when they tore down the statues of Lenin and his fellow gang members.
      Russians were then able to reconnect their present with their past before the Bolsheviks seized power.

  10. Mike Stallard
    Posted August 27, 2020 at 6:10 am | Permalink

    I think a lot of the trouble is that some people think that bad is bad and that it has to be elimininated in case it corrupts us. Hence no platforming leading to cancelling. Hence words leading to deeds. Hence statues and people being cancelled and destroyed.
    One tiny detail left out can corrupt the lot – one bad apple…
    Hegel thought that opposites (aka “bad things”) create progress as they affect the present (thesis) with the antithesis. This leads to a synthesis of the best of both.
    The intellectual youths of the universities and the left do not accept this although Marx, their patron saint, certainly did.
    Maybe they ought to study the Communist Manifesto.

  11. Andy
    Posted August 27, 2020 at 6:19 am | Permalink

    It appears to me that both the hard left and hard right are guilty of discourtesy and personal abuse.

    I’ve completely lost track of the number of times I am told I am a traitor or I’m called woke or a snowflake or told to go and live in my beloved EU – all because Tory Brexit is going, quite predictably, disastrously wrong.

    • bill brown
      Posted August 27, 2020 at 6:57 am | Permalink


      This time I totally concur

    • Arthur Wrightiss
      Posted August 27, 2020 at 7:51 am | Permalink

      The “Tory Brexit “ is perhaps going disastrously wrong….for the EU.

      • bill brown
        Posted August 27, 2020 at 1:09 pm | Permalink

        Arthur Wrightness

        Please, kindly explain?

        • John Hatfield
          Posted August 28, 2020 at 10:57 am | Permalink

          The vote to leave has put a tourniquet on the bleeding. Which has put the EU in a financially difficult position.

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted August 27, 2020 at 6:48 pm | Permalink

        It’s not good for anyone, for the world, for the European Union, but worst of all for the UK.

        I suppose that it’s pretty good for Scottish and for Irish nationalists though, on second thoughts.

        • NickC
          Posted August 28, 2020 at 1:13 pm | Permalink

          Martin, Leave is obviously good for the UK. A lot of Remains say it’s good for the EU too. And I suspect the rest of the world just doesn’t care.

          • Lynn Atkinson
            Posted August 29, 2020 at 7:49 pm | Permalink


    • Fred H
      Posted August 27, 2020 at 7:54 am | Permalink

      but the voices have a point – you do go on and on about that group of countries, yet appear never to have felt the need to relocate. Rather like the loud supporters of causes protesting about behaviour yet doing the exact opposite themselves.

    • Anonymous
      Posted August 27, 2020 at 8:11 am | Permalink

      You’re called those things after you’ve insulted people and used hate in your posts (which is nearly every one of them.)

    • Richard1
      Posted August 27, 2020 at 8:43 am | Permalink

      Indeed you should not be told to leave the Country because you are opposed to Brexit, not should you be insulted.

      But neither should you write in demanding the imprisonment of people you don’t agree with, the confiscation of their property, the removal of their right to vote, the removal of healthcare and pensions from old people etc.

    • beresford
      Posted August 27, 2020 at 8:57 am | Permalink

      I don’t recall anyone here calling you a traitor, Andy. It is an interesting point though that those who moan about how wonderful it is in the EU and how they are losing their ‘freedom of movement’ don’t exercise that freedom and go and live in the EU. It’s almost as if they are frightened of finding that they made a big mistake. The only things that have gone wrong with the Brexit that both Labour and Tory voters demanded so far is the damaging delay caused by Remainers in the Rotten Parliament, and the refusal to ‘cut bait’ with these so-called negotiations and walk away.

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted August 27, 2020 at 9:21 am | Permalink

      How can you take offence at advice which will make you happy? Question is will your beloved EU have you? Can you speak another European language? You never answer any of these questions and simply use your ‘love for the EU’ to belittle Britain.
      I probably prefer my house to yours, after all I chose and bought it, but as a visitor I would not point out all the points which I hate about your house. I would simply go home.
      You should go home to the EU.

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted August 27, 2020 at 6:52 pm | Permalink

        This country is his home, where his children are at school, with their friends and relations, along with his own.

        Your post is bluntly and heavy-handedly offensive, as you intend it to be, I think.

        • Lynn Atkinson
          Posted August 27, 2020 at 8:32 pm | Permalink

          He hates this place, as do you, you wish your family spoke a different language. Why do you stay? Go to where you want to be so that you are at peace.

          • Martin in Cardiff
            Posted August 28, 2020 at 6:57 am | Permalink

            There you go again, making pronouncements as if fact, on matters about which you know literally zero.

          • NickC
            Posted August 28, 2020 at 1:15 pm | Permalink

            Martin, We don’t literally know zero. You (and Andy etc) keep telling us – that’s how we know.

        • NickC
          Posted August 28, 2020 at 1:30 pm | Permalink

          Martin, Why do you think only Andy should get his way in deciding which country he lives in – shouldn’t the natives of those other countries get a say? Or don’t they matter?

    • Christine
      Posted August 27, 2020 at 9:58 am | Permalink

      You only ever display personal abuse so what do you expect? You attack the elderly in the majority of your posts. Many of these people have worked a lifetime and you and your generation have reaped the benefit. You should show more respect for your elders, I certainly do.

    • glen cullen
      Posted August 27, 2020 at 11:00 am | Permalink

      I so want to agree and support your position however the opposition (those that lost the vote) should realise and fully admit they lost and allow the winners to implement the wishes of the voting majority….and the same is true if positions reversed

      Five years to implement the will of the people. Thats not just an historic political disgrace its an epic monumental disgrace which the opposition still doesn’t apologise for….It also believe this government should apologise for the whole brexit farce of their making

    • Fedupsoutherner
      Posted August 27, 2020 at 11:47 am | Permalink

      Andy, personal abuse? That’s rich coming from you.

      • Andy
        Posted August 27, 2020 at 1:06 pm | Permalink

        Who have I personally abused? Precisely none of you – despite the fact that many of you abuse me quite regularly,

        I object to the system which favours the elderly – and believe pensioner perks need scrapping. I do not hate individual old people. I hate the system which massively favours old people at the expense of everyone else.

        You can disagree – and most of you do – but few of you attack the message and most of you attack the messenger. Many of you have grown up knowing that most of our country’s problems are caused by other groups of people. It is a shock to you all that any of us recognise that the group of a which you are mostly a part is mostly to blame.

        Anyway, did you notice that how – despite the fact that you all think I am ‘Woke’ – I don’t actually take offence. And many of you do? Ironic.

        • Edward2
          Posted August 27, 2020 at 2:58 pm | Permalink

          No it is much worse than personal abuse.
          You Andy abuse all old people.
          Every single one.
          It is irrational discrimination of a particular group.
          Once you say “all”

        • Lynn Atkinson
          Posted August 27, 2020 at 3:26 pm | Permalink

          You abuse us collectively every day. For being British and living it, for working a lifetime and receiving the pension for which we paid.
          You have no objection to billions being spent in people who are not and never will either be British or contribute to the NHS and pension fund.
          I left my family to come home. Right decision. I’m advising you to go to where you are happy, in your case you assure us it’s your ‘beloved EU’.

        • NickC
          Posted August 27, 2020 at 4:08 pm | Permalink

          Andy, Your inversion of the truth is quite simply incredible. You have spent almost all your time here attacking this country, attacking Leave voters, and attacking the elderly. You usually provide neither evidence nor rationality, only sneers and epithets.

          You have relished the Remain hatred of Leave voters; that we only voted Leave because we are: thick, xenophobic, uneducated, conned, fascist, little-englanders, racist, extremists, stupid, etc. You’ve used or agreed with all these bigoted descriptions of us. So don’t be surprised if we return the compliment after years of such hostility.

          And this started on 24th June 2016. Remains started it. You started it. Do you Remains think we were going to find such language persuasive? It’s as daft as the EU threatening us with stealing our fish, and gloating they have made the UK into the EU’s “colony”, and then expecting us to regard the EU as friendly or reasonable.

        • Fedupsoutherner
          Posted August 27, 2020 at 4:47 pm | Permalink

          You verbally abuse all elderly on a regular basis. Your comments are often of a personal nature. You know you are doing it and that makes it worse. You wouldn’t be enjoying the society or life you have now without the elderly most of whom have experienced harder times than you ever will.

        • steve
          Posted August 27, 2020 at 5:52 pm | Permalink


          “Who have I personally abused?”

          Erm….anyone in retirement who voted conservative. You do it frequently, from the anonymity of your comp, of course.

        • a-tracy
          Posted August 28, 2020 at 11:51 am | Permalink

          you called JR “gutless” on 3/09 at 19:30 when you thought he wouldn’t put one of your posts through moderation, he did!
          You refer regularly to leavers as “ranting leave bigots” see Feb 26th 14:26, you frequently offend using age discrimination as your weapon to wind people up.
          Perhaps you should keep a log of our outpourings.

    • steve
      Posted August 27, 2020 at 5:56 pm | Permalink


      “I’ve completely lost track of the number of times I am told I am a traitor”

      No ! that’s awful, that is. 🙂

  12. Raul
    Posted August 27, 2020 at 6:23 am | Permalink

    The far right are the first to complain when slavers’ statues are thrown into the dock. “Don’t erase our history” they shriek. And when it is suggested that such statues have plaques added to explain just how these “benefactors” came by their wealth, the far right are the first to complain – suddenly they are very keen to erase our history. It’s nice that Britons never never shall be slaves, not so nice that Britons spent over 200 years making fortunes by enslaving black people.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted August 27, 2020 at 7:18 am | Permalink

      You nail the very heart of it – thank you.

      • Anonymous
        Posted August 27, 2020 at 8:14 am | Permalink

        But it’s not stopping at statues is it !

        You lost every single vote so now you’re subverting democracy and using a pandemic to do it.

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted August 27, 2020 at 6:57 pm | Permalink

          If you are referring to the silly fuss over the covid19 impact on Last Night Of The Proms, then you have been taken in by a complete non-story.

          The BBC said ages ago, that assuming that the restrictions are lifted by then, next year will be the traditional programme.

          Face it – you’re addicted to anger, and will grasp any excuse to get worked up, however immaterial.

          • Edward2
            Posted August 27, 2020 at 7:51 pm | Permalink

            You believe everything the BBC and the Guardian tells you.

          • Anonymous
            Posted August 27, 2020 at 9:50 pm | Permalink

            I have tried to respond to you on this and other comments.

            Speak to your mate Andy about being addicted to anger.

            He gets up at dawn on a Sunday to vent it.

      • NickC
        Posted August 27, 2020 at 4:12 pm | Permalink

        Martin, No, he doesn’t. He expresses an opinion, as do you. That’s all. That doesn’t give you, him, or the hard left BLM rioters the right to unilaterally dispose of statues or deface war memorials.

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted August 28, 2020 at 7:01 am | Permalink

          No it doesn’t and neither he nor I ever said it does.

          Both have said independently that the law should operate, as it has done, and charges for wilful damage have been brought.

          However, it is only proper for society to examine to whom it maintains honorific monuments and why.

          • Edward2
            Posted August 28, 2020 at 9:15 am | Permalink

            Is that what you call destruction of statues and property by the violent mob.
            They can’t get their way through the ballot box so they resort to bullying and thuggery to get their way.

    • Edward2
      Posted August 27, 2020 at 7:49 am | Permalink

      And Britain spent fortunes eradicating slavery.

      Slavery existed in Africa and the Middle East too.
      Fortunes were made there out of the trade.

      You need to go away and read about the bigger picture of slavery Raul

    • Arthur Wrightiss
      Posted August 27, 2020 at 7:57 am | Permalink

      11 million slaves traded from Africa into the Middle East never mentioned.
      The West Coast traders capturing, collecting , incarcerating ,selling and making a fortune from the slave trade were their own leaders, Chiefs, and Kings . Strangely never mentioned.
      Why not ?

    • Ian @Barkham
      Posted August 27, 2020 at 8:12 am | Permalink

      Amusing. How come the far right are actually those with far left views.

      The point you conveniently forgot is Britons bought their slaves from the ‘Black’ slave traders, who had been plying in the trade of enslaving their criminals and enemies for the 300 or 400 hundred years before a Briton set foot on their territory.

      I know 2 wrongs don’t make a right, but hiding one inconvenient truth doesn’t bolster the other.

    • Iain Moore
      Posted August 27, 2020 at 8:29 am | Permalink

      Enslaved Africans were of course first slave’s of Africans, from such tribes as the Ashanti, Oyo , Dahomey and others, who supplied slaves to slave traders like Coulston. If there is anything positive to say about Coulston at least he invested some of his ill gotten gains in the betterment of the generations to come after him, that can’t be said for the wealth the West African tribes got from the slave trade.

      As for the 200 years of making fortunes from slavery, the cost of stopping the slave trade far exceeded any wealth we got from it. Stationing a third of the Royal Navy off the coast of West Africa for 50 years does not come cheap

      The difference isn’t that we got involved in slavery, for slavery has been part of the human condition from the year dot. The South coast of England was predated by Barbary slavers for over 300 years , one and half million Europeans were taken as slaves by them. Then there has been the Arab slavers, something that has been going on for 1200 years, and still going on, the difference is that we, uniquely, sought to bring an end to it.

    • agricola
      Posted August 27, 2020 at 8:33 am | Permalink

      Statue destruction is for anachic mob criminals. History is history, remember it was the Royal Navy at the direction of the then British government that put an end to the practice where they could weild their power. It of course did not put an end to it. The African slave gatherers just found another market. It is even alive today in Arab counties. Note the anarchic left are not storming the Arab embassies, they find it easier to disintern slavery to beat democratic government about the head. The left are an amoral rabble born from a Quaker desire to improve the lot of the poor with dignity. How low have they sunk.

    • a-tracy
      Posted August 27, 2020 at 8:48 am | Permalink

      Please name the people that are the ‘far right’ who have complained about plaques added to explain how benefactors came by their wealth?

    • Caterpillar
      Posted August 27, 2020 at 8:48 am | Permalink


      I think there is an issue here in the Colston case. I thought the Bristol Mayor rejected the third plaque rewrite. Some thought the third rewrite was ‘sanitising’ in changing the slave trading origins of Colston’s wealth from “much” to “some”, and from his position in the Royal African Company from “high official” to “official”. I would suggest a problem was that the breakdown of Colston’s wealth is debated / unclear and he did not reach Governor or Sub-Governor (which some interpret as high official) but Deputy Governor (for only two or three years of his 12 year shareholding indicated in the words). To this end although the third plaque suggested text appeared (was) a softening compared the the second, it may have been more representative (and hence give the ‘right wingers’ less room to criticise) and still clearly showed the relationship to the slave trade. Nonetheless, I believe it was the third plaque wording that the Mayor of Bristol rejected (please correct me if I am wrong).

      I think the Colston case is an example where extreme positions on two sides each want extreme wording. One group only wanting the ‘good’ the other group only wanting the evil. I think Bristol missed an opportunity to lead the middle way when refusing the third rewrite and removing the statue (still, people on both sides would disagree with this view).

      [The rejected third plaque wording suggestion was

      Edward Colston (1636-1721) was a Bristol-born merchant and the city’s greatest benefactor. He supported and endowed schools, almshouses, hospitals and churches in Bristol, London and elsewhere. Many of his charitable foundations survive. This statue was erected in 1895 to commemorate his philanthropy.

      Some of his wealth came from investments in slave trading, sugar and other slave-produced commodities. From 1680 to 1692 he was an official of the Royal African Company, which had the monopoly of the English slave trade until 1698.

      Thus, he was involved in the transportation of approximately 84,000 African men, women and children, who had been traded as slaves in West Africa, of whom 19,000 died on voyages to the Caribbean and the Americas. ]

    • beresford
      Posted August 27, 2020 at 9:05 am | Permalink

      It was the black kings of Africa who enslaved their own people. Africa is the continent of slavery, African pirates came to the south coast of Britain and took our people as slaves, and an MP was despatched with a sum of money to try to ransom them. Those slaves who were bought by companies run by the likes of Edward Colston were the lucky ones, the ones sold to the Arabs were castrated and have no descendants to complain on their behalf. As for the plaques, there was a perfectly sensible one lined up for the Colston statue but it was blocked by quibbling by Bristol’s mayor and the iconoclasts got there first.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted August 27, 2020 at 9:54 am | Permalink

      They also complain that plaques, explaining how the people sculpted in statues made their money – that is, more history – are also somehow “erasing our history” too.

      It’s all a bit obvious really.

      • NickC
        Posted August 28, 2020 at 2:04 pm | Permalink

        Martin, No, we think that violent mobs have no right to remove or deface statues or war memorials. You on the other hand find that BLM mob action is “exhilarating”.

    • dixie
      Posted August 27, 2020 at 10:51 am | Permalink

      Apparently, the people of Bristol were asked if they wanted the statue removed and said no. The thugs decided to ignore democracy and proceeded to vandalise and tear down the statue depositing it in the creek.

      What were other people doing in those 200 years? Have you discussed these issues with the descendants and benefactors of the African chiefs and Arab slavers who were the key links in the process. Don’t forget to visit and berate the new Ottoman empire who happily enslaved white Europeans at the same time. Don’t stop there, there must have been slavery before then, surely.

      And you accuse all Britons so why no consideration for the abolitionist movement, of Britons, and all those Btitish tax payers who have been paying off the cost of manumission and a significant anti-slaver naval fleet up to the end of 2014.

      • NickC
        Posted August 28, 2020 at 2:06 pm | Permalink

        Dixie, Well said, though I doubt Martin will take any notice of such good sense.

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted August 28, 2020 at 3:08 pm | Permalink

        Vandals maybe, but not thugs. They attacked property, not people.

        • dixie
          Posted August 30, 2020 at 6:35 am | Permalink

          @mic – then you missed their point entirely

  13. Ian @Barkham
    Posted August 27, 2020 at 6:30 am | Permalink

    Good morning Sir John, catching the mood of the silent majority once more.

    The only issue with your thoughts, ‘is that we live in a democracy’. It cant be a democracy when power can be dominated by a few. The fault is BIG Government trying to be popular with the nosy cancel culture. In a Democracy our Government would reflect the majority, that means defending our Society against those that wish to tear it down.

    That is not to say Government should ignore those with opposing views, some times they can have a point. But being manipulated daily and bending to those that hate what is possible, dislike and want to destroy, is a Government in serious trouble.

    • Fedupsoutherner
      Posted August 27, 2020 at 7:02 am | Permalink


    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted August 27, 2020 at 7:22 am | Permalink

      Catching the mood of a few hundred fixated right wing commenters more like.

      • agricola
        Posted August 27, 2020 at 8:16 am | Permalink

        I think you prove Ian’s point.

      • Anonymous
        Posted August 27, 2020 at 8:21 am | Permalink


        You lost the votes and the court cases ?

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted August 27, 2020 at 9:24 am | Permalink

        We keep winning a majority though don’t we?

      • MickN
        Posted August 27, 2020 at 11:09 am | Permalink

        Why don’t you and Andy just get a room?

      • NickC
        Posted August 27, 2020 at 4:35 pm | Permalink

        Well, Martin, better than catching the mood of only a handful of fixated left wing commenters.

    • Fred H
      Posted August 27, 2020 at 7:57 am | Permalink

      we have a rather funny sort of democracy. However, most people seem content with what they had, and make little protest at the sliding away of freedom of choice.

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted August 27, 2020 at 3:28 pm | Permalink

        Where do you live? Everyone is hopping where I am!

        • Fred H
          Posted August 27, 2020 at 5:31 pm | Permalink

          No letters to newspapers, nor Local rags. No Protest marches, I doubt more than a handful of letters to each MP?
          So where and how do you see ‘hopping’ bringing to the notice of MPs and Media?
          We might whinge on here – but arresting the slide will take more than that!

          • Lynn Atkinson
            Posted August 27, 2020 at 8:37 pm | Permalink

            Ah! Well you don’t need to write to the papers or to your MP. He is busting a gut already. But those of us not so well represented are hopping mad.

    • Anonymous
      Posted August 27, 2020 at 8:17 am | Permalink


  14. Sakara Gold
    Posted August 27, 2020 at 6:33 am | Permalink

    Like the profession of Quality Manager for a major construction company, you need a thick skin to be a politician. My view is that you must be effective at what you do to attract such opprobrium

    In the immortal words of Ovid “non sit nothi tere vos usque” – don’t let the bas***ds grind you down

    • Peter
      Posted August 27, 2020 at 7:22 am | Permalink

      ‘Noli illegitimi carborundum’ is the usual cod Latin for ‘don’t let the b******* grind you down’.

      • Fred H
        Posted August 27, 2020 at 7:58 am | Permalink

        or even ‘whatever’.

  15. Bryan Harris
    Posted August 27, 2020 at 7:00 am | Permalink

    It is true that moving through the events of our history made us what we are today, every positive attitude — except for one thing…. The left.

    The left grew out of liberalism, an effort to improve the lot of the working man, which started as a good thing, but due to the inherent hatred the left had of the rational institutions – those things that made us a great country, the left have perverted their own morals to retain that hatred. The left are now the traitors from within.

    Now the left is bent on total destruction of society to achieve that holy grail of equality. By that they require total commonality, everything and everyone has to be the same, no choice except what is imposed by the left elite who will live like kings, while the rest take what remains.

    If the left had any common sense they would know that true equality is earned, not imposed — unfortunately they do not

    • agricola
      Posted August 27, 2020 at 8:13 am | Permalink

      Very true.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted August 27, 2020 at 7:02 pm | Permalink

      Note to fair-minded types:

      I think that Bryan actually believes what he has written.

      • Bryan Harris
        Posted August 27, 2020 at 8:20 pm | Permalink

        True —- It’s impossible to see it any other way, if we are being honest

        • Edward2
          Posted August 27, 2020 at 11:05 pm | Permalink

          Well said Bryan
          In both posts.

          • bill brown
            Posted August 28, 2020 at 6:42 am | Permalink

            Edward 2

            this is amazing considering you are not even able to define a socialist or a communist.

          • Edward2
            Posted August 28, 2020 at 9:17 am | Permalink

            They are all on the same road in my opinion.
            You start with socialism and end up eating your pets to survive.
            And dont say Sweden.

          • Bryan Harris
            Posted August 28, 2020 at 9:46 am | Permalink

            Now there’s a challenge – an easy one.
            That could keep this diary busy for many days putting words to fit a forged concept.

            It’s manly about gradients — On the far left are communists… socialists are a little to their right..

            Even within both of these concepts you have degrees of extremism — Extreme communists are total psychopaths, for example.

            Socialism incorporates severe neuroticism to the those very badly educated and indoctrinated beyond their ability to understand reality.

            The mindset of the socialist leans towards the inability to differentiate — In other words they see things as somehow equal to everything else … They lack the ability to fully understand reality or spot the truth in something.

            As mentioned it’s all about gradations, and most socialists can be quite rational at times but still seem to prefer dogma to reality.

  16. M Brandreth- Jones
    Posted August 27, 2020 at 7:04 am | Permalink

    Great piece John arguing sensibly for an awareness of wrongs yet not the destruction of historical evidence which is there to create a contrast and a signpost to a changing future.

    Life is mutable; tastes and cultures now are many varied and there are far more offending and current displays of inhumanity around the globe than we will ever allow and we musn’t let certain groups dictate an uneven progress in any one way except that which is beneficial to all,

  17. Tabulazero
    Posted August 27, 2020 at 7:09 am | Permalink

    “I do not like to see the same style adopted by people who I might otherwise wish to agree with.”

    Wait. Does this mean that you do not read the tabloid press ?

    I would assume you do just to be kept abreast of the mood of the country

  18. Sharon Jagger
    Posted August 27, 2020 at 7:20 am | Permalink

    Again, I agree with all you say, Mr Redwood.

    The trouble is, these lefties don’t care about any of our history at all. On the whole we are still a great nation, with the potential to do great things in the future. The globalists don’t want that, they want to destroy all of it along with our confidence and self worth, so we will comply with their ideologies.

    Most people are at peace with our past and are proud to be British. Unfortunately, due to a lot of indoctrination through the universities over recent decades, there are a lot of these ex-students in places of authority serving as ‘ useful idiots’ to the cause.

    The left, who rarely are voted in, seem to yield an enormous amount of influence over our country. This is why Boris got such a huge majority last election, the vast majority of people had confidence in the Conservatives, not the LiDems, not Labour…and this is why people are surprised and yes, disappointed that the Tories haven’t been more assertive.

    • agricola
      Posted August 27, 2020 at 8:10 am | Permalink

      True, the left when voted in without exception bankcrupt the nation leaving the disadvantaged even more so. The Torys are left of centre, only right of centre in rhetoric. They have one chance as of 1st January 2021 to prove me wrong when they are free of EU constraint. If I see an explosion of reform I will acknowledge my lapse of judgment. They could begin with the deportation of 9400 convicted foreign criminals who the legal profession hang onto for financial gain, and the left would hang onto like Rupert Bear.

      • glen cullen
        Posted August 27, 2020 at 3:16 pm | Permalink


    • Christine
      Posted August 27, 2020 at 10:03 am | Permalink

      Well said Sharon.

    • Fedupsoutherner
      Posted August 27, 2020 at 11:50 am | Permalink

      Agree. Surely it is obvious that tge vast majority want this party to stop pandering to the minority woke and start acting like proud British Conservatives. Come on Boris. Show some metal.

      • Fred H
        Posted August 27, 2020 at 12:38 pm | Permalink

        the only thing he’s working hard at is losing the belly.

        • Lynn Atkinson
          Posted August 27, 2020 at 3:29 pm | Permalink

          And failing there too …

    • glen cullen
      Posted August 27, 2020 at 2:04 pm | Permalink

      I agree in principal of your comments however be careful using the word ‘lefties’ unless you’re referring to ultra left wing politicians and not the traditional labour voter who in general are very patriotic and condemn the change of history and our culture

    • Ian @Barkham
      Posted August 27, 2020 at 5:06 pm | Permalink

      First you have to destroy society to build it in your own image. The never ending mantra from the left.

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted August 28, 2020 at 6:26 am | Permalink

        They think they are God. Everything is a disappointment to them. The world is not good enough for them. That’s the Left!

  19. Alan Jutson
    Posted August 27, 2020 at 7:27 am | Permalink

    In a nutshell

    Much easier to shout and criticise others, than do a good deed for others yourself
    Much easier to destroy the past, than it is to build for the future.
    Much easier to complain about your lot, than work hard to move forward.

    Many many more examples.

    In short protesting is easy, that’s why a growing number seem to want to do it.

  20. Adam
    Posted August 27, 2020 at 7:38 am | Permalink

    There is goodness in everyone, yet badness in some attempts to change our history to be nearer to their lower standards. People should raise the quality of their behaviour.

    Achieving merit above equal is open to everyone in several ways. Attempting to reach equal by lowering the foundations of Britain’s summit below that point raises nothing worthy.

  21. Iain Moore
    Posted August 27, 2020 at 7:39 am | Permalink

    Being polite and respectful did not benefit Sir Rodger Scruton , the Conservative Government was more than happy to throw him to the wolves. The rabid left and hyperbolic media have seen that being aggressive and insulting works, for there is no spine to be found in the Tory party.

    In all the BLM stuff not once did anyone from the Government try to defend our history, culture or values, no we were all supposed to get on bended knee. The British establishment might be fine with their long retreat on everything , but I am not, being confrontational works for the Marxists, so if that means rolling up my sleeves and getting down in the gutter to fight my corner, then that is what I have to do, for one thing is certain I can’t look to the Conservative party to conserve anything.

    • Iago
      Posted August 27, 2020 at 3:27 pm | Permalink

      Well said. They betray us each day.

    • NickC
      Posted August 27, 2020 at 4:21 pm | Permalink

      Iain Moore, It was noteworthy that until the hard right thugs showed up, the police and government bent their knees and allowed the hard left BLM thugs to literally run riot.

      • Iain Moore
        Posted August 27, 2020 at 7:58 pm | Permalink

        From what I saw the police immediately marched to confront the veterans, far right, statue defenders, call them what you will, in full riot gear. There was no softly softly as we saw with the BLM protests. It was about as clear an invite to the hotheads in the demo that the police were up and ready for a scrap. As it was they must have been disappointed that all their efforts resulted in very little agro, which is probably why the drunk fool who got caught short become the fall guy, for they had to come away with a scalp.

        • a-tracy
          Posted August 28, 2020 at 3:11 pm | Permalink

          I will be watching carefully to see whether the BLM protestor who was trying to set fire to our flag after climbing up on the cenotaph gets a similar sentence to the chap given a prison sentence for weeing next to the police memorial stone.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted August 27, 2020 at 7:04 pm | Permalink

      Didn’t Mr. Scruton let himself down rather?

      • Edward2
        Posted August 27, 2020 at 7:52 pm | Permalink


      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted August 27, 2020 at 8:38 pm | Permalink


      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted August 28, 2020 at 7:03 am | Permalink

        Oh, his wiki page suggests that he did.

        • Edward2
          Posted August 28, 2020 at 9:19 am | Permalink

          Hilarious, that is where you get you nonsense from.

          • Martin in Cardiff
            Posted August 28, 2020 at 12:30 pm | Permalink

            Well, I rate it a tad higher than the Daily Express or endless right wing conspiracy theory websites, yes.

          • Edward2
            Posted August 28, 2020 at 3:02 pm | Permalink

            Only just though.

            You read the Guardian so you are on shaky ground.

          • Martin in Cardiff
            Posted August 28, 2020 at 7:59 pm | Permalink

            I try to cross check important facts whether I read them in the Guardian or anywhere else.

        • a-tracy
          Posted August 28, 2020 at 3:32 pm | Permalink

          Martin, which part of the wiki entry do you consider that ‘he let himself down’?

          Was this 75-year-old man not entitled to his own views?

    • Peter
      Posted August 27, 2020 at 8:06 pm | Permalink

      ‘for one thing is certain I can’t look to the Conservative party to conserve anything.’

      The unstated assumption seems to be that the status quo is worth preserving. Unfortunately, too much that was sound has already been abandoned. Fashionable nostrums have been adopted instead.

      Something radical is needed.

      America offers paleoconservativism.

      Britain did have populist parties that forced the Brexit referendum. Maybe it is time for the populist parties to regroup ? The Conservative Party is just reactive these days. I am not sure any core beliefs remain.

    • beresford
      Posted August 27, 2020 at 9:24 pm | Permalink

      Apparently the Football Association have confirmed that before this weekend’s Community Shield games all players will kneel in support of BLM. What started in America as one man’s protest against the American National Anthem has become as mandatory for all as the fascist salute in dictatorships. Of course they can only get away with this because the stands are empty and there are no ordinary people to prick their bubble of pomposity.

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted August 28, 2020 at 6:28 am | Permalink

        Supporters need to bring the FA to its knees.

  22. Know-Dice
    Posted August 27, 2020 at 7:56 am | Permalink

    And again off topic from me…

    So, those that are already receiving state benefits will get £13 per day if they have to self isolate. Does this include those that are on benefits but unlike many of us actually went away on holiday?

    What about the self employed and those on Zero Hours Contracts?

    Once again it’s benefits on benefits….

    • a-tracy
      Posted August 28, 2020 at 3:35 pm | Permalink

      So the people who have worked throughout on around £20k pa, not taken 1p furlough, not been off sick at all get just SSP if they are told to isolate for 14 days because they have always supported themselves and their families.

      • anon
        Posted August 29, 2020 at 8:11 pm | Permalink

        This is why UBI is better.

        • a-tracy
          Posted August 30, 2020 at 10:28 am | Permalink

          UBI – what stops people just choosing for themselves just to take an extra two weeks holiday with UBI? Just what encourages anyone to go out into minimum wage work if you get an equivalent amount for doing nothing.

          I know people claiming UBI for the first time that have worked out they’re better off not working and paying for childcare.

  23. Anthony
    Posted August 27, 2020 at 8:02 am | Permalink

    A nice blog as ever. I’d like to endorse in particular the last paragraph.

  24. ChrisS
    Posted August 27, 2020 at 8:13 am | Permalink

    The vast majority of those protesting against symbols of our history have their own agenda which has nothing to do with that issue.

    They are left-wing agitators who are bent on driving us towards a socialist future which everybody else knows, has never worked in any country in which it has been tried.

    The problem is that the moderate lefties are not man enough to stand up to them and so get swept along with the tide. This is potentially dangerous, however, the usual checks and balances within the UK have been working and the latest attempts by the crypto-communists to take over the Labour Party failed, their offering having been rejected by a sensible majority of the electorate twice in successive elections.

    As a result, Corbyn is back on his allotment, where he should be, although his puppetmaster, John McDonald and Momentum could still be a longer term threat should Starmer fail to make progress.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted August 27, 2020 at 7:06 pm | Permalink

      Of the half-a-million or so Labour Party members, only around thirty thousand are in Momentum – not that it’s a hard left movement anyway by historical standards. It’s pro-European Union for one thing.

      • Edward2
        Posted August 27, 2020 at 7:53 pm | Permalink

        So thirty thousand very left wing radicals isnt a serious movement.

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted August 28, 2020 at 1:29 pm | Permalink

          Who said that they were frivolous, Ed?

          • Edward2
            Posted August 28, 2020 at 3:04 pm | Permalink

            No one.
            Not me and not you.
            Bit of a mystery for you Martin

      • ChrisS
        Posted August 27, 2020 at 11:18 pm | Permalink

        As usual, Martin, your own left wing agenda is on display here.

        Momentum may be “only” 30,000 strong, but like all communist-inspired groups, it is well organised by really committed Marxists and has been able to influence events in the Labour Party far beyond its strength in numbers.

        Remember, McDonnell himself admitted to being a Marxist before the last election and he would have been Chancellor in a Corbyn administration.

        Many, including myself, believe that, had Labour won either of the last elections, McDonnell would have followed true Marxist doctrine and quickly ousted the hapless Corbyn and taken over as Prime Minister.

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted August 28, 2020 at 8:01 pm | Permalink

          It’s not my fault that Labour have about four times the membership of the Tories, Chris.

          • Edward2
            Posted August 29, 2020 at 8:18 am | Permalink

            And their worst election result since 1935.

  25. villaking
    Posted August 27, 2020 at 8:18 am | Permalink

    Sir John,
    Whilst I agree with the main point you are making in this thoughtful article, it is a pity your last paragraph then implies that gross discourtesy and personal abuse only comes from your opponents on the left. I assume you must read contributions to this site and will have seen the echoes of the Daily Mail here (the accusation of treachery has already been made in the contributions today)

    • a-tracy
      Posted August 28, 2020 at 3:42 pm | Permalink

      villaking, I don’t use the word treachery I looked it up to be clear on my understanding ‘treachery means a betrayal of trust’ so what is discourteous or personally abusive about using that word?

  26. BJC
    Posted August 27, 2020 at 8:47 am | Permalink

    It’s clear we’ve lost our confidence and for too long acted as though we’re desperate to be best mates with the bullies in the global playground; EU, UN, global corporates, etc. We now have a unique opportunity to decide what sort of nation we want to be and to set our course for it. First and foremost, we need a destination (is this not why the SNP are so successful?) for UK plc and a sharp focus on the varying means by which we’ll get there. Giving us a vision to concentrate our energies on will neutralise those on the left whose strength relies on always look backwards…..and please, get rid of the risk-averse “They” who are dulling our PM. A few failures are a necessary “evil” to recognise success.

  27. Everhopeful
    Posted August 27, 2020 at 8:59 am | Permalink

    “Who controls the past controls the future. Who controls the present controls the past.” Orwell’s “1984“ ( Which we are hurtling towards with the help of all politicians).
    The Left understands this concept.
    They use it all the time. Convince people that the past was wholly bad and offer them a “better” future… as dictated by the Left.
    Break everything down. Remove identity. Build Back Better.
    It is how they have got all in Westminster running around like anxious nannies, wringing their hands in terror. Might get called a nasty name!
    The past is OVER. It is merely our history, something open to FREE interpretation, something to study for enjoyment. Not something to rule our present.
    And some brave soul needs to point that out to the Left VERY LOUDLY.
    Of course no one in power will.
    They are too “frit”.
    So we will descend into a Marxist Hell.

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted August 28, 2020 at 6:30 am | Permalink

      Failing though. All they are doing is proving that the warnings are not ‘conspiracy’ but ‘reality’.
      Cheer up things are getting worse – they need to get bad before the British people stir themselves. Once they do, the game is up.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted August 28, 2020 at 8:04 pm | Permalink

      There must only be a few hundred actual marxists in the country these days.

      That they can strike such evident fear into the hearts of all these timorous right-wingers is some achievement, it has to be said.

  28. Caterpillar
    Posted August 27, 2020 at 9:00 am | Permalink

    (Nice piece Sir John)

    As I implied yesterday in my rant about law and order (and the New York example), removing parts of a system gradually weakens its integrity.

    The Jenga effect is real and that is what is happening to the U.K.

  29. a-tracy
    Posted August 27, 2020 at 9:09 am | Permalink

    John, as you are someone who studied modern history as your choice of degree I suspect you have a keen interest in the past. My history lessons at school were poor, my children studied history which gave me a burst of information but they were taught the usual Tudors and on to The American West and Modern Medicine and World War history not anything about Africa and the old empire.

    The messages about our past are constantly negative this past year. We are taught positive messages about the Romans for example: they gave us new towns, plants, animals, a new religion and ways of reading and counting. Even the word ‘Britain’ came from the Romans. When the Romans arrived in AD43 apart from sanitation, medicine, education, wine, law, public order, irrigation, roads, a fresh water system, public health… BBC and on it goes.

    So what did the UK do for Africa? Why do we only hear the negative, in areas of Africa where the UK had no part in how do they fare? Egypt was built with slaves do people suggest tearing down pyramids? I’m frankly just fed up of all these one-side presented views.

    • Fred H
      Posted August 27, 2020 at 12:36 pm | Permalink

      Steadily we allow very minority ‘chip on the shoulder’ opinion to become the majority so we MUST bow down and apologise for what was done, said, made money out of, often 2 centuries or more ago.

    • Everhopeful
      Posted August 27, 2020 at 1:35 pm | Permalink

      It is very strange how the BBC can discern no wrong in the Roman Empire but sees it as a model of multiculturalism. Yet our empire was all evil apparently.
      I believe that one particular group did threaten to tear down the pyramids..after destroying countless and priceless artefacts!

      • glen cullen
        Posted August 27, 2020 at 7:50 pm | Permalink


    • Otto
      Posted August 27, 2020 at 3:12 pm | Permalink

      I have been hearing for the past 10 years or so from people who have studied it that the pyramids were not built by slaves.

  30. kenneth
    Posted August 27, 2020 at 9:12 am | Permalink

    I have no doubt that in 200 years many people will be saying “how could we have allowed this to happen way back in 2020”.

    Yes, we are probably doing things now that many will see as heinous acts in years to come.

    What could they be?

    Perhaps, incarcerating our elderly into prison “care homes”?
    Perhaps holding our children in open prison for 6 hours every day (school)?
    Perhaps not allowing adolescents to work, leaving them idle and feeling worthless?
    Perhaps riding on the backs of horses and assuming they somehow enjoy it?
    Perhaps keeping animals as prisoners in jails (zoos) or homes (pets)?
    Perhaps displaying semi naked women on posters in the street and on buses?
    Perhaps allowing state run organisation to eat up our resources?
    Perhaps allowing the unelected to have so much say in our democracy?
    Perhaps allowing the neo Marxist to infiltrate our institutions (quangos/charities/BBC/civil service etc/legal profession, education, police etc)
    Perhaps pushing neo Marxist propaganda and forcing people to pay for it (BBC)?
    Perhaps promoting mass movements of people around the world, thus unbalancing societies?
    Perhaps promoting the atomisation of families through emigration causing loneliness?
    Perhaps allowing continental Europe to once again be taken over undemocratic forces (EU)?

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted August 27, 2020 at 3:32 pm | Permalink


  31. Andy
    Posted August 27, 2020 at 9:26 am | Permalink

    I don’t think we’ve come to terms with our history at all.

    Countries which have come to terms with their history are prepared to acknowledge the bad as well as celebrate the good – and we’re not.

    I don’t think anyone wants to diminish the good things Britain has done.

    When we talk about WW2, for example, we should be rightly proud of the country’s achievements.

    But with the benefit of hindsight we can see that, the bombing of Dresden for example, was arguably a war crime.

    Churchill was, in many respects, a great man. But he was also a (man of questionable views ed) If we really had come to terms with our history nobody would have qualms about saying so.

    It seems to me that there are a bunch of people on the Faragist / Brexiteer right who are stuck in a Dad’s Army / Dambusters world where Britain could do no wrong.

    And a bunch of people on the Corbynite left are stuck in a world where Britain can do no right.

    You have only properly come to terms with our history if you accept Britain has done both right and wrong and, more importantly, if you’re prepared to properly discuss it without accusing everyone else of treachery or bad faith.

    The faux outrage from the left and right over Rule Britannia – a song nobody knows all the words to – is really quite pathetic. But such is the state of the childish country we have become.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted August 28, 2020 at 1:32 pm | Permalink

      The British of certain generations were not allowed to know their history on the points that really matter, particularly over title to land.

      If they were, then we would not have had a Tory government from the point that they were educated in that regard.

      • Edward2
        Posted August 28, 2020 at 3:07 pm | Permalink

        Everyone can buy freehold land and own property.
        It is the right of citizens in a free democratic nation built on the rule of law.
        Have a look on line.
        Lots of freehold property and land for sale.

        • anon
          Posted August 29, 2020 at 8:19 pm | Permalink

          Show me the first deed of sale and ask whence it came?

    • NickC
      Posted August 28, 2020 at 2:25 pm | Permalink

      Andy, You haven’t managed to find anything good to say about Brexit Britain, or the elderly – you abuse the majority, threaten us with retribution or prison, appear to believe your own predictions are fact, make absurd statements about 17.4m angry Tory pensioners, on and on, repeatedly.

      You display a hard left view of this country’s history, ranting about xenophobia and little Englanders, and then have the cheek to claim that those whom you abuse should “properly discuss” our history. You don’t get to adjudicate how, or what, we discuss.

      We know what you are, Andy. Because you’ve told us. Often. And I don’t think you will change your spots – even if you apologised I wouldn’t believe it.

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted August 29, 2020 at 8:02 pm | Permalink

        Very fair assessment. Andy is hoist by his own petard. Sad thing is that he thinks he ‘wins’ arguments. Pitiful.

  32. MikeP
    Posted August 27, 2020 at 9:30 am | Permalink

    Off topic Sir John but I hope you’re as delighted as I am that Highways England have decided to revert to the previous (and usual) design for most motorway exits at the A329(M) /M4 West junction, so that drivers may continue towards Reading, past the exit slip road, from the inside lane. Unsurprisingly there have been numerous crashes and near-misses with the current design that only benefits the makers of white hatched paint markings.

    Reply I pushed hard for change at this junction

    • Fred H
      Posted August 27, 2020 at 12:34 pm | Permalink

      Any driver who uses that junction would have said at the proposal stage – NO!

      • Ian @Barkham
        Posted August 27, 2020 at 5:11 pm | Permalink

        Nearly as Good as the ‘Smart Motorway’, then you add in hands free cars. A new version of population control.

        You will ride a bike – I will force you. Control freakery by a caring sharing Tory Government.

  33. BOF
    Posted August 27, 2020 at 9:42 am | Permalink

    Excellent column today Sir John. What a shame today’s dwarves, rather than seek out yesterday’s giants, cower instead behind other dwarves.

    ‘Others will dwell on those that made money out of the slave trade and rightly condemn that source of wealth.’
    I have a slightly different view on this and I think those people should understand that values and sentiments at that time were entirely different. Life was also much harder then, without the cosseted luxury of today or the largesse of the welfare state. They also need to understand the role of the RN in bringing the slave trade to an end.

  34. percy openshaw
    Posted August 27, 2020 at 9:50 am | Permalink

    Two things came to mind whilst I was reading your excellent comment, Sir John. First, that airbrushing the past is indeed a totalitarian habit and reaches absurd proportions very easily; consider, for instance, the figures of Russian Communists made to disappear from group photographs when Stalin turned against them. Second, that sensible people in normal societies will recognise that history is – at best – a patchy tale of progress, full of dead ends, deviations, retrocessions and arguments about the route. Recording, recognising and celebrating that history means we remain in touch with our humanity. As a man of Royalist temper and Catholic sympathies, I tend to regard Cromwell with hostility; but with time I have come to appreciate his capacity, his stature and his contribution to British power. In other words, accommodating the sinuous road of history allows us to broaden our minds. I hope, very sincerely, that this message gets through to the young, currently in hot and heated pursuit of an airless, narrow Utopia.

  35. Ian Wilson
    Posted August 27, 2020 at 10:07 am | Permalink

    If a statue commemorates someone whose actions, such as trading in slavery, were acceptable at the time but not now, why not just add a plaque to this effect?

    I wonder how those calling for statues regard John Newton. A tough sailor who mocked Christians until calling for God’s help in a storm, was captain of a slave ship until poacher turned gamekeeper and he became one of Wilberforce’s main supporters in abolishing the trade, later in life writing some of our best-loved hymns, including Amazing Grace the words of which summarise his life.

  36. Mark
    Posted August 27, 2020 at 10:19 am | Permalink

    There is another part of history: the destruction and fall of great civilisations. Gibbons wrote about the Roman empire that we might learn from their experience. The destruction was brought about through a combination of moral decline among the leadership including currency debasement and by invasion they were no longer able to resist. As we look around today, especially those of us who have travelled in parts of the world run by dictators and where “tribal” conflict and corruption is rife, and economies depressed, we see the signs of incipient destruction of our own civilisation.

    The end of 18th century enlightenment, and the replacement of science by a system of belief akin to witchcraft (I discovered one of our universities offers exactly that as a theme that students are supposed to embrace as part of its politics degree). An overthrow of culture and art – not an evolution as might be seen in our best museums and stately homes. Displacement of communities by other populations. The Frankfurt School agenda, designed to deconstruct society, with the madness of zero carbon now heaped on top.

    The sentiments in “Land of Hope and glory, mother of the free…wider still and wider shall thy bounds be set” were a key theme of the 20th century, and included the defeats of many tyrants, and the grant of independence to all the Commonwealth that wanted it: it reached its apogee with the fall of Soviet communism.

    And that after this is accomplished, and the brave new world begins
    When all men are paid for existing and no man must pay for his sins,
    As surely as Water will wet us, as surely as Fire will burn,
    The Gods of the Copybook Headings with terror and slaughter return!

  37. glen cullen
    Posted August 27, 2020 at 10:42 am | Permalink

    I do believe that our three traditional political parties have always been, just like our indigenous population, at peace with our past

    This new fad of attacking our past, apologising for historic behaviour, endorsing a culture of division and blame and rewriting the history books is due to governments since the Blair reign which put the views of the media and the lobbyist before that of the voting majority

    It’s a disgrace what this government has allowed to happen

    • The Prangwizard
      Posted August 27, 2020 at 2:57 pm | Permalink

      Appeasement is what Tories do best. They do it to protect themselves. The party must survive. Every value and principle can be sacrificed to ensure it does. Even the country its sovereignty and its defence.

  38. beresford
    Posted August 27, 2020 at 11:18 am | Permalink

    Apparently the British Museum has removed the bust of its founder on the grounds that his father-in-law was a slave owner, and intend to provide plaques for its exhibits linking them to ‘exploitative British colonialism’. The part played by black slavers will of course be nowhere to be seen. Isn’t it about time that Boris led a fightback against this selective and destructive woke narrative? He could start by ordering the BBC to commission a series on slavery by American academic Thomas Sowell, who has made a substantial study of the subject.

    • Ian @Barkham
      Posted August 27, 2020 at 5:12 pm | Permalink

      @beresford and you get to fund that ideology via your taxes.

  39. ukretired123
    Posted August 27, 2020 at 11:27 am | Permalink

    Communist Cuba still has its crumbling statues of its Spanish past dating back 200+years plus it’s American style mini Capitol buildings and numerous older churches as forms its unique character.
    It would not be Cuba without this which makes it a living history esp with the olds cars!

    Imagine how boring if every country looked the same!
    Cancel culture is a severe case of brainwashing, propaganda and pretending that we are all perfect like Aren’t we Goody 2 Shoes? When we are not. We cannot hide our past track record like expunging sins of our fathers of the EU Right to be forgotten. It is hypocrisy to do so.

    It’s like Plastic Surgery because we don’t like what we see in the mirror!
    Accept who we are and be true to yourself but don’t kid yourself – my late father’s wise advice.

    • ukretired123
      Posted August 27, 2020 at 11:33 am | Permalink

      Meant to say unnecessary purely ego based cosmetic surgery unlike war vets, disabled and accident victims etc.

  40. Norman
    Posted August 27, 2020 at 11:37 am | Permalink

    A brilliant and fascinating overview, Sir John.
    Context is vital, to understand the past, and we will not understand it fully even then, without divine revelation: which I believe is acknowledged in the beautiful murals in St Stephen’s Hall, House of Commons.
    The prophet Amos spoke of a time such as this, when there was a famine, not of bread, but of HEARING the word of God.

  41. formula57
    Posted August 27, 2020 at 12:23 pm | Permalink

    The key to being at peace with our past is to be at peace with our present, no?

  42. jerry
    Posted August 27, 2020 at 12:30 pm | Permalink

    Sorry Sir John but with respect I think your last paragraph is the hight of party political hypocrisy quite frankly, when living in a glasshouse it’s best not to start lobbing stones at your neighbours houses in case they start returning your own stones the way then arrived!

    Why is it OK for those on the right, for example, to call Mr Corbyn a “Marxist”, when he self-identifies as a Socialist, but it is not acceptable for those on the left to make the same ‘mistake’ when identifying the true politics of their opponents?

    Reply I did not call him that

    • NickC
      Posted August 27, 2020 at 5:08 pm | Permalink

      Jerry, Marx used the terms “socialism” and “communism” interchangeably in his writings. So calling Jeremy Corbyn a Marxist probably isn’t far off the mark (or Marx), but is I agree a bit too lenient. As for your plea in favour of self-identifying, the Nazis self identified as “National Socialists” – but you don’t like that either.

      • jerry
        Posted August 27, 2020 at 7:37 pm | Permalink

        @NickC; L”As for your plea in favour of self-identifying, the Nazis self identified as “National Socialists””

        You do love wheel that claptrap out and thus show off your total ignorance of 20 century history!

        “National Socialism” was a made up term to disguise otherwise far right politics, if Nazism was of the true left why ban the then existing left-wing trade unions, true Socialists (even Marxists and Communists) would have embraced and worked with them.

        • Edward2
          Posted August 27, 2020 at 11:06 pm | Permalink

          Do you argue against every post as a hobby?

          • jerry
            Posted August 28, 2020 at 6:40 am | Permalink

            @Edward2; What a silly comment Eddie, considering your own replies to me in this debate alone, I’m the one who should perhaps be asking you that question! You have needlessly replied to at least 12 comments alone in this debate, you have not initiated any original comment or thought about the questions our host asked, is picking arguments your hobby Eddie?

            I was replying to a factually incorrect assertion from NickC, funny that, you do not accuse him of the same ‘crime’, nor do you appear concerned when I reply to incorrect assertions made by europhiles, ho-hum…

            But thanks, your otherwise petty, pointless, comment actually goes to illustrate my point about the differences between the personality and party politics, I’m sure in person you are quite a different person than when you have your cricket-whites on and are batting for the Tory party.

          • Edward2
            Posted August 28, 2020 at 3:10 pm | Permalink

            Well Jezza, you write many long pedantic posts on here usually the complete opposite to whatever anyone else has posted.
            I just wondered if this was a hobby for you.

            Usually you add some personal abuse as well or lots of personal abuse as you have here.

          • jerry
            Posted August 29, 2020 at 7:00 am | Permalink

            @Edward2; But Edward the devil is in the detail -being pedantic to you. I suppose you just paint over dry root, rather get to the root….

        • NickC
          Posted August 28, 2020 at 2:33 pm | Permalink

          Jerry, The reason for your confusion is that you swallowed the 1940s/50s Labour propaganda which denigrated nationalism in order to exonerate socialism. You would hardly expect Labour to do anything else – people might begin to think socialist Labour could be the thin end of the wedge into national socialist Germany or international socialist Russia.

          • jerry
            Posted August 28, 2020 at 6:13 pm | Permalink

            @NickC, The only propaganda and denigrated nationalism is your undiluted piffle.

            Nazism (an extreme for of fascism), is the polar opposite to the then Stalinist extreme version of Marxism / Communism found in the USSR at the time.

            If 1930s Germany was Marxist (or just Socialist) why would the Fascist Italian leader Mussolini have entered in to a pact with Germany, the whole reason he came to power and had the backing of powerful people was a wish within Italy to push back against the powerful Socialists and Communists of the time. OK so lets assume Mussolini and Italy were fools, if Nazism is truly just another form of communism surely there was no need for Germany to invade the USSR, both labour and oil etc. would have been freely given to Germany by Stalin, after all that is what true political allies do and I’m sure Stalin would have welcomed the advance of Socialism.

            Had “Operation Barbarrossa” not been in detailed planning for 12 months (since before the Battle of Britain), your theory might hold some water but history is history, thus your theory is even less water tight than a Colander…

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted August 28, 2020 at 7:09 am | Permalink

        Hayek was forced to clarify that by “socialist” he meant a system involving a command economy, such as soviet Russia.

        No modern European socialists propose such a thing.

        • Edward2
          Posted August 28, 2020 at 9:22 am | Permalink

          Not to start with they dont.
          The history of socialism shows how it descends into dictatorships, poverty, death camps and starvation,
          100 million deaths in the 20th century.

          • jerry
            Posted August 28, 2020 at 9:44 am | Permalink

            @Edward2; “dictatorships, poverty, death camps and starvation,
            100 million deaths in the 20th century.”

            You mean like far-right Nazi Germany and those countries they occupied?

            The historical facts;

            Jews…………………5–6 million
            Soviet civilians….5.7 million
            Soviet POWs……..2.8–3.3 million
            Poles………………..1.8–3 million
            The Disabled…….270,000
            Other religions….1,250–5,000

            Stop digging, ho-hum…

          • Edward2
            Posted August 28, 2020 at 12:33 pm | Permalink

            That doesn’t add up to anywhere near the 100 million killed by the horrors of socialism in the 20th century Jerry.
            Ho hum indeed.

          • NickC
            Posted August 28, 2020 at 2:40 pm | Permalink

            Jerry, There was very little practical difference between national socialist Germany and international socialist Russia for the vast majority of their populations. The USSR killed off tens of millions of its own people in peacetime, not just during WW2. Any resistance and it was off to the camps in both states. And the organisation of society, and of production, was similar in both.

          • h6 noinesse, jerry
            Posted August 28, 2020 at 2:57 pm | Permalink

            @Edward2; Please cite the countries and their left wing government, please also cite your total, otherwise it’s an assertion, not a historical fact.

            When you check your sources do remember to cite the cause, for example (and not exclusive) there are countries in South America were deaths are attributed to a left wing govts, when actually the deaths have been caused by sanctions and civil war etc – NOT a political ideology.

          • Martin in Cardiff
            Posted August 28, 2020 at 3:14 pm | Permalink

            But they are all dwarfed, by the tallies of those killed by empires, such as by the British one.

            Tyrannies operate under all manner of fashionable names, including socialist. None are what they claim.

          • jerry
            Posted August 28, 2020 at 5:00 pm | Permalink

            Apologies for some rouge text within the name field of my previous comment, not sure how that got there!

            Edward2, you claim “100 million killed by the horrors of socialism in the 20th century”, that is a very high number, considering that the worst case estimate of Stalin’s deadly purges from the mid-to-late 1930s would only account for 1.2m, care to tell us were the other 98m deaths occurred, I hope you are not trying to blame natural famines around the world on ‘Socialism’….

          • Edward2
            Posted August 28, 2020 at 8:44 pm | Permalink

            Look it up yourself Jerry
            You need something to keep yourself busy it seems.

          • Edward2
            Posted August 28, 2020 at 8:47 pm | Permalink

            And Martin I note like all socialists you try to defend the horrible history your truly dreafful political religion has caused to 100 million people.
            Death poverty and misery wherever it has taken hold.

          • jerry
            Posted August 29, 2020 at 7:09 am | Permalink

            @Edward2; “Look it up yourself”

            I have tried (hence I posted the facts regarding Nazi atrocities), but having found no credible sources for what you claim I returned and asked you to cite your source, but you can’t, thus “think of a number then double it for effect”, appears to be your only source.

            Keep digging, ho-hum…

          • Edward2
            Posted August 29, 2020 at 10:25 am | Permalink

            To do your “whataboutery” and comparing the deaths from the Nazis to a century of evil socialist regimes killings is about as distasteful as it can get.
            Try Google Jerry
            You are as usual arguing for the sake of it.

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted August 29, 2020 at 8:05 pm | Permalink

        And of course the same people turned out for the Communist march in the morning and the fascist march in the afternoon. One so far left, the other so far right that they meet on the dark side!

    • jerry
      Posted August 27, 2020 at 6:24 pm | Permalink

      @JR reply; I know, that’s why I used the words “those on the right”, not the words for you, and why I also made it clear that I was blaming the party political system, not individual politicians or personalities.

      • Edward2
        Posted August 27, 2020 at 7:54 pm | Permalink

        Keep digging.

  43. Ian
    Posted August 27, 2020 at 1:15 pm | Permalink

    Well said Sharon.
    Sir John, I must agree with Sharon regarding your letter this morning.
    We most certainly are not in a Democricy
    Very much the opposite.
    Your Party has indeed behaved in a disgraceful manner that you and any others that know right from wrong.
    Your party was supposed to be the one to give the people who won the Referendum exactly what they voted you all in for.

    There is not the slightest hint of Democracy in this Parliament.

    This Parliament is exactly where we were 400 years ago.

    The only people who are sovereign in this country, are as you know The people who voted you in,
    What Cromwell did as you well know was to take divine power from Charles the first.
    Cromwell saw that as Democricy

    He was right , what he would see if he came back is Treachery, no better than when he had to sack the Parliament in his day.

    The good news is we do have an other Chance in 4 years time to give The Brexit Party the job to give us our Country back to the Good people of this Nation

    The Shenanigans that has been going on for decades proves that what is in Parliament now is totally un able to be trusted with our Democricy

    What we are being given by those three parties, that is to say, your party is now no different than the Lib Dem’s or Labour.
    What this means is we are run by people that did not win, in fact you three have become One party, non of you are doing what you promised. In fact the opposite is what you give us.

    You read most of these letters, so you are a wear of the anger that the majority here are anything but happy.

    What we see is nothing worth having and furthermore we like not the empty words and promises from this Parliament.
    We doubt we will get the Brexit you promised.
    No Sir John , we know we will not be free , we will still be run by The EU.

    For the likes of the elite it is just all what the Remainers wont , yes they will get what they won’t.
    We will be slaves

    • jerry
      Posted August 27, 2020 at 9:01 pm | Permalink

      @Ian; “Your party was supposed to be the one to give the people who won the Referendum exactly what they voted you all in for.”

      Speak for yourself, not some 17 odd million people whose opinions you (nor I) can possible know!

      The referendum asked a simple question, no date or even Brexit manifesto was on offer, the fact that you do not like the detail, or the speed of the elected govts Brexit terms is irrelevant, that said, I agree with your main point, no we do not appear to be living in a democracy.

      When (at best, in 2015) the ideals of 3.8m odd voters, that were rejected by the majority in each General Election since 1997, are now being touted as the only worthwhile road-map for what the 17 odd million who voted for Brexit want – no that is not living in a democracy, it would be an undemocratic autocracy if it ever came to pass, even more so if the whips were used to enforce it…

      • NickC
        Posted August 28, 2020 at 2:53 pm | Permalink

        Jerry, We know exactly what 17.4m people voted for (and indeed the 16.1m) because there were only two options on the ballot paper – Remain, or Leave. There was no other option. Both Leave and Remain campaigns were absolutely clear that Leave meant the UK would cease to be controlled by the EU in any way.

        So the 52% of those who voted were prepared to accept the full exit of the UK from the EU that was offered. Otherwise they wouldn’t have voted for it. Nobody, before the vote, seriously questioned what Leave meant. It was only when Remain lost that querulous voices were raised – and that isn’t self-serving in what way?

        • jerry
          Posted August 29, 2020 at 7:46 am | Permalink

          @NickC; ” Both Leave and Remain campaigns were absolutely clear that Leave meant the UK would cease to be controlled by the EU in any way.”

          Nonsense, so even the Libdems, the SNP and PC all said as you claim, never mind a good 50% of the Labour party?!

          The referendum question tells us nothing about what people actually wanted from Brexit, nor even when. After all -legally speaking- leaving the political EU in 2050 but then joining the EFTA or EEA would still be “Brexit”, just not what you and the rest of your minority of 3.8m want!

          Get over it, you lost, no one wants your version of Brexit, which would have been akin to a undemocratic Coup d’état, had the majority of the electorate wanted such a political swing, (that goes well beyond the Brexit question asked), they would have voted for it in any of the Westminster General Elections between 1997 & 2017 (UKIP/TBP had both thrown in their towels by 2020).

          Even on UKIP’s preferred (distorted) method of counting, the popular vote total, they still lost, and if they think the moderate majority would have allowed UKIP to hold the balance of power in a govt think again, there would have probably been more likelihood of a grand coalition/parliamentary pact that would have seen UKIP and perhaps even some of the Tory party reduced to the sidelines.

          • Edward2
            Posted August 29, 2020 at 9:37 pm | Permalink

            This is your decision.
            We will implement what you decide

            Leaving the EU means taking back control of our laws money and borders.

            David Cameron in the leaflet sent to every home in the UK and underneath the Leave campaign central headline statement.

            Keep typing Jerry

  44. glen cullen
    Posted August 27, 2020 at 1:52 pm | Permalink

    I’ve came to the conclusion that we (the people of this time) do not have the authority to alter, change or amend anything our forefathers did (the people of their time)….else all our current history can be so changed in the future

    You judge the people of our time using our principals and so we should judge past events by those past principals

    • NickC
      Posted August 27, 2020 at 5:11 pm | Permalink

      Glen, Not only do we not have the authority to change anything our forefathers did, we literally cannot. As I pointed out to Martin in a recent comment, how is he going to stop children being sent up chimneys in 1839?

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted August 27, 2020 at 8:43 pm | Permalink

        But surely by not stopping it Martin has approved of it? Is he not ‘complicit’?

  45. glen cullen
    Posted August 27, 2020 at 1:56 pm | Permalink

    To make peace with the voting public this government needs immediately to stop all immigration for a period of 12 months

    • NickC
      Posted August 27, 2020 at 5:12 pm | Permalink

      Immigration should be stopped for 20 years.

    • Iago
      Posted August 27, 2020 at 6:48 pm | Permalink

      The global compact for “safe, orderly and regular migration”, about which we received not the slightest consultation, should be repudiated also.

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted August 27, 2020 at 8:44 pm | Permalink

      Apart from repatriation of British people, immigration should be stopped!

  46. robert lewy
    Posted August 27, 2020 at 2:09 pm | Permalink

    John Redwood’s comments on how we should perceive history are spot on.

    Another way of expressing this would be to say that just as it is not the case that
    no every one in our electorate voted for the institutions, laws and practices that prevail today nor did they do so as regards the past.

    Our current set of “standards” has been endorsed by the current electorate which is not qualified to determine either past or future standards , only the present.

  47. Ed M
    Posted August 27, 2020 at 2:59 pm | Permalink

    I think we in the West could learn a bit more about the Chinese Confucian and Taoist dynamic – works well in business, family, country.

    Confucians are typically Conservative, solid, ordered.
    Where as Taoists are typically Progressive, dynamic, creative.

    Perhaps there is a bit of an overlap between Conservatism and the ‘right’ and Taoism and the ‘left.’

    But you need both in a successful company. The best entrepreneurs embody what is best about both. Same in family life. And country as a whole.

    Yin and yang.

    But go too far to the left and you get Communism, too far to the right and you get Fascism.

    That doesn’t mean we should be Liberal Democrats. But it means we can be Tories without feeling threatened by the progressive, dynamic, creative.

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted August 27, 2020 at 8:46 pm | Permalink

      Tories are progressive, dynamic and creative. That’s the definition. Socialism however is regressive, plodding and destructive.

  48. Alan Joyce
    Posted August 27, 2020 at 3:32 pm | Permalink

    Dear Mr. Redwood,

    An excellent and thought-provoking blog for today.

    I wonder if our current political leaders understand how offensive to a great many people certain recent events have been. Mass protests take place and the police, fearful of provoking violence, stand aside and allow the mob to decide at leisure what they would like to vandalise or destroy. To watch police officers ‘bending the knee’ trying to curry favour with protestors and then being attacked by the very same people who exhorted them to do so in the first place is just awful to behold.

    Those who wish to overthrow our societal norms that have served us well for so long, are in it for the long-run, are ultra-determined and are prepared to use force when it suits them. The left and left-wing thinkers have infiltrated every nook and cranny of our establishment including the Courts, schools and universities and the BBC. Why, they nearly managed to foist Jeremy Corbyn on the nation! It is no secret that the left, realising that they have such a bad case and with no hope of winning electorally, seek to gain influence and power by taking over our institutions by other, more subtle, means.

    It is perfectly right to call for us to be tolerant of each other but we are being asked to tolerate the intolerant. It feels to me like those organisations whose job it is to protect our values and our society have become so corrupted by institutionalised left-wing group-think that they are incapable of discharging their original function. Their only purpose seems to be the steady destruction of all that many people hold dear.

    It would help if our political leaders did what they were elected to do instead of abandoning their ideals and manifesto commitments because they have become too difficult to pursue in the face of left-wing opposition and awkward headlines.

    It is said that ‘the only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing’. Faced with a determined left-wing movement and with a Conservative government that will not stand up for them, we should not be suprised if disenchanted voters turn to alternatives. It very nearly happened at the last general election and we could have had that Corbyn government. Even the Guardian newspaper ran an article saying ‘Farage won it for Johnson’.

    • Cheshire Girl
      Posted August 28, 2020 at 6:16 am | Permalink

      I agree, and this disenchanted citizen, has just terminated her membership of the Conservative Party, who I have supported, and worked for, for well over 30 years.

      The reason? I am sick to death, of Conservative governments, over the last 10 years, whose only reaction on seeing our history and culture being removed against our will, is to say it’s ‘totally unacceptable’

      They need to grow some backbone!

  49. XYXY
    Posted August 27, 2020 at 3:42 pm | Permalink

    I agree with the piece, but I feel that the last paragraph needs comment.

    The left are loud and rude because their case is weak, but also because some people are impressed by what they see as “fire in the belly” and also see having the last word as being right.

    The failure of Conservative politicians to counter this approach over many years has seen a cumulative effect, whereby the “culture war” is being lost inch by inch,year by year. It may be a war played out in timeframes longer than the electoral cycle, but the cost over longer timeframes is to gradually erode the conservative argument and allow the left’s message to take over in schools, universities, quangos, the media etc.

    I despair when I see a Conservative politician on a panel being shouted at by a lefty and all he doe sis sit there and take, it look uncomfortable and being shouted down time and again, then ultimately allows himself to be cut off by the “chair” or interviewer.

    A better plan needs to be deployed.

    • Everhopeful
      Posted August 27, 2020 at 7:42 pm | Permalink

      Great comment!

    • Mark B
      Posted August 28, 2020 at 5:15 am | Permalink

      I will say one thing about Nigel Farage, when a Lefty decides to have a go, he fights back. And boy, do they not like that !

  50. Pat
    Posted August 27, 2020 at 3:49 pm | Permalink

    Sir John,

    Thank you for your efforts to defend our country and culture.

    Many ordinary people, myself included, increasingly regard the quasi-Marksist modern BBC as the epicentre of the relentless attacks on our democracy and freedom of expression. I deeply resent being required to fund this organisation under criminal sanction.

    May I enquire as to your view of these private members bills due for second reading in the near future:

    British Broadcasting Corporation Oversigjt Bill
    Peter Bone
    2nd reading 27 November

    BBC Licence Fee Civil Penalty Bill
    Sir Christopher Chope
    2nd reading November 13

    Public Service Broadcasters Privatisation Bill
    Sir Christopher Chope
    2nd reading November 13

    Reply I am trying to get the government to back decriminalising the licence fee. it will take government support for any of these to pass.

    • glen cullen
      Posted August 27, 2020 at 7:44 pm | Permalink

      I would welcome and support the privatisation bill

    • Mark B
      Posted August 28, 2020 at 5:08 am | Permalink

      Sir John

      The government need to be left in no doubt that this is a key issue. My elderly neighbours have refused to pay the TV Tax and are even prepared to go to jail. They helped in ousting a LiDem MP from his seat and replace him with a Tory MP. Your party goes against them at its peril..

      • anon
        Posted August 29, 2020 at 8:58 pm | Permalink

        Show them how to avoid using “on air” broadcast. Using playback,online streaming etc. Then cancel the license and get a refund. Because they are old. They probably should continually advise the BBC they do not need a licence. Otherwise they will get distressing letters from enforcement.

  51. Lindsay McDougall
    Posted August 27, 2020 at 4:13 pm | Permalink

    Being tolerant doesn’t exclude slamming rotten ideas, rotten theologies and the consequences thereof. Indeed, the need for criticism is enhanced.

    It is, therefore, disappointing to say the least that six posts of mine about one theology – backed by hard evidence – have been deleted without any semblance of an apology.

    • Iago
      Posted August 28, 2020 at 9:53 am | Permalink

      I agree. I think our situation, and Europe’s, is desperate but John Redwood will not allow comment on this matter.

  52. Will in Hampshire
    Posted August 27, 2020 at 5:22 pm | Permalink

    Returning if I may to the subject of planning & new homes in Wokingham (target under the new scheme for the Wokingham area: 1,635) I note that John Halsall, Conservative leader of Wokingham Borough Council, has put a seething, passionate objection to the new system up on Conservative Home today. Well worth a read for anyone who hasn’t looked into the new planning regulations proposed by Mr Jenrick and his department.

  53. steve
    Posted August 27, 2020 at 5:47 pm | Permalink

    I have no problem with my country’s past.

    • glen cullen
      Posted August 27, 2020 at 7:42 pm | Permalink

      agree – apart from the last five years

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted August 29, 2020 at 8:09 pm | Permalink

        Even that must remain on the record as a warning to future generations.

  54. Anonymous
    Posted August 27, 2020 at 6:03 pm | Permalink

    Lord Hall wants a direct tax on every household to replace the BBC licence.

    This would be Boris’s Poll Tax moment.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted August 28, 2020 at 3:36 am | Permalink

      A propaganda poll tax, is this on top of the existing tv licence poll tax or in addition to it?

      Pay taxes so the misguided BBC can drip misguided propaganda on to you each day.

    • Mark B
      Posted August 28, 2020 at 5:02 am | Permalink


  55. glen cullen
    Posted August 27, 2020 at 7:40 pm | Permalink

    A Home Office flight bound for Spain to return illegal Channel migrants had to be abandoned on Thursday morning after being bogged down in legal action

    23 illegal migrants who had arrived on small boats were due to be deported but were successfully removed from the flight on legal technicalities

  56. Ex-Tory
    Posted August 27, 2020 at 7:44 pm | Permalink

    I’m not pessimistic about all this. I see Laurence Fox’s campaign to get Vera Lynn’s rendition of “Land of Hope and Glory” to the top of the iTunes charts has today succeeded.

    Maybe our PM should have taken the lead of the American, French and Australian leaders and confronted the iconoclasts head on. But often in these matters a “softly softly” approach works best, and here the silent majority may well triumph.

  57. Rhoddas
    Posted August 27, 2020 at 7:53 pm | Permalink

    After the ludicrous BBC maligning of the last night of the Proms the Government needs to ensure their Charter S6 on Impartiality is both measurable and monitored. The upcoming related private members bills need Tory and even cross-party support.

    Also please support changing the TV licence fee to just a BBC paywall, so we call all watch broadcast TV without bothering about the biased wokeful virtue rubbish pumped out by the Beeb.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted August 28, 2020 at 3:31 am | Permalink


  58. Original Richard
    Posted August 27, 2020 at 8:55 pm | Permalink

    “I have got used in politics to the gross discourtesy and aggressive personal abuse adopted by some on the left.”

    The left have always believed that the ends justify the means.

  59. Edwardm
    Posted September 3, 2020 at 10:28 am | Permalink

    Our country has a great and very positive history. Many people made great strides that benefitted our nation and the world. There were also hardships suffered by many people at home and abroad – many of our ancestors were agricultural labourers and/or factory workers or worked in the mines. Against the hardships of the times , slavery would not have been such an issue – and most people could have no influence over it.

    Never-the-less it is actions taken in the relevant period that count – and those who could influence matters brought about the abolition of the slave trade for the UK, in 1807, and furthermore the Navy patrolled the seas to try to prevent slave ships of other nations.
    Other countries including Africa participated in the Slave trade both long before and long after the UK did. In regard to slavery, W. Africa and Europe share a common heritage, the UK having the distinction of being the first country to prohibit it.

    A much more balanced context of our history need to be broadcast more widely to counteract the biased propaganda from those who wish to attack our country to unsettle it for their own purposes and benefit.

  • 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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