Over the years, I have lost count of the times when I started a column noting how my late Grandfather, Sir John Winnifrith, once Director General of the National Trust, would be spinning in his grave at the latest woke nonsense from the body he loved. Ahead of the Trust’s annual meeting, enough members threatened revolt to force metropolitan liberal elitist chairman Tim Parker to give notice that he will resign. But if folks think that things will change then they are mistaken.
Because the entire senior management of the Trust share the world view of Parker, that the Trust is not there just to preserve old buildings and glorious countryside – which is what it is meant to do – but to campaign on issues including global warming, LGBQT rights and Black Lives Matter/decolonising our history. And those managers, notably director general Hilary McGrady, who really pulls the strings, are staying. McGrady was the first to defend the Trust’s report on slavery which – as I showed here – was academically extremely sloppy as well as pointless.
If the Trust is to change direction – rather than just pay a fortune to PR spinners to pretend it is changing direction – a new chairman who is actively hostile to the woke agenda now poisoning so many aspects of public life needs to be appointed and he or she must then undertake a root and branch overhaul of senior managers, starting with the DG, and of the culture of the Trust.
Might I suggest Rod Liddle be offered the post or, perhaps, Kelvin MacKenzie? If it is just another London resident, liberal, millionaire then nothing will change. The Trust needs someone actively engaged in the culture wars fighting everything that Parker stood for. My money is on the new chairman either having no balls so not being up to bringing change or on him or, probably, her not wanting to change. Either way, nothing will change and the Trust will continue on the same slippery slope; it will stay woke and, in due course, go broke.