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Glasgow and the statues of David Livingstone and Sir Robert Peel – Orwellian academic shame from Dr Stephen Mullen

Tom Winnifrith
Wednesday 30 March 2022

The City of Glasgow has published a report on which statues it should tear down and which street names it should erase from history to appease the woke mobs and the Black Lives Matter movement. The press is all over the fight to save a statue of the explorer David Livingstone but is missing out om the even madder call to erase Sir Robert Peel from history.

The Glasgow Slavery Audit, commissioned by the council and led by historian Dr Stephen Mullen of Glasgow University, focused on individuals from the city and elsewhere involved in Atlantic slavery between 1603 and 1838. Dr Mullen is an obvious cretin and shames the word historian.

Livingstone condemned slavery as the ‘greatest meanness ever perpetrated’  but his crime was, from the age of ten, to work in a cotton factory which, according to Mullen, probably used cotton from West Indian slaves. I doubt it. By the time of Livingstone, most West Indian slave plantations were growing sugar or tobacco.  Most cotton came from the USA but was also largely produced by slaves.

But is working in cotton really a crime when Livingstone’s views on slavery were so clear?

What about Peel?  I flagged this matter up when the Welsh Government threatened to rename Peel Street here in Wrexham. Like the dim Scottish historian, I suspect, they may have got the wrong Peel.  Peel the elder was pro slavery and owned a cotton factory. His son is who the Wrexham street is named after and whose statue stands in Glasgow.

Peel’s greatest act was in repealing of the Corn Laws which were causing mass starvation among poor people in Britain and Ireland. Pushing through their abolition cost Peel his career since most in his party supported the Laws. But Peel knew it was the right thing to do to alleviate misery and starvation among the poor of this land. It is surely right to honour all four men for their good works on this matter.

The Younger Peel argued massively with his father on slavery. The younger Peel was a lifelong abolitionist. In 1818, Peel was a member of the Earl of Liverpool government that signed treaties with Spain, Portugal and The Netherlands abolishing the slave trade.  Peel supported the abolition of slavery throughout the British Empire in 1834. When Peel was prime minister, 1841 – 46, his government made treaties with South American countries such as Mexico, Uruguay, Bolivia and Chile in 1843 abolishing the slave trade. In 1845, Peel authorised the establishment of the Anti-Slavery squadron with thirty-six ships, which made it one of the largest fleets in the world. Its role was to stamp out slavers sending poor folks to America.

Also in the Glasgow firing line, once again, is William Gladstone whose name will surely be fully,and wrongly, erased from history in the name of progressive liberalism.

Heck, who cares about facts. Teat down the statues and replace them with ones of George Floyd or President Zelensky. Rip down the Street names and call all streets after Sean Connery or Jimmy Krankie. Who cares about the truth or honouring great men any more? That is so old fashioned.

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About Tom Winnifrith
Tom Winnifrith is the editor of When he is not harvesting olives in Greece, he is (planning to) raise goats in Wales.
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