942 days ago
My friend Bill Long and I attended a lecture a few years ago in New York, given by the historian Madge Dresser and organised by the American branch of the National Trust. Its theme was the links between slavery and National Trust properties. Although Madge and I disagreed a little on the history of the South Sea company, it was balanced, fair and very interesting indeed. But in the wake of BlackLivesMatter, the NT has decided that it has not acknowledged its sin fast enough or sufficiently enough and so has commissioned a major new report. Yes: that is the same NT that is firing 14% of its staff, 1200 folks, because it says, untruthfully, that it faces a cash crisis and there is no other way.
997 days ago
I had a brush with the celebrity historian David Starkey about fifteen years ago when he used his celebrity status to bully, humiliate and put down my daughter’s godmother as we ate in an Islington restaurant. He picked on her for no reason as she read Olaf a story, not too loudly, saying at a high enough volume for every diner to hear “Will you just be quiet? Some of us are trying to eat.” Maybe the American accent grated with Starkey’s patrician senses.