14 days ago
The Welsh Government has found £170,000, in these times of austerity, to spunk on a report into statues, buildings, and street names that are linked to slavery or are racist in other ways. Naturally, folks like Sir Francis Drake, Nelson and Wellington are all in the firing line because their tangential or fairly minor connections to the slave trade must completely overshadow matters such as saving the nation from invasion and foreign domination. But it is my local town of Wrexham which shows up the monumental stupidity of this exercise, masterminded by the certifiably insane first minister Mark Drakeford and rubber stamped by the grossly overpaid pygmies of the Sennedd, in greatest detail.
64 days ago
Now that we are out of the EU for good, surely the next great national campaign has to be to #DefundtheBBC. It really is a most nauseating institution. The clear liberal left bias of its news coverage, the woke and unfunny comedy and the smug air of superiority makes it almost unbearable. As it attracts ever fewer viewers and listeners, it ups the bloated pay of its staff, never questioning why folks are deserting it but instead doubling down on the sort of activities which arouse so much anger.
117 days ago
Notwithstanding the fact that we had the same conversation a year ago, I asked the Mrs this morning to name the year of the Gunpowder Plot. She ummed a bit so I said “how about to the nearest 10 years”. She countered with “how about to the nearest hundred?” Okay said I and she answered 1776.
170 days ago
David Hume was a great philosopher but, writing in 1753, he made remarks about black folks which even then were a tad offensive and today are viewed as utterly racist. Given that we now judge folks’ utterances and actions of 267 years ago by the mores of today, in the year of madness that is 2020, Hume was toast. A building named after him at Edinburgh University has been renamed. I suspect that there will be calls to remove A Treatise of Human Nature from the curriculum and so future generations will come to know the man, not as I did as a student, as a philosopher but as just another dead white racist male. So where next with the purge? Might I suggest Scotland’s national poet Robert Burns?
187 days ago
I explained in a long podcast HERE why Rule Britannia was not racist, imperialist, or a reference to the slave trade and why the BBC has it so wrong. Songs of Praise producer, Cat Lewis, is one BBC staffer on a bloated stipend who is still battling in a way which is both offensive and ignorant as I flagged up HERE. My work has prompted celebrated composer, Graham Lack, to offer me his thoughts which I am delighted, at his request, to publish below. I wonder if Cat or anyone at the woeful BBC might be able to respond to what follows. Somehow I doubt it.
188 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.
189 days ago
My father is a lifelong Guardian reader but is now gleaning real news from a one-day-old copy of the Daily Mail provided by his enlightened carer E. There is talk of cancelling his subscription to the loss-making publication, founded on the profits of slavery, and while this may threaten the funding of latest restoration works on Polly Toynbee’s Tuscan castle, it would surely be a good thing. But despite this move out of the shadows, my father still has a touching faith in the Guardian’s broadcast sibling, the frightful BBC. But maybe even this has now been tested.
245 days ago
As you can see below, the pathetic Church of England is facing demands to pull down a quite modern statue of Emperor Constantine from outside York Minister. Amazingly, the wretched CofE has now shown that it does have a spine and that this statue is safe, although it is looking at many others in light of the Black Lives Matter movement and issues surrounding slavery. And, apparently, it will also be seeking guidance from Justin Trudeau as to how to make statues of Jesus look less white.
254 days ago
Another weekend and more statues topple in America, notably that of Ulysses Grant. Next up is Teddy Roosevelt. For those not ignorant of history, which natch includes none of the topplers and only about 5% of those under 25, that is why this is so frightening.
257 days ago
Yes that George Washington. The man who lead the US to Independence from Britain in 1776, a founding father, a chap who most folks admire as doing more good than evil. Yet on his statue in Portland Oregon they inscribed the words genocide and fascist. The goons at ANTIFA need to spend a few days at Auschwitz to discover what a real fascist looks like.
264 days ago
Yesterday my Mrs attended an online union meeting at her University. Natch the statues were on the agenda. She, a person of colour, suggested that they should not all be pulled down but the middle class, white, Guardian reading, classes know what black folks really want to fight racism. Thus the Mrs was in a small minority and the Union at her left wing Madrassa now has a clear policy. Why, I wonder, are folks so angry about so many figures from the past?
There are many reasons but one is, I am afraid, ignorance. I went into some detail HERE yesterday, explaining why Thomas Guy was not really tainted by slavery at all. However, facts do not matter and his statue, at the Hospital founded with nearly all of his cash, is for the melting pot.
265 days ago
Goody Proctor saw Baden Powell watching Gone with the Wind. Quick let’s tear down his statue too. The hysteria mounts and among the keenest to eradicate history is Sadiq Khan, the Mayor of Stab City the lawless moral cesspit that is the capital of Airstrip One. In his sights right now is Thomas Guy who bequeathed his fortune to found Guy’s Hospital in London. The name stays, for now, but the statue is on its way out. Naturally the charges against him show a profound ignorance of history but when do the mob and half wits like Khan care about the facts?
266 days ago
I predicted earlier today that the purging of statues and street names associated with figures from the past with slaving links, however tenuous, would soon see the great Liberal leader William Ewart Gladstone in trouble. It did not take long for bedwetters at Liverpool University to decide that their Gladstone Hall needed renaming.
267 days ago
In stab City, the lawless moral cesspit that is the capital of Airstrip One, hapless Mayor Sadiq Khan has waded into the slavery row with predictable vigour.
980 days ago
This weekend in Folkestone there was set to be a charity showing of the film Zulu to help raise cash for the arms forces charity SSAFA. Members of the charity voted to show the 1964 classic portrayal of the battle of Rorke’s Drift but, like cycling, they are clearly just racist. 28 virtue signalling busy bodies have written to the Council demanding that the showing be scrapped stating that:
1259 days ago
The Guardian newspaper recently produced a list of folks, statues of whom it thought suitable to replace that of Lord Nelson in Trafalgar Square. Nelson may have saved the nation, given his life for his country but a speech in favour of slavery in the House of Lords means he is toast. The only question is who is next for the fascist liberal left to erase from history? I suggest George Washington, he may have founded a nation and all that but - like all his peers - he was also a slave owner. That will be his undoing. So who replaces Nelson?
1283 days ago
My father and I chat every day about urgent matters such as the GCSE's of my uber smug daughter Olaf and less critical matters such as how the world is going to pot. Being keen on history my father is a big supporter of General Lee statues noting that - unlike say George Washington - Lee opposed and hated slavery. He also opposed the secession of the South and agreed only to join its army as he wished to stand shoulder to shoulder with his fellow Virginians.
1287 days ago
General Robert Lee was a good man, devout, honourable and widely admired. But he fought for "the wrong side" in the US Civil war so while most Americans disagree, his statue must come down. Overnight in Baltimore a 225 year old statue of Christopher Columbus was destroyed. On this one probably about 98% of Americans would support keeping the ancient monument standing, although in the liberal media bubble the numbers will be the other way round..
1362 days ago
It has started already. The DUP, from God's chosen land of Ulster, will back the Tories and we might just have stable Government for a while. The liberal media elite who are reporting Jeremy Corbyn's "victory speech ( hint Labour lost) is enraged. The knives are out for the DUP for they stand for everything that London millionaires despise.
1671 days ago
Airports across Britain are today being disrupted by activists protesting that #blacklivesmatter - well of course they do. All lives matter but for white middle class liberals in the media and on twitter and facebook this is an opportunity for angst, guilt and self loathing that cannot be missed. But what about the hard data?
Sod the hard data, lets just feel guilty about slavery and how everyone, especially old Brexit voters, are all racists, facts do not matter any more do they? This is Airstrip One and its 1984 every day these days. Okay
1678 days ago
Do you read the papers every day feeling guilty about your white privilege? Obviously that means that you are not a working class person living in a rust belt town with no job but a liberal with a good education living in metropolitan luxury. But you keep telling those unemployed folks that they enjoy privilege and need to pay up for it. Then go tweet about what a bigot Donald Trump is.
But you are worried that the Democrats are so beholden to Wall Street that they will not raise taxes for the really rich (like you). It is, after all , better to punish those privileged white folks in the rust belt again. But still you think the Government should take more money away from folks who have worked hard to earn it. That is because the Government spends it so wisely. Hey, more cash for Hillary to go send some poor kids off to have their legs blown off in the Middle East with a dumbass war. What a good idea.
So here's a way to get rid of that liberal guilt and make some reparations direct
2221 days ago
My strange dream of Friday night about a failed third interview at Oxford brings back memories of my first two bites at the cherry – the whole process was surreal and almost of another era. The year was 1985.
It had been decided that I was capable of applying for Oxford and that I should sit the exam in the fourth term of my sixth form at Warwick School for boys, an establishment that these days also takes girls in the sixth form. The choice of college was not in doubt. My grandfather (Sir John Winnifrith), my father and his brother Charles Winnifrith had all gone to Christchurch as had Richard Hobhouse who married my father’s younger sister Lucy. My maternal grandfather had studied (very little) at Pembroke and my mother had attended St Anne’s which was just about to start accepting men in the year of my application.
Elder cousins Helen & Corinna Hobhouse had both failed to get into ChristChurch so it was not a family connection shoe in. A rather studious cousin Charlotte Winnifrith was already up and so as I always rather liked Lotte who has a hidden wild streak I went for the family choice.
The day of the exam came and I can still remember utterly screwing up an essay answering the question “Is poverty relative?” Of course it can be viewed in relative terms but it is absolute poverty that we must eradicate and that can only happen through the joys of capitalism which requires inequality of wealth for it to work. Greed, the desire to be richer than the best man is the only way to drive enterprise and so to make all of society better off, including the poor. There. I have answered the question in 45 seconds but in November 1985, sitting in the second desk from the front next to the wall, I made a right pig’s ear of it.
Despite that I was called up to the House for interview. The Christchurch of the mid-eighties was a frightful place, known as the home of the Sloane ranger. Do you remember Olivia Channon
2587 days ago
Last night’s film. Having watched producer Steve McQueen being interviewed about his latest flick I was not entirely minded to trot along and see it. I am thankful to the Mrs. for ensuring that I did as this is a powerful – true life – tale and a brilliantly shot movie. At the (happy) end I could hear sobbing in the audience and even a hard hearted old guy like myself shed a tear. But the ending is the only happy bit of an otherwise grim tale.
Post 1833 it was illegal to import slaves to the American South. In the North the black population was free and it appears, from the film, integrated. I think this is a bit of an airbrush of history. During the Civil War elements of the Irish Community in New York protested about being asked to “fight for the niggers.” I am not so sure the North was a place of universal tolerance. But at least there was no slavery.
Hence some “entrepreneurs” decided that kidnapping blacks from the North to sell in the South was a cunning wheeze. This is the true story of one such slave.
There is one scene that made the whole audience wince. If you have not seen this film yet I won’t ruin the surprise. But it is very good cinema.
The South - “Dixie” was for too long romanticized on our screens. The rebels were in some way seen as re-asserting the rights of the States or of the individual against Big Government. You remember the “Good old boys” of the Dukes of Hazard driving “General Lee” (a Southern war “hero”)? Gone with the Wind depicts a happy sort of slave, fat and laughing. Even uber-PC Tom Petty sings “I was born a rebel, down in Dixie” – hmmm, rebel against what Tom?
This film should shatter such romantic illusions. Slaves were viewed as commodities to be bought, sold, raped, killed, worked until they dropped at will. Life expectancy on the more brutal plantations was not long. Even the “kind hearted slavers (the one played by “Sherlock”) still viewed slaves in this light. I am not sure that I entirely share the agenda of Steve McQueen, the film’s very able producer, in making points about today’s America. But in showing the true horror of a society some still seek in some way to romanticize, he does us all a service. So far, in 2014, 12 Years a Slave has to be my film of the year.
Next up is the Wolf of Wall Street.