Thursday 20 August 2020

Imperial heroes

Discover Nelson in Norfolk

Miss Jae Ikhera, 19, sprayed 'V for Vendetta' on a statue of Lord Nelson in Norwich on two occasions, to protest against Nelson's opposition to abolishing slavery and, as she said, 'to start a debate' on the issue. She pleaded guilty to two counts of criminal damage and was given a 12-month conditional discharge by Norwich magistrates.

Cleaning off the graffiti cost almost £2,400.

She is only a teenager and I do not think she should have been punished severely or sent to prison, but had a white teenager daubed "White lives matter" or "Pubs closed, borders open" on a statue of Mandela or Gandhi (who years ago replaced Nelson and Wellington as the greatest British heroes) I wonder if he would have got off without gaol.

Miss Ikhera is no doubt an idealist. So, I am sure, is the anti-BLM man who went to Parliament Square to protect statues from damage. He urinated close to a monument to a policeman murdered by terrorists and was sentenced to two weeks' imprisonment. (Mayor Khan has closed all the WCs in the area, for reasons known to him.) The young man also received an impertinent sermon from someone called the Chief Magistrate and was roundly attacked in the press and on social media including by Conservative MPs.

When Churchill was asked how to make children proud of being English, he said, 

'Tell them Wolfe took Quebec.'
That wouldn't work nowadays. Wolfe was as unworried about slavery as Nelson, as far as I know, and was a great imperial hero.

Modern England would not approve of Churchill. What would he have thought of modern England (he always spoke of England not Britain)?

I doubt he would have been delighted by it. In January 1955, a few months before he reigned as Prime Minister, he said to his cabinet

'"Keep England White" - that would be a good election slogan.'
That is the sort of remark, whether spoken or scrawled on monuments, that magistrates take a very dim view of these days. 

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