150 Statues & Street Names Targeted in Culture War

Yesterday Communities Secratary Robert Jenrick attracted criticism from all the usual suspects on the left over his new drive to protect heritage statues in the UK. The Guardian lampoons him today for attempting to protect “Lord Slavey McSlaver”. The general response from the left is that this is all trivial. Yet Policy Exchange’s History Matters Project, chaired by Trevor Phillips, has compiled more than 150 cases of history at risk of erasure, from statues to street names to curricula. Just some examples are…

  • Cecil Rhodes Statue, Oriel College Oxford. Oriel College Oxford’s governing body have voted to remove the statue of Cecil Rhodes.
  • Nelson Statue at Norwich Cathedral. A statue of Admiral Lord Nelson on the grounds of Norwich Cathedral has been defaced with spray paint. The Cathedral has committed to “review the place of historical figures memorialised in the Cathedral”.
  • Cromwell Statue outside Parliament. Lord Adonis has made its removal a personal crusade.
  • Clive Statue – Westminster. Britain’s most senior civil servant threatened its removal.
  • Lieutenant-General Sir Thomas Picton GCB in Cardiff. Cardiff Council has submitted an application to remove the statue from in front of the City Hall.
  • Statue of Sir John Cass in Jewry Street, City of London. Sir John Cass’s Foundation will remove a statue of him from the facade on their offices in Jewry Street.
  • Sir John Cass Redcoat School, Stepney. The school’s governing body voted unanimously for the immediate removal of the statue and bust of Sir John Cass.
  • Statues of Thomas Guy and Robert Clayton – founder of Guy’s Hospital and Lord Mayor of London – at Kings College London. KCL has decided to remove the statues from public view.
  • Statue of Robert Milligan outside London Museum. The Museum of London has removed the statue.
  • Sir Robert Geffrye statue at The Museum of the Home. The museum has announced a consultation on removing the statue.
  • General Buller Statue in Exeter. Exeter Council will be asked to approve an application to relocate the statue to a less prominent location.
  • Statue of Lieutenant Colonel Benson, Hexham. Leading councillors have demanded debate on its removal.

Polling for Policy Exchange revealed that two-thirds (65%) say “it is unfair to make judgments about people in the past based on today’s values” and agree that “statues of people who were once celebrated should be allowed to stand”. Three quarters (75%) also said police need to protect statues from violent removal. Maybe it is Robert Jenrick who is on the right side of history after all.

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