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What is the intellectual framing of the UK statues debate? Show more Show less

In June 2020 Bristol protestors rioting against the murder of George Floyd tore down a statue of Edward Colston. Having hauled it from its plinth, they eventually abandoned the statue in the city's harbour. Hundreds of onlookers gathered to watch, viewing this as a momentous step in the fight against racism. Colston is known as the man who built Bristol. He bequeathed his enormous fortune to the city upon his death. 300 years on, the scale of his legacy is visceral in Bristol's landmarks and architecture, and the names of its schools, concert halls, streets, restaurants, pubs and cathedral. Yet, his fortune was built on slavery, leading many to argue that the statue props up institutional racism in the UK. Since Colston's toppling, activists have circulated lists of hundreds more controversial statues they say must be removed to end racial inequality. Others call this type of campaigning problematic. They view the destruction of monuments as historical whitewashing. For them, this trend is an affront to British history that does not confront the real issues at play. So, who are these groups, what do they think, and why?

"This crisis is an attack on the state!" Show more Show less

This is not a fight about history. Nor one about injustice. The battleground here is the nation, and how it is being systematically undermined by a vigilante mob. If we give in to this brutish idealism, we lose our most precious possession: Britishness.
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The toppling of statues is an aggressive attack from liberal imperialism

There is a political trend amongst liberal imperialists - those who claim that nationalism is the greatest threat of the moment - to undermine their enemies. Statues are the latest victims of their attacks. Our attention should turn to the strategic value of this latest campaign. That is to strengthen the ongoing "liberal" crusade to destabilise the nation and everything it stands for. Proponents include Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban.
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    This page was last edited on Tuesday, 23 Jun 2020 at 13:10 UTC