I was struck this week by the ridiculous tweet from the disgraced former MP of Peterborough Fiona Onasanya. She observes that Kelloggs are making a racist overtone in their marketing of popular children s breakfast cereal.
It’s worth noting the monkey is the face of both milk choc Coco Pops AND white choc Coco Pops. It’s simply the face of Coco Pops, and the three boys are the face of Rice Krispies.
As laughable as this statement is, it veneers over a more sinister environment.
After the mostly peaceful, we are told, demonstration regarding BlackLivesMatter (BLM) last weekend in London and in other cities we now have the opportunity to reflect, in the cool light of day, how it really went.
Officially the reason for these protests and demonstrations is to remove an offensive racist past. This weekend it was the turn of Winston Churchill, who was instrumental in our victory over totalitarianism.
The history of this country (and Europeans, the Leopold II of Belgium statue was also removed removed this week), along with moves to remove the Baden Powell statue, the father of modern scouting, in Bournemouth, is either being rewritten or erased. It’s important to note not just the actions themselves, but importantly, the symbology behind them.
When activists pulled down the Edward Colston statue in Bristol, they actually tied rope around its legs!
This aspect to the story is disturbing. The statue has now been fished out by the council, to be left in a museum, despite there having been a vote to keep it in place before the violence. There was a petition, three years ago, to remove it but this got no more than 100 signatures. However, the Head of Collections & Archives, for Bristol City Council said ‘The ropes that were tied around him, the spray paint added to him, is still there so we’ll keep him like that’. That, in itself, is a poor response to the lawlessness. Why is the satue not being refurbished? What does this tell us?
It tells us that mobs have power over the majority in the UK. Elected councils are now following that mob!
A look at BlackLivesMatter GoFundMe website, https://uk.gofundme.com/f/ukblm-fundreveals some concerning demands;
“We’re guided by a commitment to dismantle imperialism, capitalism, white-supremacy, patriarchy and the state structures”
There is also a demand for black minority hospital patients to only be cared for by black staff!
BLM, it appears are not so much about equality and righting some historical wrongs but a combination of pan-Africanism, communism and anarchism (they describe themselves as internationalists.) The special medical attention for black people interestingly suggests segregation, which appears to be a regressive step.
What the weekend did demonstrate was that the government do not know how to assert their authority, at least with the far left. (We can largely discount the subsequent weekend protest which was largly populated by the football hooligan element, and is a different matter)
Police officers, previously, were required to ‘take a knee’ as a gesture to an extremist black group that had nothing but contempt for the rule of law, and, in particular, the police. As appreciation the same police officers were on the receiving end of mob violence, several later hospitalized, along with public memorials such as the Cenotaph being defaced.
A week ago we witnessed large groups of police officers running away from Antifa and BLM mobs. A bicycle and other missiles were thrown at a police horse, injuring the animal, which then bolted, leaving the officer in serious condition. There was also an attempt to set light to the British flag at the Cenotaph.
These events are also laden with symbolism, a bold display of contempt for what is British heritage.
Speaking of contempt, while all this was going on, I came across the story of Royston Museum curator, Madeline Odent.
This week Mrs Odent took to Twitter to use her expertise in dealing with historical artifacts to inform BLM rioters of how they might permanently damage British monuments. In one post she wrote:
“…from an art conservation perspective, it’s honestly fine to throw paint on memorials of genocidal racists! paint is pretty easy to clean off. What would be an absolute SHAME is if people were to throw certain common HOUSEHOLD ITEMS that can cause IRREVERSIBLE BRONZE DISEASE.”
She then went on to detail which substances would prove most corrosive if thrown over statues and which would likely lead to statues no longer being displayed due to the expense or rarity of chemicals required to restore the bronze.
Three days later, the museum shared a post from Royston Town Council announcing their investigation into Mrs Odent’s tweets and distancing themselves from her views. On 11th, Odent decided to ignore Hertfordshire Constabulary’s suggestion that she should remove the offending posts. Under increasing public scrutiny she has since deleted her Twitter altogether. A subsequent statement from the council revealed that an independent inquiry had been instigated to establish whether she could be considered to have expressed criminal intent.
One of Odent’s colleagues. Tony Butler, Executive Director of Derbyshire Museums, scolded the council for their dissociation which he claimed gave “succour to racists and bigots,”
Back to the protests. There was an extraordinary post-violence hash tagging that went on by the likes of Piers Morgan, English Heritage, Yorkshire Tea, PG Tips to name but a few. People and organizations that have politically little or nothing in common with BLM were rushing to show their support.
We have a trial by media with highly placed, influential people behaving incredibly irresponsibly. This is a classic example of ‘following the mob’ and the UK ‘mainstream’ is now moving into very territory.
What has been noticeable is the lackluster response from Boris Johnson or his cabinet. Whilst London Mayor Sadiq Khan removed another statue as a nod to events in Bristol, Boris weakly declared he would use the ‘full force of the law’ should there be more violence and disorder.
However, followers of the BBC’s coverage might have asked ‘What violence and disorder?’ The Prime Minister wrote a strikingly spineless article, following the now well trodden path of legitimizing Black Lives Matter. He referred to groups ‘hijacking’ the movement’s ‘demonstrations’. This was an acknowledgement of the relationship between the far left and the party who are conservative in name only.
Just two days after the riots, London Mayor Sadiq Khan declared he would set up a commission to remove other statues not fitting in with his new agenda for landmarks. He briskly arranged for the statue of Robert Milligan, at West India Docks in London, to be removed because of his ties with the slave trade. Khan tweeted “this does not have to be celebrated in our public spaces”.
The statue doesn’t ‘celebrate’ anything! In fact, it was erected specifically in recognition to his input to the construction of the docks they couldn’t have been built without him.
Similarly Lambeth bridge was financed by a plantation owner and Issaac newton held shares in the South Sea Company that traded in slaves. Are we to deny gravity?
These statues are a memorial to British history – something Sadiq Khan can’t, and won’t, relate to. (The irony here is that Khan is a Muslim. The Prophet Muhammad is also a historical character and was a slave owner himself).
The British people will need to speak out about this current revision of history, and they need to do it while still have a voice.
Main image courtesy Coombsey
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