LONDONERS and tourists alike have shut down calls to tear down Nelson’s Column in the capital’s Trafalgar Square in the wake of the Charlottesville riots.
Those speaking to Sky News said it was “part of our history” and insisted the landmark remain despite Admiral Horatio Nelson being an advocate of the slave trade.
The comments come after commentator Afua Hirsch argued it “is figures like Nelson who immediately sing to mind” when hearing the latest about the 700-odd confederate statues which have been pulled down in the US.
She wrote in an opinion piece on the Guardian website that while the reaction in Britain to the Charlottesville incident is “almost entirely condemnatory of neo-Nazis in the US”, the “colonial and pro-slavery titans of British history are still memorialised” in the UK. …
Speaking to the news channel, Hirsch branded Admiral Nelson an “unashamed white supremacist”.
She said: “How many people actually know that he was what we would now call in modern language, an unashamed white supremacist.
“And I say that not lightly but because at a time when even other grandees of the day, when Parliament was vigorously debating the need to abolish slavery, Nelson was vigorously defending it.”
She then took aim at former Prime Minister Winston Churchill over deaths in India during the colonial period.
The columnist said: “If you look at Churchill’s role in India, three million people died in a famine in Bengal that had there been a different leader probably would have been prevented. He personally made the decisions that made that happen.
“I think Clive of India [Robert Clive] has some questions to answer, I know a lot of people from Catholic Irish backgrounds who are very offended by Cromwell’s presence, not just in front of the Houses of Parliament, but in many towns and cities around the UK.”
Whew. Slavery was rife in Britain until the Muslims came and forced them to give up the practice. (/sarc)