When 10 woke students feel bold enough to cancel the Queen for ‘colonialism’, Britain faces a battle for its soul

When 10 woke students feel bold enough to cancel the Queen for ‘colonialism’, Britain faces a battle for its soul. By Frank Furedi.

It only took 10 student members of Oxford University’s Magdalen College Middle Common Room to vote for the removal of a portrait of the Queen, and the Head of State of the United Kingdom had been cancelled.

Granted, 10 silly, spoiled students are not exactly a threat to the British way of life. .. In normal times, the students’ politics of gesture would not be newsworthy. But at a time when attacking symbols of Britishness and heaping scorn on the country’s past achievements has become a national sport, it is no surprise that for many, many people, the removal of the Queen’s portrait is seen as a threat to their way of life.

The portrait in question

What is significant about this story is not so much the removal of the Queen’s portrait, but the arguments used by some of the students to justify their act. According to the president of the Common Room, Matthew Katzman, the decision to cancel the Queen’s portrait was motivated by the desire to turn the room into a safe space for everyone. He noted that “it was decided to leave the common room neutral.”

Evidently the Magdalen 10 believe that the portrait of the British monarch is so threatening that it may well cause emotional harm to privileged students inhabiting the Common Room. In line with the woke ideology that prevails in elite universities, student sensitivity to threatening objects and symbols is sufficient to remove them from sight. …

Those who argued for the removal of the portrait stated that “for some students, depictions of the monarch and British monarchy represent recent colonial history.” …

By itself, the incident at Magdalen College is of little significance. But the fact that 10 students feel culturally empowered to denigrate a symbol of the community’s way of life is worrying. It indicates that British society faces a struggle for the soul of the nation.

She’s white.

hat-tip Stephen Neil