Lack of Respect for Our History Lies Behind Attack on Monuments
Guest post by Tim Newark, UK political commentator
The vandalism of the Bomber Command Memorial in Green Park, London this week was no random drunken act.
It was a deliberate targeting of our history.
The same vile people went on to systematically attack the statue of Sir Winston Churchill with President Franklin D Roosevelt, our closest wartime ally, and two other war memorials in central London on the same night.
What is going on here?
It was an assault on the memory of those people who have done most to defend Britain.
It was no doubt fuelled by the sort of anti-patriotic nonsense spouted in recent years by left-wing academics and politicians who like to denigrate our proud history and characterize national heroes as
so-called “war criminals.”
Only recently in the UK we’ve had calls from a left-wing historian on the make to haul down Nelson’s Column because of the great Admiral’s supposed links with the slave-trade.
Tenuous at best, such arguments ignore the far greater good Nelson achieved by helping defeat the tyrant Napoleon, who had brought death and destruction to Europe on such a vast scale.
His victory ensured that the Royal Navy ruled the waves for decades to come—enabling them to police the very ending of that slave trade.
Then we had the academic who claimed Churchill could be called a “war criminal” and students who stormed the Blighty UK Cafe in north London shouting, “Churchill was a racist.”
After a succession of graffiti attacks on his Churchill mural, the cafe owner simply ditched the defiant image of the great war-leader flashing his “V” for victory sign.
The common theme of all this disrespect for our national heroes is a left-wing loathing for our country’s triumphant history, its ‘soul.
This attitude was initiated just over a hundred years ago when Bloomsbury elitist and conscientious objector, Lytton Strachey, wrote his landmark book Eminent Victorians that trashed the reputation of good 19th century British heroes, including General Gordon of Khartoum and Thomas Arnold, among others.
From then on, radical and socialist historians have chipped away at the highpoints of Britain’s history to expose their flaws and inculcate a sense of overwhelming cynicism in generations of pupils and students.
The result is now a highly educated British establishment that has little faith in our ability to run our own affairs, hence their love affair with the EU.
A century of talking down our past achievements has resulted in 480 Remainer MPs out of 650 doing everything they can to block the Brexit people voted for.
I believe it is no mistake that this shocking assault on some of our major war memorials has occurred at the same time as this battle for our sovereignty and is reaching a peak of antagonism.
Of course we should not blind ourselves to the faults of historical figures, but we should understand those flaws in the context of their times and not impose our own contemporary views on distant actions.
Even modern day saints like Nelson Mandela are not without their dark side.
Mandela was a Marxist revolutionary who co-founded the terrorist wing of the ANC responsible for bombing campaigns in South Africa, which killed many innocent people.
Ultimately, it was Britain’s imperial wealth and fighting spirit that has enabled us to stand up to numerous invasion threats over several centuries from Spain, France and twice from Germany.
Foreign policy has never been and never should be a charity.
It is about ensuring that we survive and thrive as an independent and sovereign nation.
It is a tough, unforgiving world out there and we should be grateful for lion-hearted leaders and members of the armed forces who have done their very best to protect our precious freedoms, in Britain and in America.
That’s why we put up statues to remember them.
Any attack on these revered images is a direct assault on our most cherished values and should never be tolerated—even in our most tolerant of societies.
[This is an edited version of original article that appeared in the UK Daily Express]