Police Scotland has told Breitbart London it has “no plans” to guard historic monuments and memorials which have appeared on the ‘Topple the Racists’ hit-list, established by the Stop Trump Coalition “in support of the Black Lives Matter movement and the topplers of Edward Colston”.
The acknowledgement that Scottish police had no plans to guard targets of the radical left came on the same day Home Secretary Priti Patel is reported to have had a “firm” conversation with the chief of Somerset and Avon police, whose force failed to prevent a statue being destroyed on Sunday, demanding answers for the failure.
Suggesting there is no unified national response to political vandalism, within hours of Police Scotland speaking to Breitbart London, officers in Oxford were photographed guarding a historic building in the city which was the subject of a significant protest, with officers in tactical gear standing at the entrance and further specialist officers stationed on the roof.
On Sunday, a statue of Colston, a former MP for Bristol, was destroyed by Black Lives Matter marchers. Born in the 1600s, Edward Colston was celebrated in his day for charitable giving on a grand scale but is today predominantly discussed in the context of slave trading from which he built much of his wealth. City police stood by and refused to intervene on grounds that upholding the law could have made the mob angry.
Britain-based Black Lives Matter supporters, initially energised by the death of George Floyd several thousand miles away in the United States, have now taken up the cause of monument erasure with enthusiasm. Local authorities, universities, and other institutions have rushed to take down many more historic memorials and rename buildings voluntarily to appease the group.
Khan’s London: Historic Statue Pulled Down to Appease Leftist Protests https://t.co/u6RdttMPQm
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) June 9, 2020
With the Stop Trump Coalition now having put together a national hit-list of other statues and memorials deemed offensive to 21st-century social justice warrior sensibilities, Breitbart News contacted 15 British police forces nationwide which had targeted statues in their geographical areas to ask if they intended to protect them or would “just to allow it to happen”, like Bristol’s Superintendent Andy Bennett.
Most failed to reply, or in some cases did not give any sort of direct answer, referring Breitbart News to a generic, milquetoast National Police Chiefs’ Council statement indicating that the protests of recent days are not lawful and that the behaviour of the “small minority” behaving violently is “unacceptable”, but that “appropriate plans [are] in place to allow for peaceful protest” anyway.
Kent Police’s Assistant Chief Constable Nicola Faulconbridge was the only senior officer in the United Kingdom to respond to Breitbart News directly, and told us her force has “appropriate plans in place” to allow for peaceful protests to occur, but urged attendees to refrain from “acts of violence and disorder” and to observe coronavirus social distancing regulations.
Police Scotland, however, told Breitbart News that they “would further add that we have no plans to guard statues”.
Monuments targeted in Scotland include a statue of James George Smith Neill, a military commander whose forces were accused of launching reprisals against native Indians after Sepoy rebels murdered dozens of British women and children in the Bibighar massacre. Others include monuments to former British prime minister Sir Robert Peel, who founded the police, and Thomas Carlyle, the famous philosopher and mathematician.
The biggest target so far, in terms of both size and strength of feeling, is the Nelson’s Column-like Melville Monument to Henry Dundas, 1st Viscount Melville, who is little-remembered today but was a titan of British politics during the 18th and early 19th centuries.
Dundas served at various times in offices including Solicitor-General for Scotland, Lord Advocate, Home Secretary, President of the Board of Control, and Secretary of State for War in the British government, and was hugely influential in Parliament.
He is widely condemned by left-wing academics today for having delayed the end of slavery in the British Empire by proposing its abolition should be “gradual” in order to lessen the economic and social shock of the change.
As an advocate, however, he had in fact played a leading role in securing its total abolition in the territory of Scotland proper, successfully representing the runaway slave Joseph Knight in the Court of Session, which accepted his arguments that slavery had no legal basis in the country despite being accepted in the Caribbean.
‘Whore, Slag, Slave Owner’: Queen Victoria Statue Vandalised with ‘BLM’ Slogans https://t.co/0IEJo6UCxV
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) June 10, 2020