A statue celebrating the life of a British war hero has been saved from removal by a Black Lives Matter inspired Labour council after the Conservative government announced stricter measures against left-wing iconoclastic assaults on British history.
The statue of General Sir Redvers Buller — who was awarded Britain’s highest gallantry decoration, the Victoria Cross, for saving the lives of his fellow soldiers while under enemy fire in the second Zulu war — has been spared from removal. The Labour council backed down after Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick introduced new regulations against targeting statues and monuments.
According to an equality impact assessment from Exeter City Council, the statue honouring General Buller represents “the patriarchal structures of empire and colonialism which impact negatively on women and anyone who does not define themselves in binary gender terms”, and therefore council members voted to remove the statue.
However, following Mr Jenrick’s pronouncement that statues and historical monuments would be granted new legal protections from “baying mobs” and left-wing “revisionist purges”, the council reversed its decision, The Times reported.
The Labour Party chairman of the council, Phil Bialyk, said that the move from the Conservative government prompted the u-turn, but added: “I must stress that we will be addressing the issues which first brought this to the attention of many councillors.”
Bialyk also vowed that the council would continue to look to make public monuments and art as “representative of our inclusive and diverse communities as possible”.
Farage Brands Black Lives Matter ‘New Taliban’ After Statue Torn Down https://t.co/ske47hcDw9
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) June 9, 2020
The success of the Conservative government’s policy in protecting the Buller statue was hailed by political commentator Calvin Robinson, who told Breitbart London: “It’s fantastic to see a conservative policy from this Conservative government. Protecting our statues is of the utmost importance. It’s our job as conservatives to do just that, conserve our past, not just for us, but for future generations.”
“Statues are not there to be venerated, we don’t idolise these figures as the Left would like to think. Statues usually signify a person of influence who has made a signification contribution to society, in some form or another. Nobody is saying they have to be perfect, even the Heavenly Saints had pasts. What statues do is point us to a place in our collective history, they form part of a wider conversation. We must not lose that knowledge in favour of appeasing virtue signalling mobs,” Robinson added.
Dr Todd Gray, of Exeter University, also criticised the historical accuracy of the Labour council’s BLM-style attack on General Buller, saying: “The argument against him was that he was involved in concentration camps, but that’s not true. I think that’s bad history. People put two and two together and got ten.”
“I don’t think people have thought this through carefully. I wonder if people are desperately trying to show their sympathy with Black Lives Matter,” Dr Gray surmised.
Black Lives Matter disorder spread across the Atlantic with remarkable speed in 2020 after the death of George Floyd in the United States, with statues torn down or vandalized across the country and London plunged into violent disorder, despite lockdowns. https://t.co/WrQ4h1woVS
— Breitbart News (@BreitbartNews) January 5, 2021
In 2020, as Black Lives Matter mania swept across the Atlantic from the United States in the wake of the death of George Floyd, BLM activists and local Labour governments targetted statues across the United Kingdom.
In June, BLM radicals tore down the statue of Sir Edward Colston, dumping the monument honouring the British slave owner and philanthropist into the local harbour in Bristol.
Just days after the toppling of the Colston statue, the Labour Party announced that every local council under its control would embark upon a review of local monuments to determine their “appropriateness” following the leftist Stop Trump Coalition’s national hit-list of supposedly offensive monuments.
The Conservative government was seen as largely impotent in the face of the leftist onslaught, with their response mostly being confined to giving mild statements condemning the vandalism.
However, in January, Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick announced that the government would be updating legal protections for all monuments, statues, memorials, plaques, and street names.
The change in the law means that any change or removal would need to go through an official planning process, with Mr Jenrick having the final say on any removals, instead of being left up to the whims of Labour-run local councils.
"Perhaps not since the era of Oliver Cromwell, when Puritans smashed and burned any work of art or architecture they deemed impure, has Britain engaged in such a frenzy of iconoclasm." https://t.co/PHewYcpTFK
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) June 9, 2020
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