Glasgow Accused of Plotting to Purge ‘Controversial’ Statues from Public Square

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Glasgow City Council has been accused of plotting to purge a number of supposedly “controversial” statues from the city’s main square, despite having previously insisted that rumours of such a plan were “nonsense”.

Glasgow, the largest city in Scotland and once regarded as the Second City of the British Empire, currently plays host to a number of statues of historic Britons in George Square — named for George III, the monarch who lost the American colonies.

Statues currently in the square include monuments to the Duke of Wellington, former Prime Minister and Britain’s commander at the Battle of Waterloo; Sir Robert Peel, former Prime Minister and founder of the modern police force; and William Ewart Gladstone, who served as Prime Minister over four terms and, in more civically-educated times, enjoyed a reputation as formidable as that of wartime leader Sir Winston Churchill today.

In the wake of the Black Lives Matter unrest of 2020, however, Peel had his statue in George Square vandalised with a communist hammer and sickle symbol and the slogan ‘ACAB’ — ‘All Coppers Are Bastards’ — and Gladstone, born in 1809, has had his name dragged through the mud because his father was a slaveowner, despite having himself condemned slavery as the “foulest crime”.

Other statues and monuments in George Square have come under fire for their links to the British Empire.

Now, sketches of a proposed revamp of the square reported by the Scottish Daily Express appear to show a number of statues are set to be purged, with only seven of the current 12 visible.

This is despite the fact the council had previously dismissed concerns the revamp would be used to get rid of statues were “nonsense” and that there was “no pre-determined plan to remove any of the statues” — the word “pre-determined” looking like it was have been very deliberately inserted, now that it seems statues may indeed be removed.

“It was always obvious that Glasgow Council would use this redesign as an excuse to offload ‘problematic’ statues,” said Robert Poll, of the Save Our Statues campaign, in comments to the Scottish Daily Express.

“The only complaints have come from a handful of noisy activists, including the hatchet job slavery report commissioned by the Council to coincide with this redesign,” Poll alleged.

“The cleverly worded consultation puts ‘repositioning’ in the same category as removing from the square altogether. But if asked directly, the people of Glasgow would tell them in no uncertain terms to keep their hands off their historical statues,” he suggested.

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