Historical monuments and statues in Britain will be granted new legal protections from “baying mobs” and the “revisionist purges” carried out by left-wing Labour Party-controlled councils, Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick announced on Sunday.
Mr Jenrick said that the change in law will mandate that all memorials, monuments, historical statues, plaques, and street names will have to go through an official planning process, rather than being left to the mercy of local Labour-run councils.
The law will also recommend that rather than removing the statues, they should instead be contextualised. Though the final say on removals will be in the hands of Mr Jenrick, local citizens will also be empowered through the planning process to object to taking down any statues.
Writing in The Telegraph, Mr Jenrick said that it is not right for monuments — which were in many cases funded by voluntary public donations — to be removed “at the hands of the flash mob, or by the decree of a cultural committee of town hall militants and woke worthies”.
“We live in a country that believes in the rule of law, but when it comes to protecting our heritage, due process has been overridden. That can’t be right,” Jenrick declared.
“What has stood for generations should be considered thoughtfully, not removed on a whim or at the behest of a baying mob,” he added.
‘Historical Wokery’: British War Hero’s Statue Set to be Removed by BLM Inspired Council https://t.co/U6T85QPSBS
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) January 13, 2021
The government said that the legal protections would apply to all 12,000 statues in England, 3,400 of which already have some degree of legal protection as “listed” by local governments as monuments of historical significance, which previously would not preclude local councils from removing the statues.
The proposed change to the law will be presented to Parliament on Monday and is expected to come into effect by March.
The law will also cover attempts to rename streets in England linked to the British Empire or some other perceived historical grievance from left-wing activists.
New trends in street names were illustrated in Birmingham last year when the city council approved several housing development streets including: “Diversity Grove”, “Equality Road”, “Destiny Road”, “Inspire Avenue”, “Respect Way”, and “Humanity Close”.
Following the death of George Floyd in America, a Black Lives Matter campaign against British monuments and historical statues spread throughout the country.
In a notable example, BLM street radicals tore down the statue of Sir Edward Colston in Bristol in June for his ties to the slave trade, the activists ultimately dumping the statue in the local harbour.
Far-left activists targetted statues honouring British historical figures including Sir Winston Churchill and Queen Victoria, as well as the national war memorial the Cenotaph. BLM also targetted statues honouring American Presidents George Washington and Abraham Lincoln — the man who freed the slaves.
Political commentator Calvin Robinson, who himself has been a target of racial abuse from left-wing activists, said of the proposed law change: “This is so important because this is about our nation’s history. This past year or so, we’ve had so many attempts to rewrite history or erase it.”
“This weird attempt to judge people of the past by today’s ever progressive standards… we need to celebrate our progress without destroying the past, that is possible,” Robinson concluded.
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
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