Begun, the statue wars have:
British public defending cultural heritage in Poole.
Baden-Powell statue now not being removed today. pic.twitter.com/qJuakSQVyo
— Michael Heaver (@Michael_Heaver) June 11, 2020
The statue in question, naturally enough, is of some bloke you haven’t heard of, who founded the scouts. And trust me, the people who want it taken down hadn’t heard of him either, until a few days ago, when someone added him to a list of “problematic” statues. Apparently the fellow in question was a bit of a racist in his time, but then, his time was the 1920s, when he wasn’t alone, by any stretch of the imagination.
Following publication of the list of undesirable statues, the local council decided to move the statue “for its own safety”, and the locals have had enough. They’ve been very effective, too. One or two of them on the news, and the council has backed down in the face of the old lad waving his walking stick around.
The locals are quite right, of course. The whole idea of taking it down is a nonsense.
But there’s a bigger point here, too, which is that within days of people taking the law into their own hands to throw poor old Edward Colston in the sea, we now have other people threatening to take the law into their own hands to throw the Colston-drowners in the sea themselves. One thing about mob rule: It is entirely dependent on who can muster the bigger mob.
Over in the US, the mob is continuing to rampage away with gay abandon. Listen to the cheering here:
— ABC News (@ABC) June 10, 2020
None of this will end well. There’ll be a reaction to it, and people will get hurt. Most of us instinctively recoil from mobs of destructive lunatics, eventually.