Saturday, August 26, 2017
The Column of Nelson
Our hometown hero, he is (or, apparently, was).
Born in my county of birth, went to school in my city, then commanded the British Fleet that gave Napoleon a right good spanking at the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805 (where, romantically, he died).
You could always tell the difference between Napoleon and Nelson, because Napoleon held his only arm like this, whereas Nelson held his like that.(*).
Now, apparently, enlivened by the Confederate monument debate, people want to remove his statue from Trafalgar Square because he supported the slave trade. But in that case should we not also be pulling down statues of Mandela, who was a terrorist, and Gandhi, who was an anti-African racist, and Churchill, who said that 'Ghandhi-ism and everything it stands for will have to be crushed' and Reagan, who supported genocidal dictators, and for that matter, shouldn't we be destroying everything Roman and the Great Wall of China (which killed millions, including a million workers who were forced to build it)?
Go ahead if you want. I don't care. Pull down Nelson's column. I never thought much of worshipping politicians or the military and I'm not a great fan of statues. But if so, pull everything down, please (**). Just like ISIS did in Palmyra...
* quote from 1066 and All That
** I'm not being serious, of course.