The farcical rush to destroy British history continues apace, and I was amused by this article in the Islington Tribune (Christ alone knows what sort of ghastly muesli-eating Reds buy that rag):
Some excerpts from it:
A HISTORIAN has urged the council to resist calls to tear down a statue dedicated to a British colonial war.
Neal Ascherson, a visiting professor at University College London’s Institute of Archaeology, wrote to the Tribune with his concerns that the Boer War statue at Highbury Corner could be drawn into a review of memorials triggered by the Black Lives Matter protests.
Instead of removing it, he said Islington should add another statue next to it which celebrates indigenous Africans who were caught in the crossfire of the colonial dispute.
It is understood the council has investigated the monument as part of a review ordered after demonstrators pulled down the statue of slave trader Edward Colston in Bristol earlier this month.
Mr Ascherson, 80, who lives in Highbury, said: “The Second Boer War was between two white nations exploiting black labour in what is modern day South Africa. The memorial remembers the poor lads who died in this completely stupid war, which really achieved nothing.”
Tensions between the British Empire and Dutch settlers, known as Boers, had been simmering for most of the 19th century.
The Boers, who had originally settled in what is now South Africa in the 1600s, moved out of the area that is roughly Cape Town in the early 19th century. They were infuriated by Britain’s attempts to impose the abolition of slavery on them.
They moved eastward towards modern day Johannesburg and were largely left alone until the vast Rand gold mine was discovered. Then the British moved in and war broke out in 1899.
Mr Ascherson, an honorary fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland, suggested Islington Council could consider something similar to the statue of an anonymous African woman in Edinburgh which recognises the Scottish capital’s stand against apartheid in the 1980s.
The current monument in the south-west corner of Highbury Place and Highbury Crescent was erected in 1905 and dedicated to the near-100 people of the borough who died during the Boer War.
A legacy of the Boer War was the eventual apartheid regime that persisted until the early 1990s. He added: “Islington is a place that is full of people who marched against apartheid over the years and it was certainly one of the centres for enthusiasm to free Mandela.”
While I of course agree with him that the statue should remain in place, quite why an Archaeologist (who looks rather like a relic himself) should be considered as a valid subject matter expert on this is beyond me. Needless to say, his comments on the Boer War are utterly inaccurate, and seem to have been made with a mind to not upsetting the sandal-wearing Lefties of Islington, rather than to portray what actually happened in the conflict.
For example, let’s take his claim that the Boer War ‘achieved nothing’.
Well, no – that is quite simply rubbish.
The Boer War was forced on the British when the Boer republics invaded British territory. So what British victory achieved was to prevent this aggression from succeeding, and thus meant the people of Bechuanaland, Rhodesia, Natal and the Cape were spared from living under the tyrannical rule of the Boers.
It would be like claiming the Falklands War ‘achieved nothing’… well, except sparing the Falkland Islanders from living under the jack boot of a fascist dictatorship.
By preventing the Cape Colony from being annexed by Kruger’s invaders, British victory secured the colour-blind Cape Qualified Franchise for another couple of generations, before it was abolished by the Apartheid regime. British victory also saw the vote extended to the Uitlanders of the Transvaal, who had been denied it by Kruger’s Fundamentalist Kleptocracy.
As for the claim that the Boer War was fought between ‘two white nations’, that is equally nonsense, as the British were attacked by two Boer republics – so unless my maths is letting me down, that’s three nations already.
And as British victory in the Boer War secured the Cape Qualified Franchise and extended the franchise in the Transvaal, it is ridiculous to pretend that the (much) later Apartheid regime is a ‘legacy’ of the conflict.
The one thing that this article proves is that it is not just some South African academics who are completely ignorant about the Boer War – seems Britain has their fair share too.