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"To pull down the statue of Lord Nelson?" Topic

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Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP26 Aug 2017 10:02 p.m. PST

"Afua Hirsch is a 36-year-old half-British, half-Ghanaian journalist brought up in London who, until this week, scarcely anybody had heard of.

She has now, however, achieved her five minutes of notoriety, space in the Guardian and a television debate, by proposing that Nelson's statue in Trafalgar Square should be torn from its plinth among the pigeons because he was a ‘white supremacist'.

She is pursuing the trail blazed by the Oxford protesters who seek to depose Cecil Rhodes, the Bristol campaigners who have secured the rebranding of the Colston Hall concert venue, and the Americans who are everywhere overthrowing images of Confederate Civil War heroes…"
Main page

What is going on?… I cannot understand this ….


CATenWolde Inactive Member27 Aug 2017 1:18 a.m. PST

Just give it a rest fer chrissake. This amounts to incitement.

Glengarry527 Aug 2017 2:18 a.m. PST

In Canada they want to tear down statues of our first Prime Minister, John A McDonald. I'm sick of this. Must we always do what the Americans do?

Oliver Schmidt27 Aug 2017 2:25 a.m. PST

Actually, those people just want do what the Taliban did with the Buddha statues in Bamiyan: destroying memories of the past which (in their eyes) distract people from achieving a better future.

After all, the owner of a monument or any other object is free to do with it as he pleases, even destroy it.

Artilleryman27 Aug 2017 2:51 a.m. PST

Sadly this is the style of judging the past with the eyes and standards of the present. If you use the 'white supremicist' argument then just about any figure in the inter-linked British, European and American history before 1960 should have their statue pulled down. Napoleon, Wellington, Washington and even the leaders of the campaign to abolish slavery should all go. Personally I believe that they should leave these statues alone as it reminds us of their deeds 'warts and all'. (Oh yes, that means Cromwell should go too.) To remove these monuments simply white-washes history (if I am allowed to say that).

goragrad27 Aug 2017 3:24 a.m. PST

Saw this last week and thought it rather amusing given the attitudes being displayed on the Confederate statue thread.

Nelson's wife came from a planter family, when in Parliament Nelson actively opposed banning slavery. Puts him (in the eyes of holier than thou gang) in the same boat as the Confederates.

One wonders if the lady in questions ancestors indulged in the trade – contrary to a prevailing meme it wasn't bands of European slavers going around Africa rounding up locals to sell, but the locals (and Arabs) meeting the ships at the shore with merchandise ready to sell.

Personal logo jeffreyw3 Supporting Member of TMP27 Aug 2017 4:58 a.m. PST

And this topic has what exactly to do with Napoleonics? Let's keep current events and non-wargaming topics in the proper forums--thanks!

Andrew Preziosi Supporting Member of TMP27 Aug 2017 5:41 a.m. PST

THIS is Blue Fez material…please move it there!

GurKhan27 Aug 2017 6:48 a.m. PST

And this topic has what exactly to do with Napoleonics?

Well, Nelson's statue surely comes under the heading of "Napoleonic media" :-)

Joes Shop Supporting Member of TMP27 Aug 2017 6:51 a.m. PST

Agree with AP. Doesn't belong here.

Gazzola27 Aug 2017 8:04 a.m. PST

We're discussing it, so why not here?

Although, I don't agree with the statues being pulled down, especially if they've been there for so long, I can understand why some people would want to see them removed.

However, I think they should stay and perhaps some info on what they represented at the time be included. We need people to get more interested in history and what really happened and why, so I would have thought the statues could create debate rather than out and out dislike or hate. You can't always hide the past.

But, at the same time, you have to place yourself into the mindset of those who feel the statues represent how their race, people or nation had been exploited. As I say, people need to be educated and the past should not be hidden, even the bits in which perhaps our own heroes and nation did bad things. For example, we know Nelson was fighting for a Nation who wanted dominance to create an empire. But I imagine those who first erected the statues did not do so because of that, but more for his military exploits. We are all military minded here, so will obviously think differently to those who no interest in military history.

I was quite sad to see The Lee statues being taken down, but then I (and I imagine many here) see him a great commander, not someone who represented those who supported slavery. Others don't think that way.

As someone has already stated, I doubt there are many statues that are 'innocent' in terms of background politics, history and greed for trade dominance. But I would say leave the old ones, but have some serious debates on any suggested new ones.

As an aside, I wonder if some of the people believing that such statues are fine, would object if a Napoleon statue was going to be erected outside Buckingham Palace? LOL

Oliver Schmidt27 Aug 2017 9:12 a.m. PST

It happened, by the way, also during the Napoleonic period that monuments were taken down.

In October 1806: Napoleon and the column commemorating the Prussian victory at Roßbach in 1757:



And in 1815, Blücher would have the Pont d'Iena in Paris blown off. However, the charge used was too small or placed inefficently, and before the good work could be repeated, the Prussian king arrived in Paris and interdicted the destruction. Instead, the brigde had to be renamed, in Pont des Invalides, but was renamed again in Pont d'Iena in 1830.

arthur181527 Aug 2017 9:35 a.m. PST

Surely the peoples who have most reason to be offended by a statue of Nelson are the French and the Spanish?

USAFpilot27 Aug 2017 10:07 a.m. PST

Pulling down statues has been going on since at least the time of the Roman Empire and probably before that. A new group comes into power which does't like the former group; so the former's statues come down. It's just politics; been going on for millennia. It's a shame really; whether those statues were erected for good reason or not, they are part of history (and art) which is now being destroyed.

Trajanus27 Aug 2017 12:03 p.m. PST


With all due respect just do some research Deleted by Moderator

There is not, nor will there be any sence to this article and I have no idea why a newspaper I have read for fifty years chose to publish such tangential guff, purely on the back of US events that have no equivalency.

basileus66 Inactive Member27 Aug 2017 3:19 p.m. PST

They are like the Romans of old and want a damnatio memoriae.

Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP27 Aug 2017 3:29 p.m. PST

A. Some weeks ago… Bill made me very clear …. with clear vehemence… that in "Media" you can only post "books, films and documents" … that is why the theme "Statues" of the ACW is in "Discussion" as well.

B. There were more articles about that theme… I only point one of them…it seems that this theme of the statues is spreading worldwide….


Personal logo Bobgnar Supporting Member of TMP27 Aug 2017 5:47 p.m. PST

War gamers are providing an excellent service. Indeed, this website is devoted to protecting history through small statues. A basic principle of communism, as pointed out in 1984, is that if you wish to control peoples future, you must first remove their past. Teardown big statues, and remove their history.

As long as we continue to maintain the history of our various countries through small statues, which we just call war game figures, our future might well be safe.

Personal logo piper909 Supporting Member of TMP Inactive Member27 Aug 2017 9:57 p.m. PST

Better ban classical studies while we're at it, and destroy all that Greek and Roman art and burn their literature. Those were slave societies, after all.

WE are so much smarter and superior now, after all, and beyond reproach now AND in the future.

HappyHussar28 Aug 2017 10:03 p.m. PST

Lets just get rid of any monument to Africa too while we are at it. They have slavery still to this day.


Its a bunch of nonsense. None of us in the West thinks slavery is humane anymore yet Africa has it. And it went on long before the first slave boat from England landed on their shores.

William Ulsterman29 Aug 2017 1:14 a.m. PST

I blame it all on global warming: the hotter the planet is the more convinced people become of the need to pull down statues that have stood around for decades, quietly collecting the guano and not harming anyone. Soon as we start turning up the thermostat, down come those statutes – there's an obvious co-relation. Someone clearly needs a huge grant from the tax payer to further research this.

Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP29 Aug 2017 11:02 a.m. PST



GlacierMI29 Aug 2017 11:49 a.m. PST

I've long been of the opinion that the whole world just needs a good spanking.

Teodoro de Reding30 Aug 2017 4:08 a.m. PST

The article about Nelson was clearly deliberately provocative. We don't associate Nelson with slavery: the column celebrates Trafalgar and indeed includes a black sailor among the four man figures (in homage to the – apparently sizeable – proportion of black sailors in the fleet; they had just chased Villeneuve to the West Indies and back).

We need to focus on where this starts: statues of R.E Lee. He himself did everything he could to avoid a hero cult and to promote reconciliation. The vast majority of these statues, especially those being pulled down, were erected as deliberate symbols of white supremacy and racism in (a) 1920s (height of the KKK membership) or (b) 1960s (resisting the Civil Rights movement and the 'interference' by the Kennedy/Johnson administration. They are political.

That is not the case with all statues. Many statues celebrate someone for a specific reason soon after their death, as with Nelson't column. The problem with these historical statues (leaving aside the instrumentalisation of Lee) is that they represent the 'establishment' view at the time, even when raised by public subscription. In retrospect, with historical hindsight, they may prove embarrassing. But that is a completely different story. That's an argument for MORE statues to get the record straight. For example: OK Florence Nightingale but where was Mary Seagall (black woman, much loved by the Guards n particular).

With Nelson, we don't have to put the record straight: the designer thought of it for us.

Teodoro de Reding30 Aug 2017 4:11 a.m. PST

As regards spanking, I could well imagine Nelson was a fan. With Emma anyway.

Trajanus30 Aug 2017 7:36 a.m. PST

That's Mary SEACOLE

There's been a statue to her since last year.


Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP30 Aug 2017 11:14 a.m. PST

I'm afraid now that some people want to Pull down l'Arc de Triomphe!!…


Teodoro de Reding30 Aug 2017 11:46 a.m. PST

Thanks Trajanus

William Ulsterman30 Aug 2017 7:41 p.m. PST

Well, in Te Kuiti they have just put up a statue to COLIN MEADS – to celebrate the surging charges and bruising fists of the mighty Pine tree.

Wrap yer heads around that one, y'doncha…

Robert le Diable01 Sep 2017 7:10 a.m. PST

For decades now, there's been the sporadic recurrence of plans to destroy, one way or another, "The Mannie", a colossal statue of the Duke of Sutherland placed on a classical column near to Dornoch in the Scottish Highlands; the figure looks out to sea, and the local saying has it that he, like others of his kind, "turned his back on the people" during that period of what we might now term "ethnic cleansing" more usually known as "The Highland Clearances". Plenty of Boer War statues to go around, too, if this latest fashion is to result in more bronzes and marbles of "dead white males" biting the dust. But then, in Britain, we're more restrained and civilised than "lesser breeds without the law" (check who Kipling meant before jumping to any conclusions, by the way).

Gazzola04 Sep 2017 11:37 a.m. PST


Like everything else, the want of a Roman damnatio memoriae depended on your point of view and who you favoured at the time, often to please and attract support from the next Emperor

Gazzola04 Sep 2017 11:42 a.m. PST

Oliver Schmidt

The ones you referred to related to events and embarrassing defeats, not to individuals.

But you can't change history by pulling down statues.

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