Sheffield’s good citizens are fed up. They don’t want streets to be renamed in a woke rewriting of history.
The city council was concerned about street names and alleged imperial rotters. I stress the word ‘alleged’.
Do you think Gladstone Street should be changed? The 19th-century prime minister and Liberal leader was the most determined opponent of slavery imaginable, calling it ‘the foulest crime’. He wasn’t over-keen on the Empire, either.
However, Gladstone’s father was a slave owner. Gladstone, then young, supported compensating such persons. Students at Liverpool University decided last June to name Gladstone Hall in honor of an anti-racism activist. Sheffield could follow the example of Liverpool?
What about the city’s Peel Street, named after another 19th-century prime minister, Robert Peel, who had the misfortune to have a father who supported slavery? It should be renamed in honour of an exemplary Left-wing politician?
George Canning who was for the abolishment of slavery his whole political life? Canning Street should be erased because it is believed that some people were slave beneficiaries.
Sheffielders said that no. Let’s keep things as they are, and as we know them. According to a somewhat mortified council spokesman: ‘We acknowledge this strong feeling and are not currently intending to change any of the existing street names or remove any statues.’
Sheffield residents argued that streets such as Gladstone Road, named after William Gladstone (pictured), should not be renamed in the wake movement.
Gladstone, the 19th-century prime minister was an opponent of slavery imaginable, yet Liverpool University voted to rename Gladstone Hall. Pictured in Gladstone Road (Sheffield).
The council would likely be pleased if there were several Sheffield pubs named after Lord Nelson. This is because Lord Nelson was once a friend of slave-owning people (but he never became a slaver).
New pub signs might be named in honor of Nelson Mandela (a South African freedom fighter who was also known as Lord Nelson). People in Sheffield and elsewhere would have to get used to ‘popping down to the Mandela’ for a quick one.
However, this raises another question. In these woke times, shouldn’t Mandela himself be assigned another first name? They should insist that Mandela’s death be marked by the Nelson part, if they want to remain consistent.
It is amazing how absurd this reconstruction of historical events to fit modern sensibilities has been. But it’s not mass movements. The tyranny and control of the minority is what we are seeing.
Members of the liberal elite are driven to arrange the past, often assisted and supported by half-witted protesters who have little to no knowledge about the British Empire’s history.
This all started when Edward Colston’s statue fell into Bristol docks in June 2020 by a mob.
Pictured: Robert Peel was the Prime Minister and had the unfortunate experience of being born to a slave-supporting father
The UK’s councils have decided to name streets that are allegedly linked to Britain’s colonial past. Pictured: Liverpool’s Peel Street has been named in honour of Robert Peel who was a slave supporter.
UK councils voted in favor of renaming streets with colonial links. Pictured: Peel Street in Sheffield is named for Robert Peel, whose father supported slavery
While Gladstone, Peel, and Canning didn’t own a slave, Colston held shares in Royal African Company which controlled the West African slave market.
He sold his share in 1689 and became an enormous philanthropist, giving prodigiously for charitable causes like schools in Bristol and London. But this didn’t weigh in the balance with a rabble on the rampage.
Many of the national institutions in our country have since sought to clean themselves from their pasts.
The Church of England directed churches and cathedrals in the country to inspect their monuments for any connections to slavery or colonialism. If they are, it will take immediate action. Around 12,500 churches and 42 cathedrals are currently looking into their grounds for evidence of such connections.
We can imagine the monument to Sir Henry Craggs which was placed in Little Snodbury Church’s side chapel over 200 years.
Didn’t he have a half-brother who served in the East India Company? And wasn’t his great-aunt married to a man who owned a slave plantation in Jamaica? You can tear it apart!
Many British national institutions are trying to clean themselves from their history of corruption. Pictured: The Lord Nelson Pub, Sheffield City Centre won’t be renamed
A report by the National Trust was published September 2020 concerning the connections between its properties, historic colonialism, and slavery.
These included Chartwell, Winston Churchill’s former home in Kent. One of his supposed crimes was holding the office of Secretary for State for Colonies. Thank God, the rebellious National Trust members fight back against this idiocy.
At the Trust’s recent annual meeting, they nearly defeated the organisation’s trendy bosses, who have wasted so much time and money haring up intellectual blind alleys.
Under minority activist pressure, many cities, from Glasgow to Liverpool, have begun to remove street signs which memorialize people who are slave-owners. Sometimes, even seemingly harmless things can cause a rebuke to official feathers.
One complaint led to a council in Swanage (Dorset) renaming a street called Darkie Lane. Because of its dark, shaded trees it has earned the name Darkie Lane.
The citizens of Sheffield are so happy to see that, in an age where campaigners and activists want to force their values onto the past, there is a lot of enthusiasm. They want to keep the street names, just like most people. They consider them a special part of their lives.
Chartwell House was the home of Sir Winston Churchill, Prime Minister. It was included last year in a National Trust document that listed properties linked to slavery.
Perhaps they also realize that street names can be expensive. The inconvenience for the residents will include having to modify their addresses in order change bank accounts, insurance and bills. The title deeds must be changed.
Cash-strapped councils — which means council tax payers — are likely to foot the bill. Haringey Council was told this year that the price of renaming just one street, Black Boy Lane, would be £186,000 if each resident was given £300 in compensation. The project was put on hold, not surprising.
Which brings me to Prince Charles, and his speech on Monday at the ‘transition ceremony’ to mark Barbados becoming a republic.
It is hard to describe the heir of the throne as being part of the liberal elite. He is, in many respects, deeply conservative.
He was right about the comments he made regarding slavery. It was an ‘appalling atrocity’ and does ‘forever stain our history’.
But having rightly said what he did, couldn’t the Prince have found time, in an admittedly short address, to say something more positive about Britain’s imperial legacy?
However, slavery was ended by the British Empire in 1833 and the British Empire abolished the slave trade in 1807.
The Royal Navy liberated tens and thousands of slaves from being sent across the Atlantic by the Royal Navy between 1815-18 1860. It also saved the lives of an estimated 20,000 British soldiers.
Slavery was a terrible crime. However, Prince Charles could have mentioned the benefits that British rule brought to Barbados but chose not. Barbados’ colonial history has been a major factor in the success of Parliamentary Democracy, Rule of Law, and Freedom of the Press.
Three cheers for Sheffield’s people for protecting their history. Two cheers for Prince Charles who went to Barbados, and spoke openly about slavery. It was hard to believe that he was not a member our liberal elite and had some limits in his self-flagellation.