RICHARD LITTLEJOHN: Whatever next from these revisionist zealots?
RICHARD LITTLEJOHN: Whatever next from these revisionist zealots? Mandela must fall!
When I started out in this game 50 years ago, on a now defunct weekly paper in Peterborough, we used to drink in a city centre pub called the Black Boy & Trumpet.
Nobody gave the name a second thought. We had no idea that half a century later we would have been committing a hate crime.
How long would it take today before an angry Black Lives Matter mob descended on the boozer, stoved in the windows and tore down the sign swinging over the front door?
Greene King brewery is taking no chances. It has announced that four of its pubs are to be renamed due to ‘potentially offensive connotations’. The move affects three pubs called The Black Boy — in Bury St Edmunds and Sudbury in Suffolk, and Shinfield in Berkshire — along with the Blacks Head in Wirksworth, Derbyshire.
Greene King acted after an investigation by University College London uncovered the company’s historic links to slavery.
Mandela, before he became a secular saint, was leader of a terrorist organisation responsible for bombs that slaughtered at least 100 innocent people, most of them black Africans. How long before the BLM crowd go after his statue in Parliament Square? (pictured)
They’ve already smeared ‘racist’ on Churchill’s statue outside Parliament and taped ‘anti-racist’ slogans on a statue of Mahatma Gandhi, who once called black Africans ‘savages’
How the pubs came to be named The Black Boy and the Blacks Head is lost in the mists of time. But chief executive Nick Mackenzie said: ‘While the origins of the names are obscure . . . what is clear is that they are linked with racism today.’
Predictably, the Bufton Tufton Tendency are outraged. A number of letter writers to Her Majesty’s Daily Telegraph insist that the name Black Boy has nothing to do with racism.
One claims it refers to the soot-blackened faces of charcoal and foundry workers. Others connect it to Charles II, who was apparently nicknamed ‘the black boy’ because of his swarthy complexion, black hair and dark eyes.
Another links a Black Boys pub on the Henley Road in Berkshire to William of Orange, although surely it would have been called The Orange Boys. (Mind you, that would have been ‘cancelled’ by now, too, accused of glorifying Donald Trump.)
No one could mount a similar defence of the old Black Boy & Trumpet. The pub is long gone, but I managed to track down a photo of the sign online. There’s not an ancient king or foundry worker in sight, simply a painting of, er, a young black boy with a trumpet. They couldn’t have made it more obvious if the sign had featured a picture of Louis Armstrong performing Hello, Dolly!.
Nobody in their right mind would countenance calling a new boozer The Black Boy these days, with or without trumpet. It would never happen. And rightly so.
But that doesn’t excuse the craven surrender everywhere to those maniacs who want to trash our history, often on the most spurious of premises.
Big business, most politicians and our civic institutions are all in thrall to revisionist zealots, determined to erase any lingering connection with colonialism in general and slavery in particular.
We’re currently facing a frontal assault on not just our history, but freedom of speech and thought, from a vociferous, intolerant ‘woke’ minority. Pictured: Protesters in Bristol roll a statue of slave trader Edward Colston along the street
The latest lunacy involves a ‘reassessment’ of Winston Churchill’s views on race and empire by, er, Churchill College, Cambridge — which is named after the great man and has been entrusted with custody of his papers.
Among those ‘reassessing’ Churchill will be a fellow at the college, Professor Priya Gopal, a staunch critic of the British Empire. Another is Kehinde Andrews, a professor of black studies at Birmingham City University, who attacked the singing of Rule, Britannia! at The Proms.
Why does anyone take any notice of self-important, soft-headed ‘academics’ like him? Birmingham City is one of those pretend universities invented by New Labour. It started out as an art college and incorporates what used to be known as Birmingham Polytechnic.
It’s where Brummies used to go to evening classes to paint bowls of fruit and get a City & Guilds in plumbing.
Who gives a monkey’s what an obscure provincial ‘professor of black studies’ thinks about the legacy of a Prime Minister who saved Britain from tyranny and helped defeat a truly evil empire?
When I started out in this game 50 years ago, on a now defunct weekly paper in Peterborough, we used to drink in a city centre pub called the Black Boy & Trumpet. Nobody gave the name a second thought
Tyrannies, however, come in different forms. We’re currently facing a frontal assault on not just our history, but freedom of speech and thought, from a vociferous, intolerant ‘woke’ minority.
Thankfully, at long last, the Government is fighting back. Statues and monuments will no longer be toppled ‘on the whim of a baying mob’ — or a handful of extreme Left-wing councillors.
Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick has promised that, in future, councils will have to go through a proper planning and consultation process before removing statues or changing street names. That won’t stop them, of course. But it might slow things down and give opponents time to organise resistance.
Politically motivated councils have been renaming streets and buildings for decades. It began in earnest over 30 years ago, inspiring Only Fools And Horses creator John Sullivan to locate the Trotters’ flat in a Peckham tower block called Nelson Mandela House.
One of my early columns for London’s Evening Standard in the late 1980s featured the opening of the Winnie Mandela Under-Fives Resources Centre in Islington — where else? This was around the time when Nelson Mandela’s missus was revealed to be torturing her opponents with ‘necklaces’ of burning tyres.
I suggested that, as a gesture of solidarity, the Mayor of Islington should dump his chain of office and conduct the opening ceremony wearing a flaming Dunlop SP round his neck.
Not sure Winnie’s under-fives centre is still there, but it can’t be long before the woke warriors turn their attention to her late husband’s legacy. Mandela, before he became a secular saint, was leader of a terrorist organisation responsible for bombs that slaughtered at least 100 innocent people, most of them black Africans.
How long before the BLM crowd go after his statue in Parliament Square? They’ve already smeared ‘racist’ on Churchill’s statue outside Parliament and taped ‘anti-racist’ slogans on a statue of Mahatma Gandhi, who once called black Africans ‘savages’.
It can only be a matter of time until the BBC starts broadcasting trigger warnings before Only Fools, or simply edits out mentions of Nelson Mandela House.
And where does that leave Gandhi? Speaking of Trigger warnings: ‘He made one great film and you never saw him again.’
More from Richard Littlejohn for the Daily Mail…
I imagine the Nags Head, Peckham, is safe for now — at least until the animal rights brigade start to make themselves busy.
But what would you call a new pub these days? It’s a minefield getting any name through the existing planning process.
When I lived in the Loony Left London Borough of Haringey for 12 years until the mid-1990s, the council cared more about Soweto than Seven Sisters. They even flew the flag of the African National Congress above the Town Hall.
Haringey, like countless other local authorities across Britain, is now conducting a review of all buildings, place and streets names in the wake of the BLM protests.
I wasn’t surprised to read recently that, despite opposition from residents of all ethnic backgrounds, the council proposes to change the name of Black Boy Lane, in Tottenham, to ‘La Rose Lane’ after a local poet and campaigner.
So you can imagine how delighted the council was, back when I lived there, to approve an application for a new pub in Wood Green to be called The Nelson.
Naturally, they assumed this was in honour of Mandela. When the pub opened they were horrified to see a sign featuring Admiral Horatio Nelson over the front door; red, white and blue bunting everywhere; and graphic scenes from the Battle of Trafalgar on the walls of the saloon bar.
Still, could have been worse. At least the brewery didn’t decide to call it the Black Boy & Trumpet.
The death of Phil Spector reminded me that the last live gig I attended before lockdown starred Bill Medley, the baritone half of The Righteous Brothers, most famous for the Spector-produced You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin’.
When Bill walked on stage I thought that by mistake I’d wandered into a Joe Biden rally.
Baby, baby, I’ll take the knee for you…
When Bill (left) walked on stage I thought that by mistake I’d wandered into a Joe Biden (right) rally
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