The residence of Scotland’s first minister has been added to a hit list of monuments, buildings, street names and even schools supposedly associated with slavery. The list was assembled by a cancel culture group commissioned by Edinburgh’s hard-left council.
The recommendation means treasured artefacts of Edinburgh and Britain’s cultural heritage are in serious danger of being wiped out after Nicola Sturgeon previously recommended a review of slavery’s connection with the city, but “not that long a look”.
The Telegraph reports Bute House in the centre of the city has been slapped with the label, site of “historic racial injustice” because a Caribbean sugar plantation owner, John Innes Crawford once lived there.
Other great buildings and monuments set for cancellation as part of the wider drive to “rectify the glorification of slavery” are a memorial to Admiral Nelson and statues of Charlies II and David Hume, one of western civilization’s most influential philosophers.
Edinburgh’s David Hume Tower has already been reanointed, 40 George Square.
A statue of Robert Burns is also under consideration because the celebrated Scottish poet once “accepted a job working on a Jamaican plantation in a role he described as a ‘Negro driver’.”
Calling the shots (literally) is the ‘Edinburgh Slavery and Colonialism Legacy Review Group’, which strongly mirrors London Mayor Sadiq Khan’s disgraced Diversity Commission. Last week, the commission saw a member resign for anti-Semitic comments made in the past.
A final review by the Edinburgh group, appointed by the City’s Labour-SNP coalition council will be submitted in December. The report will provide recommendations for how the historical relics will be “removed or reimagined”.
The current resident of Bute House, Sturgeon is being asked to demand more evidence, but there is no evidence to suggest she will give the legacy group the hiding for trashing Edinburgh’s heritage many would argue it deserves.
In the aftermath of the toppling of Edward Colston’s statue in Bristol in June last year, Sturgeon said: “I do think we should have a long, hard look – or perhaps not that long a look – but a hard look at this as a country and the question I would start with is why do we want to continue to have statues and celebrations, and street names of people who profited in and traded in abject human misery? I think there is a discussion beyond that about what we do with them.”
Sturgeon, who is currently facing political ruin over allegations she abused her office in trying to sink her predecessor, Alex Salmond, added that while she has sympathy for the effort to rename “all” streets she does not favour brushing “under the carpet the history”, adding: “Certainly though we shouldn’t have statues of people who’ve profited from the slave trade without at the very least a way of making the public know who these people were and what their business was.
“So this is a big debate and long overdue debate and yes, I think there is a role for the Scottish Government to lead that discussion which we will certainly seek to do.”
The SNP’s woke policies would “more likely to lead to Nicola Sturgeon’s exit from Bute House than the building’s connections to slavery,” said Tory MSP, Miles Briggs, adding that the Conservatives would “do whatever we can to hasten the arrival of the removal lorry to Charlotte Square.”
It is worth noting though that Briggs emphasised that it was “important to be aware of the legacy of Scotland’s involvement in the slave trade”.