Two Old Codgers

How the World strikes us

I recently sent an email. This was what it said

"History is not there for you to like or dislike. It is there for you to learn from and if it offends you, even better because then you are less likely to repeat it. It’s not yours to erase. It belongs to all of us!"

I don't apologise for the sentiment, I think it is absolutely spot on. However, they aren't my words. I picked them up from the internet and sent them on to a few friends. I received several acknowledgements and obviously some thought I had composed the message - sorry about that, I wasn't attempting to claim any credit, just passing on something that made a lot of sense to me.
Protest sign2

There has been much in the media recently of people who have diametrically opposing views. Hundreds demonstrating, pulling down statues and defacing monuments and using the demonstrations as an opportunity to vent their ill thought out ideas on the rest us.

All right thinking people recognise that slavery is wrong but also know that you cannot go back in time to right a wrong. If you are honest with yourself we all have things from our past that we regret. We may have apologised at the time and perhaps even made reparation but the simple fact is you cannot erase what happened. The only positive thing is ensuring that we do not repeat the error.

The men whose statues are being destroyed and defaced lived in an age where what they did was accepted and praised by the forebears of the protesters. It's also a fact that many of us benefited from what they did.

Rhodes Scholars

For instance The Rhodes Scholarship is for initially for two years. It covers Oxford University fees as well as providing an annual stipend. For the 2019/20 academic year, the stipend was £15,900 per annum. Rhodes Scholars come from all corners of the world and are engaged with all fields of study. Over 100 Rhodes Scholars are selected each year, with an average of 250 Scholars resident in Oxford. The image is of the 2015 intake. At the risk of being labelled racists, over 30% were non-white.

Wouldn't it be good if amongst the protests was an apology saying "I am sorry that my great, great grandfather did nothing to stop the slave trade" or even better, they nipped back in time to have a word with their ancestor and perhaps at the same time thanking Cecil Rhodes for initially funding the Rhodes Scholarships.

Modern society (Perhaps that should be a vociferous minority) seem to be searching for things from the past they can correct. As an old gimmer, I have news for them - IT CAN'T BE DONE !

You can have a good old moan, throw things at policemen, break windows, light fires, write cardboard placards and shout yourself hoarse but what has been, has been and however much you regret it, there is sweet nothing you can do.

There are lots of things about the 'Put righters' that annoy me. Just recently it has
Nigger 2
been the replacing of the gravestone of a dog owned by Guy Gibson VC of Dm Busters fame. I am sure he would not have chosen that name today but back then in the 1940s it was accepted. For goodness sake accept that things change. If they didn't you would still be using an outside toilet and taking a weeks an annual holiday in Clacton or Blackpool instead of a fortnight on the Costa del Sol or a Mediterranean cruise.

Blackpool rain

A Comment for John at the other side of the World

Thank you! You have masterfully articulated what, I can only describe as the majority of level-headed thinking people, unfortunately they are the silent majority. Sadly it's the vociferous rantings of the minority welfare based blockheads that seem to get all the attention. Maybe because of all the media coverage, the said blockheads think they have special dispensation to create more havoc.

The media has a lot to answer for as coverage of the protester's stupidity seems to attract more of the same - more blockheads that is. It's cool must be!

The sign featured in one of your blog images, 'I'm so angry I made a sign' - made me laugh but does manage to describe protester mentality pretty well.

And David - not so far away

I liked and identified with much of what you said in your latest blog - I think you echo the thoughts of the great majority. Shame that, as always, the great majority just moan to one another rather than shouting out their feelings from the rooftops for fear of being called racist, or worse.

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