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MP likens statue protesters to Islamic extremists



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The statue of Sir Winston Churchill before it was boxed up
The statue of Sir Winston Churchill before it was boxed up

MP to Islamist extremists. New ForestPROTESTERS calling for the removal of statues to controversial historical figures in the UK have been compared by a

Sir Desmond Swayne likened those seeking to “erase the past” to the Taliban which destroyed 1,700-year-old standing Buddhas in Afghanistan in 2001, and Daesh – also known as Islamic State – which damaged the ancient ruins of Palmyra in Syria in 2017.

The New Forest West MP was commenting on his website after a statue in Bristol was tossed into the city’s river earlier this month amid calls by Black Lives Matter campaigners for public monuments to be reconsidered in the light of racism.

Sir Desmond Swayne
Sir Desmond Swayne

that tearing down statues was “to lie about our history”, Sir Desmond went on: “I’d put it a little stronger: seeking to erase the past in this way is no better than Daesh when it destroyed the standing Buddhas in Afghanistan, and ancient ruins of Palmyra in Syria.Historic EnglandClaiming to quote

“If we followed the absurd mindset of the mobs, we’d erase every remaining trace of Roman civilisation in our island and the Egyptians would tear down the pyramids.”

He attacked the “mindlessness of the mob that they take out their anger on monuments rather than put their energy into addressing, through our democratic system, the injustice of which they complain.

“The truth is that these anarchists have no interest in consent and democratic politics, like the fascists from whom they differ so little, they want to impose mob rule without consent.

“The attacks on the Cenotaph and on the statue of Sir Winston Churchill show that the mobs are determined to outrage public opinion.”

He concluded by saying that he tried to cheer up his “despondent” constituency correspondents by telling them that “the hysteria will pass”.



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