It’s Our History, Warts and All

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A PUBLIC vote this week has appeared to contradict a popular current narrative.

The people of Denbigh voted by 80% to 20% to keep the statue of controversial explorer Henry Morton Stanley in place by the town’s public library.

It was the first public vote in Wales on such a matter since the furore over historical statues exploded in the wake of the BLM protests last year.

With vociferous campaigns to remove or destroy historical statues in the UK given much prominence in the media over the past months.

Along with an insistent narrative that this could serve to expunge historical wrongs.

Although only just under 10% of Denbigh’s residents did cast a vote this week, it does show perhaps that public opinion is starting to swing against such dogmatism.

A spokesperson for Gwlad said although HM Stanley himself was undoubtedly a questionable individual, it was the right decision to keep the statue in place.

‘As a nation we have to recognise the entirety of our history, warts and all. Like it or not, HM Stanley represents a very small part of that history’ he said.

‘The idea that removing a statue somehow cleanses us today from historical wrongs doesn’t make any sense at all’.

‘It would also set a precedent, whereby other historical figures could be judged by our standards today, and that we can’t bear to even think about them’.

‘Who would be next in line for the chop because of a sense that we are so much more ‘moral’ today?’

HM Stanley, abandoned by his birth family at an early age, became a Victorian explorer associated with European imperialism in the second half of the 19th century.

The main issue for those calling for the removal of the statue was his connection with Belgian King Leopold II, responsible for acts of inhumanity against the native people of the Congo.

The Gwlad spokesperson added that Denbigh Town Council could perhaps now use the vote to further educate local people about European imperialism and Wales’s minor role in that process.

‘As a party we are very keen on public votes like this, since it can engage people on local issues, and encourage debate and awareness.’

‘We’d like to see more of these taking place all over Wales’.

Perhaps this week’s vote says a lot about the current woke-abulary that has assailed our ears about all kinds of issues for a while now.

Despite all the noise and the fervent media backing it enjoys, things can prove to be very different on the ground in real life.

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