Michael Fabricant

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Vandalising heritage is not the way to stamp out racism, Lichfield and Burntwood’s MP has said.

Statues of individuals with links to the slave trade have begun to be removed across the country after protesters ditched Edward Colson’s statue into a harbour at Bristol.

Meanwhile a US streaming service has also removed Gone With The Wind over its depiction what the company said were “ethnic and racial prejudices”.

But Conservative MP Michael Fabricant said such steps were not aiding the cause.

“Black Lives Matter as do those of all other skin types equally.

“But vandalising our historical heritage and banning movies made some 80 years ago is not the way to stamp out racism – that’s what fascists did in the 1930s and 40s.

“It could even make matters worse.”

Michael Fabricant MP

In a post on social media, Mr Fabricant said the move to axe the 1939 movie had a personal connection for him.

Ross

Founder of Lichfield Live and editor of the site.

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41 Comments

  1. He’s right in a way. Vandalism won’t really get rid of institutional racism.

    It’s the sort of thing that could best be tackled by some leadership at the top instead…… Oh.

  2. That statue in Bristol – I went to Bristol Uni in the 90’s and signed petitions to have it removed into a museum then.
    More recently there’s been a big move to change the wording on the plaque to tell of his disgusting behaviour as a slaver. The tory councillors (one of whom was proudly pictured with a toy golliwog by the way) rejected it.
    So I’m not surprised it was removed. It should’ve gone long ago.
    I don’t agree with removing GWTW – it can teach about slavery.
    Statues glorify these slave traders & that shouldn’t be happening.

  3. He is possibly right.

    But ineffectual politicians who claim to be liberal minded but merely pander to their narrow-minded and bigoted social media acolytes will not help to stamp out racism either.

    In fact, they are a significant part of the problem. They ignore the issue, play to the baying gallery to feed their own inflated ego and fail to show any authority, leadership or redeeming quality that justifies their elected position and excessive salary. The inability of that politician to offer up any recognition of the wider issue or, heaven forbid, a solution to the problem merely serves to show what a monumental waste of space they are.

    Step forward and take a bow Michael Fabricant, you are part of the problem. You will never be part of the solution.

  4. Kitty so the taught you at Bristol University to do away with the history of the city. What a waste of money. I suggest you refund all the money spent on your ” education” note quote marks well

  5. I suggest you look at Boswell’s involvement with slavery and take the statue down, before others take matters into ther own hands!
    He suggested they actally enjoyed being slaves and wrote a poem to that effect!

  6. Well Mike the point is lost on you because I wanted it in a museum to tell the history and not ignore it.
    Anything else you can find to deny equal rights?

    No.

  7. Mike

    You miss the point, the history of the city was already misrepresented by a statue that extolled his philanthropic virtues, but failed to explain the wealth built partly on the vile slave trade.

    Kitty didn’t do away with the history of the city, the people who put up the statue did that.

  8. Boswell watered down Johnson’s anti-slavery views in his Biography and said that slaves enjoyed being slaves.
    I would like a plaque on his statue to reflect his views as I think it would be a contrast to Johnson’s own statue.
    As far as I know, Boswell didn’t personally profit from slavery or take part in it? That would be my criteria for removing a statue into a museum.

  9. Once again, Fabricant is completely out of step with current feeling on this – to the point of it being another embarrassing episode.

    Has Fabricant displayed any empathy over the Murder of Mr Floyd? I mean, any at all? All he’s done is criticise the frustration at those protesting.

    It’s as if Fabricant is our very own Trump….devoid of any sympathy or empathy.

  10. As a trading city it is probable that Lichfield had some connection with the slave trade. Morality changes over time and, as then, our present standards will be eclipsed by a new reality.
    Victoria is considered one of our greatest monarchs, her statues are everywhere. She presided over the greatest empire the world has had. It was not a benevolent empire. Perhaps we can be selective in our past history.
    Likewise with our statues. There have been many city benefactors without memorials. Such as we have commemorate fairly minor achievement. That of captain Smith is frankly bizarre. Through imprudence he caused a great loss of life. Why a statue? And why Lichfield?
    We do live in a meritocracy. You see it on television, in council representation and everywhere, especially sport. Most police forces are even handed in their treatment. As in all aspects of life there will always be exceptions. One problem is we tend to consider others of whatever colour, class or creed by our own standards. We fail to realise that everyone’s standards aren’t the same.

  11. Fabricant jumping on the Farage ‘new Taliban’ line there and claiming that those wanting equality are the fashists. Toppling the statue in Bristol has had an incredibly positive impact, the simple act (long overdue) has raised more awareness of Britain’s roll in the slave trade than the statue had done in the previous 150 years it had stood there. Claiming that removing statues is erasing history is of course complete nonsense. Statues are there to celebrate, we need to revisit what we as a nation want to celebrate periodically, that is not erasing the history, it is simply re-evaluation what we think of it. But again, a man like Fabricant who defends black face and thinks fondly of apartheid is not likely to be the most forward thinking of men. When he says “Vandalising heritage is not the way to stamp out racism” what he really means is “you want stop me being racist”.

  12. Stoke, from where smith hailed didn’t want the statue for obvious reasons. Lichfield accepted it as there was probably an empty place in the park or they enjoyed getting a freebie.

  13. The story about Stoke not wanting the statue of Smith is an urban myth. It was simply a logistical decision at the time to stick him on a coaching route with other attractions and ease of access for visiting Americans. As for Victoria a statue of her was once removed and destroyed to make way for a road junction, no-one was bothered in the slightest. It would be good if the English hated racism as much as they hate being called racist.

  14. Why does Lichfield continually vote for and support this arrogant racist and, quite frankly, embarrassing persona? I literally cannot think of a single positive reason..

    All he seems to do is court controversy and negative attention for Lichfield.

  15. Chris…. You do realise the coaching era was well over by 1912? It is evan probable not many have seen the statue in the park. I think you have invented an ‘urban myth’ of your own.

  16. Bristols Colston statue was erected a full 170 years after his death because influential men in the city wanted to create a paternalist local idol… the adulation of Colston, and was part of an attempt to obscure the role of Bristol in the slave trade. Even his own “Philanthropy” using profits from slavery were to Colstons own interests, the boys school was built so he could source educated boys to work on his ships!
    Adolation for a symbol erected out of period context, for the purposes of propaganda. It would be like German people with an agenda, putting up a statue of Adolf in the year 2115, with a plaque saying he was “A great leader, artist and author with an interest in travel and social reform”. Intolerable.
    Our MP is really out of touch with current reality.

  17. I don’t get offended, loads of people seem very keen to do it on mine and others behalf.
    How have I defended a statue?

  18. Simple answer pull all statues down, eradicate all history, destroy all books then all will be happy. Sounds a bit like the early 1940’s to me

  19. Rob you’ve not given your opinion but said more people voted to keep it. Which is true and why a change to the plaque wording was being pursued. When people were asked why they wanted to keep it the main reason was to keep the history. When they were offered an alternative of putting it in a museum, majority liked that. Do you think it should have stayed?
    And ML – that isn’t the actual point of this, the point is the glorification of the individual rather than eradicating history.

  20. Chris.. This is a bit off subject so I won’t labour the point. Certainly I am not intent on proving you wrong.
    I read your article and that of Chris Upton on the history of Lichfield along with Coaching City. The coaching route through Lichfield (London to Liverpool) was in steep decline after 1840. By 1880 it had completely disappeared. By then the trains made it a day journey so no Lichfield stop overs were necessary. There was local trap conveyance to and from Trent Valley station and Lichfield, and sometimes to local villages and towns.
    Why captain Smith is in Lichfield is a mystery, but I doubt the credibility of the reason given. When you think of the many more alternatives it is still a bizarre choice. More likely to assuage someone’s embarrassment I would think as it was sculpted by Scott’s wife and his stature was high at that time. Incidentally, as most Americans would be sailing into Liverpool, does that not seem a more logical place for it? There were no transatlantic flights in 1914.
    If you can offer any advice on a stagecoach service still operating from London to Liverpool I would find that a great adventure.

  21. Whether it stays or not is none of my business. It’s up to the people who live there. Not sure when they last voted on it, so maybe have another one now?

  22. Not my article, I merely linked to it. One thing that does seem certain is that his home town were never embarrassed or shamed by him. They’d already commemorated him with a plaque before the statue was built.

  23. Interesting to see Farage finally lost his radio job for equating the anti racism protests to the Taliban. I’m sure Fabricant will suffer no ill for doing the same.

  24. Black Lives Matter pamphlet

    1. White men, women and children you are the enemy

    2. We will not stop until there are more white homicides than black

    3. We will not stop until white people pay extra taxes to support black individuals

    4. We will not stop until all black power runs ALL government

    5. We will not allow any white person to date another rave

    6. We support no white owned businesses

    7. Hate is OK if directed

  25. British history is in the process of being done away with by a bunch of thugs. If Churchill had not been made PM you would all be living in the Third Reich and then you would have not been able to do what you are doing now. My Father and Gran Father fought for you idiots and free speech

  26. ML – Your Gran’s Father? Why not say Great Grandfather?

    What about those white “patriots” giving Nazi salutes and attacking the police next to Churchill’s statue in London yesterday?
    What about that idiot who urinated against a memorial for a police officer killed in a terrorist attack.

    You are right, British history is being done away with by a bunch of thugs – people like you.

  27. For those interested, there’s a justgiving.com page to raise money to repair the Fazeley war memorial. It looks like it’s had a visit from the BLM intelligentsia.

  28. On the Smith statue this might help …Lichfield was the capital of the diocese that covered Hanley and was also in Smith’s native county of Staffordshire.

  29. So it was your gran father?
    That is your great grandfather then – the father of your grandmother – with or without an apostrophe.
    I’m not picking holes, just clarifying whether you meant grandfather or the father of your grandmother.

  30. Please note that there is an organised campaign conducted by ‘patriots’ to smear antiracism with bogus leaflets, social media and spraying statues etc with ‘BLM’. The same kind of ‘patriots’ giving Nazi salutes, and who my stepfather (WW2 North Africa and mainland Europe) said (of the National Front) should be summarily executed to prevent the infection.

  31. Barry you can’t read,my grandfather fought for your freedom in WW1 and my father did the same in WW2 so that the likes of the current snowflakes can go round destroying statues,deface monuments,and riot. If the were alive they would wonder why they bothered

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