While black activists and their allies take to the UK’s streets, asking for structural change to combat racism, prime minister Boris Johnson is still intent on talking about statues.
Seemingly determined to give the impression that the entire Black Lives Matter movement is geared towards one goal – removing some old blocks of stone – in order to solve racism, Johnson has once again been defending a monument from an imaginary threat.
Writing in a new Daily Telegraph column, Johnson warned against “photo[shopping] history”.
“I will resist with every breath in my body any attempt to remove that statue from Parliament Square, and the sooner his protective shielding comes off the better,” he wrote, adding:
I am also extremely dubious about the growing campaign to edit or photoshop the entire cultural landscape.
If we start purging the record and removing the images of all but those whose attitudes conform to our own, we are engaged in a great lie, a distortion of our history, like some public figure furtively trying to make themselves look better by editing their own Wikipedia entry.
However, Johnson’s comments have received pushback because, as many have pointed out, they’re not entirely accurate. Funny that.
Author Alex Niven bemusedly reminded everyone that actually, things get changed in the cultural and social landscape all the time.
Others were quick to point out that Johnson is a dab hand at ‘photoshopping’ the past himself.
And that the entire British state actually was involved in destroying records of atrocities committed in the colonies. If that’s not “photoshopping” our history, what is?
Others accused him of “making up” the entire supposed campaign to remove Churchill’s statue.
It’s certainly true that many BLM supporters are bemused at the charge they are attempting to remove Churchill’s statue.
Even other politicians are confused.
At least Boris can be safe in the knowledge that this generation will be sure not to “photoshop” his legacy for people to learn from in the future.
In fact, they'll make sure to report every last, painful detail.