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Keep your eyes peeled

Julius Caesar, Act III Scene III:

CINNA THE POET: Truly, my name is Cinna.
FIRST CITIZEN: Tear him to pieces; he’s a conspirator.
CINNA THE POET: I am Cinna the poet, I am Cinna the poet.
FOURTH CITIZEN: Tear him for his bad verses, tear him for his bad verses.
CINNA THE POET: I am not Cinna the conspirator.
FOURTH CITIZEN: It is no matter, his name’s Cinna; pluck but his name out of his heart, and turn him going.
THIRD CITIZEN: Tear him, tear him! Come, brands ho! fire-brands: to Brutus’, to Cassius’; burn all: some to Decius’ house, and some to Casca’s; some to Ligarius’: away, go!

The BBC reports:

Sir Robert Peel statue removal calls ‘targeting wrong man’

Anti-racism campaigners calling for the removal of statues of a former British prime minister have been accused of targeting the wrong man.

There are several statues of Sir Robert Peel, who founded the modern police.

But city leaders said people appeared to be confusing him with his father, of the same name, who opposed the abolition of slavery.

In contrast the Robert Peel of the statue, to quote Wikipedia, “often started from a traditional Tory position in opposition to a measure, then reversed his stance and became the leader in supporting liberal legislation. This happened with the Test Act, Catholic Emancipation, the Reform Act, income tax and, most notably, the repeal of the Corn Laws.” He also, most pertinently, laid down the principles of policing by consent that many forces would do well to re-learn. Oh, and as Prime Minister he “supported William Wilberforce’s Anti-Slavery Bill wholeheartedly” against the opposition of many in his own party.

So there you are. Two Robert Peels, father and son, same name but very different people. This whole statue-toppling thing is stupid but a little mix-up like that did not exceed the base level of stupidity. Easy mistake to make.

The next bit, however…

Despite acknowledging the mistaken identity, campaigners are still calling for the Leeds statue to go.


Although organisers recognised they had initially referred to the wrong person, they said they wanted it removed because “we should not celebrate colonisers”.

The petition states: “With the legitimacy of current policing in question, the history of policing, its origins in colonialism and its role in suppressing dissent deserves greater scrutiny.

“Peel’s statue belongs in a museum, as part of an exhibition for others to learn about the history of British colonialism.”

Edit: There are two petitions currently running on Change.org relating to different statues of Peel. The first is “Keep the Bradford Robert peel statue” and the second is “Keep the Sir Robert Peel statue in Picadilly Gardens”

As the BBC article states, the petition to remove the statue of Peel in Leeds got its target number of signers. You can see it here.

Peel created the London Metropolitan Police in 1829, the ideas for which he developed while overseeing the British colonial occupation of Ireland. He was pivotal in setting up the police forces which maintained British rule in Ireland and a system which led to the poverty, famine and displacement of Irish people. Colonialism and racism – in this case anti-catholic sentiment – are central to British history. Not only that but with the legitimacy of current policing in question, the history of policing, its origins in colonialism and its role in suppressing dissent deserves greater scrutiny.”

That is an extract from the version they wrote after they were made aware that they had misidentified the Robert Peel depicted in the statue.

17 comments to Keep your eyes peeled

  • Mr Ecks

    10 years inside for every attack on a statue–regardless of yoof etc.

    And a fine of 75% of everything they have for every cunt who publicly bends the knee to Marxism.

  • Johnathan Pearce (London)

    Robert Peel (the great statesman) was a politician when the UK had colonies, so that means ANY politician who was a minister/MP during the years up to decolonisation was such. What the hell does that prove? The morons who condemn him and Gladstone and the others need to engage in some pretty heroic evasion, such as ignoring Peel’s actual policies (ending the Corn Laws, Catholic Emancipation, Currency Reform, ending the death penalty for scores of offences, the Maynooth grant in Ireland, etc, etc). By far, he was an outstanding reformer, taking the UK from the fraught and difficult period of the 1830s/1840s through to mid-Victorian prosperity.

    And the best these goblins can come up with is talk about colonialism, an issue that actually took not that much of Peel’s time. It is shameful that these idiots are given the time of day.

    They almost seem to revel in their ignorance and sheer nastiness, making more outrageous demands. They are shoving the Overton Window. What is needed is to take the fight to them. Refuse to take things down. Punish vandals with the full force of the law.

    We are in a fight. Don’t count on this government to do much about it.

  • Nullius in Verba

    “Don’t count on this government to do much about it.”

    I would think the government are quite happy to wait and watch the protestors’ public support ebbing away. So long as the protestors keep on talking about poliice brutality and racism, the public will sympathise – the more they drift off into crazyland, wibbling about statues of the long-dead, burning and looting ordinary folk’s businesses, the less sympathetic the public get, and the more they can be safely opposed. Never interupt an enemy when they’re making a mistake.

  • Snorri Godhi

    I was not aware of the Peelian principles but you might want to compare them to the principles of Italian policing in the last century (not sure about now), as depicted in one of the greatest black comedies of all time, Indagine su di un cittadino al di sopra di ogni sospetto.

    As for British colonialism, its most obvious benefit was that it kept much of the world out of the hands of the French, the Germans, and worst of all the Belgians.

  • I am actually ok with Britain’s colonial history. In harsher times than those we live in today, Britain’s rapacious ruling class conquered a bunch of indigenous rapacious classes in far off places. Some bad things were done, some good things were done, eventually the Royal Navy was used to suppress the slave trade, and our ancestors were generally nicer than the Belgians (a low bar, I grant you), plus nifty uniforms were worn. Whatever. Face it, it’s not like Victoria’s armies or the HEIC overthrew anyone particularly nice 😆

  • staghounds

    “Peel’s Principles” have nothing to do with anyone named Peel, and post date Sir Robert by about a century.

  • NiV: “So long as the protestors keep on talking about poliice brutality and racism, the public will sympathise…”

    Who elected you to speak for ‘the public’? Most people are only too aware that accusations of brutality and racism levelled against the police are false.

    It’s not even clear that the cop accused of killing Floyd acted out of ‘racism’…

  • Johnathan Pearce

    Never interrupt an enemy when they’re making a mistake.

    The problem with that argument – and I see where the logic is – is that a lot of damage is done, and more of our heritage is trashed. More TV shows, films and plays are removed. More of our culture is wrecked. History courses about the evils of the UK are taught as mandatory curricula items. On and on the process goes. Sure, some of these cunts are going to be punished, and a lot of anger will be stoked. And the likely result will not be a cool period, but as likely as not, a backlash featuring what we now call the “alt right”, forms of white identitarianism and other nonsense.

    This cycle can be predicted. So while I like the Duke of Wellington line of not interfering with an enemy who is making a mistake, even old Nosey had to send in the infantry eventually.

  • Rob

    Although organisers recognised they had initially referred to the wrong person, they said they wanted it removed because “we should not celebrate colonisers”.

    Normal people give these headcases the benefit of the doubt and assume that their actions (tear down a statue) follow from their reasons (he was a slaver, he was a coloniser, etc). They have it completely backwards.

    These people invent reasons, any reason, ex post facto to ‘justify’ an action. As far as they are concerned it didn’t need one, other than being part of the decades long campaign of erasure of British history and culture, but that might spook the public so they invent one. Demonstrate that it is specious, or even a complete non sequitur, and they just come up with another. Until we as a country realise this we will always be on the back foot.

  • Stonyground

    It would appear that buying copies of Gone With the Wind has provided a focus and a way for people to express opposition to all of this nonsense.

  • Nullius in Verba

    “Who elected you to speak for ‘the public’? Most people are only too aware that accusations of brutality and racism levelled against the police are false.”

    The observation was already made on here when this George Floyd business started – that comments were prefaced with statements condemning what happened to Floyd, and racism generally, before going on the condemn the response.

    “A man in Minneapolis was asphyxiated by a policeman, all the while with bystanders pleading with said cop to let the man breathe. Yes, I know the victim had past convictions and was being arrested as a suspect in another crime, but so what? He was effectively tortured to death in a street, slowly over nine minutes, whilst intermittently begging for his life when he could actually speak. The whole ghastly incident was captured on video by bystanders; an open and shut case of grotesque police brutality, no doubt about that.”

    ‘Only too aware’?

    Guido gives us a survey. 40% of the public agrees with taking down Colston’s statue but disagree with the way they did it. Only 33% disapprove of the statue being removed at all.

    The public disapproves of racism, and is horrified at the sight of apparent police brutality, and have a good deal of sympathy. And the revolutionaries use that as cover. They seek out downtrodden groups that the public has sympathy for but that their opponents can be relied on to resist, they offer them their support, and then they justify their demands for coercive power over society to enable the victims to be protected.

    If their opponents attack the victim groups being used as cover, or disagree with the premise that they need to be defended, that only supports the revolutionaries’ case. The public see the revolutionaries as ‘the good guys’, their opponents as ‘the bad guys’, and support giving the ‘good guys’ the power to stamp out the ‘bad guys’.

    This is why the progressives have built their campaign around a long chain of oppressed and abused sympathy groups. The poor. Women. The disabled. Immigrants. Blacks. Homosexuals. The transgender. It’s not that any of those groups have any particular connection with left-wing ideology – indeed, when there was no particular public sympathy they were often in the lead in the efforts to oppress them (pink triangles, etc.). The sympathy group are a shield for their activities. Nobody can attack them without being seen as defending oppression.

    So the only way to fight them is to separate them from their shield. We support the cause but oppose their methods. We support the poor and want them to prosper, but through the free market, not enforced wealth redistribution. We support women’s rights, but not man-hating radical feminism. We support finding jobs for the disabled, but not at the expense of common sense. We oppose racism and nationalism, but also oppose limits on the free speech of racists and nationalists. We want to protect LGBT people from bullying, to let them live their lives as they choose, but oppose ‘politically correct’ speech codes and thought police.

    Many of these causes used as shields are ones libertarians should otherwise support. Society should not be imposing unecessary rules and norms on its members, and persuading the public to stop doing it is progress in the cause of liberty. But every victory against one group of authoritarians gives an opportunity to all their rival authoritarians to pile on.

    “It’s not even clear that the cop accused of killing Floyd acted out of ‘racism’…”

    Agreed. It’s not even clear that he killed Floyd.

    People believe what they see and hear until they see and hear otherwise.

  • Ed Turnbull

    June 12, 2020 at 9:02 am
    It would appear that buying copies of Gone With the Wind has provided a focus and a way for people to express opposition to all of this nonsense.

    Of you could go even further and buy a copy of Griffiths’ “The Birth Of A Nation”. Assuming it hasn’t been memory-holed already 😉

  • Clovis Sangrail


    … post-date Sir Robert by about a century

    No they don’t.

    Nine principles were set out in the “General Instructions” issued to every new police officer in the Metropolitan Police from 1829.

    There, that wasn’t hard, was it?

  • John

    Via Streetwise Professor I was prompted to look up the early history of Yale College.

    Elihu Yale was President of Madras in the 1860’s. To quote wiki “He enforced a law that at least ten slaves should be carried on every ship bound for England” which would appear to put the misdeeds of Cecil Rhodes to shame.

    By today’s standards the removal of any statues of their founder and benefactor along with the renaming of Yale College would appear inevitable. To date though I have read nothing along these lines. Maybe the famed “skull and bones” society really does have some influence.

  • Paul Marks

    No mistake has been made – none.

    BLM and the other groups are quite clear – any supporter of “Colonialism” is evil.

    Not just “slavery” – the British Empire in general.

    In short the vast majority of British people in history (at least up to the 1960s) were evil.

    Besides which, this is a MARXIST movement.

    Was Prime Minister Sir Robert Peel a Marxist?

    No he was not, he was a “Capitalist” – so he is to be destroyed, as all non Marxists (past and preset) are to be destroyed.

    Why do I have to keep explaining the same thing, over and over again?

    It is not a secret that BLM and the other groups (such as Antifa) are Marxist.

    They are Marxists. They do Marxist stuff. Because that is what Marxist do.

  • I am actually ok with Britain’s colonial history. (Perry de Havilland (London), June 11, 2020 at 9:59 pm)

    I am OK with it (so OK I feel no need to say I am ‘actually’ OK. 🙂 )

    You can hate slavery or you can hate the British Empire. No-one simply, honestly hates both.

    I can’t quite remember whether it was Ho Chi Minh or General Giap who, having lived under it as well as the French, Japanese and IIRC briefly the Dutch, wrote that while, as a good communist, he of course condemned all imperialism, if you had to be part of anyone’s empire then you very definitely wanted it to be the British. (I think it was General Giap but am willing to be corrected.)

    Cecil Rhodes conquered Rhodesia (Zimbabwe), gave land to his white followers as promised and assured some Ndebele he spoke to that “we are not taking all your land”, to which someone in the crowd yelled sarcastically, “That’s generous of you!”. In the event, it was: the amount of land owned and farmed by negroes was larger after the land settlement than before. The complex settlement patterns of the warring Ndebele and Shona tribes had created huge time-varying border stretches where no-one dared farm. After Rhodes pacified the country, that land was available.

    Not everything in the empire’s history reads in the same ‘happy-ending’ way (and if it were not for Edmund Burke amongst others, even less would) but Perry is right: the slaver tribes, the thuggee and the other powers the empire displaced set a low standard which the empire usually well outperformed, and the alleged exploitation left the ‘exploited’ richer than before.

    And of course, we had our ‘finest hour’ defeating Hitler – but as Churchill was OK with the empire (in part so it would help fight the Nazis), I guess those who want Peel’s statue gone must want his statue gone too.

  • It’s not even clear that the cop accused of killing Floyd acted out of ‘racism’… (JuliaM, June 12, 2020 at 5:59 am)

    To those like myself with the terribly un-PC habit of trusting their lying eyes over the narrative, it is indeed very unclear how the cops’ restraint could be the actual cause of Floyd’s death, and by no means clear even that their restrain-not-CPR was definitely intended to avoid saving his life rather than help save it. (Surely just not summoning an ambulance would have served a hostile end better.) However it is hard to tell; hopefully, the trial will clarify.

    Meanwhile, I can see the strategy of waiting while the protestors discredit themselves, but

    NiV: “So long as the protestors keep on talking about police brutality and racism, the public will sympathise…”

    is true while the public are not reminded that “Hands up! Don’t Shoot!” was proven false, etc., etc., etc. Too many on our side are believing bits of the narrative even as they fight it, not checking their facts, conceding too much. When people on our side unwittingly betray that they don’t know the supposedly damning video is part spun, part debatable, then we have educable people to educate, even while waiting for rioter-self-owns.