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What is the point of the National Trust? Like so many institutions, it has become colonised by politics

This earth of majesty, this seat of Mars, This other Eden, demi-paradise, This fortress built by Nature for herself etc etc. Photo by: Loop Images/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

This earth of majesty, this seat of Mars, This other Eden, demi-paradise, This fortress built by Nature for herself etc etc. Photo by: Loop Images/Universal Images Group via Getty Images


October 20, 2020   6 mins

Think of the National Trust, and what probably comes to mind is an image of a middle-aged, middle-class couple pottering round a neo-classical pile built at vast expense by a spendthrift earl in the 18th century, and then surrendered to the Nation in lieu of inheritance tax sometime in the late 1940s. After all, its purpose is surely to preserve historically significant houses and gardens for the enjoyment and education of the general public.

Well, it seems not. Seek out the National Trust’s Strategy to 2025, and the first words you read are: “Our 21st-century ambition is to meet the needs of an environment under pressure, and the challenges and expectations of a fast-moving world
 Underpinning this is our renewed commitment to diversity and inclusion and playing our part to create a fair, equal society, free from discrimination.”

In their “10-year Vision”, written in the same hideous identikit jargon, they talk about a “revolutionary” move away from the “outdated mansion experience”. The Trust provides little evidence that stately homes are becoming less popular; reading between the lines the main problem that the Vision’s authors seem to have with the English country house is that it is old and traditional and popular with comfortably-off white people.

I don’t particularly want to get stuck into the National Trust. But they do provide a particularly interesting example of a problem afflicting institutions in modern Britain, namely the relentless politicisation of parts of life which should represent an escape from politics.

The Black Lives Matter summer has revealed the extent of this phenomenon. We had the frankly bizarre spectacle of British footballers and rugby league players being compelled to kneel before they started playing, in obeisance to a protest movement that began in another country, on another continent, in response to something that barely ever happens in the UK. A number of police chiefs also took the knee, including Alan Pughsley of Kent Police. Art galleries and theatres and universities rushed to signal that they too were supportive of BLM, with many rushing out statements confessing that they were guilty of institutional racism.

Meanwhile, following the death of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Associate Justice of the US Supreme Court, the Scottish women’s football team Glasgow City will play the entire 2020-21 season in a strip adorned with her name. In support of this gesture, the club manager stated that “We champion change and equality”. What a dilemma for Glasgow City players who favour an originalist approach to interpretation of the US Constitution.

These developments should be highly disturbing to all those who favour a free and open society. Such societies cannot function without mediating institutions, i.e. civic organisations that exist independently of the state and are devoted to non-political purposes. These groups are of many different kinds but the one thing they have in common is that exist as an end in themselves, not as a means to something else.

People come together to form, say, a chess club because they wish to play chess together, not because they wish to oppose Brexit or lower the voting age. A chess club which limited its membership to socialists, or to monarchists, would in an important sense no longer be a chess club. A constant feature of totalitarian regimes — of both the Left and the Right — is a strong hostility to groups that exist for their own sake, and independent of state ideology. They recognise, rightly, that such organisations represent alternative focal points for loyalty and affiliation, and that they are places where ideology is subdued and put in its proper place.

Consider, for example, the crushing of independent trade unions in the Soviet bloc — hence the bitter struggles over Solidarnosc in Poland — or the way in which Nazi Germany refused to tolerate any competitors to the Hitler Youth. Scouting, with its strong emphasis on internationalism, has frequently been suppressed under dictatorships.

Obviously modern Britain is not any kind of authoritarian regime; by comparison with most countries, we retain a healthy and vibrant civil society. However, it does not follow from this that we need not be concerned about the encroachment of politics on voluntary associations that have, or should have, what Roger Scruton called “purposes internal to themselves”, rather than existing to promote a particular view of how the world should be organised. When a police force in Wales can insist that a male-voice choir made up of police employees should no longer officially associate itself with the police because they do not accept women as members, it is not unduly alarmist to think that we might have a problem.

Opportunities for people to come together outside of political commitments are hugely important because it is in such contexts that we get to know each other as individuals, rather than as bundles of ideas or opinions, and to develop the social capital and trust that makes such a difference to whether countries are pleasant places to live or not. The independent institution is a little haven of peace away from the rancour that inevitably accompanies politics.

It is a chance for us to focus on one thing, not many things, and this is healthy for both individuals and the wider society because it encourages the pursuit of excellence and the development of virtues. At the cricket club, our aim and purpose is to become the best cricketers we can be, and to build fellowship with others through that process. It is not a failure of a cricket club’s purpose if it does not have a position on Black Lives Matter or the nationalisation of utilities.

For some people the very idea of a non-ideological sphere, or a non-political space, is effectively a myth. A standard progressive reply to the kind of argument I am making here is that what looks like an absence of ideology is often nothing of the sort, and that conservatives tend to ignore the ideologies embedded in established or existing practices and norms. The status quo is political, so by not challenging the status quo you are already taking a political stance whether you like it or not. “Silence is violence”, as one of the slogans of the past summer, has it. If you do not state your support for whatever movement is currently demanding it, then you are effectively throwing your weight behind whatever injustice — real or purported — the movement claims to oppose. Black Lives Matter supporters agree with President George W Bush: You’re with us, or you’re with the terrorists.

Nevertheless, there is clearly a need for spaces where political demands can be ignored as not relevant, as not part of the purpose of that space, for the reasons noted above. And there is plainly an important distinction between the ideological and the non-ideological, even if by non-ideological what we really mean is “minimally ideological”. To take a political or ideological view of an event or organisation, of an utterance or argument, is to view it through the lens of an organising principle, to consider it primarily as an instance of a general rule and to allow our conclusions to be dominated by already existing prescriptive commitments.

The non-ideological approach to life, by contrast, approaches each case on its own merits; it considers, as the Stoic Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius said, “the thing itself”. It is humanist, seeing people and their situations as standing alone rather being slotted into a neat pre-existing box. It also recognises the existence and importance of customs, traditions, institutions and ways of living that are beyond the reach of organised compulsion. It is the basis of authentic pluralism, because it enables us to carve out room for minorities and dissenters.

This of course is anathema to the dominant modern way of thinking. Liberalism today is fervently universalising, hence the ever-expanding empire of “human rights”, and the “equality duty” imposed on all public bodies by the 2010 Equality Act. It is this equality duty that is at the bottom of so many cases of once-neutral or apolitical institutions feeling compelled to wade into political areas where they do not really belong. The Act has given a rocket boost to Conquest’s Second Law: “Any organisation not explicitly Right-wing sooner or later becomes Left-wing”.

What we have seen this summer is the continuation of an attack — not necessarily intentional or co-ordinated, but an attack nevertheless — on the very idea of the independent institution or body, that can stand apart from political debates because politics is not part of its function and nature. The demand is, as it were, that everything is about everything all the time. This is not healthy, and it is not conducive to building the kind of society where people of many different backgrounds and opinions can rub along together harmoniously.

We need to have domains where politics — that is, debates about how the nation as a whole lives together, how the government should or shouldn’t act, what we must and must not be compelled to do — can be put to one side, and we focus on the particular, not the general. There is a great swathe of life that is not political, and there is so much joy and richness to be found away from politics and away from ideology; history and the arts and sport, hobbies and films and family life. If we bow to the demand that all human activity must be understood and mediated through a political lens, we will live to regret it.


Niall Gooch is a public sector worker and occasional writer who lives in Kent.

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Geoff Cox
Geoff Cox
3 years ago

Meanwhile in Leeds, to the apparent surprise of some, 90% of respondents to a questionnaire about statues don’t want any removed or altered in any way.

Alison Lowe, an historian commissioned by Leeds City Council to review the status of statues in the city in the wake of the Black Lives Matter protests. She was clearly expecting to find a lot of public unhappiness with the statues, even though none of them were of individuals who were central to the slave trade. But in fact over 90% of the people surveyed said they didn’t have a problem with them and didn’t want them to be taken down. The Yorkshire Evening Post has more.

frances heywood
frances heywood
3 years ago
Reply to  Geoff Cox

thanks – good news indeed

Drahcir Nevarc
Drahcir Nevarc
3 years ago
Reply to  Geoff Cox

First they came for the statues, but I said nothing, because I was not a statue.

Ralph Windsor
Ralph Windsor
3 years ago
Reply to  Drahcir Nevarc

Well, if the NT persists in going full Woke, then it will be a case of their members not coming – and cancelling their standing orders. The same fate as the Church of England looms.

Drahcir Nevarc
Drahcir Nevarc
3 years ago
Reply to  Ralph Windsor

Get woke go broke indeed.

Baron Jackfield
Baron Jackfield
3 years ago
Reply to  Ralph Windsor

Indeed… All I want from the NT is that they maintain their/our properties well and make them available (not something that they’ve managed recently) for visitors. I don’t want to be preached at with the latest in woke ideology. I’m giving serious thought to whether I continue my membership, and I suspect that I’m not the only one.

Lydia R
Lydia R
3 years ago

I looked at their website and most of their properties remain closed. I would have thought opening them safely should be their priority, not the witterings of American student politics.

croftyass
croftyass
3 years ago
Reply to  Geoff Cox

Obviously the good people of Leeds need to be “re-educated” so they can give te right answer! Also from the person leading the review:-
: “For black people we live in a world where white voices and white faces and white names predominate. We don’t like it but there is too much for us to spend our lives looking back saying why is that like that. What happened is, people were much more interested in looking forward.
Is it just me who finds this a bizarre statement

LUKE LOZE
LUKE LOZE
3 years ago
Reply to  croftyass

A lot of the white privilege matra is majority ‘privilege’ but it is imported from countries where white people are relatively recent colonists and where there is a long history of ‘forgotten’ black people, who have been in the US nearly as long as Europeans.

Half our culture wars are based on North American histories that massively overstate race and gender oppression, whilst understating class. This is due to very different histories in these areas.

Eric Baskeyfield
Eric Baskeyfield
3 years ago
Reply to  croftyass

It’s actually a rather racist statement that reveals the binary “black = good / white = evil” mindset that lurks behind many of these superficially reasonable demands for so-called racial justice. “White voices and white faces and white names” don’t predominate in overwhelmingly black sub-Saharan Africa. Yet they seem genuinely appalled that “white voices and white faces and white names” predominate in the still (for now at least) overwhelmingly white Western world. Just shows you what their real end-game is, and how much they actually hate white culture and white people. This person even admits “We don’t like it”. Their very words!

Julia H
Julia H
3 years ago
Reply to  croftyass

Well white voices, faces and names would predominate in a country whose population is 87% white. Why would a black person be surprised by this or find it worthy of comment?

M Spahn
M Spahn
3 years ago
Reply to  Julia H

Indeed. It’s impossible to imagine a Vietnamese man moving to Uganda and then complaining that he sees no Vietnamese faces on Ugandan television. And yet we read equivalent nonsense concerning western countries incessantly.

Paul pmr
Paul pmr
3 years ago
Reply to  Julia H

Because being a victim brings status, sometimes even subsidy.

Lydia R
Lydia R
3 years ago
Reply to  Julia H

You wouldn’t think so when you look at the BBC.

LUKE LOZE
LUKE LOZE
3 years ago

One of the most disturbing parts of the ‘woke’ movement is the complete abandonment of a class understanding of history. Whilst it’s almost certainly true that a 20% of the great houses in the UK were built on the evils of slavery and empire, it is also true that the remaining 80% were built on the slavery, serfdom and suppression of the indiginous Brits. There’s a reason they didn’t let poor people vote until 1918.

The reason for this is obvious, rich people like a revolutionary movement that doesn’t challenge them. Rich powerful non-whites love playing at being victims, rich whites whose family gained from empire, slavery etc love to share the blame with the 99% of white people who didn’t.

Mark Corby
Mark Corby
3 years ago
Reply to  LUKE LOZE

Women didn’t get the vote on the same terms as men until 1928.
No wonder they are grumpy.

Jos Haynes
Jos Haynes
3 years ago
Reply to  Mark Corby

I don’t know any women who were ever denied the right to vote, All women alive today in the UK have always had the right to vote. And the well-balanced majority are certainly not grumpy.

Mark Corby
Mark Corby
3 years ago
Reply to  Jos Haynes

What an odd reply. Which bit of 1928 did you not comprehend?

Grumpy is, I am sure you will agree, a subjective judgement.

Jos Haynes
Jos Haynes
3 years ago
Reply to  Mark Corby

I don’t get YOUR point either. Any one aged 21 in 1928 was born in 1901. No one born then is still alive. Some people love to create problems where none exist.

Mark Corby
Mark Corby
3 years ago
Reply to  Jos Haynes

I think we may just be talking at cross-purposes, I was reminding Mr Loze that not all “poor people” got the vote in 1918.

You stated correctly, that you didn’t know of any woman denied the vote, and if you had done, it would be a miracle indeed.

Anyway no harm done, but your final sentence seems to indicate you got the ‘hump’, as they say, which is a great pity.

Mark Corby
Mark Corby
3 years ago
Reply to  Mark Corby

..

Sharon Peters
Sharon Peters
3 years ago
Reply to  Jos Haynes

No, there are plenty of women born in before 1928 still alive today! Since you have to be 21 to vote then are you referring to women born before 1907? Or the mentally ill, prior to 2007? Or the Queen? Please be clear.

Mark Corby
Mark Corby
3 years ago
Reply to  Jos Haynes

..

croftyass
croftyass
3 years ago
Reply to  LUKE LOZE

Spot on-and to attribute “white priviledge” to a white working class who were not only disadvantaged on every level but provided the majority of bodies who fought in 2 world wars is just plain insulting.

Kiran Grimm
Kiran Grimm
3 years ago
Reply to  LUKE LOZE

Actually, I have noticed that rich people (and even merely well-off people) are happy to cheer on a revolutionary movement that challenges other rich people who they despise/hate/resent.

Perhaps it is just a question of hiding your stash behind a wall of conspicuous virtue then blending in with the lynch mob.

Ralph Windsor
Ralph Windsor
3 years ago
Reply to  LUKE LOZE

A “class understanding of history” would be as mind-numbing as a Woke understanding of the same clearly is. Shoulders are best cleared of chips before reading.

Geoff Cox
Geoff Cox
3 years ago

A well written piece and long overdue. I understand many members and volunteers have resigned from the National Trust – I hope it is true. But when middle class, patriotic people like me are wishing ill on an organisation like the National Trust and other pillars of our country now devoted to wokery, we really are in trouble. The march through the institutions is complete.

So I’m turning over a new leaf – I’m not going to wish ill on these institutions any more – even the BBC – what we need to do is complain and campaign to replace the people at the top.

frances heywood
frances heywood
3 years ago
Reply to  Geoff Cox

I’m afraid I wish even more ill of the BBC, having discovered that one of the main reasons for the imprisonment of women in England and Wales over the 10 year period 2007-2017 – was non payment of the TV licence. ( women more likely to be at home than men when the bailffs call)
according to the Ministry of Justice statistics on women and the criminal justice system 2017
published 29/11/2018

agree about the march through the institutions. if I was an NT member, I’d resign pronto.

Geoff Cox
Geoff Cox
3 years ago

I haven’t had a TV for 20 years at least. That means I have not paid a licence for that time. That is my protest.

By the way, beware of calls to scrap the TV Licence. In Aus, that is exactly what they did and replaced it with a Gov subsidy. We can at least refuse to pay a TV Licence.

Howard Gleave
Howard Gleave
3 years ago
Reply to  Geoff Cox

I wrote to the National Trust during the BLM storm informing them that I had cancelled my direct debit after 25 years’ membership. I will not be going back until such times, if ever, that they have stopped trying to subvert my history.

croftyass
croftyass
3 years ago
Reply to  Howard Gleave

Ditto-if enough people do it – and lets face it,when the full impact of the “lock down” economic armageddon is felt a lot of people will be looking at their discretionary direct debits-they might-just might-wake up

sherpa2coats
sherpa2coats
3 years ago
Reply to  Howard Gleave

Ditto here. My message on my cancellation letter was brief and to the point, though sadly not original, ‘Go woke, go broke.’

Maggi Wilson
Maggi Wilson
3 years ago
Reply to  Geoff Cox

A couple of years ago I complained to NT about the creeping politicisation, and said I would not be renewing my membership. Absolutely no dialog, joined NT for Scotland instead with a cheaper membership, and still visit NT England.

Andrew D
Andrew D
3 years ago
Reply to  Maggi Wilson

You can also join Heritage New Zealand for £45 (individual membership, compared with £72 for NT) and that gets you free entry to NT properties

Matthew Powell
Matthew Powell
3 years ago

Only totalitarians believe that everything should be political.

Pete Kreff
Pete Kreff
3 years ago
Reply to  Matthew Powell

Spot on.

Drahcir Nevarc
Drahcir Nevarc
3 years ago

“At the cricket club, our aim and purpose is to become the best cricketers we can be, and to build fellowship with others through that process. It is not a failure of a cricket club’s purpose if it does not have a position on Black Lives Matter or the nationalisation of utilities.”

As it happens, I quit my cricket club’s Whatsapp group a couple of days ago, precisely because of its politicisation.

Howard Gleave
Howard Gleave
3 years ago
Reply to  Drahcir Nevarc

Well done. There was what was meant to be a heartwarming piece of news in the national press recently about a couple of black people in east London who had created a birdwatching club…. Open only to blacks. It was called “Flock together”, because it was confined to “birds of a feather”. I can well imagine the reaction if there were to be a Whites only birdwatching club. Mind you, it would be interesting to see what happened if someone suggested a “Black Police Officers’ Association”, to mirror its black counterpart in the Met.

Andrew D
Andrew D
3 years ago
Reply to  Howard Gleave

Are they only allowed to look at black birds?

Hugh Jarse
Hugh Jarse
3 years ago
Reply to  Andrew D

Please! That would be ‘birds of colour’.

Dominic Straiton
Dominic Straiton
3 years ago

The national trust will only change when its board is replaced when they run out of other peoples money. Glasgow women football team can virtue signal as much as they like because no one watches them. They are not a commercial venture but a virtue venture.

Fraser Bailey
Fraser Bailey
3 years ago

Well, yes, but we have known all this for some time. Anyway, it is further evidence of my maxim that one should never trust any organisation whose title contains the word ‘Trust’.

Albireo Double
Albireo Double
3 years ago

We cancelled our membership and told them exactly why in no uncertain terms. This is not just a step too far, it is quite outrageous. We will never visit another Trust property again, unless the Trust publicly recants this particular strand of policy.

It’s a shame, as we enjoyed our Trust membership and were very supportive of it. But that is no longer the case. By toadying to the vicious repressive and dishonest ideology of BLM and insane extreme Left, the national Trust has put itself beyond my support and my understanding, as are any equivalent set of thugs on the extreme political right.

Ted Ditchburn
Ted Ditchburn
3 years ago

Good article…. the politicisation of everything is probably disliked and distrusted by around 90% or ordinary people, it’s basically a totalitarian impulse, and alongside that way we seem unable to disagree these days—everything gets elevated to a matter of overwhelming importance that must be argued and never debated.

Ben Hazard
Ben Hazard
3 years ago

Our town (in New, not Old, England) instituted a community preservation fund whereby all residents are taxed for a special fund and the money used to preserve historical buildings, pretty views etc. I was ok with it because fixing the steeple on a majestic church right in the middle of town would benefit everyone, for example. But that lasted about a year, and now the fund is used almost exclusively to give money to poorer people from out of town wanting to buy houses in town that they can’t afford so that we increase the socioeconomic diversity of our small village. So what used to benefit the entire town now goes to one resident to enable them to sell their house at a higher price, and in return we get more poor people.

ralph bell
ralph bell
3 years ago
Reply to  Ben Hazard

A perfect example of mission creep illustrated from the article. I guess u all need to stop ur payments together to force change.

Basil Chamberlain
Basil Chamberlain
3 years ago

One of the defining features of recent decades has been the colonisation of institutions with a defined purpose and remit by people hostile to that purpose and remit. My feeling about museum curators who advocate returning artefacts to former colonies is that they shouldn’t be museum curators at all; they are behaving like doctors who repudiate the Hippocratic Oath. Similarly, the politicisation of academia (now almost exclusively in a left-wing direction) is, as Lucien Benda argued more than ninety years ago, a act of treason against the basic vocation of the intellectual: dedication to dispassionate reason and reflection.

But I don’t think this behaviour is unique to the left. The behaviour of free-market ideologues among university administrators and their enablers in government, who have decided that the goal of education is not disinterested learning, but training for the workforce and the earning of a advantageous qualification, also shows a basic hostility to the essential purpose of academia. And surely the first and arguably most influential example was the colonisation of the state in the Thatcher-Reagan era by politicians who fundamentally didn’t believe in the state and were pledged to curtail and inhibit its functions. They too, surely, were doctors repudiating the Hippocratic Oath.

Wulvis Perveravsson
Wulvis Perveravsson
3 years ago

I think all of this is underpinned by predominantly middle-class people in organisations churning out unnecessary initiatives to make themselves look important, in an effort to justify their overblown salaries.

Basil Chamberlain
Basil Chamberlain
3 years ago

Indeed – it’s the administrative dictatorship. Most institutions need drastically to prune their senior administrators and to have many more junior administrators and clerical staff, directly answerable to their core staff who could thus be facilitated more usefully to discharge their functions.

Wulvis Perveravsson
Wulvis Perveravsson
3 years ago

Precisely. The problem is, the senior clerical staff are the ones that make the decisions. They have the time to ‘liaise’ with senior management, while those on the shop, hospital, school or whatever floor are getting on with the important work. To refer back to the National Trust, the most important staff are the cleaners, volunteers, and those who staff the cafe! Who gives a stuff about the Equality and Diversity Officer sat in some back room somewhere, getting paid twice what those doing the real work are on?

Andrew D
Andrew D
3 years ago

Curators are also important. They’re getting rid of lots of those. Haven’t seen the redundancy figures for equality and diversity officers, not holding my breath…

Wulvis Perveravsson
Wulvis Perveravsson
3 years ago
Reply to  Andrew D

Indeed, wasn’t an exhaustive list.

Jonathan Oldbuck
Jonathan Oldbuck
3 years ago

bullseye!

Pete Kreff
Pete Kreff
3 years ago

And predominantly middle-class people who don’t find the organisations they work for sufficiently interesting per se.

Pete Kreff
Pete Kreff
3 years ago

One of the defining features of recent decades has been the colonisation of institutions with a defined purpose and remit by people hostile to that purpose and remit

Colonisation is exactly the right word. Political colonisation: the attempt to change the political and physical landscape without any democratic mandate.

Jonathan Oldbuck
Jonathan Oldbuck
3 years ago

Let’s hope NT members have been cancelling in their droves.

A typically brilliant summation from Niall of exactly what we’re missing these days. Part Scrutonism, part Hegelianism, part Aristotelianism.

Christiane Dauphinais
Christiane Dauphinais
3 years ago

A very well written article, one of the best I’ve read on this topic. Thank you.

bsema
bsema
3 years ago

I’ve always thought the National Trust’s primary aim is to cut down healthy trees. It certainly looks that way,

Eric Baskeyfield
Eric Baskeyfield
3 years ago

I was a NT member years ago, and had actually been thinking about re-joining. But once they decided to virtue-signal and genuflect to the BLM mob, I decided not to bother.

Pete Kreff
Pete Kreff
3 years ago

Seek out the National Trust’s Strategy to 2025, and the first words you read are:

It’s the equivalent of the situation in communist countries where every organisation, whatever its focus, size and importance, must first and foremost extol the virtues of communism and work towards achieving the goals of communism.

Paul Carline
Paul Carline
3 years ago

That “healthy and vibrant civil society” is being demolished before our eyes. Civil society is healthy when it allows and encourages the free mingling and interaction of all its members – precisely what is being attacked and undermined by politicians and others who have a very different agenda: one which thrives on the creation of fear and suspicion of others, even of those who were closest to one: family and friends.
I found this quote which I’d jotted down years ago:
“The best political weapon is the weapon of terror. Men may hate us. But we don’t ask for their love; only for their fear”. (Heinrich Himmler)

William Gladstone
William Gladstone
3 years ago

The equality act allows for state sanction discrimination too. It is a genuinely evil piece of legislation designed to make us all more miserable an divided and yet 10 years of mainly tory government and they have left it in place and embraced its ideals. Perhaps they think we have no alternative but to vote for them or get Equality act 2 the sequel or worse with a labour government.

We need a Farage led party or similar to campaign to repeal this nasty divisive act and at the very least force the tories hands.

Kiran Grimm
Kiran Grimm
3 years ago

That act is a bit of a tricky one to deal with. The devil is not so much in the details as in the openly declared purpose. How do you repeal an equality act without avoiding the accusation that you are in favour of privilege?

Maggi Wilson
Maggi Wilson
3 years ago

Got a feeling Beatrix Potter would not have held this view of her project.

Wulvis Perveravsson
Wulvis Perveravsson
3 years ago

I enjoy using National Trust car parks in the Lake District without paying.

Wulvis Perveravsson
Wulvis Perveravsson
3 years ago

Wow, I didn’t have to wait 7 hours for my comment to appear! Hallelujah!

Dave Weeden
Dave Weeden
3 years ago

I pleasantly surprised that Glasgow City Women’s Football team is prepared to wear shirts adorned with Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s name as I don’t believe the important for Glasgow question as to whether she was a Protestant Jew or a Catholic one has been satisfactorily settled.

When a police force in Wales can insist that a male-voice choir made up of police employees should no longer officially associate itself with the police because they do not accept women as members, it is not unduly alarmist to think that we might have a problem.

Even in the Land of the Woke, I don’t believe the City of New York has gone so far as to disown “The boys [sic] of the NYPD choir” but I suppose there are a couple of months before “the bells [are] ringing out for Christmastime.”

Lydia R
Lydia R
3 years ago

I hear the Charities Commission are reviewing the National Trust now it’s decided to become a mouthpiece of BLM.

Paul Hunt
Paul Hunt
3 years ago

National Trust has an image problem and it is not going to change the preservation of listed buildings and heritage gardens (protected in law) to put this in a mission statement for the attention of sponsors and trustees, sorry if that means a shift in marketing that you don’t like but (to be acerbic) Poirot and Midsomer Murders will always be on UKTV Gold for the 1940’s nostalgia lovers. More and more people are valuing being outside and that is the big change you see when you visit NT properties. Fewer coaches of elderly people, more families out with dogs in the woods.

And then we swing to what you’re actually cross about- left wing revolutionary protests. Black Lives Matters went worldwide because ethnic minorities are structurally discriminated against, the system is still b****cks and too many people in the tent baulk at the idea that it needs fundamental change that will take generations to achieve. Taking a knee is a call back to the 1960s Civil Rights Movement and has nothing to do with me- I find it reactionary and short-attention span idea. But BLM was different and pervasive- it was about life for people, not an interest group with a political position, real people, and something needed to be done to say This Is Not On.

Politics is not government, it is power, making people do things your way, and there is no denying that odds are against non-white people in the UK, ignoring America (and note the slave trade was established and designed by us and we seem to be forgetting that just because we abolished slavery first. Saying Politics can only be done formally is a political position and saying your entertainments are in no way political is a political choice- you didn’t have the power to keep People’s Lives out of your football- diddums. So thats all fine, we can debate and debate. I think though that it is a pathetic position to say that National Trust cannot influence the world by how they do things, recognise their position in the world and try to do proper Corporate Social Responsibility; that is, frankly, archaic stuffy conservatism.

john h
john h
3 years ago
Reply to  Paul Hunt

This article is spot on in a very simple way. Keep politics out of the NT. I’m not buying any more Yorkshire tea for the same reason many on here are boycotting the NT. People hate what is happening in society. And its all down to a minority who use twitter and other social media. Civil war is coming to America and it looks like we will follow in a sort of half assed way. BLM are going to end up creating the opposite of what they would like to see. People are not going to stay quiet and take it forever. You can see it coming. As Lawrence Fox said on Question time last year, we are a lovely welcoming island. This is the real reality, and the NT better understand this.

Brian Dotts
Brian Dotts
1 year ago
Reply to  john h

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