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How dare the National Trust link Wordsworth to slavery because his brother sailed a ship to China?

5 299 108
23.09.2020

For the past 125 years, the National Trust has been the single most important custodian of our national story.

Since 1895 it has cared for hundreds of castles, country houses, parks and gardens, including some of the most beloved places our islands have to offer.

The majesty of the Giant’s Causeway, the Palladian gardens at Stourhead, the haunting ruins of Fountains Abbey — these properties, and countless more, have a special place in our national soul.

So I’ve never minded paying our £126 family membership fee.

I was even prepared to overlook the National Trust’s fondness for gesture politics, such as dropping the word ‘Easter’ from its Easter egg hunt, or forcing volunteers to wear Gay Pride badges.

For the past 125 years, the National Trust has been the single most important custodian of our national story - but now it has published a list of its own properties with 'links with historic slavery'. Pictured: Allan Bank in Grasmere village in the heart of the Lake District, the home of William Wordsworth

But now even I’ve reached my limit. Easter eggs are one thing. But as far as I’m concerned, wilfully misrepresenting Britain’s history is beyond the pale.

Hysteria

Yesterday the Trust published one of the most intellectually fraudulent documents I’ve ever read, a 115-page mea culpa about its own properties’ ‘connections with colonialism . . . including links with historic slavery’.

Swallowing my scepticism, and trying hard to give the authors the benefit of the doubt, I read the whole thing from first to last. And in case you’re wondering, I definitely wouldn’t recommend it.

The tone is set by the foreword.

The National Trust wants to highlight the ‘power and privilege that derived from colonial connections and in some cases from the trade in enslaved people . . . and the sometimes uncomfortable role that Britain, and Britons, have played in global history since the 16th century or even earlier’.

At those weasel words I immediately pricked up my ears. ‘Power and privilege . . . sometimes uncomfortable’?

Did our ancestors ever do anything right? Or........

© Mail Online


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