Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Mandela: Sorry, not in Parliament Square...

I see from today’s Times that a statue of Nelson Mandela is to be erected in Parliament Square in London alongside those of Churchill, Disraeli and Sir Robert Peel.

Oh dear.

Whilst I have absolutely no doubt whatsoever that he is a statesman of seminal importance in the history of Africa and especially South Africa itself, I cannot see why his political achievements deserve the erection of this statue in London.

Allow me to explain. Churchill was our talismanic leader throughout the dark days of the Second World War; Disraeli was our Prime Minister during the height of our Imperial power and Sir Robert Peel was, amongst other things and as every schoolboy used to know, the founding father of the modern police force.

For those who do not see my point, it is this. Those three men played unarguably significant roles in the history of this country; not that of another one several thousand miles away.

In my view Parliament Square should only contain statues of politicians who have performed great services to and on behalf of this country, not those of their counterparts from overseas, no matter how great their achievements in their own lands.

Don’t get me wrong; Mr Mandela’s undoubted position in the pantheon of African heroes is deserving of the highest recognition... Just not in the form of a statue in Parliament Square.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Diana: It's time to move on...

As my regular reader will already be aware, the Throne is a staunchly monarchist blog and whilst there is breath in my body, so it will remain.

However, that said, I am utterly sick and tired of reading, or being lectured to, about the late Diana, Princess of Wales. For goodness sake, the woman died ten years ago in a wholly preventable car accident, and we, as an increasingly emotionally incontinent nation, should just get over it.

For the record, she was not a saint in human form, but a thirty-six year old publicity hungry woman whose admittedly high profile marriage had collapsed some years before her death, much the same as countless others.

It is surely high time that all the hoop-la over her demise was brought to an end, if only for the sake of the two people still alive for whom her memory is really important; her two sons.

To all the other grief-mongers who take such mawkish delight in ‘preserving’ her memory, I say that it is time to move on. Forget the ludicrous water feature in Hyde Park, which actually looks like an over-sized horse trough. Forget the ridiculous conspiracy theorists, such as Mohammed Fayed and the mind-numbingly dull Daily Express and allow the woman to rest in peace in that small part of Northamptonshire denied to her by her brother - he of the aggressive, self-serving eulogy and money making Diana theme park - in her final few years of life.

Please don’t get me wrong here, of course I am sorry she died. Sorry that a life was snuffed out at least forty years too soon. Sorry that two young boys lost their mother in such awful circumstances. Sorry for the way mass hysteria virtually paralysed the country for weeks after her death.

But I absolutely refuse to bow to the lachrymose, wailing mob of Diana worshippers, who still cling to her ‘memory’. Let’s face it, relatively few of them ever met or really got to know her and to suggest otherwise is simply dishonest. As a consequence, I find their continued ‘mourning’ both manufactured and not a little self-indulgent.

Leave the remembrance to her sons; it was their loss, not yours.

And for God’s sake, move on!

Thursday, August 16, 2007

I'm with Sheffield United on this...

I see that Sheffield United are intending to sue their namesakes from West Ham for some fifty million pounds; a sum the former claim to be the financial loss they will suffer as a consequence of their relegation from the English Premier League at the end of last season.

Let me nail my colours to the mast: I'm with Sheffield United here.

I know the present board weren't there when the unquestionably deceitful Tevez deal was done and, more importantly, none of their fans knew anything about it. But the fact remains that those in charge at West Ham United at the time this deal was done deliberately and flagrantly broke the rules imposed by the League and then lied about it when they were exposed.

As far as I'm concerned, the club should have been relegated from the Premier League as a punishment, not simply fined, or even suffer a points deduction; straight relegation, however hard that is on their fans. A similar punishment, you may think to the one suffered by Bury FC, who were thrown out of last season's FA Cup for fielding an ineligible player

Sheffield united were cheated out of their rightful position in the toptier of English football. Those currently occupying their place should be made to pay the full price and if that's £50m, so be it.