Who would I honour with a statue? This is a list of writer and others that I particularly admire.: The names that come to mind are – Robert Burns, Thomas Paine, Orpah Winfrey, Maya Angelou, Rembrant, Michelangelo, Mozart, Bob Dylan, Bach, Mary Somerville, Thomas Muir, Elsie Inglis, Constable.
Recently people threw the statue of slave trader Edward Calston, into the river.
I’m glad to see a statue to James Clerk Maxwell, the great physicist in Edinburgh’s George St.
I attend Edinburgh book festival each year and one of the great aspects of this festival is that merit it accorded to those who achieve rather than to any empty celebrity.
Recently I watched a tv program about the mega rich and their massive yachts. I wondered about the French revolution – when they over threw a greedy aristocracy – but they simply escaped and instead of stately mansions set up massive yachts.
Kevin Pringle argues we should have dynamic, on going debate on whether any statue in a civic space, continues to be relevant to todays world. That society is not static or unchanging. Also that the Edward Colston statue removed Bristol was no longer relevant. He suggested in 2003, that the Duke of Wellingtons statues in Edinburgh’s Princes St, should make way for one of Scotland’s national bard, Robert Burns.
In a recent survey Burns was voted as Scotland’s no 1 hero. I was surprised to realise his Edina statue is down the bottom of Leith walk, removed from the city centre. There are more statues to Burns in America than of any other writer and he is honoured and respected world wide from Russia to Canada. (Mind you maybe Burns would rather stare up from the coast!)
In Belgium, statues of the tyrant Leopold II are being removed. Pringle writes of the diplomat Roger Casement “who was knighted for exposing atrocities 1904 in the Congo and was later hanged by Britain for championing Irish insurrection. People are complicated, and no statues can ever capture that.”
**Who Would I Honour with a statue?
Thomas Paine - English-born American political activist, philosopher, political theorist, and revolutionary. He authored the two most influential pamphlets at the start of the American Revolution and inspired the patriots in 1776.
Robert Burns – Scotland National Bard
Yes he was a flawed man – but he also put his creativity and egalitarian views, and collecting Scotland’s tradition of song and ballads, as his main creative genius.
Thomas Muir - Great reformer of the Friends of the People.,
Scots lawyer Muir defended many others until he found himself a wanted man. He was arrested on landing at Portparick. and taken in chains through Gatehouse of Fleet to Dumfries and on to Edinburgh, where he was tried for sedition. He was found guilty and sent to Botany Bay. Later he escaped and made it over to Vancouver island and Monterrey bay – then on to Mexico and got caught up with a naval fight in Cadiz harbour, where he ahd half his face blown off. He died near Paris, aged only
Women of colours and women of today I most admire -