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The West is mutilating its culture

Ditched: Edward Colston’s statue in Bristol. Giulia Spadafora/NurPhoto/Getty

Western societies are being ravaged by the idea of “decolonisation”, says Robert Tombs in The Daily Telegraph. It’s mutilating our culture: cutting Shakespeare and Chaucer from curricula; labelling the contents of our museums as “loot”. Everything from science to gardening is allegedly tainted by the stain of “imperialist oppression”. Until recently, anti-Westernism was an extremist stance: even anti-colonists like Nehru and Mandela wanted to model their newly independent societies on their former imperial overlords. But the new vogue for decrying the West for our “catastrophic errors” and waning ascendency has caused us to turn on our own cultural identity.

This isn’t just “virtue-signalling froth”. The assault on the Enlightenment values which underpin Western societies – “liberty, rationalism, the rule of law and democracy” – is more serious now than at any time since the 1930s. With the Ukraine invasion, the threat to Taiwan and the Iranian crisis, there’s “far more at stake than just our fuel bills”. We cannot allow our history and culture to be undermined by those who “apparently loathe them” – whether they are authoritarians like Vladimir Putin or liberals clamouring for decolonisation.