EDEN CONFIDENTIAL: Historian slams woke university’s blame game

EDEN CONFIDENTIAL: Historian slams woke university’s blame game

EDEN CONFIDENTIAL: Historian slams woke university’s blame game over family of donors who ‘benefited from slavery’

Even by his unwavering wartime standards, it was an epic display of the bulldog spirit.

Just hours after a Luftwaffe raid in April 1941, Churchill presided at a degree ceremony at Bristol as chancellor of its university, amid what his private secretary described as ‘devastation such as I had never thought possible’, and gave an impromptu speech likening the ‘fortitude’ of Bristol to that of ‘Ancient Rome’.

But now, claim some furious alumni, the Wills family — donors of what, in today’s money, equates to hundreds of millions of pounds — will see their name expunged from the university, and even from the landmark building where Churchill gave his speech. If approved, it would be a result of what critics allege is a bogus ‘consultation’ about benefactors’ connections with slavery.

Even by his unwavering wartime standards, it was an epic display of the bulldog spirit. Just hours after a Luftwaffe raid in April 1941, Churchill presided at a degree ceremony at Bristol as chancellor of its university

Churchill’s biographer Andrew Roberts fears the alumni’s concerns are not misplaced, pointing out that the university has stated the Wills family ‘benefited from slavery’ as 19th-century tobacconists — even though they neither owned slaves nor traded them.

It’s evidence, he tells me, that ‘the woke movement has moved on to attack people who had perfectly legal businesses. It’s what the woke movement wants: the complete association of Britain — which, after 1833, was fighting against the slave trade — with slavery, so we can say: ‘We’re all guilty.’ ‘

By that standard, he adds, so, too, is anyone ‘wearing a T-shirt made in China. Will they be excoriated by future generations for owning something made in a dictatorship?’

None of the woke warriors, Lord Roberts reflects, will emulate even a fraction of the ‘enormous philanthropic generosity’ of the Wills family, one of whom, Sir David Wills, established the Ditchley Foundation, which ‘works with people from across the world to help sustain peace, freedom and order’.

A Bristol University spokesman insists: ‘No decisions have yet been made.’

Churchill¿s biographer Andrew Roberts fears the alumni¿s concerns are not misplaced, pointing out that the university has stated the Wills family ¿benefited from slavery¿ as 19th-century tobacconists ¿ even though they neither owned slaves nor traded them

Churchill’s biographer Andrew Roberts fears the alumni’s concerns are not misplaced, pointing out that the university has stated the Wills family ‘benefited from slavery’ as 19th-century tobacconists — even though they neither owned slaves nor traded them

Now, claim some furious alumni, the Wills family ¿ donors of what, in today¿s money, equates to hundreds of millions of pounds ¿ will see their name expunged from the university, and even from the landmark building where Churchill gave his speech. If approved, it would be a result of what critics allege is a bogus ¿consultation¿ about benefactors¿ connections with slavery

Now, claim some furious alumni, the Wills family — donors of what, in today’s money, equates to hundreds of millions of pounds — will see their name expunged from the university, and even from the landmark building where Churchill gave his speech. If approved, it would be a result of what critics allege is a bogus ‘consultation’ about benefactors’ connections with slavery

Tar star’s husband was jealous — of her 

Norwegian model Sylvia Flote, daughter-in-law of Lib Dem grandee Lord Oakeshott, has made her big-screen debut in the film Tar, as a lover of Cate Blanchett’s character, a classical music conductor.

At the film’s London premiere, Flote (left) tells me her other half, Sigmund Oakeshott, was happy with her casting, because he fancies the Australian actress. ‘My husband was quite proud that I was playing her lesbian lover,’ she says at the bar of Picturehouse Central in London. ‘He’s not even jealous, as he would have loved to have taken my place.’

Flote, 39, adds: ‘Working with Cate is the highlight of any career.’

Norwegian model Sylvia Flote, daughter-in-law of Lib Dem grandee Lord Oakeshott, has made her big-screen debut in the film Tar, as a lover of Cate Blanchett¿s character, a classical music conductor

Norwegian model Sylvia Flote, daughter-in-law of Lib Dem grandee Lord Oakeshott, has made her big-screen debut in the film Tar, as a lover of Cate Blanchett’s character, a classical music conductor

Did rock star Bono watch too much Bridgerton in the pandemic? ‘He did write me an open letter, as one of, I think, 60 recipients during the lockdown,’ punk legend Iggy Pop reveals. ‘He put forth the proposition that there is a Regency in popular music — which I took to mean a royal clique.’ Bono beseeched Iggy, 75, to be more Prince William, less Prince Harry. ‘His impression about my stage-diving was that, as I hurled myself forward, I was throwing away my crown.’ His verdict on Bono’s plea can be found in the scathing track that closes his new album, which repeats: ‘F*** the Regency’. 

Amid great fanfare, Simon Mayo left the BBC last year after nearly four decades at the Corporation, but some people don’t seem to have noticed he’s gone.

Mayo, 64, was approached by an autograph-hunter in Soho, London, who told him: ‘So many people are leaving the BBC.’ When Mayo agreed with him. the fan replied: ‘Glad you’re still there, though.’

Hush-hush speed read 

Tom Bradby kept Spare’s secrets over Christmas after being granted an exclusive sight of the text in advance of his interview with Prince Harry, broadcast on Sunday.

‘We were asked to hand over our coats, phones and laptops and taken to a room with four laptops open with the book loaded electronically and watermarked with our individual names,’ says Ian Rumsey, ITN Productions’ managing director. ‘It was our only chance to see the book, and equipped with just notepads and pens, we read all 410 pages in nine hours.’

A shame that fast-talking Bradby wasn’t asked to voice the audiobook, which clocks in at 15 hrs, 37 mins of Harry’s reedy whine.

Breakfast in bed for designer Coco 

Coco Pops might be a children’s favourite, but they’re loved so much by society jeweller Theo Fennell’s daughter Coco that she even wears them to bed.

The fashion designer, 34, is pictured in the £425 Anya Hindmarch PJs, emblazoned to look like a pack of the Kellogg’s breakfast cereal, while on holiday in Barbados.

The fashion designer, 34, is pictured in the £425 Anya Hindmarch PJs, emblazoned to look like a pack of the Kellogg¿s breakfast cereal, while on holiday in Barbados

The fashion designer, 34, is pictured in the £425 Anya Hindmarch PJs, emblazoned to look like a pack of the Kellogg’s breakfast cereal, while on holiday in Barbados

‘Not even a hint of a tan,’ jokes Coco, whose sister is Oscar winner Emerald Fennell, the writer/director of Promising Young Woman.

Proudly working-class comedian Johnny Vegas is going into business with an aristocrat.

Benidorm star Vegas, 52, is moving his popular Field of Dreams glamping (posh camping) site from Harrogate in North Yorkshire to the grounds of Melbourne Hall, a stately home in Derbyshire owned by Ralph Kerr, heir presumptive to the Marquessate of Lothian and the chiefship of Clan Kerr.

Pope gave his parody blessing to TV snob 

Dame Patricia Routledge’s snobbish character Hyacinth Bucket (which she pronounced ‘Bouquet’), in the much-missed Keeping Up Appearances, would be delighted to learn that not only did two Queens watch the BBC sitcom, but so did a Pope.

‘There’s a rumour that Pope Benedict did an impression of Hyacinth’s telephone catchphrase, ‘Hello, this is the Bouquet residence.’ If the rumours are true, his Holiness wasn’t the only high-profile fan,’ reports Channel 5 documentary Keeping Up Appearances: 30 Years Of Laughs, to be aired tomorrow night.

Dame Patricia says: ‘We were one of the Queen Mother’s favourite sitcoms, which was lovely, and the Queen enjoyed it, too. Hyacinth would have been flattered beyond words, and why not.’

Celebrated rock guitarist Jeff Beck, who died suddenly earlier this week aged 78, enjoyed his resemblance to Sir Mick Jagger, 79. ‘I used to get mistaken for him all the time,’ Beck admitted in 2021. ‘I used to have girls screaming at me — and I didn’t know what the f*** they were screaming about.

‘I’d pull up along somebody in a car, and they’d go: ‘Mick!’ And I’d be thinking: ‘Who the f*** is this Mick?’ Then I realised it was this guy in the Rolling Stones called Mick Jagger.’

Advertisement

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/articles.rss

Richard Eden

Leave a Reply