REGULAR readers of TCW will be well aware of the National Trust’s ridiculous and destructive descent into wokery in recent years.
Back in 2018, Laura Perrins reported one such example when at Cragside – the grand Northumberland home of Victorian industrialist William Armstrong – it was decided that as part of a celebration of the role of women it would be a great idea to cover up paintings and sculptures of men.
A reader responded by renaming this once doughty defender of our cultural heritage The National Distrust. By the second half of 2020, the organisation was fully infected by the woke virus.
The Trust plumbed new depths by its committed support for the Black Lives Matter campaign, encouraging volunteers and staff to ‘take time to educate themselves’ and insisting that there is ‘nothing political about fairness and respect and serving the whole of society’, as though they hadn’t been fair and respectful before.
This initiative came hand-in-hand with its ‘Interim Report on the Connections between Colonialism and Properties Now in the Care of the National Trust, Including Links with Historic Slavery’ in September 2020.
Curiously, this selective missive omitted to list Housesteads Roman fort and its adjoining section of Hadrian’s Wall – even though, as Chris McGovern pointed out in TCW, no other monument in the British Isles is a more potent statement of imperial enslavement. In that same week, we reported how the National Trust had also bent its knee to slurs about Sir Winston Churchill.
If you are a member, you may be maintaining your membership despite your misgivings in order to access the Trust’s beautiful properties. But if its decline into virtue-signalling idiocy has dismayed or angered you, there is something you can do about it.
First, there is an organisation called Restore Trust that is trying to roll back the wokery. Its members are also incensed, as are others, that the Trust took the £65million insurance money for Clandon Park House in Surrey – gutted by fire in 2015 – but now does not intend to restore it, a shocking example of its dereliction of its fundamental duty.
In a letter to the editor of the Telegraph, Jan Lasik, general counsel and secretary of the Trust, has said that the charity would spend all the insurance settlement funding ‘and more’ on regenerating Clandon Park House. Members will await this promise with interest.
If, via your membership, you want to put pressure on the Trust to do the right thing, then how you cast your vote for the forthcoming AGM may well make a difference.
Do not click on the ‘Quick Vote’ option, but please choose the Restore Trust candidates individually. They are: Bola Anike, Professor Jeremy Black, Phil Bradby, Edward Bulmer, Philip Gibbs, Zareer Masani and Rosamund Roxburgh.
You then need to continue to the section on Resolutions. Register as NOT attending the AGM, then ignore the ‘Quick Vote’ option and instead tick the box ‘Instruct the Chair’ and then vote on the resolutions.
Restore Trust is also particularly keen that members vote in favour of:
Resolution 5 – Establishing an Ombudsman for dealing with complaints.
Resolution 8 – Removing the Chair’s discretionary proxy vote (he/she will still be able to vote as instructed by proxy voters).
You may also wish to vote for:
Resolution 4 – Deploring the rewilding of farmland.
And vote against:
Resolution 6 – This appears to be a politically-motivated motion not to bank with Barclays. The investment policies of Barclays are not the concern of the National Trust.
If you want to find out more about Restore Trust, this is the link to its website www.restoretrust.org.uk.