Sally Allen: The dangers of the double-edged sword

Torbay Weekly

Life has always been full of double standards but these days that rings true more than ever.

Doesn’t anybody think things through anymore to the ultimate conclusion?

How on earth can our history be ‘cancelled’ and yet also take money from despotic governments around the world.

The classic double standard.

I understand that Jesus College, Cambridge, has formed a close relationship with the Chinese Communist Party no less, who stand accused of the enslavement and genocide of millions of its own citizens.

Yet the college has recently decided to ‘cancel’ the memorial to Tobias Rustat.

Rustat was the college’s former patron and his initial donation in 1671 has funded the college since then.

However, it has now come to light that a small part of his fortune was acquired via investments in the slavery trade.

Horrendous of course, at every level, but if we don’t know about it, how can the history books give us the education to avoid such mistakes in the future?

It is not possible, and nor should it be, to brush all our past mistakes under the carpet.

Yet, with this knowledge the college is very happy to take finance from a government which is doing exactly what they have accused Rustat of in 1671.

I thought that the Oxbridge colleges were the centre of learning in this country

There is no question that there have been horrendous episodes of genocide, cruelty and massive financial gains from dubious and unforgiveable happenings since time began – and they still continue.

Just take a look at Afghanistan.

It is heart-breaking to see the women who have sold their kidneys so that they can feed their children, and now are having to sell their children to ensure that they can be fed and brought up in a safe environment.

It is also so concerning that there are so few survivors left from the hideous death camps of World War Two to tell their first-hand heart-breaking stories, that the Holocaust is in danger of being ‘cancelled’ too.

There is an astonishing growth in the number of people who believe it never happened!

History is our future and without an in-depth knowledge of it, we will repeat the sins of our forebears. Never a good idea.

However, without the guidance of the past, how on earth can we know how the seeds of hate and genocide begin to grow.

Learning about the horrors of the past is surely the only thing that will teach us how to avoid making the same mistakes again.

So, let’s keep statues, books and everything else that we can derive knowledge from.

The important thing is not to celebrate it, but to learn from it, and we can’t learn from anything if it has all been ‘cancelled’!

For example, think back to the times of the crusades and the Spanish Inquisition and the shocking murders, deaths and mutilations, which took place in the name of religion.

Why and to what end?

I have never understood why we can’t respect someone else’s opinion.

I have long believed that religion initially was brought about to control the masses and the easiest way to do that it to give the people hope.

It is what we all need, and surely that is the basis for belief.

In basic terms, we are covering our options for when we struggle off our mortal coils. The hope that there will be something else. Something better.

Hence most religions have the same fundamental belief, just expressed in different ways.

Sadly, through history, religion has a cruel blood stained past and the present is also not very promising.

It would appear that not much has been learnt and they haven’t even trashed all the history books and statues as yet. With no reminders at all, it could get even worse.

Writing this, I have now totally depressed myself, but I fundamentally believe that good will come out of bad.

Just don’t give in to this ridiculous and dangerous ‘cancel’ culture.