Following the public clash over Winston Churchill’s statue in Parliament Square, Prime Minister Boris Johnson asserts in an op-ed in The Telegraph that the campaign to remove public monuments risks ‘distorting’ Britain’s past:

Our history is immensely complex, and modern Britain is a product of a vast conglomerate of ideas and beliefs—not all of which look good in the light of today.

I am also extremely dubious about the growing campaign to edit or photoshop the entire cultural landscape. If we start purging the record and removing the images of all but those whose attitudes conform to our own, we are engaged in a great lie, a distortion of our history—like some public figure furtively trying to make themselves look better by editing their own Wikipedia entry.

Would it not be better and more honest to ask our children to understand the context, to explain the mixture of good and bad in the career of Churchill and everyone else? Rather than tear some people down, we should build others up, and celebrate the people who we in this generation believe are worthy of memorial.

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