How silly Gandhi's costume is. [Jinnah, by contrast, wore Savile Row suits. He also drank whisky and ate ham sandwiches.]

I have quite a lot of sympathy for pacifism. After our wars in Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya who does not?  But why a statue in London to that humbug Gandhi? He was an enemy of the British Empire. His political career led to Indian independence, partition of India and up to one million dead. That puts the Amritsar massacre, which made Gandhi lose trust in Britain, into perspective.

India like Ireland was only united under British rule - indirectly because of Gandhi and Nehru we have the failed state of Pakistan. And at this historical moment it is vitally important that we in Britain take pride in our empire and know about its great achievements, rather than honour those who demolished it. On the other hand we can take responsibility for those people too - the British Empire formed them, gave them their love of parliamentary government. Unfortunately the our worst colonial legacy was socialism which held India and other colonies back for so many years.

Paedophilia and racism are the two things our relativistic society believes in persecuting hard and of course Gandhi is accused of both these things. He was racist, regarding Africans, as all Indians in his day were. I suspect many Indians of our day are too, but on that my only real evidence is a conversation I had with an Indian in his forties in a first class railway carriage going to Delhi. The same man, by the way, quoted his mother as saying
'All the good things in India were made by the British'.
He added the gloss, 
'This is not completely true but it is almost completely true.'
I suspected his mother was right. 

I think Gandhi did not do very much at all with the young girls with whom he shared his bed, but anything is much too much. 

This is all part of a tradition in England which led to George Washington's statue being placed in Trafalgar Sq close to the one of the arch-reactionary King James II (after whom New York is named). It was a gift in 1921, from the Commonwealth of VirginiaI don't know but imagine that those who placed the statue there did so, shortly after the USA entered the First World War on the UK's side, taking the (mistaken) Whig view that Washington was a great Englishman fighting for English Common Law liberties.

The same cannot be said of Gandhi  but Gandhi was a better man than the unprincipled and devious Washington, at least, and opposed war against the British. 

I prefer to think of Lord Curzon's attractive statue in Carlton House Terrace, which I know very well and love. What would he think of Gandhi and the Communist Nelson Mandela outranking him? 

I imagine Curzon would say it was 'ghastly', said with his characteristic short Midlands 'a' sound. He considered the long 'a' middle class.

I wonder what the dear Queen Mother would have had to say or Churchill. When Gandhi launched his campaign of peaceful resistance, Churchill said that he 
"ought to be lain bound hand and foot at the gates of Delhi, and then trampled on by an enormous elephant with the new Viceroy seated on its back." 
Churchill, a racist even by the standards of his day, also said, 
"I hate Indians. They are a beastly people with a beastly religion." 
In fact independence came not because of Gandhi or Nehru or the British educated elite who wanted to take power themselves via the independence movement, but because Japan's victories over Britain destroyed British prestige and because the economic cost of war made maintaining the Indian Empire unaffordable. British rule melted away like snow in spring.

Had Great Britain not gone to war with Germany in 1939 but we'd armed ourselves to the teeth, as some people wanted us to do, e.g. Lloyd George, we would have not been attacked by Japan and history would have been very different. It was also a mistake to end our alliance with Japan to please the Americans.

Gandhi is not responsible for independence, which had been the British goal since 1913, although in 1938 Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain said he expected it in around 1980. Had Gandhi not led the independence movement somebody worse would have done. It's his sanctification on the part of my British contemporaries that I object to. That statue means public acceptance of the Liberal-Labour view of colonialism and the Empire, the view of the Fabian Society and E.M. Forster, the view that thinks independence in 1947 (with a huge death toll, remember) was the Raj's greatest moment, rather than the Delhi Durbar in 1911.

The answer to my question with which I headed this item is, of course, to win Indian votes for the Conservative Party in the forthcoming general election.

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