Wednesday 12 January 2022

The Eric Gill statue outside Broadcasting House is attacked

The Eric Gill One

Following the Colston Four's acquittal for pulling down the Edward Colston statue in Bristol, someone this afternoon might have high hopes of also being acquitted after taking a hammer/sledgehammer to the Eric Gill Prospero and Ariel statue at Broadcasting House - a sculpture that shows an aging Prospero and a naked, child-like Ariel fiddling on his flute.  

As many of you will know, Eric Gill was a paedophile who slept with his two daughters and the family dog. 

That fact is tattooed in my brain because, like many of you, I've watched Alex Belfield's YouTube channel and he's fond of repeatedly pointing it out. He wants the statue gone. I don't. Eric Gill was a bad man who wrought some wonderful work, including at Morecambe's Midland Hotel. I prefer separating the man from the work wherever possible. If we didn't we'd lose many great works. But I respect the views of those who can't do that on moral grounds. I wouldn't just dismiss them. 

Enter Mike Wendling and Marianna Spring's colleague, Shayan Sardarizadeh. He was straight onto Twitter linking it - as the BBC Trending/BBC Disinformation Unit seem to link everything, obsessively, whenever they possibly can - to QAnon. They are somewhat like conspiracy theorists in that respect:
A man has taken a sledgehammer to the Eric Gill statue outside the BBC Broadcasting House. The statue has been an obsession for British QAnon, "save our children", "Satanic ritual abuse" and other conspiracy groups for a very long time. Police have now arrived at the scene.

He could well be right, but it's typical how some BBC Trending/BBC Disinformation Unit types ignore Marianna's repeated cautions about speculating without facts. 

I hope she'll be having a word in Shayan's shell-like about waiting till facts emerge before speculating on social media. 

That said, let me 'do a Shayan' and speculate too: 

Maybe it could just be someone following their conscience and being on the right side of history as far as paedophilia and the BBC's shameful historic links to paedophilia go, and wanting the statue removed to avoid causing grave offence to passers-by who are forced to see it, even if not actually noticing it, out of the corner of their eyes. The vandal might even eventually claim to have increased its monetary value. With that paltry hammer, however, I'm certain he won't be dragging and dropping it into the Thames any time soon, even if Dame Dick's lot all bend their knees to him while he's doing permanent damage to his hip attempting to do so. 

Update: It looks as if Mike Wendling won't be making Marianna have a word in Shayan's shell-like after. She's deployed on Twitter too this evening, making it all about herself

Sharing an earlier message, she's tweeted:
This message I shared mentions the Eric Gill statue currently being attacked at the BBC. Gill’s crimes are appalling - and this statue has often become a focal point for online conspiracy movements. But it raises concerns about willingness to resort to violent tactics.

I'm guessing you're all as aware as I am of the 'cognitive dissonances' over this kind of thing. There's more than a bit of it about here. 

As far as Marianna Spring goes it's less clear. As a statue outside the BBC is attacked, Marianna calls that attack “violent”, but did she ever describe the “violent tactics” used by the Colston Four as “violent tactics” too?

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