CAMPAIGNERS seeking the removal of the statue of controversial imperialist Cecil Rhodes at Oriel College in Oxford have been labelled a ‘mob’ by an outspoken city and county councillor.
Coun Alan Amos hailed Rhodes as ‘one of the greatest-ever Englishmen’ and slammed the efforts by campaigners for his statue to be removed from Oxford University.
Oriel College said its governing body had ‘expressed their wish to remove the statue’ and voted for a commission to examine issues around the monument to the British imperialist widely blamed for apartheid in South Africa.
Members of the Rhodes Must Fall campaign greeted the news with ‘guarded jubilation’ and said it would keep up the pressure until the statue was removed.
The campaign said Rhodes could not be atone for his legacy despite the Rhodes Scholarship, first established in 1902, which offers young people from around the world fully funded postgraduate scholarships UK at the university.
However the move was savaged by Coun Amos who said: “The mob rule the police have allowed will cause lasting damage to our country. We hear endless demands from Left-wing trouble-makers and minorities whilst the voice of the majority no longer matters in our so-called democracy.
“By his ambition, drive, determination, hard work, sheer ability, and above all his vision, Cecil Rhodes was a historical titan who bestrode not just Africa but the whole world.
“Not only did he make himself one of the richest men in the world, left a lasting legacy through the Rhodes Scholarship Programme for Oxford University students, but also acquired whole new chunks of Africa for the British Empire which covered a quarter of the globe and remains one of the greatest achievements the world has ever seen. No other person has had two countries named after him.
“No amount of thuggery and violence can undo or remove our history, or force us to forget it, although it may be interpreted differently in different eras.
“It is such a pity It can no longer be done by educated debate and respect for different opinions, but by violence and threats of it,” he added.