Monday, 3 October 2016

The Fourth Plinth

The debate about the Fourth Plinth in Trafalgar Square in London has been revived again.  The latest is that it is being reserved for a statue of HM The Queen on a horse. presumably gazing down Whitehall or down The Mall rather than at other statues.

These include King George IV, an interesting monarch but perhaps with a very different lifestyle.  Another is King James II, who was dethroned in a civil war who is near to one of George Washington, donated by the State of Virginia, an offer we could not refuse.

There are three busts of Admirals, Jellicoe and Beatty of WW1 and Cunningham of WW2, who do deserve some recognition but then two major statues are those of General Sir Charles James Napier and Major General Sir Henry Havelock, two warriors of The Raj in the sub-continent and the former distinguished himself against Napoleon. Edith Cavell is just round the corner in St. Martins Place.

But this is the 21st Century, and perhaps another location might be preferred.  On 12 June 2010 I blogged to the effect that the Fourth might have, say, a group of Watson, Crick, Franklin and Wilkins to recognise their work on DNA, or perhaps Davy and Faraday.  But I plumped for General's Ross and Brooke who burned Washington in 1814 given Obama's dislike of the UK.

The obvious alternatives for HM are in The Mall, perhaps close to the Palace, or Whitehall, given that she has seen so many Prime Ministers come and go.  Or maybe Parliament Square as a change from all those alpha males.  Given the repair costs of the Palace of Westminster, why not raze it to the ground and turn the site into gardens with the statue at the centre, as Elizabeth Gardens?

But, given the way are governed and who is really in charge it might be somewhere else altogether, say outside The Shard?


  1. I nominate Tim Berners-Lee. Without him I couldn't have made the suggestion.