First they came for the statues, now stained glass windows. Yet one woman’s vile history is overlooked

Jun 29, 2020 by

by Dominic Lawson, Mailonline:

First they came for the statues; then they came for the stained glass windows. Yes, the fashion (at least among undergraduates) for trashing commemorative edifices is developing new forms.

And in one particular case, the targeted memorial is barely 30 years old.

This is the Sir Ronald Fisher memorial, a stained glass window in the dining hall of Gonville and Caius College at Cambridge University to honour the work of its former member, described as ‘a genius who almost single-handedly created the foundations for modern statistical science’. Sir Ronald, in fact, was knighted by the Queen in 1952.

But last week, the college said that it would remove the Sir Ronald Fisher memorial because it was ‘now aware of [his] views and actions … in a way that was not fully appreciated in 1989’.

The dons were too delicate to mention that the university outpost of Extinction Rebellion, supposedly in sympathy with Black Lives Matter, had spray-painted ‘Eugenics is genocide — Fisher must fall’ on the college’s Gate of Honour.

Sir Ronald had been the founding chairman of the university’s eugenics society: he was devoted to stamping out breeding by those he deemed ‘feeble-minded high-grade defectives … comprising a tenth of the total population’.

This was high fashion on the Left of British politics in the early 20th century and advocated enthusiastically in their favourite newspaper and weekly magazine (then, as now, the Guardian and the New Statesman).

[…] Oddly, though, there is one British eugenicist whose name is widely known outside the academic world. That person’s name is advertised in magazines and on hoardings, and it pulls in many millions of pounds of taxpayers’ money every year.

I refer to Marie Stopes. The organisation bearing her name, Marie Stopes International, is perhaps the world’s biggest abortion provider.

Not only are its operations in this country largely paid for by us as an adjunct to the NHS, its overseas work is given huge sums by the Department for International Development.

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