Westminster Abbey is to honour two 20th century Prime Ministers with memorials. The 'chosen' are Edward Heath (1970-74) and James Callaghan (1976-79).
The Dean of Westminster, the Very Reverend Dr John Hall, said:
Edward Spalton took to his keyboard to contact the Dean with his objections.
The Very Revd. Dr. John Hall
The Chapter Office
20 Dean's Yard
SW1P 3 AA
Dear Mr. Dean,
MEMORIAL TO THE LATE SIR EDWARD HEATH
As far as I know, there is no tradition of all Prime Ministers being memorialised in the abbey. So I cannot understand why Sir Edward Heath's memory has been selected for such a distinction.
I recall him as the Prime Minister who ran away from Arthur Scargill during a coal miners' strike and as the “elder statesman” who stoutly defended the Chinese government at the time of the Tienanmen Square massacre when he said “How can you have democracy in a country of one thousand million?”
So I can only assume that the distinction which motivates this proposed memorial is that he managed to scrape a small parliamentary majority to take this country into what is now the European Union. He had previously said that he would not do this “without the full hearted consent of the British people”. The MPs who voted for this proposal had neither had the opportunity to read the treaty to which they were acceding nor to know the institution to which they were outsourcing many of their functions. Sir Edward had known since 1963 when Lord Kilmuir advised him.
Whilst he assured us that “no essential loss of sovereignty” was involved, he was fully aware that he was telling a bare-faced lie, as documents now available from the Public Record Office clearly show. I was one of those taken in by him. Doing business in mainland Europe and speaking German, I was quite keen on European cooperation – but it was never about that.
As Sir Edward himself admitted to Peter Sissons in a television interview much later, his aim all along had been a “United States of Europe” - in other words, the reduction of his country to a province or collection of provinces in an alien state and his sovereign and her people to the same subjection. This intention was clearly incompatible with the oath which Sir Edward swore as a Privy Counsellor.
From treachery and faith breaking, he proceeded to a long career of deceit of Parliament and people, distinguished only by the fact that he was not properly disgraced and unmasked during his lifetime.
If this is the sort of man to be honoured in the abbey, I fear you are setting the bar very low and giving encouragement to further betrayals by future politicians of even lesser integrity and lower morals and principles.
Well said Edward! I hope, in an independent Scotland, the people will be consulted before public money is spent on memorials to politicians. The unseemly haste with which a statue was erected - commissioned by the Labour-led Glasgow Council - to Donald Dewar in 2002 was thought by many to be premature.
Also Edward has ask me to mention the Campaign for an Independent Britain as it has a section called 'Heath's Corner'.