The Duke’s permanent adornment

Monday 8th May 2023, 10.25am (day 4,274)

Duke of Wellington statue, 8/5/23

This statue of the Duke of Wellington stands in Glasgow, and since the 1980s has famously been adorned, a lot of the time anyway, by a traffic cone. Not specifically this cone, as until fairly recently the city council would dutifully remove each one as it appeared, but another would invariably return not long after. More recently everyone seems to have decided that this ‘tradition’ is not only harmless, but actually interesting and ‘ironic’ in a sort of postmodern way. Local Glaswegian sense of humour, ho ho, isn’t it quaint. I saw a guide going on about it to a group of tourists today, for heaven’s sake.

However, I think what it really is, and certainly what it started as, is pure mockery of the rich and powerful, and of Authority generally, and frankly I think we would benefit from a lot more of this kind of thing — particularly after the weekend just gone. The horse’s jauntier crown can be read a little differently, perhaps.

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