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Set in stone? Feminist pioneer Mary Wollstonecraft’s pro-life beliefs erased

Anita Singh says Maggi Hambling’s new statute of feminist pioneer Mary Wollestonecraft, installed on Newington Green in London, ‘looks like a feminist twist on The Spirit of Ecstasy wrenched from the bonnet of a Rolls Royce. ... Rarely has sculpture seemed so insubstantial. Even cast in bronze it is a flimsy thing. The proportions are wilfully off: tiny figure, blobby base, unsympathetic plinth.’ She muses: ‘If you were being kind, you might recall Michelangelo’s Slaves or Rodin’s Thinker and Kiss.

The white poppy: weaponising peace?

The Peace Pledge Union has ‘reported that it has more than quadrupled its sales of white poppy packs in schools this year’ – ‘from 59 to 280’; the packs, which cost £60 and include 100 poppies with ‘educational resources and posters’ were said to be attracting increased interest because ‘the Black Lives Matter movement has led to an interest in “the good and bad bits of history”’.

Remembering the unknown: they gave their lives - for our lifestyle?

Earlier this week, the Queen visited Westminster Abbey to pay her private respects at the tomb of the Unknown Warrior; treated with great ceremony, one hundred years ago the remains of this anonymous serviceman were interred in the Abbey, and would become ‘the symbol of all the many millions who perished in the trenches’ (Joe Shute, ‘Who held the secret of the Unknown Warrior?

One-way ticket to death? Covid travel ban relaxed to allow terminally ill to kill themselves

Health and Social Care Secretary Matt Hancock has confirmed that ‘[p]eople can break lockdown in order to travel abroad for assisted dying’, saying that ‘flying to the Dignitas clinic in Switzerland would be considred a “reasonable excuse” under the travel ban’ (‘Terminally ill allowed to break travel ban for assisted dying’, Telegraph, November 6, 2020).

Poland: poor weak women in largely peaceful protests defeat fascist disabled babies, thus saving Polish democracy from extremism

The Telegraph reports that Poland ‘is delaying the implementation of a high court ruling tightening abortion law that triggered almost two weeks of nationwide protests’ as ‘the country’s Right-wing government said that leaders were taking time to debate the hotly contest ruling and find a solution’ (‘Poland delays action to tighten abortion law’, November 4, 2020).

Racist Trump' wins votes among minorities but loses among the working classes

Tim Stanley notes that Donald Trump’s perceived divisiveness has delivered a surprising result in the presidential election; while all the votes have not yet been counted, it would seem that although ‘his alleged racism probably drove white moderates away from his party, he seems to have attracted more support among those very groups he was accused of discriminating against – including Hispanics and African-Americans.

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