Robert clive

Rhodes shouldn’t fall but Clive had to go

Tearing down statues and renaming places is all the rage. But acting in this way isn’t always a mistake. Take Clive House, at my old school, Merchant Taylors’, which was, until this month, named after Robert Clive, conqueror of Bengal, hero of Plassey and my school’s most famous former pupil (asides from Michael Mcintyre). Now it will be known as Raphael House, after John Raphael, a former pupil who died fighting in Flanders.  Is this part of the worrying trend of ahistorical, post-BLM iconoclasm that dunked Colston in the Avon, graffitied Winston Churchill and renamed Birmingham’s streets after HR buzzwords? I’m not convinced – and not only because of what Clive got up