It's Churchill or bust: now Britain's culture warriors are looking to Washington | Marina Hyde


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Joe Biden has moved a sculpture off his desk. Cue howls of outrage – but a perplexing silence from Boris Johnson

Gird your loins, foot soldiers – or maybe don’t, for these are confusing times in the Conservative culture wars. On the one hand the communities secretary, Robert Jenrick, has chosen this moment to confect some new row about statues. On the other, Boris Johnson is suddenly incredibly relaxed over whether there is or isn’t a bust of Winston Churchill within a 10-yard radius of Joe Biden’s desk.

Incidentally, has a single American reporter based in London ever wondered whether there is or isn’t a bust of FDR or Eisenhower or Mickey Mouse in Downing Street? Don’t be ridiculous. Only complete irrelevances could concern themselves with such irrelevances, which is why the precise coordinates of the Churchill bust are such a perennially hot topic in UK Westminster discourse, where ways to announce your own smallness are apparently cheaper by the dozen.

Marina Hyde is a Guardian columnist

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