The National:

NATIONAL Trust for Scotland president Neil Oliver has sparked yet another row after claiming the removal of slave trader Edward Colston’s statue was the first step to the reintroduction of the guillotine.

Speaking to talkRADIO’s Mike Graham, the Coast presenter spoke extensively about his opposition to the removal of historic monuments, warning it is a “very dangerous” precedent to set.

The passionate Unionist added his voice to those on the right warning it is important to keep history exactly the way it is – not that they have been vocal about raising awareness of Britain’s links to slavery before, and tend to scoff when the UK is accused of institutional racism.

READ MORE: Bannockburn closed until 2022 under Scots National Trust plans

He told Graham: “I certainly don’t think that selectively editing the past is leading to any kind of productive and happy future. I take a position where we need more history, more clues to history, more pages from the story, if possible – I say that you add to history and you don’t subtract from it when you run across characters whose morals you don’t approve of and you take them out of the context in which they lived.

“That’s the early steps, I find it very concerning that this kind of behaviour is a step on the road that leads to mob rule, to the guillotine, who are these self-appointed people who believe that they’re able to make these value judgements and I think that’s a very dangerous precedent.

“Who among us had the kind of moral purity, moral certainty to be able to make those judgements? That’s why we have a process. That’s why if people find that there should be changes to their built landscape there’s a process for making that happen which is legal and if you cannot have a system which guarantees the process for the worst of us then it certainly won’t protect the best of us. We need to understand more not selectively edit so I find it very troubling, very worrisome.”

Interesting that he didn’t mention the years of democratic work people in Bristol put into trying to get the Colston statue removed.

The TV presenter then went on to complain that people had filmed the removal of Colston’s statue on mobile phones which may have been made by modern-day slaves, while wearing clothes which may have been built in a sweatshop, calling it “ironic” as if people are only capable of caring about one issue at a time.

Oliver was trending on Twitter this afternoon when his comments sparked backlash from listeners.

Commenting on his appearance on the programme, archaeologist Sarah May tweeted: “Can we please remember that Neil Oliver is a TV presenter. He doesn't speak for heritage, archaeology or history.”

Meanwhile, Alan Ferrier felt there was an interesting contradiction with Oliver’s own views on independence. He posted: “Hirsute archaeologist Neil Oliver on @talkRADIO there: ‘If you think you as an individual have the right to stand in judgement, then you're a very dangerous person.’

“From the man who called #IndyRef a ‘hate fest’ and the prospect of a second a ‘cancerous presence’. Hm.”

Another user accused Oliver of denying “Scotland's history matters when it suits him”.