NEIL Oliver trends on Twitter – again. Unfortunately for the president of the National Trust for Scotland he tends to galvanise the nation against him rather than for him.

His latest exposition on talkRADIO is to equate the dumping of slaver Edward Colston’s statue in Bristol harbour as marking the “first step to the guillotine".

READ MORE: Neil Oliver claims removing racist statues is 'road to the guillotine'

This excited a strong social media reaction with many poking fun at both Oliver’s shaky historian credentials and his hyperbolic Unionism.

As a woman of colour and a Scottish nationalist, I am so tempted to leave this Oliver twisting in his own wind. However let me offer instead a few constructive words of correction.

By Oliver’s standards, relating the dunking of an English statue to the reign of terror in the French Revolution is actually quite mild. After all, this is the same man who once compared another Scottish independence referendum to a “cancerous presence”.

The French revolution brought with it not just the guillotine but the end of French feudalism, the declaration of the rights of man and universal sufferage. But Oliver probably sees himself as a latter-day Scarlet Pimpernel, saving statues as opposed to aristocrats. After all why dwell on "liberty, equality, fraternity" when we can preach against vandalism.

Of course there is a reasonable point to be made about channelling the rage against racism into productive rather than destructive action. The task of reform should not be to eradicate history but to reclaim it. And in Bristol it should be remembered that there had been many years of sustained and polite effort to persuade the Council to place the statue into some historic context before the “Bristol Tea Party” of last weekend.

And so Oliver’s condemnation without any empathy or a single iota of context is as malicious a move as President Trump seeking to exploit American divisions over acts of disorder, instead of uniting the nation against institutional racism.

In Scotland there is no need for our generation to accept unchallenged, the inherited monuments with which we have been presented. Our task should not be just to remove but to remodel – to reclaim and present something better.

Glasgow blazed the trail many years ago in renaming St George’s Place as Nelson Mandela Place. Mind you this was an initiative not aimed against St George but rather at the apartheid South African Consulate which had its offices there! The thought of the consulate being deluged with mail marked with Nelson Mandela’s name was pure dead gallus Glaswegian.

I now think Edinburgh should follow suit by replacing Henry Dundas in St Andrews Square with the Martyrs Monument to Thomas Muir and his fellow radicals. Viscount Melville could then be left to lord it over Calton cemetery.

READ MORE: Police to carry out extra patrols on Scottish statues following vandalism

Our physical landscape is littered with statues of racists, aristocratic thugs, war criminals and greedy capitalists. We should establish a local process by which the authentic history of Scotland – the peoples’ history – can be allowed to shine through.

And let this initiative be reflected in our schools where not just Scottish history but our real history should be taught – featuring women as well as men, trade unionists as well as capitalists, crofters as well as lairds, radicals as well as conservatives, nationalists as well as unionists, and black as well as white.

One final thought for the Oliver who asked for less. The greatest memorial in Scotland is the Wallace monument at Bridge of Allan built by public subscription in the 1860s and still run by a local charity.

Up the road is the Bannockburn visitors centre rebuilt by Government grant in 2014 and run (and rundown) by the National Trust for Scotland. Under Oliver’s disastrous leadership the NTS is now scandalously proposing keeping it closed until 2022.

So why doesn’t the NTS now offer Bannockburn to the people of Scotland in an All Under One Banner type charity who could reopen the centre as soon as, keep the staff in jobs, and seek to enthusiastically present our own history to the Scottish people.

Now that might be a more productive use of time for the hirsute El Presidente, rather than defending the statues of Bristol slavers.