Firstly, just to echo phoney's earlier comment on how good the write up was on here:
Then, just to say, what planet does Schama think he's on? What a load of nonsense!
If I did not think that the 9/11 Project and Miya Ando's monument, designed above all to act as a focal point for educating the young, was a translation out of atrocity into a different language I would not be here tonight and I would not be interested in supporting the project which I do with all my mind, all my sense of what moral civil society is and a lot of my heart too.
Which bit of your heart doesn't support it then? It seems odd that Schama was unable to categorically say 'my whole heart'. By the way, did Schama come and do all this for free because of his sense of what a moral civil society is? I was just curious
Historians – some of us at least – are committed to the notion that history's function is education through memory
Yep, got no problem with that
It seems to me that if the enormity of 9/11 was directed at a group of private individuals, then the rights of the grieving not to be reminded of the misery and pain and horror of that moment are sovereign; are supreme; should never be contested
Now hold your horses right there, Schama. That's going too far. What you are saying is that because the people on the plane weren't doing it to kill particular individuals within the Towers then the relatives of those individuals who were killed don't then have any right not to be reminded of the pain and horror of that moment. Absolute nonsense. Their pain is not any less and, personally, I find such moral distinction as highly spurious
The attack of Mohamed Atta and others was not on a group of individuals. Ultimately it was on the idea of a secular, tolerant, pluralistic society itself
Really? There are many interpretations and, the dynamics of why and what happened that day are complex to say the least
Do we want … in the name of a quiet life, in the name of the bucolic serenity of your city, to turn our face away from that?
Erm, London a place of bucolic serenity? Us, not wanting the memorial in our local park is 'turning away' "in the name of a quiet life
"? Go patronise someone else, Schama. That's really scraping the barrel
Or is the integrity of the freedom of civil society in a great cosmopolitan place like this actually at stake?
Not that I'm aware of
What you are taking away is the possibility of the citizens of London being able to reflect on the mortal danger posed by this atrocity. This is what you are withholding from them
Erm, we are not taking anything away, Schama. And what do you mean about citizens of London (that's us, by the way yes, us) not being able to reflect on "the mortal danger posed by this atrocity
"? That doesn't sound all balanced and educative and peaced out to me. You also used the term "burning remnant
" to describe the proposed memorial. I think that blows the veneer off everything you've said doesn't it?
I do find it a little bit hypocritical – that's it's fine to have a programme in schools … but it's somehow not fine to have it as part of our urban fabric
Oh dear, there you go again Schama, being insulting to the very people you were trying to convince. I don't think it's hypocritical at all. The Foundation has persisted in trying to keep the two things linked. The reality is all we have is a proposal for a physical memorial and numerous statements about how much great work the educational charity is going to do, at some point
I'm sure that with all the brain power kicking around the Foundation and with it having advisers the calibre of Schama, the educational charity will still manage to meet its aims. OK, they won't have a memorial they can call their own parked right in front of Tower Bridge, the GLA and Tower of London but, nor does any other charity or foundation and they don't seem to be having too many problems doing what they do
So long, Schama. Who's next, Dustin Hoffman?