Is outing people really the remit of the National Trust? | Catherine Bennett


The furore over Felbrigg Hall and LGBTQ rights shows an organisation far removed from its founding purpose

After being dumped by Lord Byron in 1812, Lady Caroline Lamb re-evaluated her servants’ livery. She took a keen interest in livery. The new retainers’ outfits would feature specially engraved buttons inscribed (satirising the Byron family motto, Crede Byron) Ne crede Byron – don’t trust Byron.

Latin, bespoke buttons, hand-sewn alterations: how much easier it is, nowadays, for wealthy employers with a brand new message to refresh their outward-facing look. At the National Trust, for instance, when that body was prompted, on the anniversary of the decriminalisation of homosexuality, into an unprecedented show of LGBTQ sympathies, it must have been the work of a moment to issue staff with rainbow lanyards and badges.

Related: The National Trust doesn’t even trust us to have our own thoughts | Stewart Lee

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