Nelson Mandela hasn't had an easy life: growing up fighting for change in apartheid South Africa; that whole prison thing; not to mention having to meet the Spice Girls; and now his life of political turmoil looks set to continue.
A proposal to put a 9ft high bronze statue of Mandela on the north terrace of Trafalgar square has met with resistance and has had its planning permission turned down by Westminster Council "on the grounds that the £400,000 monument would destroy an open space and damage views."
Which seems odd.
Trafalgar Square has a really big fountain and a really big column in it, that can be seen from pretty much anywhere, so if a 9 foot statue is blocking the view you could probably move about 2 feet in either direction and you'd be ok.
Maybe they mean the view of a square that doesn't have a statue of Nelson Mandela in it.
London Mayor Ken Livingstone is part of the consortium that's pushing for the statue and he claims "that the council's decision was made for political reasons".
Where as Ken "friend to the oppressed" Livingstones motivations are probably entirely down to altruism and wanting to the give the pigeons something a bit different to crap on.
The big question though is how do you get to be on a statue based consortium and what's the criteria for the subject matter?
The Londonist would like to nominate the guy that does the Orange Film adverts that they show before the feature at UGC cinemas, the dark haired one, not the ginga.