Given the long history of British democracy, it is almost reassuring to know that politics in 1648 was just as sordid as politics in 2014.
At the end of the Second English Civil War, elements of the Long Parliament attempted to rehabilitate Charles I with the Treaty of Newport. The defeated and deposed king was at that point happy to sign anything that would save his skin. Oliver Cromwell and the New Model Army had other ideas and Thomas Fairfax organised a military coup with the intention of dissolving parliament and banging up the king on charges of high treason. Realising that this was a bit over the top even for 1648, Fairfax decided instead to purge parliament of any dissenters leaving only a bunch of yes men. Colonel Thomas Pride was tasked with rounding up the trouble makers and, as a result, gave history “Pride`s Purge” and the first Rump Parliament. To this day, a rump parliament is defined as a bunch of shysters left over after an actual parliament has lost any legitimacy. Welcome to 1648. (more…)
It wasn`t exactly a JFK moment or an Elvis moment or even a John Lennon moment but the day after Bastille Day 2014 is now carved into memory.
Tuesday morning was always going to be “challenging” as a long scheduled three hour meeting starting at nine would require concentration and the certain need for some agile thinking if I had any hope of a successful outcome. It was the sort of meeting that requires you to switch off your phone. Emerging into the sunshine feeling quietly confident and more that a little smug, I resorted to a nearby hostelry to collect my thoughts over a pint of fine English ale. Finding a seat outside and sparking up a gasper, I switched the phone back on.
A stream of about a dozen text messages broke the peace and quiet of the beer garden. This was most unusual as text messages are rare and are normally confined to simple pleas from the homestead to “buy cat food” or an attempt at further extortion from the tax dodging bandits calling themselves my network provider. (more…)
Banksy via streetartutopia.com
In these dark and perilous hours, my thoughts and prayers are with my fellow British citizens as we face the most grievous emergency to ever threaten the very existence of our proud and free nation.
Hoards of organised criminals, terrorists, perverts and Trade Unionists are openly conspiring to send each other pictures of sodding cats and are communicating via comments about TV programmes that nobody else is watching. It is vital that we remain vigilant against this unspeakable plot and happily wave goodbye to civil liberties justifiably sacrificed on the sacred alter of national security. In David Cameron we have a leader who is at last courageous enough steam roller emergency legislation to allow government free access to every snippet of electronic communication without the unnecessary delay of allowing elected MPs to actually debate or even read the DRIP bill. (more…)
Just when you start to think that politics could not descend any further into the cesspit of disgraceful opportunism, along comes another piece of low life ready to plumb new depths of disrespect.
Wolverhampton councillor Bob Jones was elected as the first Police and Crime Commissioner for the West Midlands on November 15th 2012. He died suddenly on Tuesday 1st July 2014 aged 59. By all accounts and judging from the many tributes paid to him from across the political spectrum, he was very good at his job even though he stated that Police and Crime Commissioners were not a terribly good idea in a mature and open democracy. Those that knew him and even those that politically opposed him are unanimous in their admiration for this good and honest man. (more…)
Decades before Will Smith`s fictional Fresh Prince migrated from West Philadelphia to Bel Air, singer and pianist Nat King Cole tried upward mobility for real.
As the first African American entertainer popular enough to have his own television show in the 1950s, Nat King Cole`s success brought him enough money to buy a large house in an affluent, all-white suburb of Los Angeles. Soon after moving in with his family, his wealthy, white neighbours invited him to a party to welcome the famous newcomer. However, the invitation made it very clear that he was expected to play and sing and as a reward might be able to have some chitlins and corn bread with the servants in the kitchen. Ever the gentleman, Cole politely declined, explaining that he made his living by playing and singing and helpfully included the contact details for his agent and manager should the host and hostess wish to arrange an engagement subject to a binding contract and the usual fee. The host and the hostess did not make a booking. (more…)