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Monday, November 05, 2007

Today is Guy Fawkes Day

Remember, remember the Fifth of November,
The Gunpowder Treason and Plot,
I know of no reason
Why Gunpowder Treason
Should ever be forgot.
Guy Fawkes, Guy Fawkes, t'was his intent
To blow up King and Parliament.
Three-score barrels of powder below
To prove old England's overthrow;
By God's providence he was catch'd
With a dark lantern and burning match.
Holloa boys, holloa boys, let the bells ring.
Holloa boys, holloa boys, God save the King!

Daniel Hannan, who must be a British MP, has a graceful tribute:

Guy Fawkes Night is a big event in my constituency, especially in Sussex and Kent. These counties were strong for Protestantism in the 16th century and for Parliament in the 17th. To this day, there are bonfire societies in almost every village, and you can see orange sparks rising from crests of the Downs, not just on the 5th, but throughout October and November.

Guy Fawkes Night is a big event in Sussex and Kent.

Nor is it just Guy Fawkes who is burnt. I have seen effigies of Tony Blair, Romano Prodi, unpopular local politicians and, of course, the Pope.

The torching of the Pontiff understandably makes people uneasy – although, in my experience, Left-wing atheists are more offended by the rite than are practicing Catholics. Still, at a time when Catholic leaders are uneasy about the triumphalism of the new Elizabeth film, do we want to be setting fire to the Holy Father?...

[H]aving attended dozens of bonfire nights in my constituency, I can honestly say that I’ve never found the slightest hint of anti-popery in the crowds. Most people are there to enjoy the fireworks. To the extent that there is any ideology present at all, it can be found in the celebration of patriotism, of tradition and of English particularism: the sense that we are marking one of the things that makes our country distinctive.

One year, in Lewes, I watched a large crowd cheering the immolation of Jacques Delors and a large dinosaur that represented the Maastricht Treaty. The good people of East Sussex had realised that, these days, the threat to our way of life comes, not from the Bishop of Rome, but from the Treaty of Rome.

Is there an American politician who can put together an article as well written and articulate as that? Imagine Harry Reid writing an Op Ed about the Fourth of July. Don't be ridiculous. The last American politician who could string words together to make coherent statements was Daniel Patrick Moynihan. And he's dead.

Teddy Roosevelt wrote books, one of which, a history of the War of 1812, is still read. Compare that to the drivel published under the name of, and perhaps written by, Bill Clinton.


Dick Stanley said...

Slick Willie speaks drivel, too, but he does it in such a charming way that it's almost possible to forget his lechery and crookedness. Almost.

prairie biker said...

If you really want to try your hand at some craptastic gibberish, pick up any book by Al Gore.