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Thursday, 31 January 2019

They're starting to get it

I suspect every primary school child in Colchester leaves with a firm knowledge of just two periods in the ancient town's history - the Roman occupation and the Civil War. The town has any number of scars from the latter; the Siege House, with the musket balls still embedded in its timbers ringed in red, or the new (well, 17th century) brick top to a medieval church tower, blown up with its gunner and supply of gunpowder during the siege. Parties of small children are taken proudly to the rear castle wall, against which Lucas and Lisle were shot to death. The bias was, I recall, still tinged with the Royalist hubris that held the town against Parliamentary forces (and the wishes of the townspeople) for some time. The town has a school named for one of the executed siege commanders, but none for the Roundhead commander who won.

That such traces of ancient difference still subside in our breasts became clearer many years ago with the first acquaintance of a lifelong friend I met at university. He is a Cavalier from Worcester - I a Roundhead from Suffolk. It is not a conscious self-definition and we have rarely even spoken of it, but it remains ingrained nonetheless.  There is a strong trace of 17th century East Anglian Puritan in me that rejects all corruption, asserts the responsibility of privilege, loves Justice over Law and above all strives for an equitable (but not equal) Realm. My great friend is a scofflaw, a shameless abuser of privilege and position, a serial breaker of road traffic regulations and an unembarrassed wielder of sharp elbows, not above undetectable petty theft. We are, as the Irish say, fierce friends.

For those who imagine our common past allegiances are so distant as to be diluted to homeopathic proportions in our blood, don't be so sure. Allister Heath in the Telegraph also finds echoes of the 17th century in the divisions I have also described so comprehensively in previous posts. Against the hubristic decadence of the New Elite are
 ... the New Radicals: a heterodox bunch who are often uncomfortable revolutionaries. They look on, aghast, at our elites’s fin-de-siecle delusions, at their breathtaking self-satisfaction, and dream of the day that they can put them back in their place. Many New Radicals used to trust our institutions and were once small-c conservatives themselves; today, they believe the “system” to be broken, controlled by a selfish, morally-corrupt establishment committed to lining its own pockets.
The next stage of course is for our political allegiances to align with the nation's new bipartisan divisions - Roundhead or Cavalier, Caesarian plebeian or Pompeian patrician. Our Commons chamber is made for it, and every atom of DNA in our being is hard wired for a two party political system. Heath fears some form of destructive Corbynism, but, Puritan leveller that I am, I see in Corbyn a potential ally to the New Radical cause. I find myself nearer in many things to Jeremy Corbyn than to Boris Johnson. And if that surprises you, you still don't get it.  


Jack the dog said...

Radders - I recall when Prof. Robert Tombs was a guest on the Delingpole podcast in one of its many incarnations, they talked about the roundhead/cavalier thing. Tombs is very very sound, but asked Roundhead or Cavalier the reply was Cavalier (I seem to remember) which surprised me. I think he likened the roundheads to the taliban.

Fact is Puritannicalness isn't British.

I'm with you on the hatred of corruption and abuse of privilege, completely.

But you lose me with your implied belief that Corbyn is a better bet than Boris.

Whilst neither are great intellectuals, at least Boris makes an effort.
Corbyn is profoundly anti-the British working class, and is corruption personified.

jack ketch said...

Roundheads and Cavaliers? None of the above for me, I'd be a Laurence Clarkson type....far leftwing of the reformation.

Dave_G said...

Laurence Clarkson? More Jeremey Clarkson....

Offering up our political system is a bit like judging the ripeness of fruit from its skin only. Bite into it and taste the bitterness of the controlling and vested interests underneath.

Corbyn may have reasonably decent personal morals (same with May) when it comes to equality and fairness but is yet another puppet under the control of others and afraid to speak out.

The rot is far too deep to be excised - it's going to take a complete tear-down and rebuild to rid us of this infestation.

The only politician I've seen/heard so far that doesn't seem (although I stand to be corrected) personally under the control of others is J R-M.

Raedwald said...

WB Jack ;)

Stephen J said...

Not sure but isn't this a bit like squares and rectangles? A square is a rectangle, but a rectangle is not necessarily a square...

The roundhead cause was not particularly puritan, although puritans always sided with the roundheads. It was really people against toffs... And the problem as I see it is that the victors become the new toffs, until the next reorganisation, we don't really do revolutions...

The puritans seem to be a bit like the modern lefty, they don't understand other people's ideas, so they throw them into the "hate bucket".

The EU is definitely a big problem, since it has turned our two party system into a one party system. As someone once said... It doesn't matter who you vote for, the government always gets in. The cavalier roundhead position does not necessarily mean you will be a CONservative or a Labourite, you used to be able to be in either party and be a conservative or a socialist.... But now that means you are a globalist, because they both stand for the same thing.

On balance, I think I am a royalist... One with no money or influence.... blunt elbows too. I suppose I am closest to the classical liberal wing of the tory party, or the anarchist wing of the labour party.

Thud said...

I certainly don't get it, Jezza? barring both being human I share nothing with him.

Raedwald said...

Ah, Puritan is perhaps the wrong term. As a Libertarian I've no wish to dictate what people do consensually to their own or others' bodies, or what anybody eats, drinks or smokes. As far as I'm concerned, so long as it doesn't have a negative impact on other people, fine.

But I am intensely moralistic in other areas - in terms of one's duty to oneself and to others, that the pursuit of virtue is morally better than the the pursuit of vice, that conspicuous consumption in the face of those who lives have been destroyed by Globalism is wrong.

Yes, there's little difference between Stephen Kinnock, Dominic Grieve, Anna Soubry and Will Straw, and they might all as well be in the same party - but not the one of which I'm a member

Anonymous said...

"every atom of DNA in our being is hard wired for a two party political system"
I question this, and even were it true, the experience of (say) the past half-century should surely make us determined to break away from it. The FPTP system has been so constructed as to allow Labour and Conservatives to take Buggins’s turn at governing, playing a Punch & Judy game in the HoC then repairing to one of their many bars for a laugh or two. It’s a cynical duopoly, and outsiders face huge handicaps in attempting to challenge it: remember the SDP, with very high profile leaders? Later, UKIP gained 12.6% of the vote in 2015 for just one seat, despite their having received more votes than the SNP and LibDems together – those Parties enjoyed 64 seats between them... Whether or not one supports UKIP, surely any objective, democratic observer must accept that this signifies something badly wrong.
Yes RW, it does surprise me that you could feel even remotely sympathetic to Corbyn - a 3rd-rater who is an unreconstructed 1970s-style Marxist reminiscent of such as Scargill (though without the latter's oratorical skills), a student Lefty who never grew up. Clearly, I don't get it...
And you're a libertarian? Interesting. And how come the potentially interesting Sweden thread has disappeared?

Anonymous said...

Shouldn't that be 'abide in our breasts'?
(I'm puritanical about language!)

Raedwald said...

No, don't think so. Subside in the sense of 'exists weakly' is closer to what I mean than abide in the sense of 'dwells'. It's really very feint.


Malcolm - I took down the Sweden thread because it was an written in anger in an over-reaction to a silly comment by an utterly unimportant Swede.

Mr Ecks said...

More nonsense Radders.

May and Corbyn are SCUM. She is a Global Elite stooge and he Marxist shite--well-off Marxist shite still battling middle class Mummy and Daddy 50 years on. There is nothing he would not do or say to get his stinking paws on power. Witness his betrayal over Brexit--because he's thick and that turd Starmer conned him that his best chance of being PM was a sellout to remainiac trash. The exact opposite of the truth. But as soon as Jizz heard "power" that is all he cared about. Like the "knife" scene in Alfred Hitchcock's "Blackmail".

And if he got power there is nothing he would not do to shit on this nation. His personal morality consists of sucking the dicks of every terror group he could dig up.

The fact that you can't see that speaks to your own extremely poor judgement Radders.

James Higham said...

Roundhead from Suffolk - quite like that.

Mark said...

I'd rather be ruled by roundheads than squareheads!

Billy Marlene said...

Bad enough being English without admitting to Roundhead.

In Cork I say ‘I am English’; they hear ‘I am Oliver Cromwell’.

Anonymous said...

@Billy: I wouldn’t take that personally. Cork folk aren’t too happy about Waterford given their historical unionism.

Anonymous said...

Hello again Jack Ketch. Good to see your name again!

anon 2 said...

[Unrelated to the Troll who presently infects this site]
To Radders 1/9 @ 11:12 -- Must confess though that I, too, keep tripping over your "subside." All my dictionaries (OED; Chambers, etc) indicate that word connotes a lessening or ebbing of something. From Latin subsidere = sub: down + sidere: to settle.

I wonder if you might have meant something nearer to "subsist" in the sense of to stand, remain, stay; to come to a halt; to have the means of surviving (sub: under + sistere: to stand).

Certainly, I respect your Puritan tendencies - especially as there's plenty of variety within the category; however, I cannot enthuse over the choice between Bojo and Corbyn - neither of whom strike me as latter-day Puritan/moralist types.

In any case, that Left/Right labelling guff irks me as being froggish and part of the franco-german-marxist divide/conquer routine. Truth is that, be they on a straight line or in circle, Left and Right meet always meet at some point. And none of them match up to Alpha and Omega.

I tend to think, rather, that marxists have pretended to ignore our racial/tribal differences by re-categorizing us in terms of 'class' and wealth .....
After all, our British 'lower classes' are really only inferior in the sense that the stormin' Normans trampled all over us, ravaged and pillaged our holdings, and then pranced about looking down their noses. Even as late as the Civil War, the frogs were intensifying that game. And we're supposed to accept that we are, therefore, "lower class."

Uh uh - especially as we're so useful when they need our talents or products.

Budgie said...

When Stalin really wanted to hang on to power he did not call on marxism, he relied on patriotism (for Russians, the motherland).

The reason is that at heart ideologies are invented, transitory, wrong, limited, shallow, illusory, imperialistic, and beguiling. The most common ideology current in Europe is the EU. Real people are really hooked on the EU ideology.

When Raedwald says: "... so long as it doesn't have a negative impact on other people, fine", he is repeating a Libertarian slogan that comes close to being mere ideology.

Why? Because a moments thought reveals that unless you are a hermit with no friends and no family (a "society" of hermits??) everything you do has some affect on someone. That's just the way of the world whether we like it or not.

And no, that does not mean "Do not send for whom the bell tolls, it tolls for thee" has a free pass. That is a grosser error in the other direction.

A "New Radical"? No, I'm just an old fashioned liberal (Brit meaning, not USA style).

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