Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy New Year...

May I take the opportunity with this, my 191st - and last - post of 2008, to wish all of my readers (shouldn't take long!) and other occasional, or even accidental visitors to the Throne, a very Happy and prosperous New Year for 2009.

Thank you all for visiting and even more so to those of you who have been kind enough to leave me your comments - even the critical ones.

I hope to see you all again in 2009, or when I've sobered up, whichever is the sooner...

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas to one and all...

Well, all the shopping has been done, the tree has been trimmed and the relatives are arriving; so please allow me to take this opportunity to wish all my readers a very Merry Christmas.
I hope you all have an enjoyable day - I know I will!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Strictly compulsive viewing...

Well done to Tom Chambers who, together with his professional partner, Camilla Dallerup, has just been crowned Strictly Come Dancing champion for 2008.

It might be as camp as a row of pink tents, but I don't care; I thoroughly enjoy it and I have watched every single show avidly.

My personal favourite for the title (after Austin Healey was knocked out) was Rachel Stevens, who, over the course of the series developed into a quite superb dancer under the expert tutelage of her professional partner, Vincent Simone. But credit where credit is due; Tom and Camilla won the competition on the strength of a quite brilliantly choreographed and executed final 'show dance' which even blew the judges away.

Saturday evenings won't be quite the same now that the series has finished.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Reasons to be cheerful, part two...

Following up very briefly from my last post, last Friday's 'Christmas' drink with my pals went off without a hitch and much fun (and beer) was had by all.

And by way of a very welcome bonus, whilst wending our alcohol assisted way around Clitheroe town centre, I was delighted to see the Cross of St George flying from the castle flagpole, fully illuminated for all to see.

What's more, the flag of the English Nation (for such is what the CoSG is and what we English are) was still flying there at full mast on Sunday afternoon.

Proper order.

Friday, December 05, 2008

Jingle bells, jingle bells...

Well, it's coming up to that time of year again and I'm off out tonight (or should that be this afternoon, as we're meeting in the pub at 5.30!) with my pals for our (first) Christmas drink.

As you may have gathered, it promises to be a lengthy affair, with banter and mickey-taking aplenty.

As a result, postings may be a little thin on the ground for the rest of the weekend, as I work my way out of the doghouse with Mrs RToK...

Thursday, December 04, 2008

The hounding of Maria Gatland...

I don't imagine it will surprise anyone to learn that the Throne has nothing but contempt for the blood-soaked criminals of the IRA, but I have to say that this story about the 'unmasking' and subsequent hounding from office of Conservative councillor Maria Gatland, a former member of that organisation, leaves me feeling distinctly uneasy.

Mrs Gatland was born in Dublin and joined the IRA as an impressionable young woman, convinced of the legitimacy of their campaign to drive the British out of Ireland and thereafter to forge a thirty-two county Republic.

Yes, joining an organisation wedded to violent revolution - and make no bones about it, that is precisely what the IRA was - was incredibly foolish and arguably criminal, but at the time she did so, she was barely in to her twenties.

To her credit, she quickly realised the true, murderous nature of the organisation she had foolishly joined, when in July 1972 IRA bombers killed eleven people and injured scores more in a series of bombings in Belfast and as a consequence, she left the organisation which promptly sentenced her to death for doing so.

Understandably, she then fled Ireland and came to England, where within four years, she met and married her husband, with whom she built a new life, eventually becoming a Conservative councillor in Croydon in 2002 with the aim of 'putting something back into the community'.

In other words, having utterly rejected the murderous violence of the Provisional IRA at the cost of attracting a death sentence for doing so, she set about building a new and respectable life in England. A full thirty years after the scales fell from her youthful eyes, she sought and secured election to her local council in order to serve her community and make it a better place in which to live.

Whilst I appreciate that Mrs Gatland had been, by her own admission, a member of an organisation which was responsible for the deaths of hundreds of people and the torture of thousands more, both British and Irish, during the course of 'The Troubles' she had repudiated that membership within a very short period of time.

The question I pose is this; is there to be no rehabilitation, no possibility of redemption, for those like Maria Gatland (nee McGuire) who have realised the error of their ways and set about making amends?

Whatever anyone thinks about the IRA and those who were members of it, it took considerable courage - both moral and physical - for Maria Gatland to leave and condemn her former comrades for the callous murderers that they were, and in my view, thirty-six years down the line, she should be congratulated for that courage, not hounded from office amid a tidal wave of political point-scoring and nauseating righteous indignation.

A bit of trumpet blowing...

Back on October 15th I wrote this post, celebrating the fact that the Throne had received it's thousandth visitor.
In the same vein, I'm sure my regular reader will indulge me whilst I celebrate having received my thousandth visitor from this country alone, to say nothing of over two-hundred from America and just short of a hundred from Australia.
As I wrote in the October post, the figures may not be large by linked-blog standards, but they are both important and a source of some pride to me.
So once again, thank you all and please keep coming back!