Saturday, November 27, 2010

Today is Lancashire Day...

I'm sure that most readers will recognise the flag I reproduce at the head of this post as that of the County Palatine of Lancaster; a county of which I am proud to be a native son.

What some of you may not know, however, is that today, November 27th is Lancashire Day, named as such in commemoration of the fact that on this day in 1295 the first elected representatives from Lancashire were called to Westminster by King Edward I (Scottorum malleus) to attend what later became known as The Model Parliament.

To further commemorate the occasion, this proclamation is read out by town criers throughout the county each year on 27th November:


Know ye that this day, November 27th in the year of
our Lord Two Thousand and Ten, the 59th year of
the reign of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II,
Duke of Lancaster, is Lancashire Day.

Know ye also, and rejoice, that by virtue of Her
Majesty's County Palatine of Lancaster, the citizens
of the Hundreds of Lonsdale, North and South of
the Sands, Amounderness, Leyland, Blackburn,
Salford and West Derby are forever entitled to style
themselves Lancastrians.

Throughout the County Palatine, from the Furness
Fells to the River Mersey, from the Irish Sea to the
Pennines, this day shall ever mark the peoples' pleasure
in that excellent distinction - true Lancastrians, proud
of the Red Rose and loyal to our Sovereign Duke.


I shall be raising a glass (or two) to my fellow Lancastrians tonight; cheers!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Episcopal hypocrisy and the bankruptcy of republicanism

What is it about republicans which forces them to support their position by levelling puerile personal insults at members of the Royal Family?

My own answer to that that question is that their arguments are so bankrupt and devoid of logic that childish personal abuse is all they have to support their infinitesimally small minority view.

Take for example, the drivel written about the recent Royal engagement by the Bishop of Willesden, the Rt Rev ‘Pete’ Broadbent, on his Facebook and Twitter pages, in which he likens Prince William and Kate Middleton to “shallow celebrities”, adding that the Royal Family was full of “broken marriages and philanderers”. That may or may not be true, but philanderers or not, those in glass houses should beware of throwing stones, because I cannot remember any Royal sex abuse scandals, whereas the Church of England positively bristles with them such as here, here, here and here, to name but four.

Not content with blackguarding the happy couple personally, he goes on to suggest – and remember, this is a Bishop of the Church of England making these remarks - that their marriage will not last above seven years; hardly the position one would expect from a senior member of the church in which William and Kate will marry, is it?

I wonder how many other ‘ordinary’ couples’ relationships he has openly suggested will not last more than seven years, even if he may well have thought it?

But he reserves his true bile for William’s parents, observing that, “I managed to avoid the last disaster in slow motion between Big Ears and the Porcelain Doll, and hope to avoid this one too.”
Let me remind you again that the author of these remarks is a Bishop in the Church of England; the church of which the Queen is the Supreme Governor, as all her predecessors have been since Henry VIII’s split with Rome in the early Sixteenth Century. So isn’t ‘Pete’ Broadbent – who was appointed to his bishopric by the very Queen he effects to despise – nothing more than a hypocrite?

Because, if he feels so strongly about his republicanism, I’m sure he could easily resign his episcopacy, go back to calling himself ‘Pete’ without it being a glaring and grating affectation and find himself a more egalitarian church in which to worship.

Or could it be that he enjoys the ‘fawning deferential nonsense’ shown to him as a bishop of the established church and so clings on to his position for personal aggrandisement?

I don’t pretend to know the answer, but I do know that peevish personal attacks such as Broadbent’s recent splenetic nonsense, serves only to display the bankruptcy of the republican argument, so I suppose as an ardent monarchist, I should thank him for his contribution to the royal cause.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Nick and Ed - hypocrites or the converted?

Watching the Royal British Legion Festival of Remembrance last night on the television, I was struck by the fact that both Nick Clegg and Ed Milliband, each of them self-proclaimed atheists, had the gall to join in with the act of worship, including the singing of hymns.

At least Milliband had the decency to look uncomfortable to the point of embarrassment as he perfunctorily mouthed the words, but Clegg appeared to be joining in with some gusto.

I am not an atheist, but I recognise it as a perfectly respectable position to hold; indeed many of my friends subscribe to that view themselves. But am I alone in finding it more than a little hypocritical to loudly proclaim your atheism and then to take an active part in what was a clearly religious ceremony, more than likely for reasons of political expediency?

Wouldn't both of them been better advised to simply stand there in respectful silence? Doing so would certainly have been a great deal more comfortable for Red Ed...

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Lance Corporal Frederick Pickup 1891 -1916

Those of you who have been visiting the Throne for at least a year may recognise the name in the title of this post, namely that of Lance Corporal Frederick Pickup of the East Lancashire Regiment, who, like twenty thousand other men, died on 1st July 1916 whilst serving his King and country in the Great War.

He was just twenty-five years of age and he was my great uncle by marriage. His death left my great aunt Clara a war widow at the age of twenty-three.

Frederick Pickup: gone, but not forgotten.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Of students, fees and riots...

Wasn't it wearily predictable that today's student tuition fee protest would descend into anarchy and violence?

Please don't take that as a criticism of the initial 'light touch' tactical response from the police; after the noisy shellacking (hat tip B H Obama Esq.) they took after the G20 protest - much of it from the usual suspects, it must be said - they could have hardly done anything else, irrespective of what the Daily Wail may suggest in their incresingly tedious campaign of vilification of the police who, it seems in the curious world the Wail inhabits, are damned if they do and damned if they don't.

And I don't blame the NUS, either, for that matter. Their entirely sensible president summed up their position very succinctly in observing that a small minority of protestors had hijacked their march, whilst describing the violence as 'despicable'.

No, I lay the blame fairly and squarely at the feet of the criminals (how else would you describe them?) who forced their way into the building at Millbank and did all kinds of damage, including setting fires in what is a multi-storey office block, before accessing the roof and throwing items down on the heads of police and protesters alike beneath them.

From what I have seen on the evening news, many of those who forced their way into the building and committed the offences I have referred to, have been corralled on the ground floor by the police. I trust that each and every one of them will be arrested and where the evidence justifies it- frankly their presence should suffice, given the circumstances - prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.

Oh, and in the event that any of them actually happen to be students, that on conviction - and only then - they are summarily excluded from their university and any other such institution in this country for life, in addition to the (more than likely derisory) penalty the courts choose to impose.

I wonder what sort of response Sir Paul Stephenson will arrange next time there is a large demonstration in London? G20, Millbank or an as yet unidentified 'middle way'?

Doubtless we'll find out in the fullness of time, and with the same weary predictability I mentioned at the beginning of this post, doubtless the Daily Wail will criticise that as well...