A Canadian Anglophile Comments on the Recent Riots in London
By John Plumpton
August 14, 2011
As an Anglophile (much to the chagrin of my Scottish grandmother if she is looking down on me), I have been very concerned about recent events in Jolly Olde England.
As sad as the situation is, I am somewhat amused by the determination of the Mayor of London, (one Boris Johnson), and the Prime Minister (one David Cameron), and the Chancellor of the Exchequer (one George Osborne) to make people responsible and thus "pay" for their own behaviour, etc., etc., etc.
Unfortunately, the guilty miscreants might have some difficulty making the requisite payments. Unlike the aforesaid gentlemen, the citizens of Tottenham and elsewhere are not members of the Bullington Club.
What is the Bullington Club you ask? Founded in the late 18th century, it is an exclusive (by invitation only) group of "gentlemen" at Oxford University known for their wealth and 'destructive binges'.
Even the party boy, the Prince of Wales (future Edward VIII), had difficulty getting his parents permission to accept an invitation because of the reputation of the Club.
Visit the BBC News page for details on the London riots
A biographer of Boris Johnson writes about his membership in the Club in the 1980s: "I don't think an evening would have ended without a restaurant being trashed and being paid for in full, very often in cash. A night in the cells would be regarded as being par for a Buller man and so would debagging anyone who really attracted the irritation of the Buller men."
(debagging was the jolly act of taking down a man's pants in public.)
Another thought about history is that while the Club has existed for a long time so have the gangs of London. Fagin and his boys were merely a recent incarnation of a phenomenon that goes back long through the Middle Ages, when the streets of London were far less safe than they are today. But, of course, they did not have that 'saviour' from L.A. (where they still have over 400 gangs) to assist them!
In 1845 Benjamin Disraeli described England as two nations warring within the bosom of a single state: "Two nations between whom there is no intercourse and no sympathy; who are as ignorant of each other's habits, thoughts, and feelings, as if they were dwellers in different zones, or inhabitants of different planets. The rich and the poor."
In the same year Frederich Engels wrote "The Condition of the Working Class in England". Engels led to Karl Marx, and Marx led to Lenin, and Lenin led to Stalin.....and Stalin eventually led to Putin and the Oligarchs!!!
Moral of the story: If we ignore history we run the risk that history will NOT ignore us.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 12 September 2012 17:47