Guy Fawkes Night

Today in England (and possibly in other parts of the country) is Guy Fawkes Night. It happens every 5th November and celebrates the discovery of a Papist plot to blow up the Houses of Parliament several hundred years ago. Effigies of the ring leader of the plot, Guy Fawkes, are burned and fireworks set off. Some may say that it is a shame that Mr Fawkes did not succeed in blowing up Parliament, but that would be too cynical a view of things. Fawkes was hankering for a return to the old ways and the old religion, and wanted a Catholic England in 1605 when he stored his gunpowder in a cellar under the House of Commons and thought that by blowing up Parliament he would achieve his wishes.  Continue reading

I remember the 5th of November

Fifty years ago Guy Fawkes Night – on the fifth of November – was something we celebrated every year. In Poplar, opposite where I lived, was a bob site. It was a rectangle of land which some bomb had hit and left broken bricks and mortar, broken glass and debris. In summer the place was covered with Oxford Ragwort, which we called “wee a beds” because if you picked them you would wee the bed. Continue reading

Northern Rock or microgeneration?

The debate about the way that the government dealt with the Northern Rock crisis still rumbles on. Some have said that Mr Darling had no choice because he had to ensure that people retained confidence in the banking system. I cannot imagine that he took this decision without having cleared it with the Prime Minster, Gordon Brown.  Continue reading