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Showing posts from April, 2024

Monarchs & Miscellanea

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 Now that the monarchy is a toothless institution most of us like it or tolerate it contentedly enough. But when the King or Queen played a more pivotal role in Government, the issue of their attitude and aptitude was central to the national story. There are three Kings remembered on Trafalgar Square and merit doesn’t seem to have played a part in their selection.      Charles 1st  To the south of Square, marooned by traffic on the little roundabout is  Charles 1 st   an S man on an XXL horse. Brains are no correlate of wisdom. Charles, no dope, was encumbered by a rigid belief in his divine right to be boss and made no pretence to be a man of the people. That was tricky because many of those people didn't like autocracy and had a similarly fixed suspicion that he wanted to re-introduce Catholic practices into what was then a protestant country. Cue a Civil War between his supporters and those who followed Parliament. An estimated 4% of the British English population perished, twic

Military Men

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What does Trafalgar Square mean to you? Maybe it's the Christmas Tree gifted by Norway every year. Maybe it is the fountains or nostalgia for Britain in its pomp.  A visit is certainly more pleasant than it used to be when, if the traffic didn't get you, the pigeons would. Thank you ex-Mayor Ken Livingstone for rerouting some of the former and banning the sale of feed which attracted the latter. Enjoy the space, the fountains and the grand buildings around it. Compared with the ugliness of Leicester Square. This is the architectural muddle that is London at its glorious best, the phallocentric school of  grand  urban space planning.   Then look again, once you have cricked your neck gazing up at Nelson, take a closer  look at this n ational mantlepiece  with the rest of its array of  nicely contrived monarchic and imperial mementoes dating back to the time when this was a stage for the glorification of the military and ask, who? And why? Is it because they are part of the story