Gunpowder treason and plot

Remember remember the fifth of November. Gunpowder, treason and plot. We see no reason why gunpowder treason should ever be forgot.

Bonfire night is upon us, an evening where we celebrate the foiled plan of the attempt to blow up Parliament. We often just think of Guy Fawkes at this time, but he was a small part of a much larger movement. In 1605 the Roman Catholic church cried out for justice against their persecution of 45 years. They thought that they would find relief when Queen Elizabeth passed but their torment continued. In an attempt to bring a light to their darkness, they planned the assassination of King James I as he sat in parliament. Thanks to an anonymous letter, the plan was a failure, as Guy Fawkes was discovered just moments before lighting a fuse. After two days of torture he was labelled a traitor and hung, drawn, and quartered for his crimes. As we celebrate his capture I have started questioning his actions: would blowing up Parliament really be such a bad idea?

Politics frustrates the best of us and I’m fairly sure we have all sympathised with the Gunpowder Plot at some point. When cuts are made, promises broken, and taxes risen, we do start to question the government’s tactics, surely it would be better to start over? Put new people in power? Blow up the building? Maybe not.

At any one point there would be thousands, if not millions of people that have an issue with the way the world is run, never are we going to have a system that everyone agrees with, so to be fair we have to go with the majority vote. If we were to create a new order, surely we would have one where people with different values all communed to discuss important issues, and decide on the best course available. These people would be representative of the country by members of the community deciding which values most match their own, and voting on it. To fund the work, and provide services to the public, they would take money from each individual, unless they had a legitimate reason for not being able to afford it. Sound familiar?

As much as the government angers me I do realise we have a pretty good system in place.

We get so angry at our politicians but if we take a moment to look at other countries’ regimes, we should thank our blessings at what we have. Would we prefer a dictatorship? Someone like Kim Jung Un (North Korea)? Or how about a corrupt president like Robert Mugabe (Zimababwe)? Or a power struggle resulting in war (Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan)? Currently Myanma (formerly Burma) is leading up to their general election and, despite being a democracy, there is a lot of concern that the vote will be tampered with. As infuriating as our politicians are, they seem to know where to draw the line, terror tactics and cheating aren’t generally their way.

I completely understand the desire to rid Britain of parliament, and I’m sure if the day ever does come, it will be like a scene from V for Vendetta, and the public will watch from the sidelines as the symbol of power dissolves before us, but for now I think we’re doing okay. Our system isn’t perfect, but on the whole, we are safe, we have knowledge, we have healthcare, and most of all we have the power to effect for change. When we are desperate for action we can write to our MPs, we can send petitions to our Prime Minister, and we can put pressure on our government. No matter how much we disagree with our politicians, we’re right to celebrate Firework Night, for us, it’s a symbol of peace in our land; something we should all be grateful for.


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