The 9 times Britain has left Europe and why the cycle will happen again.

Much of the world and indeed the country is looking on at ever ongoing Brexit situation. What many don’t realise is that Britain has always had a love-hate relationship with Europe and it’s largely due to geography and history.

Around the world and through the millennia, nations on the edge of a sphere of influence have always have mixed feelings about their sometimes overbearing neighbours and often these neighbours have seen an outlying territory as part of their own whilst those that live there feel differently.   You only have to look at Russia today both for a country wanting to be European but irreconciled with it and for distant provinces that don’t really want to be Russian at all… because really they are not.

Geographically Britain is on the edge of the European continent and we feel differently then many in Austria or Luxembourg.  Similarly many in Scotland feel less British than those further south and many in the Shetland Islands don’t feel particularly Scottish.

Whilst Britain has undoubtedly benefitted and in many ways been central to European arts, culture and science it has a different experience than neighbouring countries.  We’ve probably also sacrificed more than any other country in terms of the dead for Europe than anyone else and our general history of religion, personal freedoms and government are quite different. Many of the treasured statues of Europe and the United Nations were taken almost directly from Britain.    Almost every European nation been invaded, occupied and suffered from dictators, fascists and communists and many of these just a few decades ago.  As such it is perfectly natural for the people there to have different values and goals and desires for their states that are very alien to us and no doubt vice-versa.  It doesn’t make either side right or wrong… just different.

Anyway the current situation is just the latest time we have had Brexit.  No doubt there will be those in the future but just to show that this is nothing new, the historian Simon Jenkins (who is both slightly left-wing but also sees the EU as being floored or failed and not Europe itself) has listed previous Brexits that shook things up.

1.The formerly independent and disunited British Isles were partially taken by force by the Romans and as the ancient province of Britannia was firmly part of the Roman empire for four centuries before that empire’s disintegration forced it to leave, in 410.

Roman Roads in Britannia

Roman Roads in Britannia

2. Two centuries later, in 664, England voted at the Synod of Whitby to rejoin what was the European Union of its time, that of the Roman Catholic church. Things were largely ok except for the odd Norman Conquest and some major squabbles under the likes of Henry II and King John. In 1534, Henry VIII spectacularly withdrew from that union, and Reformation England kept good distance from the terrible European wars of religion throughout the 16th and 17th centuries.

3. In 1704, England changed its mind and the Whigs plunged into the war of the Spanish succession against Louis XIV. The Tories reverted to detachment after Utrecht in 1713 and the Hanoverians left Europe well alone.

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Map of Napoleonic Europe before Waterloo

4. In 1734 Prime Minister Walpole boasted to Queen Caroline that “50,000 men are slain in Europe this year, and not one an Englishman”. The Pitts would subsidise selected European allies but refused to fight with them, until Britain was drawn into the war against Napoleon. The overwhelming victories at Trafalgar and Waterloo changed the continent and world forever and a London square and a station were erected as memorials to the cause of a newly united Europe. At the Congress of Vienna in 1815 Britain helped found the Concert of Europe, to resolve the continent’s future conflicts peacefully. But it soon lost interest to the rather parochial disputes, to concentrate on trade with our old friend “the rest of the world”.

5. Britain re-engaged with Europe for the Crimean war but then promptly disengaged to leave Bismarck to grow his power base. Lord Salisbury declared a European policy to be one of “splendid isolation … drifting lazily downstream, occasionally putting out a boat-hook to avoid collision”.

6. In the 20th century isolation met its nemesis: Britain was drawn into the terrible Great War to help save Europe from itself again. It then appeased France’s desire for revenge against Germany, and appeased its inevitable outcome, the rise of Hitler who was allowed to take power and once once again Brexit was reversed.

7. After WW2, a new Europe, or rather new western Europe, saw Britain fully engaged in Nato. But it declined to join the Common Market in 1957.

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The Free states of Europe after WW2 mostly central and north.  Undemocratic regimes in Spain and the east.

8.  About six years later Britain changed her mind and in 1973 voted to join the European Economic Community… something which most Brexiters would be very happy with today if it still existed in the form it did.   Despite having serious misgivings, Mrs Thatcher of all people revolutionised Europe imploring the end of protectionism and state sponsored industries and  in 1986 as “a single market without barriers – visible or invisible – with direct and unhindered access … to 300 million of the world’s wealthiest people” was created.  Mrs T was triumphant again, as she often tended to be for good and for ill.

Mrs Thatcher as Britannia

Thatcher as the mythical goddess Britannia

9. It didn’t take long for the current cycle of Brexit to get started. The 1992 Maastricht Agreement saw British doubts return largely to the EU’s drift to “ever closer union”. It upset the delicate equilibrium between the benefits of union and Britain’s sense of independence. John Major declined to join the eurozone and the EU social chapter and with an increasingly inflexible and seemingly unaccountable EU superstate growing stronger and yet also more distant, the stage was set for the historic 2016 vote.

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I agree with Simon in that the decision is bound to be reversed either now by the establishment which isn’t inline with the people or in the future by the people themselves but once the nature of the EU has changed.  As Mr Jenkins comments, “All Europe’s great settlements – Westphalia, Utrecht, Vienna, Versailles, Yalta – have lasted no more than two generations.”   What seemed and was important to people in the mid 20th century carries very little weight to people entering the second quarter of the 21st.

The EU isn’t Europe and Europe is always changing, indeed the EU itself is continuing to change and various peoples within it are enthused or repulsed to various degrees.  Sooner or later everything will sync up again and everyone will be friends, at least for a time.

 

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Wesley’s Chapel – The Mother Church of Methodism.

Almost directly across the road from Bunhill Fields Cemetery  which I wrote about last week is Wesley’s Chapel which can be considered as the mother church of Methodism and so I thought I would take a look.

I’m not a Methodist but I have an interest in most religions and notable people and there are few people more notable or worthy than John Wesley.

Methodism began as a renewal movement within the Church of England. It’s beginnings are associated with the work of John and Charles Wesley, both of them Anglican clergymen who were so diligent and methodical in their religious life whilst students at Oxford University, that people called them mockingly ‘Methodists’.

Both men were converted in May 1738 and soon they established themselves in the Foundery, a ruined ordnance factory on the edge of the City of London. John Wesley, at the instigation of his friend George Whitfield, had begun speaking in the open air. This brother was soon putting Methodist theology and spirituality into the form of hymns. Methodism was in the process of being born.

The simple and accessible way in which the Wesleys and their followers preached and exemplified the Christian life attracted thousands of followers. The doctrine which was preached from the pulpit and sung lustily by those early congregations centred upon the universality of God’s grace and the need for all believers to grow in love towards that perfection which is God’s goal for all people. This teaching was accompanied by practical action too – healthcare, micro finance, a ragged school, prison visiting, and literacy.

When the Foundery lease ran out, the building we now know as Wesley’s Chapel was constructed and opened in 1778. By then, there were Methodist meeting houses across the whole of the United Kingdom.

Charles Wesley died in 1788, his brother John three years later.

I visited on a sunny but freezing afternoon two weeks before Christmas and as you can see in the final photo, the sun was already going down just before 3pm.

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A statue of John Wesley

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Inside the Chapel, I always like the style of Methodist churches.

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The beautiful columns were installed a century after the death of John Wesley, replacing old oak beams that King George III had donated from various old Royal Navy ships.

As well as the chapel you can visit the house of John Wesley and associated museum.  Sadly I was running low on time but will have to return soon as I would like to create a new Methodist Walking Tour.

Nevertheless, I made my way to the rear of the chapel to the graveyard.  Like the chapel itself, it is quite small and simple as I think is largely the Methodist way.

There are a number of notable tombs here but of course the first amongst equals here is that of John Wesley himself.

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If you have an interest in visiting old and sometimes ruined churches in London then you might want to come on my tour My new tour – Sacred, Secret, Gardens of London with Ye Olde England Tours.

Posted in Heritage, history, Life, London, Religion and Faith, Travel, Ye Olde England Tours | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

Colette – Film Review

It has been a few weeks since I had been to the Pictures and when I got up last Wednesday, I hadn’t planned to be going again on that particular day.  Christmas is a bad time to see anything good at the cinema unless your idea of good equates to something like a 10 year olds.

Over the weekend I had sat entirely bored out of mind watching the apparently acclaimed Netflix movie Birdbox.  Being a huge fan of scary movies, I watched the whole thing through waiting for something more frightening than Sandra Bullock bizarrely looking like Michael Jackson but it was all for nothing.    I already get the feeling it might be the biggest waste of 2 hours in all of 2019, unless I accidentally sit-in a screening for a comic-book film.

Last night I watched the rather fantastic Martin Clunes in the ITV miniseries Manhunt following the detective work behind the capture of a horrific serial killer in West London around 16 years ago.  It was gripping and chilling and was weighing on my mind this morning when I checked the listings to see if anything good was out at the multiplex at the end of my street.

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Colette perhaps dreaming of being a writer.

It wasn’t promising but just having scrolled through the listings, I came across a film I hadn’t seen advertised and was presumably about the French writer Colette.  What could be a grander way to spend a morning than in turn of the century Paris with all its pomp and grandeur whilst learning a little more about perhaps the finest female writer in the French language.

Also, I’ve been far too busy with work to do any writing of my own so I thought I might live vicariously for a few hours.

The downside to all of this was that it starred Keira Knightley.  I always think the film critic who labels her Ikea Knightley on account of her wooden acting as being a little too kind but at £5 a ticket, a sore throat and it being 9am in the morning, it seemed like a good idea at the time.  Besides it is said after years of practice even someone with little talent can improve a little, something that I remember was said of the Spice Girls shortly before they split up.

As it happens, whilst not being the most impressive part of the film even in the starring role, Kiera Knightley rather fitted the part quite well and was less insufferable than in some of her earlier performances.

The film tells the account of French writer Sidonie-Gabrielle Colette who lived from the 28th January 1873 until the 3rd August 1954.   Colete was a country girl at heart but to say that she made a name for herself in Paris is a huge understatement.

Her most famous works were the Claudine novels which tell (for the time) racy accounts of a young provincial girl coming of age in the big city.  The books were the toast of Paris in 1900 and widely read by women of the day who took her liberation vicariously to heart.

Although widely considered autobiographical now, the books were attributed not to Colette herself but to her first husband, the roguish literary entrepreneur Henry Gauthier-Villars, better-known as “Willy”. At his worst, as illustrated with caddish gusto in the film by Dominic West.  At times Willy would even lock Colette in an upstairs room and force her to write whilst he scattered his oats across Paris because that is what men do… apparently!

Colette was a prisoner of his sweatshop approach to literary production which employed or perhaps exploited many ghostwriters to create his Willy brand.

Willy oversees her initiation into the bohemian life-style of Paris where her creative appetites are triggered. Ready to capitalise on her talent, Willy convinces his wife to write novels, which he suggests should be released under his name as the purported author as it would apparently by unacceptable and impolite for a woman to be an author and if nothing else, would kill sales. The phenomenal success of the series of novels titled “Claudine” makes Willy a well-known writer and “Colette and Willy” the “first couple” among contemporary celebrities.

In a way that reminds me of Goodbye Christopher Robin, Claudine took Paris by storm.  All the women and young ladies lapped her up.  She had her own brands and endorsements.  Colette and Willy were the Posh Spice and David Beckham of their day, only with more talent and less tattoos.

What made the novels even more juicy was the fact that both Willy and Colette enjoyed a very wild open adult life, making full use of everything Paris had to offer and as Colette became more engrossed in the culture then so did Claudine get ever more wilder.

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Willy, always ready to have a good time and now the toast of polite society in Paris.

Despite the century or more which has passed, in some ways Colette speaks to our times too, not just for the novelist’s fight to throw off these patriarchal shackles but also the ways she chose to express her true character through her public acting and dance.  Also her more private lesbian affairs through which she flaunted her independence and unwillingness to settle into a tired and oppressed married women.  In one particularly memorable occasion, Colette and Willy were both seeing the same American female lover and unknown to the other.

Colette really gets going with her  ahead-of-her-time take on her femininity and identity when she is introduced to Missy, a descendant of Empress Josephine and the Tzar of Russia and who wearing trousers is probably the least scandalous side of her personality.   When Missy asks Colette about her marriage, Colette replies that Willy can be tough but he gives her a whole lot of freedom.  Missy replies that it is indeed a very long leash but a leash nonetheless.

This sets into motion the end of the by turns passionate and hated marriage and when Willy finances a scandalous play at Moulin Rouge which concludes with Colette kissing a made up as a male Missy then all hell breaks lose, impending bankruptcy looms and Colette realises that Willy has made a huge amount of money from her talents, largely squandered the fortunes and she is neither appreciated or recognised for it and so sets off to start her life and career afresh.

I really enjoyed Colette and it certainly opened my eyes as to her life story as well as reminding me as to why I like going to the cinema when there is a film with some sort of plot.   The best scenes of the film are imbued with light and linguistic flamboyance and it all evokes the opulence of 1900’s art and culture, both in Colette’s deliciously vampish treading of the boards, and in some airy countryside scenes and  Sunday bike rides through Parisian parks as how I would imagine it to be during what in Britain would be the Edwardian era.

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Willy sat with Colette on his lap and the embodiment of Claudine on the right.

I must say I really enjoyed Dominic West with his swaggering performance as Willy and who avoided being a one dimensional monster of a husband as he could easily have been portrayed to be.

Aside from the growth of Colette, it is notable that nearly everyone hated writing, describing it is as entirely horrific with rare moments of pleasure.  Rather like life itself I think!   As such it would have been nice if the film had been longer than 112 minutes; I enjoy epic films but brevity can be a good thing if it means not outstaying ones welcome and so I will end this post here 🙂

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Bunhill Fields – the resting place of some of the biggest names in history.

You might remember a few weeks ago I wrote about the dreadful place Dancing on the Dead at Enon Chapel – The Victorian Sensation!

Whilst writing that and out and about on research, I gained the chance to visit Bunhill Fields.  Bunhill Fields was once part of the Manor of Finsbury with connections to St Pauls Cathedral since shortly after 1100AD,

It was in use as a burial ground from 1665 until 1854, during which123,000 interments were estimated to have taken place.  So many in such a small space that it became known as Bonehill with its modern name merely a more pleasant sounding derivation,

Though many of the memorials were cleared in Victorian times, there are still over 2,000 monuments present and it gives a good idea of just how overcrowded London was back then both for the living and the dead.

Bunhill was nondenominational, and in practice was particularly favoured by nonconformists. It contains the graves of many notable people, including John Bunyan (died 1688), author of The Pilgrim’s Progress; Daniel Defoe (died 1731), author of Robinson Crusoe; William Blake(died 1827), artist, poet, and mystic; Susanna Wesley (died 1742), known as the “Mother of Methodism” through her education of sons John and Charles; Thomas Bayes (died 1761), statistician and philosopher; and Isaac Watts(died 1748), the “Father of English Hymnody”.

Now part of the fields is a park although I’d imagine thousands of the dead lay under the benches and grassy spaces where people come for a quick sandwich or cup of tea.  Other areas are largely fenced off which is understandable when you see what it is like.

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The grave of the glorious poet William Blake

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Daniel Defoe, writer of Robinson Crusoe died penniless and this memorial was raised through voluntary donations from his admirers.

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Packed in tight at Bunfields

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For I Will Consider My Cat Jeoffry

The internet is always full of cat videos and cat memes and I thought I would try to raise the bar a little by bringing up the marvellous poem by Christopher Smart, a poet and mystic who led an eventful life at a time when religion and science were competing for the greatest minds in Britain.

Christopher Smart was born on the 11th of April, 1722 in  Shipbourne, Kent.  A religious poet he is perhaps best known for A Song to David (1763) which was written in praise of King David of Biblical fame.  Breaking many of the staid conventions of the time that he lived in, much of his work is notable for flashes of vivid imagination and in some ways he was a precursor of the more celebrated writer, William Blake.

After his education at the University of Cambridge, Smart was elected a fellow of Pembroke Hall (1745), but at about the age of 27 he became a writer in London.

Sadly for quite some time though he was nothing if not prolific, he was forced to write low-brow pamphlets and satire, publishing hundreds of such works in a desperate attempt to keep his wife and two little daughters, Marianne and Elizabeth Ann in some sort of comfort.

When Christopher signed a contract to write a weekly magazine, The Universal Visitor,  the pressures of  this caused Christopher Smart to have a fit which is said my some to be the origin of his madness. Its not 100% certain whether he was actually mad at all, or if his medical confinement was arranged by John Newbery who was just happened to be both Christopher’s publisher and father-in-law!

Sadly whilst this was all going on, his wife Anna Maria left him and took their two daughters to Ireland and he never saw them again for as long as he lived.

With the aid of some kindly friends, Christopher Smart was released from his confinement in 1763 and it was during this period of his life that Christopher Smart made a religious conversion when it is known that he would approach strangers in St James’ Park simply to invite them to prayer with him.  Christopher saw God in everything and this combined with his enforced periods of solitude no doubt gave him a unique perspective on life.

Sadly despite him having friends such as as Samuel Johnson, and various well connected theatrical types such as David Garrick, Christopher Smart was not to have a happy end to his life and being in debt in April 1770 was sent to King’s Bench Walk Prison and like so many, he did not regain his freedom, dying as he did on the 21st May 1771.

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His famous poem written on his cat though long enough is just part of a longer piece of work Jubilate Agno.  Perhaps due to the situation that Christopher found himself, the poem wasn’t published until 1939 and it has since become well loved.   Below are some of the original scripts that he wrote whilst in St Lukes Hospital for Lunatics which would have been in Old Street, London.
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For I will consider my Cat Jeoffry.
For he is the servant of the Living God duly and daily serving him.
For at the first glance of the glory of God in the East he worships in his way.
For is this done by wreathing his body seven times round with elegant quickness.
For then he leaps up to catch the musk, which is the blessing of God upon his prayer.
For he rolls upon prank to work it in.
For having done duty and received blessing he begins to consider himself.
For this he performs in ten degrees.
For First he looks upon his fore-paws to see if they are clean.
For Secondly he kicks up behind to clear away there.
For Thirdly he works it upon stretch with the fore-paws extended.
For Fourthly he sharpens his paws by wood.
For Fifthly he washes himself.
For Sixthly he rolls upon wash.
For Seventhly he fleas himself, that he may not be interrupted upon the beat.
For Eighthly he rubs himself against a post.
For Ninthly he looks up for his instructions.
For Tenthly he goes in quest of food.
For having consider’d God and himself he will consider his neighbour.
For if he meets another cat he will kiss her in kindness.
For when he takes his prey he plays with it to give it chance.
For one mouse in seven escapes by his dallying.
For when his day’s work is done his business more properly begins.
For he keeps the Lord’s watch in the night against the adversary.
For he counteracts the powers of darkness by his electrical skin and glaring eyes.
For he counteracts the Devil, who is death, by brisking about the life.
For in his morning orisons he loves the sun and the sun loves him.
For he is of the tribe of Tiger.
For the Cherub Cat is a term of the Angel Tiger.
For he has the subtlety and hissing of a serpent, which in goodness he suppresses.
For he will not do destruction, if he is well-fed, neither will he spit without provocation.
For he purrs in thankfulness, when God tells him he’s a good Cat.
For he is an instrument for the children to learn benevolence upon.
For every house is incompleat without him and a blessing is lacking in the spirit.
For the Lord commanded Moses concerning the cats at the departure of the Children of Israel from Egypt.
For every family had one cat at least in the bag.
For the English Cats are the best in Europe.
For he is the cleanest in the use of his fore-paws of any quadrupede.
For the dexterity of his defence is an instance of the love of God to him exceedingly.
For he is the quickest to his mark of any creature.
For he is tenacious of his point.
For he is a mixture of gravity and waggery.
For he knows that God is his Saviour.
For there is nothing sweeter than his peace when at rest.
For there is nothing brisker than his life when in motion.
For he is of the Lord’s poor and so indeed is he called by benevolence perpetually – Poor Jeoffry! poor Jeoffry! the rat has bit thy throat.
For I bless the name of the Lord Jesus that Jeoffry is better.
For the divine spirit comes about his body to sustain it in compleat cat.
For his tongue is exceeding pure so that it has in purity what it wants in musick.
For he is docile and can learn certain things.
For he can set up with gravity which is patience upon approbation.
For he can fetch and carry, which is patience in employment.
For he can jump over a stick which is patience upon proof positive.
For he can spraggle upon waggle at the word of command.
For he can jump from an eminence into his master’s bosom.
For he can catch the cork and toss it again.
For he is hated by the hypocrite and miser.
For the former is affraid of detection.
For the latter refuses the charge.
For he camels his back to bear the first notion of business.
For he is good to think on, if a man would express himself neatly,
For he made a great figure in Egypt for his signal services.
For he killed the Ichneumon-rat very pernicious by land.
For his ears are so acute that they sting again.
For from this proceeds the passing quickness of his attention.
For by stroaking of him I have found out electricity.
For I perceived God’s light about him both wax and fire.
For the Electrical fire is the spiritual substance, which God sends from heaven to sustain the bodies both of man and beast.
For God has blessed him in the variety of his movements.
For, though he cannot fly, he is an excellent clamberer.
For his motions upon the face of the earth are more than any other quadrupede.
For he can tread to all the measures upon the musick.
For he can swim for life.
For he can creep.

Christopher Smart (1722-71)

 

Whilst not yet having been sent to confinement, you can see my own Poetry Book below which if you click on the image will take you to some more details.

Very Sad Poetry by Stephen Liddell

Very Sad Poetry by Stephen Liddell

 

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New Year Musings and Thankyous

I hope you’ve all had a Happy New Year and Christmas period for those who celebrate it. Did anyone do any First Footing at New Year?  This is the beginning of my 7th year of blogging and I’ve written before on how I’m not much of a believer of New Year Resolutions or indeed New Year Celebrations come to that.  If you want tottery some really good resolutions then you could do worse than look at my post from 2016 New Year’s Resolutions For Absolutely Everyone

Just looking at my first New Year post Why I did all my New Year Resolutions at Christmas It is easy to see what a lot has changed and indeed what a lot hasn’t.  Back in 2013 I had this crazy idea to write my second book and to create a tour company.  Several years on and I have around 10 books and my company is booming and still growing.

In fact for yet another year, I haven’t actually had a real day off in the whole of 2018.  There are days when I’m not working from 6am- 7 or 8pm but I’ve always got work to do and on the few days I stand firm and decide to put them back a day then inevitably some emergency will come from out of nowhere.

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Happy New Year!

I’m used to working a bit on Christmas and my birthday and yesterday (New Years Day), I was giving a tour, with several more lined up for the rest of the week.  Even when I walked Hadrians Wall for charity, I remember having to field phone calls and message from on top of the moors.

So if I have any sort of resolution at all, it is to try to set aside a day or two this year where I don’t do any work whatsoever, I can’t see how it will happen but it is something to aspire towards.   I now have 6 people working for Ye Olde England Tours so that is in some ways a big help and shows business is doing well but in other ways it shows just how busy I must be!

Many people use January to plan their holidays for the summer, many to visit London through www.yeoldeenglandtours.co.uk , I obviously don’t have time for that now or in the summer.  I do allow myself the time to look at the travel supplements in newspapers and make vague plans and costings that I know will never come to pass.  If you’d like to see 100 really amazing places that I would like to visit or have visited then check out my 100 places I want to see before I die post.  You may have to click on the link to go back to 100.

I still have several more books part written on paper and in my head so it would be nice to complete at least one of those.  December is one of the busiest months and from the 6th of January I at least get to work on some admin and create some of the 6 or 7 new tours I have in head.  I’m particularly looking forward to my new cemetery tour!

I never thought my blog would last into its 7th year, I thought 7 weeks might be pushing it.  However I’d like to thank everyone for reading my blog.  As you can see once again the blog has been lifted to a whole new level with over 138,000 readers in 2018.

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I’m not sure we can match that total again but we can see what happens 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Looking back at 2018 in cartoons

It’s tradition at the end of a year to look back at the events that we’ve lived through and I thought this year that I would do so with the use of political cartoons.

It’s amongst the finest of British traditions to poke fun at our leaders and pretty much anyone in authority in a way that perhaps doesn’t happen in other places.

Whilst some, even in this country, can’t stand to see their leaders or people they admire lampooned in any way , I’m not that way at all and having weeded out the obvious figures of derision in North Korea and Russia, here are a selection of cartoons that made me laugh out loud.

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The above cartoons are all from January this year and a big theme in British cartoons is of course Brexit.  Here Brexit combines with the Oscars with Prime Minister Theresa May not standing any comparison at all with Winston Churchill whilst in the bottom right we see Boris Johnston copying the tactics from the hit film 3 Billboards

 

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One of the interesting things about cartoons is that they get their point across in an instant without any arguments.  Everyone knows what is meant by them whether they agree with your point of view.  The above cartoon is broadly speaking how much of the rest of the world thought of American gun policy after the mass shooting from the Las Vegas hotel almost a year ago.

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The cartoon above is of Opposition and Labour Party Leader and possible future Prime Minister Jeremy Corbyn.  For all his merits, Mr. Corbyn has a serious problem with perceived anti-semitism.  This cartoon gains inspiration from the favourite hero Lord Nelson who ignored the orders from his superiors by raising his telescope to his blind eye and insisted he couldn’t see anything.

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In a bizarre way, Napoleon to British represents the most hated characteristics of anyone, even above Hitler.  This cartoon shows President Trump having taken inspiration from the French Bastille Day Parade wanting but failing to create a similar parade at home.  This time though rather than the heroic and defiant poses of Napoleon, the President is pictured with his hand fondling himself.

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Another cartoon of Jeremy Corbyn above and this one might be my favourite of the whole year.  Jeremy Corbyn doesn’t have an anti-Semitic bone in his body because of course here is is portrayed as a Jelly Fish.  This has the bonus of showing his lack of spine and decision making which his opponents make capital out of.   In fact at this time my favourite political quote came out from Mr. Corbyn of when a video came out from decades ago showing him in the background of an terrorist in North Africa.  He told the media that he was present but not involved which I think sums up his leadership very well in deed.

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The cartoon above is inspired by the great old comedy The Addams Family.  A dysfunctional and scary family, albeit with good intentions.  I particularly like Theresa May as Morticia and the hand of Cousin It being Brexit.  It’s incredible just how much Savid Javid looks like his cartoon image of Uncle Fester in real life too.

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After the Brexit Deal almost immediately began to fall apart, Theresa May went to Austria to gain support from European leaders and the EU.  What I love about this cartoon is Jean Claude Junckers at the bottom.  Theresa May is depicted as escaping with her Brexit from the clutches of Europe with a very drunk EU Jean-Claude Juncker who seems to spend most of his life drunk at official functions, even seen wearing odd-socks!

 

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There could have been so many other entries, mostly to do with Donald Trump but I liked this one.  This goes back to the Salisbury poisonings and the idea that if you trace back the orders for the attack, eventually they go back to President Putin.

 

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