Author Topic: A jewel of democracy  (Read 5615 times)

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Offline HME

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A jewel of democracy
« on: October 27, 2007, 03:18:30 PM »
Fascinating article from the Guardian about the Putney debates and the new visitor centre.


"From this evening, British democracy has a new HQ. Modestly placed part way between the Palace of Westminster and the Magna Carta memorial at Runnymede, Putney parish church is now a living monument to the story of English liberty.....In summer 2006, G2 ran a competition to unearth Britain's radical past. We argued that despite major advances over the past 10 years in opening up popular understandings of "heritage", the radical inheritance was still not nearly as well represented as it could and should be....

For the most part, it was the cathedrals and castles that continued to dominate the national memory. The stories, monuments and myths that traditionally linked progressive people with their heroic past had steadily retreated from public consciousness. As Nick Mansfield of the People's History Museum, Manchester, put it, "In the past, conservation planners and architectural historians have concentrated on protecting buildings of artistic value or those associated with 'great men' and their achievements. Sites associated with the labour movement or the history of working people have been largely overlooked."

Full article is here: http://politics.guardian.co.uk/politicspast/story/0,,2199578,00.html
« Last Edit: October 27, 2007, 03:20:02 PM by HME »
There is no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothing

Offline Mrs Robinson

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Re: A jewel of democracy
« Reply #1 on: October 27, 2007, 03:58:12 PM »
I'm always excited to learn more about this country's radical past!  Not having grown up here, there is so much I don't know!

Like Marx and Engels' connections to Manchester.  And one of my favorites - the Kinder Scout mass trespass -- who knew that ramblers could be so radical!?! ;D
Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack, a crack in everything
That's how the light gets in...

- from Anthem, by Leonard Cohen (b 1934)

Offline HME

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Re: A jewel of democracy
« Reply #2 on: October 30, 2007, 09:42:03 AM »

Like Marx and Engels' connections to Manchester.  And one of my favorites - the Kinder Scout mass trespass -- who knew that ramblers could be so radical!?! ;D

  I'm a rambler, I'm a rambler from Manchester way
   I get all my pleasure the hard moorland way
   I may be a wage slave on Monday
   But I am a free man on Sunday

I've been o'er the Snowdon, I've slept upon Crowden
I've camped by the Wain Stones as well 
I've sunbaked on Kinder, been burnt to a cinder
And many more things I can tell
My rucksack has oft been my pillow
The heather has oft been my bed
And sooner than part from the mountains
I think I would rather be dead

The day was just ending as I was descending
By Grindsbrook, just by Upper Tor
When a voice cried, Eh you, in the way keepers do
He'd the worst face that ever I saw
The things that he said were unpleasant
In the teeth of his fury I said
Sooner than part from the mountains
I think I would rather be dead

He called me a louse and said, Think of the grouse
Well I thought but I still couldn't see
Why old Kinder Scout and the moors round about
Couldn't take both the poor grouse and me
He said, All this land is my master's
At that I stood shaking my head 
No man has the right to all mountains 
Any more than the deep ocean bed

I once loved a maid, a spot-welder by trade
She was fair as the rowan in bloom
And the blue of her eye matched the June moorland sky
And I wooed her from April to June 
On the day that we should have been married
I went for a ramble instead
For sooner than part from the mountains
I think I would rather be dead

So I walk where I will over mountain and hill
And I lie where the bracken is deep
I belong to the mountains, the clear-running fountains
Where the grey rocks rise rugged and steep
I've seen the white hare in the gulley
And the curlew fly high over head
And sooner than part from the mountains
I think I would rather be dead

Ewan McColl
There is no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothing

Offline Mrs Robinson

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Re: A jewel of democracy
« Reply #3 on: October 30, 2007, 09:55:03 AM »
I'll expect you to sing it for me now, the next time I see you! [smiley=guitarist.gif]

Was reading an account of the Kinder Scout mass trespass a few days back -- where the gamekeeper confronted a rambler -- telling the rambler he had no right to walk on the land because the gamekeeper's master's (the lord's) ancestors had fought for & won that land as their own.  So the rambler told the gamekeeper - "Well alright then, I'll fight you for it now!"  That's great! :)

(It reminded me a lot of something my granddad might have said or done.)
« Last Edit: October 30, 2007, 10:03:08 AM by Mrs Robinson »
Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack, a crack in everything
That's how the light gets in...

- from Anthem, by Leonard Cohen (b 1934)