Monday, 30 April 2007

John of Gwent and the Chartists in Newport

I have mentioned before the poster on UKDebate called JohnOfGwent (avatar on left) and quite like his style and the subjects he posts about. I have taken the liberty of "borrowing" another one because of its theme of freedom of speech. Here you go. The rest is all the archer on the lefts work.

Now people may not easily associate Newport, South Wales, with the words 'hotbed of political revolution'. Especially as history is often rewritten by the politburo as soon as those alive to contradict the politico's lies pass away and their stories passed to their grandchildren fade. And especially so where the story is 'doubleplus ungood'.

Anyone who has tried to work, shop, go to the theatre that isn't propped up by the council politburo as a monument to harry jones or even just tried to catch a bus in Newport in the last three years can't have failed to notice that everywhere you go the buggers are digging up the roads in order to cause maximum inconvenience to those of us trying to get on with the business of living here. So it takea a lot to bring my battle-weary sense of outrage out of the slumber it's been numbed into. But now Newport's politico's have succeeded.

A couple of weeks ago the developers "appointed" (by whom I wonder, and where are they going on holiday this year ?) to smash up the middle of Newport in the name of the Ryder Cup announced that the Chartist Mural will be destroyed as part of the havoc they have been allowed to wreak.

The Chartists. in case anyone doesn't know, demanded universal (male) suffrage - sorry girls, you had to wait about a hundred more years to get the vote. They also demanded a wage be paid to members of parliament, without which standing for election was the privilige of the landed gentry and the moneyed few. And they demanded annual elections - at the time there was no maximum lifespan for a particular parliament. So it can be argued that without these guys the framework for parliament as we know it today would never have come about. But the landed gentry and moneyed few were somewhat reluctant to have power wrestled from them. Which is why there was a bit of a bloodbath outside the Westgate Hotel.

About thirty years ago this bloody massacre was commenorated in a public mural on the wall of a tunnel leading into John Frost Square (John Frost was a leader of the movement, although some say he wasn't even present when this event took place). I've looked hard for a picture of this mural, but the best I can find is at the top of the Newport Electoral Registration Office website How ironic and twistedn then is the alternative text in the image placeholder "The Chartists Fought For Our Vote. Don't Waste It"

The Newport Website even includes the mural in its 'Public Art Train' promoting culture in Newport but typically the thumbnails don't enlarge when you click on it.

And now this monument to the public right to have a voice is to be torn down by the apostles of the party that brought you the pinnacle of 'how to ignore ther electorate by saying repeatedly 'if you knew and could see what I know having read ....' in the deserts east of turkey.

And the best our limp burghers can do is demand a "chartist theme" for whatever replaces that which they pay to have destroyed.

Well thanks for that John Of Gwent. Would you care to tell us about your choice of Avatar?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

On the choice of avatars...

As you may know, archers were a key distance weapon, and the 'men of gwent' were prized for their skills at the longbow at Crecy and Agincourt.

The "two fingered salute" comes from a gesture used to demonstrate to the french that you still had the necessary first and second fingers needed to hold the longbow's lethal payload.... But I bet you knew that ..... !

Whilst I have failed miserably in keeping up this military tradition (I prefer the dual short swords used by the true viking beserker) my 21 year old daughter, blonde, blue eyed and six foot tall, is lethal with one at several hundred yards. She and others took the kids from a local school on a tour round caerleon's roman ruins and there were a couple of guys demonstrating skills with bow arrow and sword in the old amphitheatre. They called for volunteers ... and after my daughter had put three arrows one after another straight into the centre of the target even they were impressed.

cheers JOG