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Tuesday, May 19, 2009

In the Name of God, go! (a message to our MP's)

After Charles I, king of England, was executed in 1649, the Rump Parliament prevented Oliver Cromwell from convening an interim council to formulate a new constitution. Cromwell was the dominant figure in the victory over Charles I, but the Rump Parliament was a more conservative assembly than the body that had agreed to execute the king and abolish the monarchy. In 1653, after learning that Parliament was attempting to stay in session despite an agreement to dissolve, Cromwell's patience ran out. He dismissed the assembled members with this speech. The "shining bauble" referred to is the parliamentary staff, which must be present, by convention, in order for Parliament to sit.

April 20, 1653 - Oliver Cromwell, Republican usurper but in this matter a "good egg."

"It is high time for me to put an end to your sitting in this place, which you have dishonoured by your contempt of all virtue, and defiled by your practice of every vice; ye are a factious crew, and enemies to all good government; ye are a pack of mercenary wretches, and would like Esau sell your country for a mess of pottage, and like Judas betray your God for a few pieces of money; is there a single virtue now remaining amongst you? is there one vice you do not possess? ye have no more religion than my horse; gold is your God; which of you have not barter'd your conscience for bribes? is there a man amongst you that has the least care for the good of the Commonwealth? ye sordid prostitutes have you not defil'd this sacred place, and turn'd the Lord's temple into a den of thieves, by your immoral principles and wicked practices? Ye are grown intolerably odious to the whole nation; you were deputed here by the people to get grievances redress'd, are yourselves become the greatest grievance. Your country therefore calls upon me to cleanse this Augean stable, by putting a final period to your iniquitous proceedings in this House; and which by God's help, and the strength he has given me, I am now come to do; I command ye therefore, upon the peril of your lives, to depart immediately out of this place; go, get you out! Make haste! Ye venal slaves be gone! So! Take away that shining bauble there, and lock up the doors. In the name of God, go!"

1 comment:

Steve Hayes said...

Thank you. Some things are timeless. I've "stumbled" it in Stumble Upon.

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