Tuesday, 6 January 2009

A smell of burning...

At this outpost of the Republic, I have been feeling today a definite whiff in the nostrils of the faggots alight at my feet. One of the Oxford Martyrs was born and raised near where I live, and although my 'burning', thankfully, is more virtual than real, it still feels a tad odd that a few folk who have never met me have taken such great umbrage and posted remarks and allegations, ranging from the mistaken and misguided through to the downright untrue, on a certain internet forum. Some of it has been 'moderated' out, but still, the whiffy remains remain. Not that I'm suggesting it's a plot or anything, naturally, as the people being so rude are too grown up for that - aren't they?

The vision of a three ring circus keeps entering my head, alongside a picture of a vent act and a dummy, but possibly I am being unfair. Unfair, that is, to circuses and dummies.

It appears that a wry comment or three on yesterday's explanatory blog hit a head or two and caps were deemed to fit. I named no names, but mudslinging commenced. Oh what larks eh? And yet more heaving up of virtual bosoms, how great it must be to be without sin and able to cast those stones from within your glass house without smiting the mote from your eye.

Also thankfully and thank you there are a few cooler wiser heads whose small voices of reason appeared, but I do wonder what on earth I have done to be vilified in such a way. Large egos and small pricks (verb or noun? You decide) perhaps?

So Republicans, onwards and upwards, is all I can say. Higher and higher.

Today I will confine myself mostly to a link, to the latest edition of the Society of Antiquaries online bulletin, SALON. It may not sound the most exciting of reads, the Soc of Crocks news, but a goodly amount of ire is aired at times regarding things we possibly hold dear to our hearts, and the links to other websites and new databases might while away a merry hour or two.

Well worth a glance.

My own ire was raised by the mention of the Middlesex Guildhall, which is situated opposite the Houses of Parliament, and had one of the finest of courtroom interiors, all part of the whole and important. Despite a desperate SAVE http://www.savebritainsheritage.org/ campaign to try to prevent it, including a beautifully illustrated campaign publication showing the splendour of the interiors and the historic woodwork, an urgent Commons Select Committee hearing, and a Judicial Review, political expediency prevailed, the place ripped and stripped, and I suspect the building will no longer now be worthy of its Grade II* listing. In fact I might bung in a delisting application, on the grounds of cultural vandalism, see what transpires.


"A first edition of Milton’s Areopagitica features in the British Library’s splendid free exhibition ‘Taking Liberties: the struggle for Britain’s freedoms and rights’, which was reviewed in the last issue of Salon, with the observation that it was ironic that the Ministry of Justice was one of the exhibition’s sponsors. Salon readers will perhaps remember the doughty (but ultimately unsuccessful) campaign mounted by SAVE Britain’s Heritage, with the support of many Fellows, to prevent the Edwardian furnishings of the Middlesex Guildhall from being removed in order to create a ‘Supreme Court’ for the United Kingdom. Now Lord Hope, the so-called ‘Deputy President’ of this unnecessary institution (we have a fully functioning ‘Supreme Court’ already, in the form of the House of Lords), has declared that, not content with wrecking the historic interiors, he wants the address to be changed as well. ‘We all feel’, says Lord Hope, ‘that Little George Street sounds ridiculous and doesn’t give the right message. If you take out the “little” it would be fine.’ Reporting Lord Hope’s ridiculous comments, the Independent wonders how he copes with being a mere Deputy; ‘Poor old Lord Hope’, the Independent’s diarist comments: ‘Some one change the name of his office to Big House in Big Street and give him a great big desk to sit behind.’ "


The official line:


Some good news though, thank you Andrew Gayton, HBO in Norfolk, for sending it to me, is that the apparently sole remaining manufacturer of genuine wrought iron (I may come back to wrought iron and Phoenix Columns another day, one of my Subjects I On Which I can Bore For Britain) is alive and well in Yorkshire, some PDF's and stuff to read:


So, happy reading, do comment if you have anything to say, and even if you don't it's nice not to feel lonely!


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