Remember, remember…

by Chris Bertram on November 5, 2004

Ah “the whiff of cordite”: and a hint of ancient religious bigotry …. Nice to see some fireworks tonight.



mcm 11.05.04 at 11:47 pm

Guy Fawkes was framed.


Andrew McManama-Smith 11.06.04 at 12:29 am

Hey, don’t start that old rubbish again, mcm!
We’ll be burning an effigy in Seattle tonight if anyone wants to join us…


P O'Neill 11.06.04 at 2:09 am

You refer, I assume, to the imminent US invasion of Fallujah.


bad Jim 11.06.04 at 4:29 am

As a lifelong lover of fireworks, public and private, I’ve always thought it odd that Americans use them to celebrate independence while the British celebrate an attempt to blow up Parliament.


David Tiley 11.06.04 at 5:59 pm

Technically speaking the Brits celebrate the capture of the Catholic terrorists concerned:

“Please to remember
The fifth of November:
Gunpowder, Treason and Plot.
We know no reason
Why Gunpowder Treason
Should ever be forgot.”

There’s a dismal amount of sectarianism underneath the joy.


Alfred E. Newman 11.06.04 at 6:24 pm

On November 4th 2004, Dr. Chris Bertram posted comments to the effect that what makes America great has been crushed due to its recent elections. What a bunch of out of touch, blathering snobbery. As if the elite Dr. Bertram has any clue about what has made America great – or why America still is great. His comments show he doesn’t have the foggiest.

The uppity doctor tosses out several buzz-phrases like: “the U.S. Constitution” ; “the struggle against slavery” ; “the United State’s lasting contribution to freedom, culture, and progress.” He deigns to profess his admiration for “the America”, which created these sorts of “marvelous things”. (He marvels at them because he does not fully comprehend them. Take for example his ridiculous suggestion that America invented “the struggle against slavery”.) But then Dr. Bertram feebly presumes to co-opt the American ‘objects’ of his admiration and declare them “defeated” simply because his preferred left wing ideology did not prevail in the American democracy of which he has no part. He supports his idiotic notion by fantasizing about the will of the citizenry of the original 13 American states! That’s right folks, the snooty Dr. Bertram, presumes to know how 18th century American pioneers would have voted in 2004. After all, the issues they faced are so very similar to that of modern America. Obviously property owning, white, males from the 18th century would have voted John Kerry for President. Just ask Dr. Chris Bertram sitting over there in his ivory tower… in England. He knows. Really, he does. Oh yeah, and he knows what makes America great too. As if.

What a pathetic tourist.



P O'Neill 11.06.04 at 7:00 pm

God forbid that there be anyone claiming to know what “property owning, white, males from the 18th century” would have wanted today’s Americans to do. And of course it would be even worse if such people, not that they exist, were in a position of power, like the Supreme Court. Or if Dubya wanted to put more of them there.


Alfred E. Newman 11.06.04 at 9:04 pm

Yo, O’neil. Are you actually so stupid as to not realize that Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg and Justice Sandra Day O’Connor aren’t “males”? And has it escaped your haughty intellect that Justice Clarence Thomas isn’t “white”? Oh, right! “Such people”, as you termed them, don’t exist. But dimwits like you do.


harry 11.06.04 at 9:57 pm

Delightful, alfred, to see the sore winner in flight. Well done. Or are you dispaying your namesake Randy’s brilliant sense of humour?


Claire 11.06.04 at 10:11 pm

No sectarianism in my bonfire night joy. I just like the pretty colours. Ahhhhhh. Oooooooo. Ahhhhhhh.


Kieran Healy 11.06.04 at 11:26 pm

[ Alfred was trolling, so away his comments went. ]


Alan K. Henderson 11.08.04 at 8:21 am

Nov 5 is my birthday. Would that be a benefit or a libaility if I were to enter British politics?


Jimmy Doyle 11.08.04 at 10:50 am

Speaking of religious bigotry, I was amused to see one M Yglesias giving us the benefit of his thoughts on “the rules of civil discussion” in the comments thread to a post of Henry’s above.


RS 11.08.04 at 11:09 am

“There’s a dismal amount of sectarianism underneath the joy.”

Yeah right – like we’re going to go all anti-Catholic after burning a bunch of clothes stuffed with newspaper.


David Tiley 11.08.04 at 3:33 pm

sorry rs, I wasn’t suggesting that our current celebrations of Nov 5th are sectarian. I used to love it before it was banned in Australia as unsafe.

But there is a lot of contemporary English celebration – the most famous in Lewes – which has a general whiff of bigotry, and the history of Bonfire Night certainly is. I went to big English bonfires in the 1970’s where people chanted “Burn the Pope”.

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