Left, Right, Left, Right

From the Left / paradigmas.mx

From the Left / paradigmas.mx

Mention is made in the media (rather too often) of the magic words Left or Right when the subject is politics.The terms originated as follows: The Left came from the French Revolution, when members of the Jacobin Club sat in the Convention on the left of the President’s chair. Before long the term came to be associated with people who held radical views, a belief in the sovereignty of the people, elimination by any means of royalty and/or the aristocracy, a firm republic, and anti-clericism.

   With the Industrial Revolution in Britain the left was identified with working class interests. It wanted to interefere in the free market, because it believed that by doing so social change could also be brought about. It is difficult to define what kind of ‘social change’, but one hopes it means a fair deal for all – except landowners, rentiers, lords, bishops etc. Well into the twentieth century the Left referred to all socialist parties, Christian or otherwise, and the Communist Party as a whole. Supporters and upholders of the idea of the Welfare State were and are also supposed to be of the Left, though this has not worked out in practical terms. In Spain, the Falange and General Franco referred to the Left as ‘the Reds’, perhaps because of the clenched fist and singing of ‘The Red Flag’ at public meetings. Continue reading

The first volume of General-History as a book is out on Amazon

Jeremy Taylor a.k.a Dean Swift at home in Tenerife

Jeremy Taylor a.k.a Dean Swift at home in Tenerife

For those who are interested the first volume of my 3-volume printed version of articles from General-History.com is on Amazon. Just click on Books, and then key Jeremy Taylor General History and you should find the first volume on sale at around £8. Do not be confused by the name ‘Dean Swift’ – it is just one of my pen-names!

After the Abdication – HRH or not HRH?

/ Britannica.com

/ Britannica.com

The popular Prince of Wales who should have become the crowned and annointed Edward VIII (q.v.) gave up his throne because Church and State would not recognise his plan to marry a twice-divorced lady from America. As we know, the Prince married his lady from Baltimore, and abdicated as well. When all the fuss had died down in the Thirties, and the Prince became the Duke of Windsor, the question arose as to whether or not his American wife should become ‘Her Royal Highness’, as indeed her husband was HRH. Continue reading

Charles, the 2nd Earl Grey

/ onelondonone.blogspot.com

/ onelondonone.blogspot.com

The second earl was born in 1764, was elected county Member of Parliament for the whole of Northumberland when he was but twenty-two years of age, representing the Whig party dominated by Charles James Fox. A devout reformist, he presented Bills for parliamentary reform in 1793 and 1797, with the intention of demolishing the so-called ‘rotten’ boroughs: both bills were defeated. Continue reading

‘Dr.’ Paul J. Goebbels

The Goebbels family / en.wikipedia.org

The Goebbels family / en.wikipedia.org

Born into a lower class Rhineland family in 1897, Goebbels was rejected for army service due to a crippled foot condition known as ‘club-foot’. As a child he had had a serious attack of polio which left him affected with a limp. He was by no means the ideal of a typical blond Aryan superman, being short, dark haired, with simian features. Psychologists say that these disadvanatges left him mentally unstable for life, but this is dubious, as he proved to have a sharp brain and a cutting wit. Continue reading

W.E. Gladstone, Prime Minister

/ en.wikipedia.org

/ en.wikipedia.org

William E. Gladstone lived from 1809 – 98, was Prime Minister four times (1868 – 74, 1880 – 85, 1886, & 1892 – 4). His father was a North Country merchant rich enough to send him to Eton. He was the first, I believe of at least three generations of Gladstone Etonians; Charles G. was there from 1902 – 7 and was Master from 1912 – 46, and there was also an Ernest.  At school William G. was popular but stern; he remained stern all his life but lost most of his popularity during his four stints as Premier. He was disliked intensely by Queen Victoria, who said he always addressed her at their private meetings as if she were a public meeting. Continue reading

The Eighty years War & the Council of Blood

The Duke of Alba / pinternet.net

The Duke of Alba / pinternet.net

Rebellion, protest and actual war were made against Spain from 1568 to 1648, in seventeen of the provinces in the Low Countries (now Holland and Belgium). The so-called Council of Blood actually started in 1567, and was a component part of the troubles.

  The Spanish Hapsburgs ruled these provinces as part of the great Spanish Empire. They had originally been under the influence, if not the mandate, of Burgundy but were at last united by Charles V (Carlos Quinto) who was king of Spain as well as Holy Roman Emperor (q.v.). His son, King Philip II (Felipe Segundo) governed the region through his own appointees the regents, emphasising points of taxation and above all religion. Philip was a devout Catholic,and believed in the persecution of Protestants wherever he found them. Continue reading

The Forty-Seven Ronin

Seppuku for the forty-seven / modernimage.com

Seppuku for the forty-seven / modernimage.com

At the beginning of the eighteenth century an incident took place in Japan that rapidly occupied the front pages of world (and worldly) newspapers. Indeed, the happening provided a powerful symbol of self-sacrifice and un-flinching loyalty during generations, even supplying the title of a major Hollywood film; this was Ronin, (1998)I believe the last movie directed by the aged but still brilliant John Frankenheimer. A re-telling of the incident in Japan is spoken during a key scene in the film by the French actor Michael Lonsdale, seated beside a fully equipped model of the castle and surroundings in Japan. Continue reading

The French Republican Calendar

 

The new nomenclature, lavishly illustrated /huberlerch.com

The new nomenclature, lavishly illustrated / hubertlerch.com

During the French Revolution (q.v.) the National Convention decided on a sublimely Gallic act to herald the start of a new epoch for France, and, if popular, for all humanity as well. It would also carry on the process of anti-clericism (burning of churches, slaughter of bishops, priests, monks and nuns etc.), or the organized de-Christianization of France. The old calendar would be swept away. Structures and names were planned by a special committee directed by Deputy d’Eglantine. Continue reading

The Condor Squadron

/condorsquadron.org

/condorsquadron.org

This formed part of Adolf Hitler’s contribution to the Nationalist or rebel side during the Spanish Civil War (q.v.). The pilots came mostly from the German middle and upper classes, and their groundcrew, mechanics etc. were boys from the lower classes doing their military service. For both, flying missions in a foreign country whose government (the Second Spanish Republic) had hardly any aircraft to fight them was more like a youthful adventure than real war. The truth is that the young Germans met virtually no opposition during their lethal visits to bomb and strafe Republican Spanish towns, turning the towns into ruins and killing thousands, mostly civilians. Continue reading