Chasing the Dots – Blowing Up Parliaments!

EVERY year Namibia and many other countries seem to set off huge amounts of fireworks on or about the 5th of November, which in English history was the date in 1606 when a certain Guy Fawkes was caught loading many barrels of explosives under the parliament building in London.

He was, of course, a terrorist, a radical Catholic, supported by a host of wealthy barons and the like, who wanted to profit from the resulting chaos.

Well, Guy was caught and suitably dispatched in a chopping routine known as hanging, drawing and quartering that had been perfected under religious tutelage! Most of his financiers and suppliers, rather like the modern day bandits in our world-sized banks, got away with their lives only to suffer the indignity of moving to Catholic France! However, every year I wonder if his success would have had good consequences by removing a vast corrupt empire of government officials and plutocrats sucking every cent they could from the common people!

Fortunately this was answered sooner than later by the arrival of Cromwell and his short-lived and ignominious republican era and the subsequent glorious restoration of the “Crown”. But it takes little reflection to realise how often this model of rising ignominy, selfishness and growing dissatisfaction rises in almost all societies in one form or another. And indeed I always end up asking myself whether or not it is this periodic change that gives the impetus for nations to move forward from a position that feels like a constant stalemate!

I look at the US where the Republican and Democratic parties appear to have been in limbo for so long such that president Obama almost seems to be acting on his own. But then here is the problem, I think in the US I would be more Republican than Democrat in many ways in terms of smaller government or grater regional freedoms but then I would find myself severely opposed to everyone having a gun (one of many areas!). So who do I vote for?

And this, in a country that has so many skills, aantages and resources, do I compromise values or fight? And here is the problem of democracy and parties: There is no way one party can cater for all interests, and while a process of progressive dialogue would want all such differences to be ironed out, it has become a non-starter in our now connected and high speed world!

So I look closer to home, at our African continent where five national leaders of countries (9%) have been in power for over 25 years each. I look at the decades long skirmishes and wars between various tribes and religious groupings. I look at our continental leadership constantly telling us how matters are improving as the death toll, refugees in flight and other social failings escalate. We constantly avoid getting our billion Africans together to build the continent with our labour, even if some expertise has to be imported.

This is where I return to the good old story of Guy Fawkes. A bit of scouring of history showed that he really was not a very nice guy, quite willing to do nasty things for payment! However, his paymasters had reportedly better intentions as they thought politics, especially the religious trends, needed change and were prepared to do something about it! While their ploy failed in the short term, 100 years later, descendants of some of those involved, became part of the Union of Great Britain where law, religious tolerance and less corruption blossomed.

This is often the way of history in that those once thought to be “bad” often, through their offspring and colleagues’ descendants reappear with (often) compromised thinking and proposals that later have real application and can lead to societal and economic progress!

I say this while our world appears to be having to rethink its ways as the economic machine is failing the youth and the majority, as our once respected institutions of political maturity and economic financial respect worldwide are being dragged down in front of our noses?

So maybe Guy Fawkes may reappear not only as a parliamentary reformer but also, and probably more importantly, an exposer of multi-national bankers with their fraudulent, thieving practices. I can think how I would like to use some of those fireworks, now so capably made in China, with that gunpowder, invented by them, 500 years ago that fell into Guy’s hands! Blowing up Banks??

Source : The Namibian