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Remember, remember the 5th of November…

As I write this, voting is underway in the US presidential election. The results, barring electoral fraud investigations and any other underhand shenanigans, should be known tomorrow, the 5th of November.

November the 5th, as you probably know, is more famous in the UK as the anniversary of the Gunpowder Plot, an attempt in 1605 by a group of Catholic conspirators to remove King James from the throne of England and get rid of his government at the same time, by blowing them all up during the state opening of parliament. James, the incumbent of the time if you like, was referred to as ‘the wisest fool in Christendom’. I’ll leave you to make your own comparisons with the current US equivalent.

The attempt ultimately failed, and Guy Fawkes, one of the conspirators caught in the act in the basement of parliament surrounded by barrels of explosive, is ritually burnt every year on the 5th, along with lots of fireworks and sparklers. The actual plot was led by Robert Catesby, who seems to have escaped the rather dubious fame achieved by Guy.  The rest of the conspirators were captured after deciding to dry out their gunpowder by the fire to dry during their last stand at Holbeche House, a less than stellar plan.

In the aftermath the local security services took the opportunity to clamp down hard on any future terrorist acts, imprisoning many Catholics (and probably people they just didn’t like the look of).

Hopefully a change of governance in the USA will pass off in a more peaceable fashion, with as little gunpower, treason and plot as can be maintained within a modern political system.  Enjoy bonfire night!

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