Remember, remember, the fifth of November...

Guy Fawkes day
Right at this moment, fireworks are going off a few miles away at Westminster, as a tribute to Guy Fawkes.

For you Americans, who are not particularly familiar with non-American traditions (nor should you be), this is a bloke to whom many of you MOLON LABE types- hey, that's me!- would relate pretty well. Basically, he REALLY had a problem with government, and did something about it, in the form of trying to blow the ever-loving bejeezus out of the seat of government power.

Now obviously, it's all a bit more complicated and detailed than that- there is a fair amount of Reformation-era religious strife to deal with, and a lot of convoluted stuff about the succession of the English throne in there as well- but essentially the Gunpowder Plot was about showing the government of Britain that the people were the masters and the government their servants, and not the other way around.

And that, indeed, is exactly how it should be.

Unfortunately, in the last century, a dramatic reversal has taken place. And nowhere in the Anglic global confederation has this become more clear than in the land that gave birth to the concept of modern parliamentary republicanism.

Here in England- the home of the Glorious Revolution and the Magna Carta signed at Runnymede, the nation that gave us example after working example of government constrained by the power and freedom of the individual, the country that eventually gave rise to the very precepts and ideas embodied in the magnificent poetry of the American Declaration of Independence- we have seen exactly what happens when free people abdicate their responsibilities to government.

We see a country that has lost control over its own borders, with the inevitable atomisation of its own population into enclaves of middle-class normalcy, desperately trying to fend off the encroaching tides of the semi-barbarian invaders who seek to overwhelm them.

We see a gigantic national health care bureaucracy, consuming ever greater resources for ever poorer outcomes. (Oh, I'm going to get some hate mail for that one... If there is one truly sacred cow here in Britain that thoroughly deserves to be turned into cheeseburgers, it is the NHS.)

We see a culture that celebrates all that is shallow and stupid, despite being home to landmarks and ideas and national treasures that are hundreds and even thousands of years old, and which gave rise to the greatest thinkers and doers that Mankind has ever seen.

We see a country drowning in debt and trying hard to stay afloat through endless currency manipulation and deficit spending.

We see a nation where national pride and love of country and traditional values are derided and traduced, where ideals that were once considered right and normal are now mocked and scorned.

We see, in short, America- thirty years from its present situation.

I am not American. I probably will never be American- though if the American people think me worthy of joining them, I'd sign on the dotted line tomorrow and swear the oath in a heartbeat. But I beseech those Americans who visit this blog- don't ever forget what it is that makes your country great. Do not fail to learn from the lessons of your progenitor- the once-great Britain.

So yes, let us pop off some fireworks and light the bonfires- and let us always remember the spirit of the great plot that inspired this particular night.

Let us never forget the true lesson of Guy Fawkes Day: that free men are their own masters, and government is their servant- and NEVER, EVER the other way around.


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