Earlier I was reading today’s speech by Nick Clegg and thinking about what I might blog in response. This evening I re-encountered the following quote, which seems apposite, not to Clegg particularly, but to the whole business of political blogging in general. It’s from the Acknowledgements (p.vi) in Constructing the political spectacle by Murray Edelman (1988):
As a student of political language and symbolism, I am indebted in a different way to the countless public officials and representatives of political causes who spend their time giving me more data than I want, much of it disturbing or outrageous.
Oliver Cromwell and that …
Today, for the first time in a long time, I came across Oliver Cromwell’s speech on the dissolution of the Long Parliament in 1653. Its contemporary resonance is evident. Its sentiment is no doubt shared by many contemporary observers of our political scene. I’m not saying that I’d advocate a Cromwellian approach to the issue. But, if nothing else, the rhetoric and oratory are marvellous:
It is high time for me to put an end to your sitting in this place, which you have dishonored by your contempt of all virtue, and defiled by your practice of every vice; ye are a factious crew, and enemies to all good government; ye are a pack of mercenary wretches, and would like Esau sell your country for a mess of pottage, and like Judas betray your God for a few pieces of money. Is there a single virtue now remaining amongst you? Is there one vice you do not possess?