Monday, April 15, 2024
HomeCulture WarIt’s time for another Grand Remonstrance

It’s time for another Grand Remonstrance


NEXT Monday sees the 380th anniversary of the Grand Remonstrance, a list of grievances sent by the Long Parliament to Charles I, who many MPs believed was putting the country on the road to ruin.  

Their complaints centred on alleged plots by Catholics, on the ‘ecclesiastical tyranny’ of bishops and on bad advice being given to the king by his courtiers and counsellors.  

On November 22, 1641, the Remonstrance was passed by Parliament, where the power of the Puritans was growing. But Charles basically ignored it, granting only a few minor concessions. In so doing, he helped precipitate the Civil War.  

Fast-forward to 2021 and with the parlous state the country is now in, we could urgently do with another Grand Remonstrance – not from Parliament, but to Parliament.  

The woeful collection of chancers, shysters, money-grabbers, zombies and halfwits who for the most part currently infest the Palace of Westminster need to be told exactly what a mess they’ve made of our lives over the past few years. And they should know that we want them to do something about it – pronto.  

The original Grand Remonstrance was couched in the long-winded, flowery language of the time. But the bit we can relate to today told of the ‘great dangers and fears, the pressing miseries and calamities, the various distempers and disorders which had not only assaulted but even overwhelmed and extinguished the liberty, peace, and prosperity of this kingdom’. 

In compiling the Second Grand Remonstrance, there’s no need for beating round the bush – we should just tell it like it is. Something like . . .  

‘We, the British people, are fed up to the back teeth with being exploited, lied to and endangered by this criminally incompetent, increasingly dictatorial so-called government. Its Net Zero policy is insane, its response to Covid is a social and financial disaster, its behaviour over Brexit is cowardly, its inaction over illegal migrants beggars belief and its cynical embracing of wokery is infuriating (that’s just off the top of my head – add your own complaint here). We demand an immediate halt to all this nonsense before we’re left sicker, poorer, colder, angrier and reaching for our pitchforks.’  

The Second Grand Remonstrance would be most impressive as a gigantic document signed by all 46million of Britain’s registered voters. But that would be impractical, as the Chartists found in 1842 when they sought voting reform. They stitched together petition sheets containing 3.3million signatures into a single paper roll weighing six hundredweight, which was put into a huge box and ceremoniously carried to the House of Commons. But it wouldn’t fit through the door. 

So we’ll have to do it cyberspace-style, via an electronic petition to Parliament, which if it reaches 100,000 signatures will get a ‘Government response’. That’s not to say it will actually be debated by MPs. More than likely, it will be pooh-poohed in the way Charles I dismissed the original Grand Remonstrance.  

Sadly, in today’s dumbed-down, semi-educated Britain, history is being relentlessly rewritten to cancel or corrupt the past. But at least some MPs might remember that the king’s arrogance and intransigence eventually cost him his head.  

If they do nothing about ‘the pressing miseries and calamities, the various distempers and disorders’ that the country is now suffering, they should also be for the chop – at the next election.  

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Henry Getley
Henry Getley
Henry Getley is a freelance journalist.

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