Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Quinglish Watch: Gunpowder, treason and plonk

Reports the Beeb today:

A unique reconciliation is to take place between descendants of the gunpowder plotters and loyal Royals.

The ceremony, marking the 400-year anniversary of the plot, will see the Duke of Northumberland shaking hands with the Marquess of Salisbury.

The Duke descends from the family of plotter Thomas Percy while the Marquess' ancestor, Robert Cecil, was a minister under James I.

The event will happen in Westminster Hall, where the plotters were tried.

It will also take place against a backdrop of powder barrels and an enlarged version of a painting depicting Guy Fawkes and his fellow conspirators.

Chris Pond, project director, said February 1605 was the final month in which the plotters were trying to dig a tunnel under the Houses of Parliament as part of their scheme.

The commemorations will begin with an exhibition at Shakespeare's Globe in London, which tells the story of Guy Fawkes and his gang who planned to assassinate the King of England and Scotland, his nobles, bishops and all members of parliament.

Events will culminate in the premiere of a new play about the plot at Tower Hill, London on 5 November.

Special exhibitions and events will also take place at Waltham Abbey, Essex, Coughton Court, Warwickshire, The Swan Theatre, Stratford-upon-Avon and Syon House, Brentford, Middlesex.

As well as showing that no English ceremony can be too pointless and too late if it’s an excuse for a good slap-up dinner and a booze-up, this story reminds us that while other, more crudely literal countries celebrate national holidays with mardi gras and carnivals and Bastille days and Thanksgivings and Independence Days and so on, our great nation bothers to celebrate but two things...

....some bloke’s attempt to blow up all the politicians, and the days when the banks close.

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