Tag Archives: history

Why I Won’t Apologise for Supporting France

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I have seen a number of facebook posts over the past few days which challenged those of us who briefly changed our profile picture to reflect our support for the people of France.  They challenged us by asking the question – why do you show so much support for France – yet there was a terrorist outrage in Beirut and Baghdad – why do you choose who to grieve over?  Implied in this question is  – “Do you think a European life is worth more than one in the Middle East?”

The question is simple enough – but it shows a remarkable misunderstanding of the relationship Britain has with France – not over 10 years, not over 100 years – but over 1,000 of years.

The fact that it is implied that grief is something that can be chosen – I’ve decided to weep over the 120 or so dead in Paris – but made a choice not to weep over the 40 or so dead in Beirut says a lot about the person(s) who pose the question.  Grief cannot always been chosen but yes IT IS SELECTIVE.

I don’t weep over every name I come across in the obituary section of a newspaper.  I don’t weep more if they are British or less because they are asian.  Grief in itself is selective and it is about personal connections with the individual or group of people who died.

Let us be clear about the French.  Britain has great historical ties with our garlic loving neighbour which are deep rooted and not always favourable.

I understand that there are people whose genealogy within this country only goes back one, two or three generations – and therefore they may not fully understand our affiliation with the land that loves frogs legs and snails [a combination that’s vomit inducing to those of us brought up on mince and chips].   Those with a short British genealogy may feel a strong connection with the middle east because of their family connections – and that is fine and we respect that.  But the majority of England, Scotland and Wales  DO NOT have connections with Arab countries or the middle east. We are europeans.

12239346_1071698219531001_1740804879240104236_o.jpgFrance isn’t just another ‘nation’ to us in the UK.  Over the centuries Britain and France have  ruled, been ruled, argued, agreed, disagreed, joked at, joked with, fought, killed, tunnelled to, laughed at, laughed with, cried, sympathised, & clashed with each other like petulant children.

The people of France – unlike most other European countries –  aren’t just a close neighbour – they are like cousins – the swish relatives – the really annoying ones – who find us uncouth and like to imply how smart they are, whilst at the same time – eat way too much smelly cheese and tell us that their house is nicer, food is better and don’t like that we get drunk too much. But deep down you love them all the same & you love them because you know them and have a joined history & past.

So, I don’t apologise for not putting the flags of Beirut or Baghdad on my profile. They have my sympathy. Of course they do. As do the Russians who also lost its people to terrorism.  My heart goes out to the 28 British tourists who lost their lives whilst lying peacefully on a in Tunisia.  Where was the poster outside the Mosque in Birmingham then condemning terrorism against BRITISH people?  Maybe it was there…maybe I just missed it.

It doesn’t really matter.  When those close to you suffer – you also suffer.  And I refuse to apologise.

 

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The London Gazette – 350 year anniversary

The London Gazette

Today The London Gazette celebrates its 350 year anniversary as the oldest surviving English newspaper, and the oldest continuously published newspaper in the UK.

The Gazette’s archives are free and easily accessible online, broken down by sector to help users quickly find what they are looking for. The content of The Gazette attracts a variety of different audiences, one of which is the genealogist and historian market. The Gazette is frequently used by those researching their family history, through military records and despatches from the front, as well as insolvency or deceased estates notices.

The London Gazette

A resource created for The Gazette’s anniversary is a timeline detailing just a fraction of the type of events documented in its 350 year history. These memorable events in British history range from The Great Fire of London and the Bank of England being founded, to more recent events, such as the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II and the birth of Princess Charlotte.

Following the outbreak of the plague in England in 1665, Charles II was forced to move his court out of London to Oxford. To allow the court to report the facts of the day, The Oxford Gazette was born, and when the court moved back to London, it became The London Gazette, and more recently The Gazette, incorporating both the Belfast and Edinburgh Gazette. As the first official journal of record and the newspaper to the Crown, The London Gazette became the authoritative source of news.

Edinburgh Gazette

The Edinburgh Gazette was first produced in 1699 and was printed continuously after 1793. The Belfast Gazette has been in production since 1920 (its forerunner was The Dublin Gazette, which was in print from 1706).

The Gazette is also the official home of The Queen’s Birthday and New Year honours, as well as the weekly Ministry of Defence notifications, Company Law notices, statutory notices and legislation. Specific content is created for each sector and is available for all users to access. Specialists in their fields are also commissioned to write content, which is then accessible online and via social media.

Janine Eves, Business and Operations Director for The Gazette said: ‘There’s a vast range of history in The Gazette’s archive just waiting to be discovered. Since completing the digital transformation last year, finding information about individuals or historical events is easier than ever – and it’s free to access. I encourage you to take a look for yourself and see what you can discover.’

As the official public record, The Gazette will continue to record history, publishing online and for all to freely search and read.

The London Gazette from 3 September 1666
The London Gazette from 3 September 1666

Agincourt 600, Tax Credits & the Thompson Twins on Monday Matters

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Monday Matters for 26th October. On the evening in which the Lords debate and vote on cuts to tax credits in the House of Lords – we will bring you the latest live coverage and results. Peers have the power to block or delay the Conservative plans.

Also to mark the 600th anniversary of Agincourt, Jason speaks to the author and historian Ian Mortimer who wrote a book which covers the year 1415 including that now victory.

In our Night-Time News Report: Processed meat can cause bowel cancer – that’s according to the World Health Organisation which published a report today warning of the dangers of eating too much red & processed meat. We have a full report after 8.

Our featured group tonight is the Thompson Twins – as Peter Dodd, guitarist with the group has his birthday tomorrow.

In music news: Kyra has news on David Bowie; the MTV Europe Music Awards & Adele.

Also after 9pm – MC Jezza Fellows returns with his Downton Abbey update

Gordon Brown – Out of the Shadows

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If you are a fan of political history – you may be interested in this video that charts the final months of John Major’s government through the eyes of the shadow Chancellor Gordon Brown and his team, including Charlie Whelan, Ed Balls and Ed Miliband, following them through Labour’s election campaign and into government.  This programme was broadcast on 30th September 1997.

Anniversary of Agincourt – 600 years – Ian Mortimer discusses the Famous Victory

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2015 has been a year for anniversaries. As the World War One centenary commemorations continue, we’ve already had the bi-centenary of the Battle of Waterloo and the 800th Anniversary of the signing of Magna Carta. The latest historic event reaching a significant birthday is the Battle of Agincourt, which sees its 600th Anniversary on the 25th October.

The battle was fought on a muddy field near Azincourt in northern France.

Jason McCrossan spoke to the author Dr. Ian Mortimer about his groundbreaking and ambitious book 1415 Henry V’s Year of Glory – which records the dramatic events of 1415 on a day-by-day basis, culminated in the battle of Agincourt: a slaughter ground designed not to advance Henry’s interests directly but to demonstrate God’s approval of Henry’s royal authority on both sides of the Channel.

Monday Matters with Midge Ure & Ultravox

Monday Matters Logo

On tonight’s Monday Matters Jason speaks to Affelia Wibisono who is a presenter at the Peter Harrison planetarium located in the Royal Museums Greenwich about Mars, Pluto and the new film that’s been released called The Martian.

The featured group this week is Ultravox as singer-songwriter Midge Ure celebrates his

In tonight’s music news Kyra brings us news about Glastonbury; news about Justin Biebier’s new album and why you might have heard a bit of slip not on Dr Who. this weekend.

In Not In The News – Kyra reveals which part of the UK has the biggest bra size as well as explaining to Jason the bra size system…with varying degrees of success.

In our Night-Time Report – the chancellor George Osborne has staked his political reputation on creating a Northern Powerhouse. He spoke at the conservative party conference in Manchester today – more after 8pm.

And in the final hour MC Jezza Fellows returns with his Downton Abbey update.

monday matters with the pretenders & WW1 history

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On Monday Matters tonight: Jason chats to the historian Chris Langdon from the ‪#‎Southend‬ museum about the 1st World War and the Battle of Loos – a battle which took place 100 years ago this month & where the British army used poisoned Gas for the first time.

In our Night-Time Report – The Prime Minister has confirmed that 2 British citizens fighting for Islamic state have been killed by an RAF drone in Syria. However, there are claims that it may not have been lawful – nor was it approved by parliament. More on this after 8pm.
Kyra has the latest music news including Kylie Minogue & Radiohead and she’ll delve into the latest new releases.

Our featured group tonight: The Pretenders. Lead singer Chrissie Hynde celebrates her birthday today.

In our Monday Matters tribute – Freddie Mercury would have celebrated his birthday on Saturday – he would have been 69 years old. We have music and interviews from him after 9pm.